Transgender dating

Well - after my fantastic success :rolleyes: in my “small breasts” thread, I figured I’d through caution to the breaking wind and ask another question that will probably offend somebody.

Twice in my life a woman I was dating (I’m a straight male, btw) has come out to me as bisexual. In the first case, I was pretty squinked out. I was young and we didn’t know each other well, it was our first date. We never went out again. (Sorry, Amy, wherever you are).

The second time, it was a woman I was friends with for a long time, we had dated for six-months or so, and I was a lot more at ease with it. At first my mind jumped to all sorts of prurient possiblities. Later, I realized that I wasn’t totally comfortable with those ideas and her bisexuality bothered me. It wasn’t a “Eww, gross!” thing, though, it was the gnawing thought that, try as I may, I wouldn’t be able to give here everything she needed to be happy.

So, the mention of transgenderism in another thread made me wonder how I’d react if somebody revealed that they were a M-to-F transgendered person. I think I’d react, honestly, much like the above. If I were new to the person, I think I’d have a hard time thinking of them them beyond this physical identity. However, if I had known this person for a long time, already figured out what mental image I had of them, then I might not think twice about continuing, or starting, a dating relationship with them.

So, to summarize - if I already thought of the person as a woman, then I probably would continue thinking of them as such and would be more likely to date them than if I knew her & this fact at the first meeting.

So, if you’re transgendered, or if you’re otherwise in the know, how do you go about revealing this to people? What’s your protocol? Any rules you try to follow?

To the straight folks, how do you think you’d react if your dating partner revealed they were transgendered - or have you already had to react to this?

To the gay folks, is there any bias in the community (yes, I know I’m generalizing) that looks down on the transgendered? Does the born-female lesbian date the converted-to-female lesbian typically?

Disclaimer: Yes, I’ll acknowlege that I’m being a little un-PC here. I know that it’s proper to say that a person was always female and the sugery just aligned the physical with the mental actuality. I’m also admitting to some predjudices that I know are also un-PC but I’ll admit they’re my problem and I’m not suggesting that they should be any others’ problems or that they’re the right or only way to think.

I don’t date anymore. Problem solved.

I think it would bother me if I things weren’t compeltely… right, you know what I mean? Like if I could tlel that the vagina wasn’t “legit” or if the features were still too masculine. If I could successfully forget about the past life I could maybe hand with it…but like man-hands… Constant reminder- That I couldn’t deal with.

…sorry for the typos… I have an injured finger and it’s throwing off my typing style.

It solves a lot of problems, doesn’t it? I don’t date anymore, and I’m not transgendered, just fifty and finding much more enjoyable ways to spend my time. :slight_smile:

But I suspect in your case that you wouldn’t mind having a bit more active romantic life, and that the problems you’ve encountered being TS have made it more difficult (you have other circumstances also, such as the care for your mom-full time job thing). I’m sorry for that. On the other hand, in your case specifically, you are so sophisticated that I have trouble imagining anyone in whom you were truly interested having a serious problem with this.

Can I ask…

…well, of course I can ask, I guess, the right way would be, “Will you answer…”

…are you not dating because of any of the issues related to be transgendered (or is “transexual” correct?) ?

I had a slightly different twist on this experience. When I was about 15-16 years old I dated a guy who was new to our circle of friends. We were making out at the drive-in and I discovered he was a girl. He presented to everyone as a guy but I was so young that I don’t know if he was transgendered or gay (in hindsight I tend to think he was transgendered ).

It wasn’t a horrible scene or anything. We remained friends but quit dating. It was very strange, because all the guys thought he was a guy, though some suspected he was a girl. Two of my girlfriends fell in love with him.

Fiften years ago, I’d say, yeah. Now I’m not dating because I’m a dumpy middle-aged matron who looks like a Helen Hokinson dowager.

I quite forget how it came up, but a good friend of ours made a passing casual reference to her sex-reassignment surgery, and until that point, we hadn’t known she had ever been anything other than physically female (my compliments to her surgeon, although I’m sure being a naturally attractive person helped). She hadn’t been trying to hide it, she just figured everybody already knew.

I’m pretty comfortable with the idea of sexuality and gender being malleable constructs, so learning this didn’t immediately offer up any thoughts deeper than, “Huh. Cool.” The more I thought about it though, the more I had to question what I generally thought of as “gay” or “straight”.

I really don’t see it bothering me if the person I was with had not always had that body. I’ve been with the same woman for fifteen years, so if she suddenly came out as trans, I don’t see where I would have any room to complain. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it for this long. In such a situation, though, sexual orientation distinctions seem to break down. If I as a man dated a woman who was once physically a man, would our society consider me gay or straight? When our friend dated a girl, was she in a lesbian or straight relationship? On what are we basing our definition of male and female–genetics or aesthetics?

I’m not sure how our government treats individuals who have changed their physical sex (and perhaps this would be a better topic for a new thread), but it’s my understanding they are allowed to marry a person of the “opposite” sex without any problem. Which pretty much reduces the marriage argument to one of aesthetics. If two men can’t get married, why would it suddenly be OK if one of them had extensive plastic surgery? It’s still the same two people.

I’m bi (and my straight male husband gives me all I need - I know you weren’t trying to be offensive, and so I’m not offended, but keep in mind: just because someone is bi doesn’t necessarily mean they need it from all sexes! :wink: It just means we could fall in love in any direction. However, I only speak for myself and the few others I know for sure feel this way; I am certain there are people who feel differently. But bisexual doesn’t always mean “I’m bi. I need a man AND a woman to be happy.” Just one will do. Also, it is your prerogative if you want to date them or not - it’s good to hear you’re not squicked out by it so much, but your preference is your preference, and that should be respected, too.)

Okay, that little ramble aside… what was I saying? Ah, yes. I’m bi, and I once dated a lovely girl who was born male. However, she was very much a lady, and she was a lesbian. I found out after we’d been friends awhile, and dated her knowing this. It didn’t bother me a bit; I already really liked her for who she was. She had a heart of purest gold, I tell you… we dated very briefly. We broke up because she decided she needed to love herself first, before getting into any serious relationships. Neither of us wanted to hurt each other, and we ended it on friendly terms. I still think very fondly of her and she’s one of the few people I’ve mentioned before: I’d take a bullet for her in a heartbeat.

My husband knows who I am, and about my past, and loves me anyway. He’s so awesome. Also, unlike my past boyfriends, he’s never asked and has no interest in asking if we can add another woman into the mix (“you’re bi, right? So why not? Wouldn’t that make us both happy?” - I swear to god, this has happened to me twice.) So thankfully, he “gets” me completely! I don’t want to share or be shared. I just want to love and be loved. :slight_smile:

  1. I’ve never met Eve in person, but in all her pictures, she is a lovely and elegant Woman Of A Certain Age. Her claims to be dumpy and unattractive are lies lies lies.

  2. Nevertheless, I can respect her decision to not date at all. I think I can imagine how that could get very painful. I believe she knows that she has several standing offers here on the SDMB, but this is between her and her admirers- as far as I know, she isn’t interested in dating girls, so I’m out of luck.

  3. As for me… I THINK I would be all right with it. Assuming that the guy in question were someone I wanted to be dating otherwise. But that’s the sort of thing that I need to know toward the beginning of a relationship. When we’re having our second or third date, when we’re telling stories about our families, our jobs… if you grew up as a girl, this would be a good time to mention it. Don’t spring it on me after you propose, or let me discover it as a deep dark secret on my own.

Of course, I’ll never know unless I happen to encounter a kind and dashing man with some surgically-created boy parts, and how likely is that? Kind men are pretty damned rare.

I’m not transgendered myself. When my ex-boyfriend began to seriously transition, I joined a bunch of a transgendered groups and I now have a lot of transsexual/transgendered friends. From what I have observed both in the group and in the dating scene at large, transsexuals/transgendered people go about this in various ways.

-Don’t date at all. This doesn’t seem to be the most common choice, but it’s not unheard of.

-Don’t date until after transition. This seems to be more common than not dating. After transition, some people go “stealth” where they never tell anyone about their past (or they just tell their SO) while others are more open about their pasts. There are various degrees of stealth and openness. A lot of times people will fluctuate over how open they are during their lifetimes. I’ve seen people come out of stealth and other who were previously open decide to go that route.

-Date during transition but don’t tell. This seems very risky and transpeople have been killed taking this path. I don’t know many who chose this path, it seems to be rarer than not dating.

-Date openly before, during, after transition.

So how do they find partners? I’ve not said on my OKcupid account that I am open to transsexuality, but I’ve gotten messaged by many transsexuals open to friendship/dating. I figured either they saw I had open transsexual friends or took a risk and got lucky. Some of them mentioned in their profile that they were transsexuals, while others didn’t. There are a lot of various LGBT/transsexual/genderqueer/transgendered/etc groups for transgendered people to find partners who would be open to dating. There’s also “Tranny Chasers” and “Admirers.” “Tranny chasers” are people who fetishize transgendered individuals and are scorned by many in the tg/ts community, although some will date them. “Admirers,” depending on who you ask, are either polite “Tranny chasers,” people who are open to dating tg/ts individuals, or a person who prefers ts/tg individuals but does not fetishize them. It is also fairly common for tg/ts individuals to hook up with each other, and I know many, many people who go that route.

As for coming out… that can be done many different ways. For example, my ex posted that she was trans on her myspace profile and a straight guy looking for friends came across her profile, didn’t understand exactly what she ment, and asked her to join him for some drinks at the local pub. Apparently he thought that she was a girl trying to become a guy. When they met, she explained the situation in more detail. Although she hasn’t gotten SRS, he fell in love with her as he would a “genetic female” and they’ve been dating ever since.

People I know will often try to “feel out” the situation by asking potential dating partners about their views on ts/tg people. If the other person expresses a hostile or negative reaction, they will cut off the relationship or not try to progress a friendship further. Most of the trans I know and have talked to about this subject in length tell their potential partner when it is during the friendship stage and before it progresses further.

You’d be surprised by how many straight guys are willing to date male-to-female transsexuals. When my ex lived as a guy, straight guys used to crush on her all the time. They would often jokingly say “You’ve made me consider the dark side” or “I’d switch teams for you.” Some of the transgirls I know are amazingly beautiful women, more beautiful than most genetic girls. Although some might shy away from a girl like Harisu because of her past, I know she has no lack of possible dating partners.

As for sexuality, most transsexuals identify solidly as male or female. A male-to-female transsexual who dates women is a lesbian, while one who dates males is straight.

The LGBT community is mixed when it comes to the subject of homosexuality and ts/tg people. I know some ts/tg people who are homophobic (believe it or not) and homosexual people who are transphobic. Some of my ts/tg friends have felt welcomed and loved by lesbians/gays while others have expressed frustration and anger because of the intolerance that was displayed towards them.

Marriage is an interesting thing in the world of the TG. I know one lesbian couple, who were able to be legally married because the state they lived in only considered birth gender. As a lesbian couple they can’t legally marry; since one was born genetically male (although many years post SRS now), they are allowed all the legal benefits of marriage.

I have a good friend who I have also messed around* with who is a pre-operative, bisexual M-F trans. I think of her as a woman, and when I’ve messed around with her it felt like messing around with a woman.

It is painful for me to watch her go through this period in her life. She gets rejected by men, women, lesbians… she just can’t get a break, it seems. It is causing her a lot of pain.

*not sex though

Thank Goddess I’m married.

The result of my coming out as trans has been to bring us closer together than before. We mutually feel we belong together.

I’d take my pants off.

“Um, you said ‘we’ve come to a point in our relationship’, you meant sex right? I admit, this will take just a little getting used to. But, you’re still that hot Jewish woman who (list of the qualities she has that I look for in a woman) and (list of common interests). Right now, all this means is that you trust me enough to let me inside your body.”

I can think of a few things a woman could tell me that would matter more-
She’s not really Jewish
She thinks the Simpsons, SDMB, or other interest is stupid and respects me less for liking it.
She holds racist views.

First of all, Eve, horse shit! I’ve seen recent pics of you, and you are VERY nice looking! Not to mention witty and delightful.

DocCathode, I have been more sexually adventurous in my life than most, but if some guy I’d never before slept with took off his pants without invitation, he’d be gone as soon as he could pull them up again! So I hope you were kidding. I agree with the concept of affectionate seduction being a good response, but not the kind of crude, blatant sexual expectation you described. That is, of course, a matter of taste, but I find it hard to imagine *any * woman responding well to it.
I think attitudes towards the ts are largely influenced by whether you knew them as their original gender first. My husband came out to me as a cross-dresser/eventual transgender/finally transsexual about four years after we were married. (I’ve often said that telling me was one of the most magnificent acts of courage I’ve ever seen. Not that he had any reason to believe that I in particular would be disturbed, but culturally in the US, it can be viewed very badly, and we had been married for four years, after all.)

I helped him in every way I could, teaching him about make-up and clothes, etc. But to me it was always a costume. Even after he had surgery, to me it was just the costume taken to a deeper level. Sexual identification as a social construct (i.e. recognizing someone as male or female) is extremely important, fundamental even, for most human beings. And this man was my husband. I not only couldn’t see him as a woman, I saw no reason why I should. This prompted the sole disagreement we had in the entire period of his transition.

We ultimately divorced, but not for that reason. I felt very strongly that he hadn’t gone through all this in order to continue being married to me, and that the primary thing that was keeping him married and faithful was his self-image as a loyal person. He had been somewhat gender dysphoric, but well under control; unlike some tg folk, he absolutely had the option of continuing to live his life as a man, and I feel to this day that had he been happier with me, he probably would have done so. But I am not a suitable candidate for marriage. So we split up. I think it was the best thing for both of us. He was very pretty as a woman, whereas as a man he’d been merely pleasant-looking. So he remained bi; he’d had curiosity about sex with a man, but only AS a woman - there was no male gay inclination in him at all.

Unfortunately, we lost touch, and I haven’t been able to find him for several years (he had moved to the west coast for a job opportunity). I’m sorry for that, but that kind of thing happens sometimes.

But, for example, I never think of Eve as anything but a woman, and if I dated women (I’m straight and not dating, so it’s pretty much out of the question), I’d date her in a heartbeat! The big difference is that I met her (on-line) when she was already a she. I suspect that my reactions in that respect are pretty typical. Once a gender has been assigned to someone in your mind, almost nothing can shake it. Yes, there are idiots who are squicked out if they find out that someone whom they thought to be a woman had started out as a man, but I suspect they are not people one would want to date in any case.

I suppose I should have given more detail. I intended that to be read as romantic speech given while slowly undressing myself, giving her ample opportunity to express consent or tell me to stop, not ‘That’s cool. I’m gonna whip out my penis.’. But the speech would have to be particular to the woman. The list of qualities she has and interests we share adds length and meaning. A list of important moments we shared adds more.

Additionally, read the first sentence. My post assumes that we’ve already been on a few dates and that we are past the point where one has to ask before kissing the other. It isn’t uncommon for a transgendered person to reach that level of relationship before telling the other person. It may lead to violence. But it can also lead to acceptance. Telling the person right away usually leads to rejection.

So, my speech isn’t to somebody I’ve just met. It’s to a woman I’ve dated for a month or so. She’s just told me because she has real feelings for me and thinks our relationship could be serious. She’s also told me because she is ready for our relationship to become sexual.

So a woman who knows me, who wants to have sex with me, and who is terrified I am about to call her a freak and reject her will be sitting there, listening to my honest declaration of love, as I slowly undress so that I can prove my words in action.

This is not a letter to Penthouse moment.

Thank heavens for small favors! :smiley:

Oy I assume you’re responding to my last line. By that, I meant it is not a moment of pure lust and sex as nothing but a contact sport.