I've Encountered Many Different Types Of Men In The Dating World As A Trans Woman

I've Encountered Many Different Types Of Men In The Dating World As A Trans Woman

Online Dating: Where your dreams go to die

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My friend once said this to me: Online dating is where your dating dreams go to die. I wish I believed her when she first told me, but like the stubborn woman I am- I didn't listen. I considered, naively, stepping back into the dating pool by the end of my second fall quarter as an undergrad student. I downloaded a few apps and proceeded to make my profile intriguing yet beautiful- this "swipe" culture in online dating has significantly reduced the importance of first in-person interactions in my opinion. In joining these apps, I was opening up the possibility of negative and positive feedback, but my high hopes were soon dashed with a number of trans-phobic responses and what I call 'jokes' from insensitive men.


None of your business, bud.


The first message I received said, "Are you a man/woman or woman/man?" I had to laugh at this because what does that even mean? The slash? I told him and he responded with "Let me know when you're a real woman." That crushed me. I immediately responded renouncing his blatant trans-phobia and misguided definitions of what a woman is. After deleting him from chats, I sat and cried on my couch. I felt so invalidated as a person from him- someone I didn't even know. While I learned of how online dating can be awful, I also learned the ineffectiveness of that childhood phrase: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. That is total BS. I dislike hearing that and stop somebody if they are about to say that to me. It is not helpful nor constructive. That is one type of guy I encountered online.


Ugh.....good-bye bro.


Come a few weeks later, I get a message from someone calling me "a goddess." I had to laugh, that was too much for an introduction. This initial attempt to butter me up was nice to hear, but I quickly learned he had ulterior motives- he repeatedly asked for explicit photos which I denied him. He became angered and then ghosted me. This is the second type of guy I came across. Better than someone outright rejecting me for who I am, but treating me as some kind of fetish is a major turn-off. I encountered several other similar characters to him and once it became clear the kind of person they were, I simply walked away to go looking again.


The worst of the worst.

The widespread and institutionalized trans-phobic language I witnessed in this online world showed me the level of people are so insensitive and uneducated on trans-related topics. Most were also unapologetic about their comments even after I responded negatively and called them out. I quickly learned how thick-skinned I would need to become if I were to continue existing on these platforms. After telling myself to remain calm in these situations and take it as an opportunity to teach, more and more men became understanding and started apologizing for offending me. But even after apologizing, they still weren't interested. Oh well. Their loss.

The three types of men over this online experience: the transphobes, the fetishists, and the ones who actually want to go out with you. The third and final guy is the keeper- the kind of man (or person) who doesn't care what body you have, only what kind of person you are. To find someone like this is truly an amazing feeling. This is the best anyone can get.

I remember finding a profile that sparked my interest- he had confidence and he had charisma, all wrapped into a digital profile. I can't fully explain it, but I was captivated by him. We started talking for a few weeks which eventually expanded into a month. Unfortunately, we never ended meeting in person (tragedy struck his personal life and I had to end it so he could heal) but it showed me there are great men (and people) out there, somewhere waiting for us and wanting us as much as we want them. I recognize how cheesy that sounds, but it is true, believe it or not. A big part of navigating this intolerant world is patience- teach yourself to be patient and you will open so many new doors for yourself.

I'm still trying to find other men who resemble him and have come across a few, but I haven't yet experienced what it's like to be able to connect with another person who didn't care about my biology. These types of people make you feel well, human. Validated. Loved. Appreciated. Acknowledged.

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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2019 Just Means That The 2020 Election Is Coming

I don't want things to be that way, people running for President make it that way.

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The 2020 election has begun with Senator Elizabeth Warren announcing that she has formed an exploratory committee to run for president.

Other likely candidates include Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Beto O'Rourke, Michael Bloomberg, Sherrod Brown, Kirsten Gillibrand, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders. And those are only the people eating at the adult's table, there are other Democrats that will probably throw their hats in the ring just for some publicity.

The last time a primary began to decide the opponent for an unpopular incumbent Republican president that had lost the popular vote in his first campaign was just 15 years ago, in 2004 when John Kerry became the nominee to challenge President George W. Bush.

Kerry may have lost the election, but he did have an easy primary. Kerry beat out his early challengers and went on to easily win almost all of the primary caucuses and elections.

I do not think that 2020 will be so easy and that is due in part to 2016. The 2016 primary may have eclipsed 2008 in terms of being one of the most consequential primaries in US history.

2016 showed the ideological split within the Democratic Party, with many New Democrats, socially liberal economically conservative centrists, holding most of the power within, while there's a strong grassroots force urging the party leftwards. Critics will claim Hillary Clinton lost because she was not left-wing enough. And Bernie Sanders's surprising success shows that anybody who wants to be the nominee has to appeal to the Sanders demographic.

This article is not really here to endorse any candidate, you can read my other articles to figure out who I'm voting for, it is however here to point out just how difficult it will be to win the nomination.

A candidate has to, according to the so-called experts: be left-leaning but also be a centrist, and be able to get minorities out to vote but also appeal to some Trump voters that they think they can win over by calling out the President's divisive tactics.

Trickle-down economics and massive deregulation always throws the economy into a recession, but the question now is when will that happen? If it happens during the 2020 election it's safe to say it's over for Trump, but if a Democrat has to challenge a Republican while the economy is doing great, it will be all the more difficult. The election will turn into a debate over so-called "social" issues (assuming Trump does not take us to war).

Issues that seem to be on most Americans' minds are healthcare and immigration. The healthcare debate will turn into a debate amongst Democrats over whether or not single-payer is possible and will likely be one of the most divisive issues of the primary. Immigration will be easy, every Democrat will go the safe route and boldly proclaim that putting children in cages and letting them die is not good. This will lead to Trump accusing them of being Antifa thugs.

The road to the White House is not meant to be easy. You need to fight hard to win the hearts of Americans, unless you are a Republican then you just need to win over rich Americans and let the electoral college do the rest of the work.

But seriously, we need to start the process of finding someone that will undo the years of horror unleashed by the Trump administration and also put the country in a new direction. Someone that will help the old and the young, and all workers. It's time for a leader that works for the American laborer, not the American entrepreneur, and above all, it is time for a new president.

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