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The digital dating sphere can prove tricky, and bruising, for the trans user.
One Grindr user, ‘Leapolitan,’ a trans woman who has been using queer apps and websites since before her transition, sent me an archive of conversations with men who talked to her in ways that varied from condescending to downright ludicrous, including one man whose opening gambit was to call her an unsexy witch.
He has not experienced opened antagonism on the apps, but has found himself used as a fount of information, whether it be other trans users seeking advice, or any number of other--to use his phrase-- ‘boner killers’.“There was one guy who I talked to recently who had cancer, or something, who lost the ability to produce testosterone,” Gabe says.
“So he was contacting all of these trans guys and asking what’s your dosage, what’s your height and weight, because technically we’re in the same situation.”If 2014 was hailed optimistically as “the transgender tipping point” by Time magazine, heralded by the success of Orange Is The New Black actress Laverne Cox, there remains engrained social ignorance—most tragically crystallized in the apparent suicide of Ohio teenager Leelah Alcorn.
But at the same time I have amazing interactions with other trans men and women.” For Fuentes, a neutral space like the internet is always going to have the best and worst of any community, even the queer one.
Grindr’s ‘tribes’ function has been wonderful for users like Fuentes, but now they want more groups included. I feel like it’s treading dangerous territory when we say we need less,” said Fuentes with a laugh.
On Grindr, Fuentes said, there is a “hyper-masculine white worship of men.
So I guess for somebody who doesn’t fit any of these descriptions it’s a bit challenging.” He has previously received messages out of the blue from men saying “What the fuck is wrong with you? ” (to quote Fuentes), but he takes it in his stride. He loves the fact that, like on Grindr, users can identify as transgender. I’m not necessarily transgender but I fit under the umbrella of the queer non-binary.
Allegations of transphobia are not new in the world of gay online dating.
In 2011 LGBT media outlet Queerty took the app to task for allegedly deleting accounts that made reference to being trans.
There was a lot of positive feedback from people interested in non-gender binary people.
I call it ‘the menu’ when I open up these apps, ‘Oh, what’s on the menu today? they streamline this process, when you have a specific taste you can go to that.”Fuentes, like every Grindr or Scruff user (including myself), has dozens of stories of mortification, grotesquery and hilarity: he gathers the worst offenders up on a twitter hashtag: #grindrchronicles. I get a lot of men who are tranny chasers or just obsessed with what’s happening with your genitalia.
“Mister aspires to be something closer to a lifestyle brand that incorporates both dating and sex and interests and hopefully different communities,” he said.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating