How to Date a Transgender Person (with Pictures)

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How to Date a Transgender Person (with Pictures)
How to Date a Transgender Person (with Pictures)

For the most part, dating a transgender person is like dating anyone else. However, if you're cisgender (not transgender) and it's your first time dating someone trans, it's important to know a few things. Think about why you want to date her. If the answer is anything other than genuinely liking the person and wanting to get to know them better, consider whether your logic is a healthy foundation for a relationship. Be sensitive when asking personal questions about her body or her history. Focus on getting to know her as a person. The most important thing is to listen to her: your girlfriend will be able to guide you better than anyone else.


Part 1 of 4: Dating a Transgender Person for the First Time

Date a Transgender Person Step 1

Step 1. Choose a location where the person feels comfortable

Meet at a location she chooses or ask her if she approves of the location you chose. If you're deciding, choose a cafe, a bar or a restaurant with single-use or all-purpose restrooms. These places tend to be safer for transgender people.

  • Don't think too much! Just suggest a place, and if the person accepts, it's probably a good fit for them.
  • If you don't know of a place with this type of bathroom, search online.
Date a Transgender Person Step 2

Step 2. Use the right pronouns

Use proper language when referring to the person. If she is a transgender woman, she will probably use "she". If it's a transgender man, it's likely to be "he." If the person is non-binary, I might prefer “el” or “els”.

  • If you're not sure which pronoun the person uses, listen first. If someone who knows you uses a certain pronoun, this is probably the correct one. You can also wait to see how she refers to herself.
  • If you don't find out by listening, just say what your pronoun is and ask hers. You might say “I wanted to ask you - what's your pronoun? Mine is he”.
  • Until you are sure, just avoid using anything. Use the person's name.
Date a Transgender Person Step 3

Step 3. Follow any etiquette you would use on an encounter with a cisgender

Depending on where you live and what kind of person you are, you may treat people differently depending on their gender. For example, if you're more old-fashioned, you might always open the door for women, buy drinks, or get up when a woman enters the room. In that case, follow the same rules of etiquette if the person is a transgender woman too, unless she doesn't like it.

  • If you and she are less traditional or if the person is non-binary or asexual, ignore the gender-related rules of etiquette.
  • If you're not sure what she likes, just ask. You can say "Is it okay if I pay the bill today?"
Date a Transgender Person Step 4

Step 4. Get to know her better as a person

As with an encounter with a cis, the important thing is to know her as a complete person. Ask her what she does for fun, what her dreams and goals are, and what she works for.

Share about yourself too and find out what you have in common

Date a Transgender Person Step 5

Step 5. Communicate extensively before having physical intimacy

If you are going to engage in any kind of sexual activity, talk to the person about what will happen. It may prefer to be played in specific ways, or you may have questions about how to play it. If you are unsure about anything, just ask.

  • For example, you might say "I wanted to go a little further, but can you tell me what you like before we go any further?"
  • Ask if there is any part of her body that she doesn't want you to touch. Some people, including trans people, don't like touching certain areas of the body, such as the back, chest or groin.
  • Ask what language she wants you to use about her body. The person may be comfortable with their body, but may be uncomfortable using certain words to refer to it. For example, a trans man might like it when you touch his chest, as long as you say “chest” instead of “breasts”.
  • Ask or just listen to the words he uses.
Date a Transgender Person Step 6

Step 6. Apologize and move on if you make a mistake

If you end up making a mistake and using the wrong pronoun, if you ask a question that offends the person, or if you do something else wrong, just correct yourself and apologize. Then let it go and move on.

  • Don't dwell on the mistake! If you keep apologizing and bringing it up all the time, you will embarrass the person and make them think they need to comfort you.
  • For example, if you're seeing a trans man and you call him “girl” by accident, say “say, man. Sorry".
  • If you don't realize until later that you've made a mistake regarding her gender, use your judgment. Some people prefer an apology, but others prefer you to ignore what happened.
  • If she gets really upset, take it. Sometimes we hurt people even when we have the best intentions. Give her as much space as she needs.

Part 2 of 4: Avoiding Common Etiquette Mistakes

Date a Transgender Person Step 7

Step 1. Don't praise her gender appearance

When a transgender person has a cisgender appearance, this is referred to as “passing”. While many trans people want to “get through” for safety and other reasons, they probably don't want to be praised out of the blue for how well they managed to “disguise” it. Praising the person in this way on the date may make them feel that you are focusing too much on their gender.

  • Praise such as "You are so male or female!" or "You look like a cisgender woman or man!" can be very offensive.
  • If it's a cisgender woman on a date with a transgender woman, a comment like "Wow, you make up a lot better than me!" you will probably come away with an air of superiority.
  • That doesn't mean you can't compliment her looks or style! Just do this without comparing it to cis people. Everyone likes to hear a “You look beautiful in this new jacket! You dress so well!”.
Date a Transgender Person Step 8

Step 2. Wait a while to talk about very personal matters

As with any encounter, it is important to be sensitive to what kind of questions should be asked. Don't ask inappropriate things too early in the relationship. If you're curious about the person's body, transition, or sexual history, wait for them to bring it up themselves.

  • In general, don't ask a transgender person what type of surgery or hormonal treatment they have had. If you want to talk about it, she'll bring it up herself.
  • While many transgender people aren't uncomfortable talking about these topics with friends, most don't like to bring up the topic with someone they've just met.
Date a Transgender Person Step 9

Step 3. Avoid asking about her life before the transition unless she brings it up herself

You may be curious about what she looked like and her life was like before this change. However, asking about it may give the impression that you are interested in her just because of the transition. Furthermore, the subject can also bring up painful memories for some people.

  • Don't ask what her name was and never use it with her. Using a trans person's previous name is called “deadnaming” and can be very offensive.
  • If you knew the person before the transition, be sensitive to what parts of the story you shared can be talked about. Talk about things you guys did together that weren't gender related.
Date a Transgender Person Step 10

Step 4. Remember that the person doesn't need you to comfort them

Avoid the temptation to say that you “accept” the fact that she is transgender or that you find it admirable or “nice”. You can show that you “accept” or admire her just by treating her with respect. Saying “accepted” makes it sound like you're asking her to thank her for her respect.

  • Likewise, saying out of the blue that she's “brave” might not sound too good.
  • She doesn't want you to say you "don't see her as a trans". She's trans - there's nothing shameful about that.

Part 3 of 4: Becoming a Good Companion for a Trans person

Date a Transgender Person Step 11

Step 1. Identify the person clearly when introducing them

Say her name and gender when introducing her to someone. This will reduce the chances of someone using the wrong words to describe you.

  • For example, if you have a trans girlfriend, introduce her by saying “This is my girlfriend, Amaranto”.
  • If the person is non-binary, you can help others to use the correct pronouns by saying “This is my partner André. El just moved here! I'm showing him a little of the city”.
Date a Transgender Person Step 12

Step 2. Correct people who use the wrong pronoun in most cases

Under ordinary circumstances, you should correct people who are confused by your partner's gender. But before you start, ask her if she's comfortable with it. If she hasn't revealed her own gender yet, or if the situation is dangerous, it's best to do nothing.

  • For example, if someone says “What's her name?”, you can say “Actually, it's her name. Julia is non-binary, so she uses pronouns like “el” or “del”.
  • If the mistake is casual, you can just repeat the sentence with the correct pronoun. If someone incorrectly says “Your boyfriend is a cutie! Where did you meet him?”, respond by saying “Where did I meet her? I met her at lunch.”
Date a Transgender Person Step 13

Step 3. Don't expose her as transgender

Your girlfriend has the right to transition or keep it private. Don't tell people she's trans unless she says you should. Some trans people want others to know about their history, as they are proud of their own experiences, but others prefer to keep things private.

  • Some transgender people “pass”, that is, most people assume they are cisgender. If your partner “pass”, she won't want you to tell others that you are trans.
  • It's okay to ask her that in secret. For example “Who have you come out to? I want to know how to end up not accidentally saying that to others. What should I know to protect your privacy?”.
Date a Transgender Person Step 14

Step 4. Don't give out private information about your girlfriend to other cisgender people

If someone in your life is transgender, other cisgender people may be curious and ask personal questions. Find a way to cut these conversations off firmly.

For example, if a friend is looking for more information, say "I'd rather not talk about my partner's body with other people."

Part 4 of 4: Dealing with Transphobia and Discrimination

Date a Transgender Person Step 15

Step 1. Take any suicidal behavior from your partner seriously

If she is showing signs of suicide, take them seriously. Be aware that transgender people have higher-than-average suicide levels due to the stress of transphorbia and cissexism.

  • If she says something about wanting to die, feels like there's no hope, or if there's anything that indicates she's contemplating suicide, take her words seriously.
  • Don't leave her alone if she has suicidal thoughts. Ask someone to keep her if you can't.
  • Give the person a number to call in times of crisis, such as a Suicide Hotline.
  • You can also put her in contact with pro-transgender organizations that can help her in these situations.
Date a Transgender Person Step 16

Step 2. Take care of yourself

If you're dating a transgender person, you have someone in your life who handles a lot more stress than other people. This means that you can have a little more stress yourself. Take care of yourself! Get in therapy if you can. Keep in touch with friends and family who can support you.

  • Remember that taking care of yourself is your first responsibility. Even if your partner has a harder life than yours, don't neglect to take care of her.
  • Your relationship will grow healthier if the two of you are open about your own needs and can set boundaries.
Date a Transgender Person Step 17

Step 3. Define your own identity

When you start dating a transgender person, some friends and family may immediately ask if your identity has changed. However, in many cases, you will not feel that you have changed, or you may feel pressure to redefine yourself or say that your partner's gender "doesn't count." Instead, think carefully about a description that fits what you feel and doesn't disregard your partner's gender. Remember that you owe no one an explanation.

  • You can say “I'm straight and dating cisgender and transgender women”.
  • "I identify as a lesbian and that includes transgender women."
  • "Actually, I don't know how to define my orientation without limiting myself too much, so I won't do it now!"
  • "I'm queer/pansexual/omnisexual. Gender is not the basis of my attraction."
Date a Transgender Person Step 18

Step 4. Connect with other people who love transgender people

Make friends with people who have transgender partners and friends. You can meet new people by volunteering with LGBTQ organizations and attending specific events for that group.

  • To find transgender partner groups, contact an LGBTQ center or search online.
  • Many LGBTQ sites have partner resources as well.
  • Look for links to forums and educational materials.


  • If you're not able to date a transgender person in public and with pride, don't date them at all. Nobody wants to be treated like a shameful little secret.
  • Don't blame her for other people's behavior. It's not your girlfriend's fault if others are rude or uninformed.
  • If you feel uncomfortable dating anyone for any reason, be honest with them about your own feelings, preferences, and limitations. Find a time when the two of you are alone and share your feelings.

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