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But my attitude about dating has become more hopeful, as I’ve gotten more comfortable in my body, and used to making decisions that feel supportive to myself.

This June, for instance, I attended the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference for the first time.

Surprisingly, we had both recommended the same place.

As we eased into conversation, she revealed that she was aware of my trans status from my profile, and while she had previously dated women and been married to a man, she wanted to get back to her “Queer roots.” As we talked, we discovered that we shared some history in the Queer community.

However, as I write this, it seems the tides may be turning in my favor.

Just weeks ago, I received a message from a local woman on the dating site where I had revealed my trans status.

Furthermore, there tends not to be much flexibility when it comes to stating your sexual orientation.

Since I identify as a trans male, and my sexual preference is for females, I have been left with only one option in the online dating world: heterosexual.And yet, the basic tools given to you by most dating sites don’t leave much room for personalization.Most sites allow you to choose between only two genders, male and female.Perhaps this was out of a desire to meet and connect with people in the queer community; perhaps it was because I wasn’t totally comfortable identifying as heterosexual, despite the fact that I was a man and was attracted to women.A little later on in my transition, once I began presenting as male, I set up profiles on two mainstream dating sites, one listing myself as male without stating that I was trans, and the other listing my trans status. A few months after posting my profiles to both sites, I received a message on the site where I hadn’t disclosed that I was trans.In my case (and perhaps for many trans folks), going online for potential romance felt like a safe first step in cultivating my new, authentic self—in being able to reach out to others as the man that I was and am.

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