We’ve all been in situations where we didn’t feel safe. It’s not a good place to be. Trans women have to experience this on a regular basis. As a cisgender woman who has used internet dating for years to meet men, I can say I’ve had plenty of situations where I felt unsafe or uncomfortable. So I can imagine the risks trans women take when meeting strangers who they hope to not only be respectful, but who they also hope to make a connection with.
Tips to Make Your Trans Date Feel Safe
1. Share your plans ahead of time. Women appreciate when men use their creativity to plan a unique date. A surprise date isn’t always the best idea for a first date, as there may already be some anxiety. Share your plan, to make sure it’s a spot she is comfortable going to and an activity she is interested in.
2. Ask questions, but nothing too personal. You may know she identifies as trans, but that may be all she wants you to know until she gets to know you a bit more. Some t-gals will be very open right away, but only if they feel they are with someone they can trust or take a leap of faith with. Let her direct the conversation, and see what happens.
3. Share vulnerabilities. When you open yourself up, others usually follow suit. By sharing some of your own struggles or weaknesses, you are inviting those around you to be vulnerable as well. This becomes easier with practice, and you will find the relationships in your life deepen greatly.
4. Make physical contact only if invited. When you meet a trans woman for the first time, you don’t necessarily know where she is on her journey, whether she’s transitioning or not, and how intimate an experience she is interested in. Watch her body language and be an active listener for signs that will help you decide if you should make a move.
5. Ensure her safe return home. This may sound old fashioned, but it always impresses me when a man is concerned that I get home safely. This might be dropping her off (although she may not be ready to share her home address on a first date) or paying for a taxi to take her home. Even if she says not to worry and leaves alone, you can ask that she message you to let you know she got home okay.