Hey, I’m Adam! As a queer trans man, I often wished there was a guide that I could simply send my partners in the early stages of our relationship, especially to avoid all the unnecessary long conversations of me educating them on how to date a trans person, what to do and what not to do! Think of this article as a way to help you avoid making some common (and sometimes hurtful) mistakes with trans people you may be interested in dating, or even forming friendships with, especially while they are transitioning—either physically (hormones, surgeries) or socially (change of pronouns, presenting as their preferred gender).
So, let’s look together at 5 things I think are important to keep in mind when dating someone who’s transitioning:
The transition process is not all sunshine and roses and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight as media would portray it at times. Expect that they will go through changes (again physically, socially and emotionally). You don’t have to understand all of it to be able to love them or respect them, as well as be gentle with them.
Hormones, surgeries, our rights, and more – you can learn about all of these things through a simple Google search. Do a bit of homework. If you end up asking questions about their specific case, at least you’ll ask from a place with some knowledge and awareness of the gist of it, and not from a place of complete ignorance.
Throughout transitioning, their appearance most likely will start to change, so make sure you love them for all the right reasons.
Don’t assume that the places that are safe for you – especially if you’re cis/straight/white - are also safe for them. Do some research on places you like to go to, read the reviews on Google, and you can also ask friends.
Claiming a trans person makes a whole lot of difference in the way that they carry themselves, the way that they love you back, and the way that they trust you, especially if you live somewhere LGBTQ-friendly. This doesn’t mean you should out them every two seconds. It remains their personal choice whether or not they want others to know they are trans or currently transitioning. It also means not loving us only in secret or hiding us in ways you wouldn’t do with other partners.