Dating as a trans-lesbian

For any woman the whole idea of dating is one that terrifies most of us. As many woman reading this will identify – most of us have a hang up about our bodies in some way or another. We either hate our weight, our breasts, our thighs, our nipples, our muffin tops – I could go on but you catch my drift.

When it comes down to intimacy as a pre-op transgender lesbian of course there’s going to be something that causes a huge level of anxiety. For me having a penis used to be one of them. I say used to, because it doesn’t matter so much now; if at all, and I wanted to share this article in an attempt to educate others, but also inspire other pre-op trans-lesbians out there, who are struggling with dysphoria and fear of sex and relationships.

I’ve always been attracted to women and through transition that hasn’t changed. Many a time I’ve been out in gay bars and clubs and I’ve had gay guys coming onto me, or guys generally. Assuming I’m changing gender because I like guys, or guessing I’m pre-op and want to have “THAT” experience. Honestly I’ve had total strangers offer their services to me for that. I’m not joking either. Many men see us as a kind of fetish.

As a transgender woman, I understand that it would be easier for me to fit into society’s heteronormative ideals of what sexuality are, as it would be far easier to do so and blend in. I have even tried to look at men objectively in that way, as I know some people do change when they start HRT when they start their transition and who they are attracted to can change.  But for me I just can’t find men sexually attractive. I can look at a man and say how beautiful or handsome they look, but if it came to more than that? It’s just not my cup of tea.

I consider that honesty is absolutely the most important part of any relationship. If you haven’t got honesty from the start, then you have a relationship built on rocky foundations and that just isn’t the best start to any relationship.

So despite my going out to clubs and bars, dancing and have the odd snog with a lady it never really progressed beyond that. At times I felt like a curiosity more than a potential girlfriend. I don’t think I’m ugly, but I  began to think I would never meet anyone.

I decided to start and venture into online dating. I registered for a few very well-known dating sites and was very upfront about my being trans (as I say honesty is a must in my opinion). I would receive notifications all of the time either from women saying they were interested in meeting up – or – instant messages along the lines of, “Hi, you look hot”… you know the kind. Most of them wouldn’t have read my profile and when I asked them if they had, they would either block me, or say they wanted to be friends only.

Now for me this was really confusing paradoxically because you like, you find me attractive, but as soon as you realise I’m transgender you’re not interested at all? After 6 months or so of this I was so disheartened and disappointed that I left both sites.

I figured I would never find anyone, at least not until at least I was post-op, so I threw myself into being happy for me. I did ballet and I started singing in a community choir in Bournemouth called Chicken Soup.

For ballet I told them I was transgender before the classes, I felt it was important for them to realise that I was transgender and I have to say they were marvellous. The teacher, the school owners and fellow students were all really accepting and I loved it. For me it was being able to express myself in a way I never really had before. I’ve left now, but I intend to go back as soon as I have the availability to enable me to.

The choir was a very different experience. For the first time in a new situation socially I took the decision to not out myself. I introduced myself as Debbie and that was that. As I made friends over the coming weeks and months of people in the choir of course people I became close to either guessed or I told them. But it was no big deal. I was Debbie and that was all that mattered.

It was January 2015 one cold and windy evening at choir that my life was about to be changed forever. A guy who I had always gotten on with brought his daughter to the choir and as soon as I saw her I did a little intake of breath.

She was gender fluid, a bit of a tomboy but something just sparkled. We talked when we had our break that evening and messaged the following week. I thought about her a lot and then the next week she asked me if I wanted to go downstairs for a drink after the choir. Now I never normally did this. Her dad told her I would say no, and I almost did. Something in my mind was screaming at me say yes!! So I did.

That night we were sitting chatting and it was as if she and I were the only 2 people in the universe. I was in love. She was everything that I ever wanted in a relationship and more. Speaking about it in retrospect she says she felt the same.

It’s a bit complicated but after about 6 weeks we moved in together and we have never, never, never looked back.

Sex at first took a while. I was nervous as hell. But in finding someone who I clicked with on every level, on finding someone who I could just be myself with. I relaxed enough that it just flowed.

And it’s been like that ever since. The sex I have just keeps getting better and better. I have learned more about what sex is in the last 10 and bit months, than I ever did in any past relationship.

When someone takes the time and effort to get to know the real you, they see past things that others would be too afraid to even contemplate.

As my now fiancée so eloquently puts…. “You could have a gnome down there and I wouldn’t care. It’s you and I love you. To me you’re a woman and that’s all that matters”.

So in doing the things I love, I now have a relationship with someone who is without doubt the most wonderful human being I have ever met. To all trans-lesbians out there, don’t lose heart. You will meet the woman who will accept all that you are – you just haven’t met her yet.