How to Approach Difficult Issues with Your Transgender Partner

Whether you’re on the first date or have been seeing each other for a year, there are always issues or questions that will come up in a relationship between a cisgendered male and a trans woman, especially if the cis male has a certain fetish for the trans ladies. Here are some ideas on how to approach these difficult or awkward moments:

1. Asking about the Genitals

This is a painful subject for many transgender women. If you are dating someone who is pre-operative, the existence of a penis may be hurtful to them or an annoyance. If you’ve just met someone, would you really want to talk about your junk? It would be appropriate to learn this information before becoming intimate, but it should happen on the transperson’s terms, telling you what they want to as they become comfortable. They are not a fetish or an object, so don’t treat them that way with intrusive or humiliating questions.

2. Introducing Her to Your Friends

Never “out” someone on your terms. Always let them divulge whatever they feel comfortable with. Being supportive to a partner in a scary situation like meeting a group of new people will be much more meaningful to your relationship than letting the cat out of the bag beforehand. You’ll also want to discuss what you both think is the best way, based on the actual group of people and what you might predict their reactions to be.

3. Be Careful with Your Wording

Make sure that you consistently use the pronouns your partner prefers, as well as the type of gender identity they would like you to use. Correct other people (in the presence of your partner or not) when they refer to them using incorrect or impolite wording. Again, this is all part of being supportive to your partner and the transgender community.

4. Get Help from Others Already in the Know

Having a community to support you and assist you with these complicated social issues is essential to clearing any obstacles and allowing your love to prevail. You’ll find plenty of open-minded people who are transgendered or who have experience dating transgender mates on sites like Laura’s Playground.

Read: The Quickly Shifting Language of the Transgender Community

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