Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On Line Dating and the Trans Girl (or Man)!

Years ago as I was seriously coming out at transgender, I explored the world of on-line dating sites fairly heavily.  The places I didn't go were the ones who "specialized" in cross dresser, transgender or transsexual dating for fairly obvious reasons.
(Photo, Alessia  Cross/Flickr)
Other than that, I did actually pay a monthly amount of money for a couple sites and a couple others were free. I found out quickly though, I got what I paid for.  In fact, I found my partner Liz and my trans man friend on the same site - one I paid for. I put myself in the woman seeking woman category and then in the first sentence, I said I was transgender. Then I was amazed how many didn't ready the profile anyhow.

Regardless, back in those days though, it was exceedingly difficult for a transgender person to even start the process of finding another person on any site.  You were forced into the binaries of men seeking women, women seeking women, men seeking men, etc.

Recently one of the sites I was on -  OK Cupid has been in the news after cofounder Christian Rudder announced that developers secretly changed some people's compatibility ratings and removed profile photos to learn more about behavior on the site. While some have criticized OKCupid for showing people false or manipulated content as an experiment, the site's failure to accommodate transgender users may be a larger and more long-standing ethical dilemma.  I do wonder though if I just happened to be part of that "experiment" as I had been off the site for years until several months ago I mysteriously reappeared on it and just as quick- gone again.
The dilemma is real as we know as transgender women or men attempting to pursue on line dating, which basically lost most of it's negative stigma years ago.
The good news?  There is a free on line dating site called Mesh now for the trans community too.  The bad news is? It's in the NYC area only so far, but with plans on spreading out soon.
If you went through (or are going through) the pain of being hammered into a binary gender hole not of your liking, you may want to check out the link above!  Maybe help is on the way!

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