Great progress has been made in recent years by the LGBT community. Initially outcast by largely heterosexual society, the gay rights movement is generally considered to have run its course between the years of 1969 to 1980. However, the movement is still alive and well today! Although there has been an increase in tolerance for gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals, transgender individuals haven’t enjoyed the same progress that their fellow LGBT members have. In fact, one could argue that transphobia is still alive & well in 2021, making it one of the most important social issues today! Nonetheless, as legal proceedings, processes, and battles continue, the transgender community is still making significant progress towards acceptance by the general public. In this short article, we’ll be going over the struggles, contributions, and options for transgender individuals when it comes to the world of modern relationships.
Dating: A Uniquely Standardized Experience
Although they may struggle to find partners open to the idea of dating a transgender person, the transgender dating experience as a whole remains similar to that of their cisgender counterparts. Transgender individuals often use online dating sites to find love, either mainstream services or dedicated trans personals. Day-to-day interactions also present the possibility of finding love, as do mutual connections through friends. Like most people, many transgender singles find partners through barhopping, clubs, and parties as well!
There is nothing unique about the processes themselves that transgender people use to find dating partners. However, the discrimination they face throughout the dating process certainly contributes to potential issues, which is why online dating seems like the safest possible option, as trans dating sites attract only people who are ready and willing to show their love, care, and appreciation to a trans person in a first place.
The “Coming Out” Stories of Transgender Celebrities
- Elliot Page – Elliot Page (previously known as Ellen Page) first came out as gay on Feb. 14, 2014. Later (in 2017), Page claimed that he had been “outed” by Brett Ratner on the set of “X-Men: The Last Stand” when he was only 18 years old (this statement was confirmed by fellow co-star Anna Paquin). Page went on to marry Emma Portner in January of 2018; he came out as a man on Dec. 1, 2020. Page & Portner divorced in January 2021, but Page made history by being the first openly trans man on the cover of Time in 2021. Currently, he has multiple projects going, including his role as “Vanya Hargreeves” on Umbrella Academy, which made some fans question the new direction for the character.
- Lana and Lilly Wachowski – Lana and Lilly Wachowski (formerly known as Larry and Andy Wachowski) are a pair of transgender sisters who are best known as the directors of the “Matrix” series. Valuing privacy, the pair largely tried to keep their transitions out of the public eye. Rumors about Lana’s transition began early in the 2000s, although she didn’t finish her transition until 2008. Lilly announced and completed her transition in 2016. Both of the siblings received accolades for their contributions to the LGBT community; Lana received the Freedom Award from Equality Illinois in 2014, and Lilly received the “Outstanding Drama Series” award at the 27th GLAAD Media Awards
- Laverne Cox – Laverne Cox never identified with the drag queen scene, instead using it as an outlet for finding her sexual identity. She completed her transition during college and began auditioning for multiple transgender acting roles. Although she’s acted in multiple shows & movies, including Law & Order: SVU, Charlie’s Angels, and “Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word,” she is best known for playing the role of “Sophia Burset” in Orange Is the New Black (from 2013 to 2019).
The Importance of Self-acceptance and Inner Peace
Just like with heterosexual relationships, inner peace & self-acceptance are key to maintaining a healthy relationship. Unfortunately, transgender individuals often struggle in both of these areas. This is largely due to the public’s unjust, ill-informed, and ignorant perception, which affects their daily lives outside of their personal romantic pursuits. The only way to overcome a hostile environment and feeling like an outcast is to appreciate yourself first. Since doubts are a constant struggle for trans people, be it in their born-body or chosen body, finding a partner who’ll break said doubts with compliments and reassuring might be a temporary solution, but a breakup might ruin every achievement gained. Only self-acceptance and care may nullify society’s pressure and, in turn, attract dating partners who appreciate transgender singles for who they choose to be.
There is still a lot of progress to be made for the transgender community as a whole. If the “coming out” stories of the celebrities above show anything, it’s the need for us to be a more accepting and tolerant society. Live and let live, and if you find yourself attracted to transgender singles contrary to what some people might say about them, by exploring trans dating online, you might make the life of at least one person easier and filled with love.