Dear Anon-O-Box: Stealth FtM Seeks Non-Stealthy Relationship

Dear Anon-o-Box:

I’ve always had trouble meeting that magical combination of: I’m interested, they’re interested, and they’re available.

Part of it I’m not everyone’s cup of tea.  I’m bi, thin (112), short (5’3), and while I’m pushing 25, I look like I’m at most 16-17.  As far as looks go I look like an anime version of Harry Potter according to my friends, though my eyewear is in far better repair.

To make matters more troublesome I’m also a stealth FTM (meaning born female, transitioned male, and hardly anyone knows I wasn’t always a guy).  I’m always honest once I get to know a potential boy/girl friend but understandably I can’t be wearing a sign around my neck (I’d lose my job and likely worse living in the South).

So I’m not all that sure what a geek is to do when you toss in all those deal breakers.

I’m the Mr. Nice Guy with confidence, a touch of obliviousness, well mannered, well educated, I cook, clean, and fix a car, yet for nearly 2 years now, I can’t find a date.

- Any Advice?

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d answers:

In Perfect World, which is where I live and where cats poop rainbows and yarn never tangles, you have no problems getting a date! You can head down to any bar and win a girl (or guy) over with your Mr Nice Guy personality. And they all care only about the content of your character and not the content of your pants.

Don’t you wish we all lived in Perfect World? I know I do.

You sound like a good guy. And (you don’t need me to tell you this) you are just that – a typical guy. A geeky guy, which is a challenge all on its own when it comes to dating. Now. I’m not transgendered. I am a little gender-fluid – which means that while I am female-bodied and identify as mostly female, I always have trouble bringing myself to tick that box on either/or survey questions. So this advice may be useful to you, it may not, it may be useful to someone else, it may not. Gender is such a personal thing.

You’ve got the first thing down already. Being honest with your potential partners is very important – I’m not saying that it needs to be “Hi, my name is Tom, I used to have a vagina,” but by the same token no one really wants their dates to end the same way as Sleepaway Camp.

So. My advice: Get out of the South. Or at least, date away from the parts of it where you are in danger by coming out as FtM. In Perfect World (which, as you may recall, is where I live), the South and other areas of the United States (and, yes, Canada, which is not actually the Gay Perfect World) have no problems with the otherly-oriented. Unfortunately, this is not the case. While I know that settling down with a nice boy or girl from down home is the ideal solution for you, for the moment you may have to expand your horizons. Try online dating, even just as a way to dip your toe in the water.

Sites like PlentyofFish,, and OKCupid offer only two options for gender and usually only three options for sexual orientation. If you feel comfortable ticking the ‘male’ and ‘bi’ boxes, set up a profile and get to flirting. There is room in the profiles to add a caveat if you don’t want to surprise someone.

What I do recommend for you is a relatively new site you may not have heard of, FetLife. FetLife is free to use and was created as a social hub for gay, transgendered, kinky, and every flavour of Other you can find on the sexual or gender continuum. Their options for gender and sexual orientation are much more accurate than mainstream dating sites. While it isn’t a dating site, it offers opportunities for people who don’t feel that they fit in the typical relationship boxes to network and share experiences and advice. A word of warning: FetLife can be a great resource, but there is a lot of seriously strange and kinky stuff on there. Browser beware.

Not going the online route, I’ll give you the same advice I give everyone else looking for a date: go and make friends. Go to events, join a gaming group, check out your local LGBT or transgender groups (if you have any), do some volunteer work (Habitat for Humanity could probably use your skill set and give you a chance to the flash the guns), make friends without the immediate goal of romance. A friend of a friend could be your next girlfriend or boyfriend.

Dating as an FtM can be hard. There are the girls who want to date a man, the men who want to date a man, and then the people who want to date a transsexual. Unfortunately, it is one of those Things. Like fluffy women (I hate the term ‘plus-sized’) and chubby chasers, FtMs and MtFs will encounter these people. Some consider it a compliment, some consider it to be fetishizing and objectifying themselves. But those people are out there.

And there are the gay men who would be with an FtM, and the straight girls who would be with an FtM. Those exist too! I married one. She’s even from the South! And by FtM I mean a guy, a pretty typical geek guy, who just happens to have been born female-bodied. Not some weird other species.

As to not being “everybody’s cup of tea” – well, you aren’t trying to date everybody, are you? I wouldn’t worry. You have your own look and your own style, and what is important for you is selling that look with your personality and, as you said, being Mr. Nice Guy.

So I guess my advice for you is this: Keep being the great guy that you are. Keep networking and making friends. Keep putting yourself out there. There is someone – are someones – out there for you. Do those someones a favour and take care of yourself and your mental health by not getting discouraged. Take advantage of both dating websites, and local mixers and activities.

Good luck!

Any Advice, Readers?

What other dating resources or tips do you have for transgendered people? Have you dated an FtM or MtF before? What worked for you and what didn’t?

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