Dating is hard for most of people regardless of their gender. But when you are a transgender, it's even more difficult on another level. It's been years that statistics show us that the dating world is racially skewed in the USA. Black women and Asian men are the least popular groups due to social stereotypes and prejudices. For those groups it's like swimming against the current. For trans people, it's swimming agains the current in the river with a bunch of rock and a heavy backpack on your back.
Many people still don't understand what transgender means. There is still confusion, especially among cisgender men, regarding terms such as transgender, transsexual, and shemale. Fueled and nurtured by the adult industry, the term “shemale” is often used in adult entertainments to refer to transgender people, more specifically transsexuals. Trans people themselves don't refer to each other with that term.
Even when famous celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox came out and made headlines, there are still a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation. Meanwhile, trans people have to deal with potential partners whose views are skewed and and oftentimes superficial. One of transgender women, sharing her story, said that she met a guy who was very much into he, although he was homophobic and transphobic when they originally met. It took him months to admit. He attributed it to his upbringing in a very traditional family.
Despite the fact that they have a ton of chemistry, he couldn't see the ways he constantly invalidate her identity by making jokes about her “past manhood” or using her birth name during the arguments. It was exhausting for her to have to constantly defend and explain herself. Many transgenders find early disclosure about their status is necessary because the world is still not ready to fully accept trans people. Although a disclosure may help eliminate headaches and save time in dating, it may potentially lead to other, sometimes dangerous, situations.
Every year, there are cases of trans women being killed, while countless others are being attacked or have attempted suicide. It's the fact that trans women are often killed by their lovers or romantic partners they meet on a free dating sites/apps, in real life. And very so often the media tend to misgender which lead the public to believe that transgenders deserve their life taken away.
Some trans people come out via text message or on their online profiles at the early stage of dating to lessen the possibility of a life-threatening situation. Sometimes the response are positive, other times it can be very negative. Trans women are often misgendered and misrepresented as “men in dress”, which further fuel the misconception that when straight men are attracted to trans women they are gay. But the reality is you are attracted to a person before they even know about the genitalia.
It may seem easier for trans people to totally avoid the straight dating world, but dating isn't that easy on queer space either. There is a good amount of queer people who aren't not interested in trans women. Both queer and straight people who refuse to date trans people use the argument that everyone can have a certain preference regarding genitalia. But it's reckless to dismiss all trans people under this premise. It's the same as if someone would dismiss potential partners based race.
Many people who are interested in trans women are “chasers”, whose desire is created by the porn industry and trans over-sexualization in the media. They usually obsessed with the genitalia aspect of all and assume that trans people are willing to use it to satisfy their sexual fantasies. Trans chasers have very little regard for the feelings and real issues trans people face everyday. They consider trans people as a fetish sex toy.
But it's not all that gloomy in the dating world for trans people. The tides are turning and dating for them is becoming more positive as our society learns and educates itself. And as more trans people are coming out from the dark and working to reverse the old and form new narrative, the world is starting to realize that trans people are just as diverse as any other population.