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As a transgender gay man, the dating pool for me is very, very limited. You have to narrow it down to men, then queer men, and then queer men who aren't transphobic, which leaves maybe 20 guys. And I live in Maine, so it's more like five guys. This all being said: there are five rules to follow when you're trans and gay and dating.
Rule number one: Avoid the fetish.
Now, if you're not aware, trans people get fetishized... a lot. Just look at porn. "Shemale", while offensive, is a very popular category, especially for straight men. I don't know why or how this came to be, but apparently, people think it's okay to deny trans people the right to piss where we want, but also sexualize our bodies for their own pleasure.
There are many ways to spot a fetisher, the simplest being what he says. If a guy says anything along the lines of loving "shemales" and "trannies", run for the fucking hills. If a guy asks a trans woman how big she is, he is a fetisher. If a guy says he's never been with a trans person, but he wants to try it out, just fucking punch him. Lastly, if a guy, even once, calls you by any gendered term outside of what you are comfortable with, leave him. He is not worth your time. Or anyone's, really.
So, while dating avoid fetishers. They come in all sizes, all shapes, and they're all disgusting.
Rule number two: Dating sites are probably not the way to go.
Nowadays, there are hundreds of dating sites, some of them even target certain groups of people i.e. Christian Mingle. There are tons of sites for queer people, but they either aren't popular enough to have a wide collection of possible mates, or they are really exclusive when it comes to gender identity and sexuality, as most non-queer dating sites are.
Let's take eHarmony, for example. You can choose either male or female for the gender you identify as, and male or female for whom you're interested in a relationship with. This website was built in mind with cis, straight, and gay people.
Match.com also has similar options. You are either a man seeking women, a man seeking men, a woman seeking men, or a woman seeking women. This might be better when it comes to trans people because it doesn't include the terms "male" and "female", which we know most trans people hate.
Tinder and Grindr are notorious hookup apps, and you'd probably have more trouble there, what with all the fetishers and transphobes.
So, yeah. Dating sites might not be the best idea. Stick to coffee shops, LGBT groups, and bars.
Rule number three: You probably shouldn't be dating monosexuals.
Now, I'm not saying that all monosexuals are bad and not worth dating, I'm sure there are some very accepting monosexuals. It's just probably safer if they aren't at the top of your list when thinking about potential suitors.
For all the people that don't know what monosexual means, it's a term used for people that only experience attracting to one gender. So, avoid straight and gay people. Bisexuals, pansexuals, and self-identifying queers are your best friends.
Maybe a lot of cis people are wondering why trans people might want to avoid monosexuals. The answer is pretty simple. Have you ever heard a gay guy say he was afraid or disgusted by a vagina? If the answer is yes (it obviously is, most gay guys say this), then you should know the answer to why dating multisexuals are more beneficial than dating monosexuals.
Gay guys usually have an exaggerated reaction to the idea of being near vaginas, so they're usually not friendly when approached by a trans dude. I don't know about straight girls, but I'm guessing their reaction must be almost the same.
Straight guys are the really gross ones because they are the ones most likely to kill. If a straight guy is after you because you're trans, get away from him, and if he won't be with you because he thinks if he likes a trans girl's penis that makes him gay, then you might want to run. "Traps" is a revolting term aimed at trans woman by straight cis guys. See, they think that the trans woman lured them in and gave them "false expectations" because they were under the impression that the woman was cisgender. This usually ends in a very disturbing, very gruesome, and very tragic death. This is also why most trans women will avoid straight men, seeing as they tend to be the most aggressive.
It's just all around safer and less oppressive to date people that aren't just attracted to one gender or "sex".
Rule number four: Transphobes are a dealbreaker.
Yeah, yeah, I know. Most trans people know not to date transphobic people. However, sometimes it's hard to tell if someone is or not. Obviously, if someone says they hate transgender people, then they're transphobic, but there's some disagreement with other things. Some trans people think it's transphobic to not even consider dating a trans person because they were born a different gender than they identify with. Personally, I do think it is. Disregarding a person because they might not have the genitals you desire, is a bit... gross.
Threatening to bring a gun into the bathrooms to ward off trans people? Oh yeah, that's definitely transphobic.
Asking a trans person what surgeries they have had or want to get? If they're talking about then yes, you can ask. But do not just ask them.
Never ask what a trans person's deadname is, and don't call it their "real name". (Deadname is the name trans people were born with that they no longer use.)
But a lot of trans people let things slide. I get that sometimes it's exhausting to constantly be making sure the people around you don't do or say transphobic things, but to be completely happy, you need to create a support system. Maybe these people in your support system aren't 100% transphobic-free, but that's better than 50%.
Rule number five: Stealth is a horrible word.
When it comes to the trans community, words have a lot of meaning and influence on how trans and cis people act. The word stealth has been circulating for years, and there are a fair amount of trans people that aren't happy with people who are "stealth".
This word simply means that a trans person has decided to not be public with their transition and gender. They don't want to put a target or a stage light on themselves, so they keep only people that need to know.
I am so glad that there are people that feel comfortable to be open about their transness, but there are people that aren't, and they shouldn't be shamed by the trans community for not wanting strangers to know about them being trans.
When it comes to dating, trans people can tell the person they're seeing whenever they want. They are not obligated to tell you. They are not deceiving you if they don't tell you in advance. So, rule number five is very simple. Be yourself, and if that's out and proud, great. If it's not, that's also great. You don't have to be out to be proud of who you are.
So, trans and queer people, be careful and happy dating.