There are so many reasons why dating sites have been so wholeheartedly embraced by singles from all walks of life. Going online to find people who might be compatible for a relationship is such a convenient way of socializing. But where online dating has been massively beneficial has been in giving marginalized individuals access to what might be described as a ‘haven,’ a comfort zone where they can interact with like-minded individuals. Transsexuals have faced a protracted struggle to achieve the same levels of acceptance as other people in society, but now they have access to a range of transgender dating sites. So has online dating been universally positive for the trans community? Here we assess the pros and cons.
One of the main issues anyone who is trans has to face daily are the general levels of ignorance about their situation. For the majority of us, there is no disparity between the two – those born with male genitals contentedly live as males, and the same with females. But for a minority of people, the sense of having been born into a ‘conflicting’ body can be overwhelming. The good news is that acceptance of this dilemma is widely recognized, and trans rights are enshrined in international law. No longer made to feel different or even ostracized, especially when undergoing surgery, organizations now provide emergency housing and resources to LGBTQ people.
So where do these advancements sit with the socializing aspect of the trans community? Online dating is such a flexible method of contacting others who might be on the same wavelength. Newcomers to the sites dedicated to trans dating can afford to be picky, where the category of relationship they are seeking is concerned. It could be that they are interested in interacting with only a certain type of trans person, depending on what stage they are in their transition. Site users can check out the profiles of fellow members, and decide if they want to contact individuals at the pre-op or post-op stage of the surgical procedure. It might be that the person has opted for a non-operational transition.
One of the most potent aspects of online dating outlets is the way site members are placed center-stage. Once you have signed up to become a member of a transgender website, it is up to you who you decide to reach out to in terms of striking up a virtual connection, and which users you move on from. If you are at all suspicious of someone’s motivations, you can easily block them, or even report them to the website administrator. There are all sorts of people who are attracted to transmen or transwomen, as well as binary people and cross-dressers. Going online is the most convenient way to ensure you make the right choices when reaching out to other individuals, while avoiding so-called ‘tranny chasers.’
It must be said that the positives greatly outweigh the negatives. One aspect of online dating that can impact site users in general, and not just members of trans services, is that the people making contact occasionally hide behind fake identities. They might do so because they want to ‘phish’ for another member’s banking details. But generally, trans individuals are seeking genuine connections.