It’s more common now, than ever before that you have either met or interacted socially, with a transgender person. It’s not like it should be a big deal, but in a society that is just coming to terms with a more diverse sexuality and understanding what LGBTQIAPK means, (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersexual, Asexual, Pansexual and Polygamous, and Kinkiness), it’s not always obvious in how to deal or behave with someone transgender when they first come out. It could even be a more awkward situation if you meet someone attractive that you like, and you later realize you were taking part in transgender dating without knowing it. There is no clear and ‘best’ way to react to when someone new you meet and might want to date, comes out as transgender.
At first, it could be shocking, and it all depends on how you found out. Did that person come out directly to you, or were they outed by someone else, or did you find out through hearsay or online. With so much online communication going on, and social media being a big part of how we present ourselves to the world, it’s quite easy now to find out a lot about someone’s sexual history, especially if they’ve had an interesting or checkered past. It all comes down to how comfortable you are with yourself and your sexuality that will ultimately dictate the nature of your reaction. But if you have any sensitivity and understanding of what a transgender person goes through, you might decide to take a much more compassionate approach, no matter how you found out.
Compassion and Empathy, not Sympathy
What many transgender singles might tell you, if they had a chance to have heart to hearts with everyone they met, would probably start with the fact that they are sure about who they are and their gender. Transgender people do not need sympathy nor for you to feel sorry for them when they come out, and if you genuinely feel duped or turned off by the fact they are transgender and don’t want to pursue anything romantic, then it’s fine. But extending empathy and compassion for another human being and not being threatened by their alternative sexuality, is a very grown up way to react to someone who is putting it all out there, on the line, to get to know you.
Understanding how dangerous or intimidating transgender dating can be, is the next step. There is so much violence and aggression directed toward transgender people from those who don’t know what being a trans person is about. With so many assumptions. fears and misnomers floating around, think about how hard it is for someone to reveal such an intimate part of themselves to you. If you are confident about your sexuality and gender affinity, then there is no reason to be threatened or offended by someone else’s interpretation and experience of masculinity or femininity. Diversity is the spice of life and what makes everyone unique and special. That’s something to be celebrated, not denigrated. So, the best way to react to someone you could date, who comes out as transgender, is to react honestly and with compassion, since ‘Love’ should know no limits and neither should our acceptance of transgender people.