[Villager Voice] A Pansexual Transgendered Aspie’s Search For The Right Online Dating Website

[Villager Voice] A Pansexual Transgendered Aspie’s Search For The Right Online Dating Website

Villager Voice

Guest post by Brianna Goldberg

When one has one unique characteristic about him or her, it can be hard to use the mainstream online dating websites in the way they were designed to be used.  This is my story of how many my unique characteristics made online dating nearly impossible and what I did to make it work.

WHO I AM AND WHAT MAKES ME UNIQUE

My name is Brianna.  I am 33 years old, divorced, living in Brooklyn with my two cats, and I have some very geeky interests.

So far, so good right?  Here is where it starts to get interesting.

My sexual orientation is pansexual.  What that means is that I have a preference for female partners when I am in long term relationships.  In fact, my marriage was a same gender relationship.  But I enjoy male partners for shorter term relationships.

Is that unique?  Well, there’s more.

I have been transgendered (male to female) for the last 9 years.

I am also a high functioning autistic person.

And I prefer open relationships.

So, which dating site was I supposed to join?

THE TRANSGENDERED ONLINE DATING WEBSITES WERE NOT WORKING FOR ME

Let us review how a dating site should work. You join the site, you write your profile and then you troll the site looking for dates.  Many online dating websites (but not all) allow you to specify if you are looking for short term or long term relationships, whether you are looking for a same or opposite gendered partner, and what characteristics you are looking for in him or her.  You also have to post a picture of yourself or else the site will revolt and you will get no responses to your profile.

Some online dating websites are very general and are designed to appeal to a broad range of people.  Others are very specialized, focusing on a unique characteristic or aspect of your life.

The good thing about specialized sites is that they allow people to bond over their shared uniqueness.  However, this can also be a problem.  Specialized sites can pigeon hole you into looking only at people who share your uniqueness and don’t let you expand your horizons.  Specialized sites can have other problems, too.  One example is that they can draw people who fetishize your uniqueness.  Another example is that they can attract people who are more interested in sex than dating.

I found that the transgendered sites were also filled with users who didn’t respect my wishes.  On one site, I was asked to fill out a profile with basic information, like a user name, picture and vital statistics.  The question for gender had 5 options instead of the normal two:

  • Female
  • Male
  • Transgendered / Transsexual (the two categories are different but are used interchangeably on many of these sites)
  • Transvestite / Cross dresser
  • Prefer not to say

My profile said that I was Transgendered / Transexual looking for a female partner for a long term relationship.  For some reason, everyone who responded to my profile ignored my preferences.  I got email after email from men who just wanted sex.

While I think that a non-commited sexual relationship with a man can be fun in the right circumstances, it was not what I was looking for at that time.  So, I changed my profile to read the following (in capital letters):  I AM LOOKING FOR A LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP WITH A WOMAN ONLY.  IF YOU ARE A MALE, DO NOT RESPOND TO MY PROFILE.  Still, the only responses I got were from cisgendered men  — many of them on “the down low” —  looking for a hook-up.

THEN I FOUND AN ONLINE DATING WEBSITE THAT I LIKED BUT THE WOMEN WERE ALL IN EUROPE

It was time to try a different approach.  Since I am an active user of Google+, I knew that there were “communities” for almost every interest that I could think of (and many more things that I would never think of).  So I posted on the Transgender group:  I am a lesbian-leaning transwoman looking for a long term relationship and I lament the fact that the transgendered dating sites are overloaded with men looking for one night stands with transwomen. Then I waited for a response.

One of the community members suggests that I join a British site called Lonely Single Lesbian, catering exclusively to women and trans-people seeking women.  I set up a profile.  Unfortunately, I forgot to read something important, in this case the domain’s URL, which was a dot UK.  So that answered my question why everyone on the site lived in the United Kingdom!  (While I am attracted to British women, I do not have the means to cross the pond for dates.  I also do not do well with long distance relationships.) So, another dead end.

I FOUND A WAY TO USE MAINSTREAM ONLINE DATING WEBSITES

The problem with most mainstream online dating websites, as you can imagine, is that Trangendered is not a gender option – you have to choose either male or female.  This topic came up in a group on FetLife (a social network for sexually adventurous people) and some people felt that it was okay to explain at the very beginning of the About Me section that I was transgendered and interested in a long term relationship with a female.

With that settled, I joined OkCupid.  I found that the questions that the site asks you to answer can be fun, but at times are more personal that I can answer on the spot.

As for the users of OkCupid, I didn’t find many people specifically looking for autistic partners, but I did find that many people were comfortable with meeting and getting to know autistic people.

There is a big question in the autism community about whether and when to say you are autistic.  What I said in my profile was that I was sound and light sensitive.  I did not disclose immediately that my sensitivities were caused by autism.

The reason I wrote my profile that way was that I wanted my date to know what and where I could and could not handle.  Also, I didn’t want to be pigeonholed into the category of disabled single person.  To me, autism is a difference and not a disability.  I didn’t want someone to date me because I was disabled.

WHY I AM GOING TO STAY WITH THE MAINSTREAM ONLINE DATING WEBSITE

I don’t want to be on a website exclusively for autistic singles.  For me, the level of accommodation I need is low enough that I can date someone who respects my sensitivities.  Simply asking me whether I can handle a certain place and changing the plans if I can’t is enough.  It is just a matter of time before I find that person.

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Brianna Goldberg is a 33 year old freelancer working for non-profits.  She is also the Guardian of the Sacred Temple of the Phoenix Rising Moon Coven (Brooklyn). In her free time, Brianna plays strategy games.  She lives in Brooklyn and cares for her two disabled cats Edith, and Sheina.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent those of Hitchcraft Dating.

Comments

  1. Mick Rosenthal says:

    Very true Brianna, when it comes to dating for people who are on the spectrum, or physically disabled (like myself) it can be tough to find the right person, but I guess experimenting through the various dating sites is part of the process.

    Great article :).

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