By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw*/TRT Columnist—
You may or may not know it, but there is a good percentage of men who prefer trans women as their romantic partners. There are many trans dating sites. There is an ample selection of porn centered on trans women on the Internet.
I joined a trans dating site in 2008 and I still get a fair amount of hits and flirts from men. Most of the hits and flirts, however, never turn into a date. I’m assuming that these men have some reservations about going out in public with a trans woman. Maybe some are married, and maybe some are just plain scared to ask me for a date. Still, they are drawn to me.
I’ve had a couple dozen men ask me for a date, but only about a dozen have shown up. I suspect that the men who stood me up were scared to actually meet me. One man did meet me, but he wouldn’t get out of his car. First, he called and told me that he was in the parking lot and that he was too scared to come into the coffee shop in a local mall where our date was to be. We chatted on the phone and I tried to get him to come inside. He wouldn’t budge. Then, he asked me if I would drive around to the other side of the mall which was much less busy and meet me there. I was a little leery, but I agreed. [pullquote]I then understood his point about being reserved about where we went on our dates and why he was hesitant to introduce me to the people in his life.[/pullquote]
I met him, both of us in our cars, on the other side of the mall. He drove up to me with his passenger side near me and we began to chat. He was very nervous, but he did let me know that he was very happy to see me. I asked if he would get out of his car. He wouldn’t, so we continued our chat in each of our cars with his passenger seat between us. After about ten minutes or so, he said that he had to go. I asked him where he had to be. He wouldn’t tell me. He just put his car in drive and told me that he would call. It was very strange. I’m assuming that he was delighted but scared.
I did have about a dozen dates where the man did meet me at the coffee shop. These men were not afraid of being seen in public with me, I’m assuming most likely because they didn’t live nearby. One even came from Long Island.
I did date one man for a summer. We got close. He let me sleep at his apartment and I met two of his friends, but that was it. He told me that he could never introduce me to his parents. I asked him why he was reserved about me meeting the people in his life, and he explained it to me. He asked if I remembered how I felt when I first went out in public wearing women’s clothes. Was I scared? I admitted that I was. Then he asked if at that same time I was scared that I would run into someone who knew me as a man but not as a woman. Again, I admitted that I was. [pullquote]Being rejected by friends and family is not a good situation. I know that personally from my own experience when I transitioned to female. I’m hoping that in time, a cisgender man dating or partnering with a trans woman will become accepted by society.[/pullquote]
He then said that’s how he felt when he went out in public with me. If someone who he knew was not okay with him dating a trans woman, that would strain his relationship with that person and the word would spread among common friends. He had already run up against a strain when someone found out that he was dating me and the word did spread. At that time, I was on MySpace and I noticed that I was getting a lot of hits on my page with people checking out my pictures. The hits were from his friends. He was getting questions asking why he would date a trans woman and asking if he was gay. Even his ex asked if he was really dating that “shim.” Yes, people can be non-accepting and mean. I then understood his point about being reserved about where we went on our dates and why he was hesitant to introduce me to the people in his life.
There are some who date us and partner with us openly, but those numbers are relatively small. I’m happy that these men do not let anything stand in the way with their date/partner. Congratulations to them. To the men who are still reserved, I understand their fears. Being rejected by friends and family is not a good situation. I know that personally from my own experience when I transitioned to female. I’m hoping that in time, a cisgender man dating or partnering with a trans woman will become accepted by society.
*Deja Nicole Greenlaw is a local transwoman who has three grown children and is retired from 3M. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.