In some respects, the transgender community is having a huge moment of visibility. From award-winning shows featuring trans stories to the ongoing international discussion about trans rights, it’s clear that awareness has increased. However, despite this slowly rising level of awareness, there are still several challenges. Most of the news stories and opinion pieces circulating focus on the darker side of trans life: the bathroom bills, the high rate of death among trans women, the lack of protection against discrimination and hate crimes. But at the center of it all, trans men and women are just like anyone else. They want to be loved. However, thanks to a host of complicated issues, being loved is easier said than done.
Especially for trans women, navigating the dating scene is difficult. The conversation in which she reveals that she’s trans is always looming overhead, threatening to swoop in and ruin all chances of compatibility and chemistry. Furthermore, many trans women feel they must take whatever they can get because the dating world is full of cisgender men who stigmatize them.
“Trans women are taught to feel grateful for any scrap of affection we receive. I’m relegated to the role of teacher and therapist in my dating life,” wrote BuzzFeed contributor Raquel Willis. In “The Transgender Dating Dilemma”, she detailed the difficulties of dating as a trans woman of color. She spoke of the positive and negative reactions to her reveal. She also spoke of times she’d feared for her safety. She even dove deep into the misconceptions that exist and potentially threaten her ability to date without conflict.
At the core of the issue is communication and specialization. Trans men and women need safe spaces to date where they can confidently claim their identities and connect with partners who value and appreciate that they’re trans. It sounds like an easy enough problem to solve, however, the online dating services available to trans people are few and far in-between.
The most well-known dating sites have adjusted their perspectives to welcome trans daters with open arms. OkCupid offers a “How Transgender Friendly Are You?” Test in its massive selection of compatibility quizzes. Trans users can accurately select their status as trans when creating a profile. However, even though the network is open to trans daters, there are still problems.
In a post for Huffington Post’s The Blog in 2015, Torraine Futurum detailed the types of men she constantly encountered there. There were men who got sexual way too fast, men who had empty profiles and shady personas and men who felt they should be given a trophy for dating trans women.
Last November, Tinder updated its dating profiles to allow users the option of selecting their gender identity from dozens of choices. The move was widely praised as a smart, inclusive step forward. However, critics warned that these identity options could be used to target trans women in areas that were less accepting.
Match.com also offers a level of inclusion but compared to OkCupid and Tinder, there are a lot less fish in the sea.
One powerful alternative to these mainstream dating sites is TRANSGENDR.com. The site is an online dating community where cisgender men can date exclusively from a user base of more than 100,000 trans women and like-minded individuals. Unlike other dating sites, TRANSGENDR isn’t trying to adjust its approach or target to make trans women feel welcome. The entire community revolves around valuing and celebrating them. TRANSGENDR actively works to connect its massive user base with cisgender men who love trans women.
Membership on the site is free and almost all aspects of the site are accessible in the general membership. From private messaging to group chats to membership searches, TRANSGENDR is an accessible trans dating space that’s welcoming for trans women and their suitors. It’s a specific and safe digital space that seeks to leap over the hurdles most trans women face in their dating lives.
Sure, complications and difficulties still exist for trans women. Some of those issues will only dissipate with more education, acceptance and understanding from the broader population. However, with sites like TRANSGENDR, trans women can bypass a large majority of the roadblocks that they face when dating within a mixed pool of men who just don’t understand.
TRANSGENDR is definitely on to something. Sites like blackpeoplemeet.com and jdate.com seek to narrow down the playing field so users can zero in on exactly who they’re looking for. Specialized dating isn’t just a fad or something that’s specific to the trans community. It’s a guaranteed way to make matches and improve outcomes. It’s a surefire way to make trans women feel valued, respected and hopeful about finding love