I am a transgender woman. I am social, outgoing, and I have little trouble making friends, male or female.
Surprisingly, men who seem to be interested in me usually aren’t bothered by the fact that I wasn’t born female, but as soon as I let them know I am saving myself for marriage, they don’t give me another chance.
I don’t know how to tell a guy in a different way that might be received well, and it seems men who are interested in me expect immediate sex, and I also really dislike when a stranger just propositions me for sex. Speaking with female friends, I realize that this is not an unusual thing to happen, but it doesn’t seem like the actual nice guys I know or meet are ever attracted to me, and never consider me in a “dating” sense.
Some of my friends do occasionally have trouble with pronouns and wholly perceiving me as a woman, but they do treat me as they would treat any other woman (I’m still not a fan of being talked down to, or the “insert sexual innuendo here” accompanied by *giggle*), so at least at some level I am recognized as being a woman.
I have tried being an initiator and telling a guy when I like him, but that never seems to go over well. I just want to know, is there anything I can do differently?
I am rarely tongue-tied.
But I am not sure where to begin when addressing your sincere question. I’m very afraid of saying the wrong thing — since I’ve never given advice to a transgender woman before — and have little to no knowledge about the emotions, challenges, and experiences of women in your position. So instead of twisting myself into a pretzel to avoid offending, I’m going to do what I’ve done for a decade: be honest, and deal with the consequences.
First of all, I’m glad you’ve resolved your gender identity issues. It must have been a long, confusing road to get to this point, and you’re to be commended for taking action.
Do whatever you want, don’t hurt anybody, and don’t judge people who think different than you.
Second, I don’t know that there’s a large body of literature specifically about transgender dating. But since you want to be treated like any other woman, I will treat you like any other woman. Here goes:
You have an unrealistic set of expectations about how the dating world works. These expectations cause all of your friction. Let’s start with some simple math.
Do you know what percentage of people wait until marriage to have sex?
I am not judging you, shaming you, or expressing my feelings one way or another. Really, I don’t care about your life choices. Do whatever you want, don’t hurt anybody, and don’t judge people who think different than you. But I’ve gotten a lot of questions from celibate people over the years and the common strain between them is always this: they were endlessly frustrated that people kept dumping them.
Their argument boils down to: “I don’t want to change. Why won’t the rest of the world change to meet my needs?”
My answer — no matter whether it’s a man, a woman, or a transgender woman — remains the same: you have two choices — change to accommodate the majority, or accept that being in the minority narrows your dating pool considerably.
Are you a 5’11” woman who will only date a 6’2” man? Your dating pool is 5% of men.
Are you a 200K earner who wants your man to make more than you? Your dating pool is 2%.
Are you Jewish and you want to keep it in the tribe? Your dating pool is 1.7%.
So, Vanida, not only is your dating pool restricted by your pre-marriage celibacy vow, but it’s also restricted by the number of men who would feel uncomfortable (for whatever their reasons) dating a woman who used to be a man. I don’t know what percentage that is, but it may be more than any poll can honestly reveal.
You have two choices — change to accommodate the majority, or accept that being in the minority narrows your dating pool considerably.
Suddenly, your dating pool is not merely 3% of the population — mostly virgins, fundamentalists, and born-agains — but a much smaller percentage: religiously conservative men who believe in waiting who are also cool with having sex with someone who used to be a man.
Therefore, I can’t say whether you’re doing anything ‘wrong’ (being the initiator is not prototypically feminine, for example), but the primary issue is numerical.
The number of religiously conservative men who are open to waiting until marriage to sleep with a transgender woman is considerably smaller than the number of men who want to have sex quickly with women who were not previously men.
Those are the facts, not my feelings.
If anything, my dear Vanida, if you’re going to hold firm to your convictions, you just need to be really patient with this process. Best of luck.