The difficulties of dating while transgender

It can be difficult to find someone special when you're still finding yourself.

Kara always knew she was different, but couldn't put her finger on why until she saw a transgender person on TV.

"It resonated with me. I was like, 'Goodness gracious, please no, anything else but that', because it felt like such a difficult journey."

She began transitioning at 18, but dating options were never too flash.

"There's nowhere that trans people online can feel safe to meet people, whether it be friends or a potential relationship," she says.

"There's no amazing dating app, unfortunately, that I've found and would recommend to a trans person."

Nick had his lightbulb moment when he was 24 and met his first trans guy. These days he feels he's more than just his gender.

"For me now, being trans is about one percent of my whole personality. The rest of my life has moved on at a million miles an hour. It's part of my history and that's amazing, but it's not something that affects my day-to-day life anymore."

Kara's always made it clear on dating apps that she's trans. However, potential suitors don't always read the fine print.

"I remember one guy, we were chatting and the whole time I was like, 'Has he read the description box?'"

When she asked and he replied that he hadn't read it, she told him about her gender identity - and his reaction surprised her.

"He was like, 'I knew it'. I'm like, 'How did you know?' He was like, 'You use too many emojis'. I don't think the amount that someone uses emojis says anything about whether someone's trans or not."

Unfortunately for trans people, some are into dating them for all the wrong reasons.

"I have definitely had messages in dating apps from people who, you can tell from the questions they're asking, are in it for some sort of fetish," says Nick.

"They're not in it for me as a person."

"You definitely get fetishised, and it sucks," says Kara.

"It does make you feel quite worthless. And it makes you quite angry and frustrated. I hate feeling like people only want one thing from me, or only view me as an object to fulfil their desires. I'm not - at the end of the day, I'm just a human."

"We are still people," says Nick.

"And no, we may not be your preference and that's cool, I'd rather know straight up. But you can say that without being offensive and taking away the humanity that we have."

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