Image courtesy of [image creator name] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Transgender men can be the most interesting, loving, strong and interesting people you will ever meet. Filled with character and a budding manhood that would leave most cisgender men ashamed, they are ready to take on the world! A lot of people can find this attractive and you want to get to know transgender men on a better, more intimate way. However, you are lost and don’t know what to think or do around them. Does your attraction to them make you gay, bisexual or straight? How do you make love? What does he like to be called? What pronouns should you use? Well here are some ideas about how to date a transgender man.
- He is a Man: A transgender man is in fact a man, period. So treat him as such; using the proper male pronouns and treating him just like you would any other man. Call him by the name he gives you and if you are confused at all then ask him what he prefers to be called in regard to gender pronouns. Not all transgender men feel the same about pronouns, names, their bodies and so on. So if you cannot figure out from context clues, just ask them in private and they will be more than happy to fill you in. He may inform you that there are different pronouns he would like you to use when you are both around certain other people such as his parents or church members so be ready, to be ready.
- Your orientation: I believe your sexual orientation does not change based on who you are attracted to; You are attracted to people based on your orientation; therefore if you are attracted to transgender men then you are “someone who is attracted to transgender men”. Everyone finds different qualities in people attractive, sadly we must then label it before we decide if it is for us or not. Take this opportunity to learn about yourself and remember, you cannot decide that you are not attracted to a person and have it be so. Nothing changes just because we decide that it should; you are going to be attracted to whomever you find attractive and that is it. You don’t have to validate your attraction to anyone else or conform to labels people you know are going to try to place upon you. Just love, it’s so simple and yet so hard to just love one another.
- His orientation: If you are unsure of his orientation, ask. Transgender people are just like anyone else and their orientation does not have to match their gender identity. Just because he identifies as a man does not automatically mean that he is attracted to women. The two are separate and distinct aspects of his personality. So do not make assumptions and once again, ask.
- Making love: Each and every person on this planet will let you know how they like to make love, all you have to do is be receptive and let them explain it to you.
- No go zones: Talk to him and find out if he has any “No go zones” on his body where he does not want to be touched or even have that body part seen. These are things any couple should know about each other and are very conducive to a loving relationship.
- Communication: Have conversations about everything you are curious about. Information is power and that applies to relationships as well. If he is interested in you as a person then he will take the time to explain just about anything to you in regards to his transition and gender identity. So don’t forget to ask questions, they will bring you closer as a couple. No one knows what the other person is thinking regardless of how well you think you know each other. Lack of communication can lead to assumptions, and most of us know what will happen when you assume; making an ass out of you and me! If you do not know what makes them uncomfortable, and there is limited information on the internet, you will make a fool of yourself time and again. Undermining your relationship and leading to an inevitable breakup. Each person is an individual and will have their own personal comfort levels as far as names and pronouns are concerned.
- Being an advocate: Ask him if he would like you to correct people when they misgender you. How strong of an advocate would he like you to be? Being too aggressive in your support can make him uncomfortable and cause problems at work, in his family or other areas of his life; so follow his lead, be considerate of his situation and when in doubt, ask.
- Understand his Gender Identity Disorder: Do some research to find out just what gender identity disorder or dysphoria is and how you can be supportive. GID is defined by Wikipedia as someone who is “discontent with the sex they were assigned at birth and/or the gender roles associated with that sex”. You can deflate him completely by simply referring to him as a “her” in any way so put some effort into learning about this person; find out any trigger words and actions that you might say or do by accident. Trust me they are worth it.
These things might sound like a lot to consider while dating a transgender man, but you have probably already done most of these things with other partners you have had in your life. It’s very simply figuring out what to do and what not to do simply by asking, figuring it out during conversation or asking his friends. Don’t be intimidated by him as he is just a man like any other, so introduce yourself, your intentions and go with it. I hope I was able to answer some of your questions and possibly shed some light on the mystery that is the transgender man.