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It was one of the most affirming moments of my womanhood—being desired and pursued by a lesbian-identified woman. That’s because the times I did almost date, I was turned down.“There was an friendship I’d developed over a long period time with the brother of a close friend, but he had not known that I was trans.A lesbian who is a woman who loves other women, and there being a long tradition within lesbian community of exclusion of trans women…to have women who love women pursue me, it just means that much more.”Devon Shanley, New York, N. Public school teacher, 34Trans man, he/him On dating for the first time after he moved to New York:“Because I felt so isolated, I found myself feeling more vulnerable and a little bit scared. It led to a situation where we were literally making out in the rain and coming to my apartment, and I had to do that last-minute disclosure thing.
He was a gold star gay boy and got nervous and ran away.“The people who I became interested in afterward, I didn’t really expect to be treated fairly.
I became self-protective and just closed myself off.”When he came out to his current boyfriend:“My current partner is six years younger than me and really good looking.
The kind of dating communities I was a part of were just full of tragedies, where that was considered the norm. I would often find myself delaying disclosure because there’s this the moment—this little bubble, I called it—where I was just a girl, talking to a boy and there were possibilities in front of me.
I didn’t know any trans women who were in long-term relationships. I knew the moment I told him I was trans, that bubble was going to burst. After we started emailing one day, he looked up my email address and found links to me.
If I’m at a barbeque, my hair will smell like smoke.
But I also feel like my hair absorbs a lot of things, energy-wise.
We live together, we’ve been together four years, and we’re in a monogamous relationship.”Karari Olvera, Chicago, Ill.
Organizer for United Latino Pride, 31Genderqueer, they/them On being told to look more masculine:“My last ex, one of the fights we had at the very end, he told me that my hair was ‘disgusting’ because it was longer than his mother’s.
I’ve been with lesbians who have never dated a man and who have never touched a penis.
But so far in my experience, they’ve all been unfazed.“The first time that a clearly lesbian-identified woman pursued me, it meant the world to me. I had some really good friends I went to college with who were New Yorkers, so I had a really strong support group. I went almost entirely on a three-year span of not dating.
To read their responses, collected through phone interviews, is a reminder of the universal struggles and need for connection that make us human. Actress and activist Trans woman, she/her How dating as a trans person has changed since she first came out:“So much has changed in just the last five years.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating