Toronto Dating: Transgender Dilemmas

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Remember the fun you had trying to get a date in high school?  That was easy compared to the challenge of finding a meaningful relationship as a transgender person. Where does one go to look for candidates; how does one meet potential partners are the first questions that came into my mind when I started thinking about the possibility of meeting someone for a date. The answers will vary for each of us depending on their sexual preferences and our position in TG development.

The idea of finding someone is difficult for everyone, but the dating pool for transgender folks is much smaller than it is for genetic partners, or same sex partners. With these taken out of the dating pool, one can readily see that the number of available candidates is much smaller. What sort of potential partner would be interested in a transgender person? Some are bisexual, others bi-curious.

These people are usually looking for a same sex experience with the ability to deny that they were involved homosexually. Some feel that TG’s are more feminine than genetic women. Many of the GG's these days take less care in their appearance and their dress than the TG’s. There are also those that just connect better with TG. Many times a TG will be able to relate to a partner more effectively, having come from that role previously. A person that has not been able to effectively communicate with a woman will appreciate the TG’s views. For those that are looking for only a sexual experience, there are many she-male escorts who will provide those experiences without fear of commitment for a fee.

Going to bars is one age-old method of meeting people. The bars where I’ve been most successful at meeting people were those that catered to the TG community. All the people that go there are aware that the girls they meet there are usually T girls, which takes the discovery issue out of the picture. Unfortunately, if you are not living in a larger metropolitan area, these bars do not exist. That leaves the gay/lesbian bars. The problem I’ve found with these bars is that the folks in there are usually looking to hook up with others like themselves. They have had experience with drag queens, and tend to treat us as such.

The internet has helped us broaden our search, there are numerous web dating sites available, chat rooms, online support groups, instant messenger services and they are varied according to their approach to match ups.

There are different types of dating sites, those that cater to the general population, the special interest sites, and the fetish sites. These dating sites are all generally set up the same, requiring you fill out a profile stating your age, sex, and location, your likes and dislikes, and what you are seeking in a partner, and what type of relationship you are looking for. Posting an ad at these sites with a picture is most beneficial, visitors to these sites look at one’s profile and/or photo to decide if they would like to contact the person in the ad.

The good part of these sites is that your e-mail address isn’t given out to the responders, unless you want them to have it. (This stage reminds me of looking at the homes for sale books.) Some of the sites are free; others require a membership fee. While visiting these sites, I decided to state the gender I was representing, and mention in the profile that I am a transgender person, is one of the ones I’m familiar with. When a visitor responds to my ad, I first ask them if they have read my profile before progressing any further with the contact, as so many times the people are responding to a picture they see, and don’t bother reading the profile until there is a response. They send out mass mailings to any that interest them, and can’t often remember who they contacted, and where.

I have checked with other sisters on the same dating service to hear that they too have received the same e-mail. There are dating sites that cater to TG clients and their admirers, for example. The beauty of these dating services is that those that go there are already looking for TG’s, but the difficulty I have had with them is that many of those that respond are there only to fulfill a fantasy of theirs, and many of them are married and not looking for a long term relationship. Yet, despite these difficulties, I have had the most success with this type of site.

There are chat rooms available on the Internet where it is possible to talk to another person real time; is my favourite. With all chatting (typing) at the same time, it takes a little practice to learn how to communicate in them effectively. An online picture can help in the success of your visit at these sites also. If I wish to say something to a specific person in the general chat room, I type that person’s name in the message to help them notice that I was talking to them.

There are also options to talk privately with an individual at most sites. There are instant messaging sites available that allow you to have conversations in a more intimate venue, and can be run as your own private chat room, some offer the option of using a web camera so that others can watch you and hear you and enhance the online communication.

Once you have met someone, it is now necessary to let them know how to respond to you. People are sexual by nature, and most of them have only had exposure to TG’s through the porn industry, there’s a good chance that they believe that after a short conversation, it’s out to the parking lot for a quickie, or off to the motel room. It is up to us to change those perceptions. You can’t give them the idea that you are a slut, nor that you are an ”Ice Princess.” They are having a perception problem, and it is up to you to communicate to them your class, and how to approach you, show him that you are not the stereotype that he has see, and let him know that with a smile and humour.

It is important to not merely answer their questions, but to ask about their interests, their job, check out their sense of humour, and if they can carry on a conversation. And it is ok for you to initiate the conversation these days. Once you get them past their initial expectations, they will then begin to see the real you. Once you can get them beyond their initial crude remarks and come-ons, you may find that you have the beginnings of a meaningful relationship. People don’t generally approach GG’s as they approach TG’s because they know women in real life, and have been taught since childhood on how to treat females. Our task is to help them remember that we are women.

Thanks for listening.

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