Some people don’t seem to buy into the idea of trans stigma, so let’s spell it out. List the stuff you want your date to have. Pretend you want to go out, maybe hook up. Shouldn’t have to pretend too hard, right? Smart, sexy, interesting, kind, outdoorsy, considerate, etc. Picture what you’d settle for. No, lower. Lower. Yeah, about there. Most of us even sober would settle for some pretty crazy s–t. How else do people with serious personality defects get dates? Hah. It’s not as if they’re all dating each other… So, regardless, maybe you’re willing to settle for a date who’s less educated. You’re not an elitist, after all. Maybe you’re willing to settle for a date who’s more religious than you’d normally go for. The weird tattoos, let’s say you let that slide. Who are you to judge, right?
I’m not looking to date anyone. Once upon a time, I was. And, I had a list, too. Actually, it was pretty much all the stuff I listed above. And, a person who was in school or had a job, and who I wouldn’t have to cover on our dates. This is pretty basic stuff, I wasn’t asking for a rich date, only someone who could afford to go dutch. Mmmmk? My list was generic, maybe boring, but at least it’s easier than going through life convinced you can only be happy with a girl who has webbed feet, or a guy with an armpit fetish. That’s a real fetish, true story. So, I put up a dating ad out of curiosity rather than interest.
I sound pretty good, on paper. I clean up nicely, I’m smart, and I’ve done nifty things with my life. Who doesn’t want to date the chick who shirked her way out of a $300 dinner? Free date!
It’s nothing new to say that being trans isn’t desirable to the vast majority of the dating world; it’s one of those things you settle for. Maybe you’d date someone despite the fact they were trans. Good on you. People like that are out there; I got a lot of replies. Where’s the stigma part come in?
These aren’t people I’d date, and at the risk of sounding like a jerk, I’m reasonably sure they’re not terribly desirable. These are real snippets; live at home, dropped out of high school, obese, unhappily married, out of work, here’s a pic of my dick, women have f–ked me over in the past. And so on. The number one hit in my pseudo-search for love? Call me so we can f–k. There’s something to be said for honesty, so that’s cool.
I put up an ad on the same site a few months later. I left out the trans part. Datable people replied; people with nice attitudes, date ideas, and who genuinely seemed to see me as a person rather than a piece of flesh to pump away at with a chubby dick. Not everyone was a winner, but most were.
So, that’s stigma. Being trans takes me from worth dating to not worth dating in an instant. Period. It’s more a black mark than having an armpit fetish. Most guys will try to work around that. Or in it (tee hee). I’m not saying the people responding to the trans ad are bad people, or that I or anyone can really deserve to be dated. But, it’s telling when one detail brings me from hot to gutter trash. It says something. The stigma exists.
Some guys prefer trans women. Generally they’re in it for the sex and uncomfortable being seen with trans women in public, particularly if they don’t blend. Some of them even see trans women as mutilated men. Always good to feel validated.
When a quarter of trans persons have been fired just for being trans, when our murder rate makes DC seem safe by comparison, and when almost half of all trans persons attempt suicide… the stigma exists. There’s plenty to be sad about. But, hey, being sad doesn’t really accomplish much. Know the struggle, but be happy anyway. Or, at least do your best.