Warning, this post is a bit of a blast from the past – I wrote this back in April, for Gays.com. Those of you who freelance know, sometimes, your posts get held in queue for the “right” time for an editor to publish them. This one finally dropped before Thanksgiving, and I never got around to posting it here. It’s interesting to read my mindset seven months ago (here on miracharlotte.com or elsewhere). Seven months on, I don’t just have “hope that there is room for us to find the love of our lives” – I know that I have, in fact, found just that. It’s funny, too, to think about being wound up about things like appearing feminine, or being out and about in public, which I now take, if not for granted, as like laws of the universe which I no longer question.
Dating and relationships is a really complicated business for transgender people, especially transsexual people who decide to transition. We’re all over the map – many of us found a long-term relationship or even a marital partner before coming out as trans, and sometimes (but not always), those relationships work out.
It seems for trans women, that more often was with another woman in a ‘heterosexual’ relationship (all of my significant relationships for example), but it could be all ranges of things. Those relationships have to change if they’re to survive – it’s common for a newly outed trans woman’s wife to express that she’s not a lesbian. That’s fair, maybe she’s not. For trans men and women who identified as gay or lesbian before transitioning, too, their partner might not be able to reconcile their own sexual orientation with the transition. On The L Word Jenny tells Max (whom she had been dating prior to transition), “you identify as a straight man. So there’s the mismatch, because you want me to be your straight girlfriend to your straight guy. And I identify as a lesbian, who likes to fuck girls. And you’re not a girl.” Sometimes, too, the relationship does survive, but not sexually or romantically.
3 thoughts on “Transgender Life: The Difficulties of Dating”
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So, I am a little confused, and new to these ideas. Can you help me understand what exactly is going on? Not necessarily in regards to the post to which I am replying, but to your situation in general. Are you no longer a man or do you retain your original sex organs? I guess with all the terminology I get lost in the shuffle. I appreciate your openness and honesty here. Thanks for sharing.
I recognize that transgender people can be a very new concept to many people. There are some great “101” resources, like this: http://www.glaad.org/transgender/trans101
And we hope at some point you have the opportunity to get to know some of us (we’re pretty great!).
In line with other transgender people, like Laverne Cox, I am going to decline to comment on the specifics of medical aspects of my transition. I link to articles explaining why she does not do this frequently in my own blog, and my reasons are the same as hers. While I won’t discuss my anatomy with you, I’ll simply say that, from my perspective (and it is echoed widely by people who know me), I was never a boy or a man, in spite of being born with some physical characteristics that resemble those of boys or men. I was always, rather, something that was intended to become a woman. The most important part of “transition” is accepting and being authentic to that reality – in general, it is that authenticity that allows me to be the person I am supposed to be – not my sex organs.
I hope that helps? Thank you for your comment.