Growing up in the 90’s and 00’s I was exposed to trashy teen sitcoms ‘Saved by the Bell’, ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’ and ‘Friends’ amongst other things. For years I watched heterosexual relationships play out on screen, building up my ideals of what a ‘normal’ relationship should be. Naturally when I got older I wanted to experience those same things that I had watched on TV. I wanted the romance, drama, and excitement…
Being honest to myself, I transitioned from a young age, but I felt those hopes of dating fade away with my decision to transition. I worried that I would never experience what I believed to be the teenage norm. Still, I went through the motions. I had a warped perception of love; after one date I thought I’d found the one, someone who accepted me for being the way I was. I never truly experienced love until I was in my 20’s, by which point I had been dating for over 5 years. I went on countless dates; some of them were thrilling, leading to further dates and hopes of a possible relationship. Others were terrible, with my insecurities playing havoc – if a man would use the wrong term and refer to me as a tranny or shemale I would be immediately filled with hate towards him. At the time I was still learning about myself, it hadn’t yet dawned on me that he was probably still in the learning process too. I was quite unforgiving in my younger years; bitter towards a world I thought had ill-prepared and shunned me. Yet I was also quite unwilling to share or discuss my journey with those who showed an interest.
I want to share this article and my experiences in the hope of educating men and women out there, so that one day a teenager who is struggling with their transition can turn on the TV and see a healthy transgender relationship with which to communicate their hopes and dreams for dating.
This should not be a taboo subject in which we fear to openly discuss. The more we talk about this topic and educate men and women (whether cis or trans), the better chance we stand at creating a functioning part of society that integrates equally as well as the term heterosexual does.
I hope that one-day society will evolve past labels, but until it does, I will settle for the acceptance and tolerance of all labels. First we need to educate the fuck out of ignorance!