Before I start, I’d like to note that this is from my perspective as a straight transman. There are transmen out there who are gay, bi or queer. So while my point of view may resonate with some out there, it doesn’t represent our community as a whole.
When I was younger, I had this assumption that I would know when I met THE ONE. You know, the stuff that fairy tales are made of when Prince Charming finds his Princess, fall in love and live happily ever after riding off in the sunset. This is where I blame Disney really, for teaching young kids that there is that one person out there who will magically appear in your life and love trumps all. And then I grew up.
My love life is tragic to say the least. I’ve had numerous relationships where now that I look back on I realise (hindsight is always 20-20) what an idiot I was. Now, this post isn’t about my past relationships – I can probably write a whole book so I’ll just give you a summary. I’ve been cheated on multiple times, been engaged (she cheated) and physically abused by one. So it’s safe to say that not only am I unlucky in love, my idea of finding a fairy tale has been shattered to an infinite amount of broken dreams.
When I realised that I am transgender, I was in a relationship. She was there when I took the first steps to transition medically. But no, that story did not have a happy ending. In fact it ended really badly and I’ll be honest – I was done. For the first time in my adult life, I made the conscious decision to be single (I’ve never been single for more than 6 months in the past).
Like a new age alternative hippie, I decided that it was time to focus on myself. So I went back to university to complete my Bachelor of Psychology, organised my finances, worked out more and basically learned to take care of myself. And it is probably one of the best decisions I’ve made so far. I am now comfortable with my own company (in fact I crave it most times) with new found confidence and I. Am. Happy.
But they say no man is an island and with people asking me when I was going to find a nice woman and settle down (not to mention my friends are all like on their 2nd baby – #peerpressure), I opened my mind to maybe giving my love life another go. I’ve been single for more than 2 years now and with my current work and commitments, I’ve never really gotten around to dating.
Now, I’ve always been open to me being a transman. BUT I do not publicise that fact simply because I am more than my gender. I wouldn’t deny it but I’m not going to shout it out from rooftops either. So this creates a problem when it comes to dating. In my previous relationships I’ve identified as a lesbian albeit I presented pretty masculine but my partners were aware that I was female before anything happened.
Right now, I am on testosterone shots and have had my top surgery – but I have no intentions of getting bottom surgery. So while my appearance passes for a cis male, my genitals tell a different story. Which really irks me when it comes to dating because if a woman tells me they will not be attracted to a transguy because they’re not a lesbian it basically means even before a connection is made they’re already thinking of dicks. And the doors to dating from the lesbian pool has been closed because they’re women attracted to women (though I’ve mostly dated straight girls in the past).
But my point about the problem dating as a transman is this:
When/How do you come out to a prospective romantic partner?
I’ll share with you a couple of my experiences. I had a crush on a former colleague and after some months of getting to know each other I asked her out. We went out for dinner and I worked up the courage to come out to her by the end of the night. Her response? Not what I expected because apparently someone at work had already found out and basically gossiped their way throughout the whole workplace. So needless to say, that was a bummer.
A few months later, I decided to give a dating app a go (yes, I know, the horror) after a friend recommended one to me. My profile did not include any indication that I was trans, just the essential things like my education, likes and personality. So things went decently with this girl and because the app only allows you to keep a chatroom open for 7 days, I decided to ask her if she was interested to continue getting to know each other through another channel. She said yes and told me to add her on Instagram. Now, my Instagram is completely open about my life including the fact that I am trans.
Yep, you guessed it – she never responded since.
If you read this expecting for me to have a solution to the problem when it comes to dating as a transman, I am so sorry – I do not have it. However, I do believe that one day I will find that one girl for me and she’ll love me as I am. But as of now, I am not actively searching and she’ll show up when she’s ready… or when she finally gets a GPS that directs her to me. Until then, I will be focused on other matters within my control.
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