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Looking for different dating sites?
While attitudes towards transgender and transsexual men and women are slowly changing, many people from this part of the LGBTQ+ community still feel isolated. As a result, dating is either non-existent or takes part with a small circle.
There are now more and more online dating sites created with trans people, shemales and their admirers in mind. However, it can take a lot of courage to put yourself out there. In addition, knowing which is the best South African based transgender dating site for you can take a lot of research.
Fortunately, we’ve done it for you. Whether you want to find a transgender dating app or site, we’ve got all the information you need to help you make the right decision.
Table of Contents
A newbie’s guide to transgender dating
A who’s who of the transgender world
If you’re one of the growing number of people for whom a potential partner’s sexual identity isn’t an issue, then finding the best transgender dating sites or apps in South Africa is a great way to meet new people.
However, no matter how honourable your intentions might be, it pays to familiarise yourself with the relevant terms, particularly if you’re from outside the LGBTQ+ community.
People from this group have fought long and hard to be recognised and using the wrong terms can cause unintentional offence. To help you ease yourself into the trans world, we’ve compiled a handy guide.
Transgender or transsexual?
These two terms are often confused and used incorrectly. Transgenders are those who feel that they were born into the wrong bodies. You might see someone who appears, physically to be a man, but identifies as a woman.
Similarly, you may meet someone who, outwardly, ticks all the female boxes but on the inside identifies as being a man. People who are transgender are those who don’t identify with their birth-gender but haven’t felt the need to physically change it.
Transsexual men and women are those who feel the need to change their sex on a physical level. This can mean taking hormones, dressing as the sex they identify as and, ultimately, male-to-female or female-to-male surgery.
It’s not uncommon to encounter trans who have begun the transition but haven’t undergone gender-reassignment surgery. While you might hear the terms ‘pre-op-male-to-female’ or ‘pre-op-female-to-male’, these are generally not used in LGBTQ+ circles.
Similarly, you may hear the terms ‘post-op-male-to-female’ or ‘post-op-female-to-male’, they are just as outdated. Those who have undergone gender reassignment surgery may refer to themselves as ‘trans’ but may also refer to themselves using the nouns that fit their new sex.
Again, this another commonly-misused term, often confused with the trans community. Transvestites are cross-dressing men and women. The majority are male, but the term can be used to describe either sex.
Another piece of misinformation is that cross-dressing men are all gay. The truth is that male and female transvestites are just as likely to be straight, bi, queer, or lesbian as they are to be gay. Transvestitism is not a reflection on a person’s sexuality.
Transvestites like to wear clothing that’s conventionally regarded as being for the opposite gender. They do this for a variety of reasons. It can be that they feel more comfortable in that clothing or that they feel a release of stress from the pressure of their traditional roles.
Whatever the reasons, transvestitism is not a mental illness, but a normal part of human behaviour.
Intersexed male and intersexed female
Intersexed male and intersexed female are neither transgender nor transsexual. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights states that they are those who “do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies”.
This can take many forms, from being born with both male and female genitalia, to having atypical levels of certain sex hormones or having internal organs not associated with their apparent sex.
Intersexed male and intersexed female may appear androgynous or display physical characteristics that seem to be at odds with their perceived gender.
Click here for more Tips and guides on Transgender Dating
The difficulties of dating for transgenders
While support for trans is strong within the LGBTQ+ community, some straights don’t fully understand the challenges they face, especially when it comes to dating.
Finding the best transgender dating site or app provides you with a safe environment in which to get to know other users. However, there are still people out there who use these sites for the wrong reasons.
For some straight people dating a transgender is verging on a fetish. It may be that, for them, it’s a sexual thing and they will seek out trans men and women purely for sex rather than to enter into a relationship of any description.
Similarly, there are those who may form a relationship with a trans man or woman but will want to keep it a secret. As a result, a transgender man or woman may find themselves prevented from meeting their partner’s friends or family or from going to social events.
Using a transsexual dating app or site does reduce the awkwardness of having to state your sexual identity. However, you need to be aware that it also means that there may be ‘thrill-seeking’ users out there who are only in it for a sense of conquest or perverse pleasure.
Using the best transsexual dating site or apps in South Africa can also introduce you to other trans. As potential matches, they are far more likely to have a better understanding of what you’ve been through and how to treat you.
Despite this, there are increasing numbers of straight people who genuinely don’t care whether you are trans or not. For them, the rules of attraction go much deeper than the physical form and they will form a relationship based on who you are, rather than what you appear to be.
Tips for dating a transsexual person
The first thing to realise is that dating a shemale or a transsexual or transgender person is just the same as dating anyone else. However, there are a few things that are common among the community, and it pays to familiarise yourself with some of the basics.
- Educate yourself. The person you are connecting with wants to go on a date with you and doesn’t want to host a talk on transsexuality. Do some homework, before you meet. The best services offer sound information about trans people, and it’s worth reading thoroughly before you go any further.
- Check which pronouns they prefer, such as ‘him’ or ‘her’. You can do this through sites that offer private messaging. It’s also worth asking how comfortable they are with physical contact, in case things level up.
- Be prepared for others to have opinions. If you end up in a relationship with a trans person, other people are going to have opinions and some of them might be surprising or even offensive.
- Dating a transgender person or shemale is no longer taboo and there’s no reason you should feel anything other than good about it.
- If you are dating someone who has yet to undergo surgery or just beginning a course of hormone treatment, be aware that their bodies may change.
Which is the best Shemale dating site?
The short answer is the one where you feel most welcome, least judged, and free to be who you are, whether you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community or not. However, there are a few things to keep an eye out for.
- See if the sites that interest you offer free membership. While certain services, such as messaging, might not be included, it’s a great way to get a ‘feel’ for a site and see if you like what’s on offer.
- Some sites offer chatrooms to non-paying members as part of their free services. These are a great way to get to know other users, without the pressure of dating. Investigate the sort of people who use the site and you’ll get a good idea whether it’s for you.
- Check out the site’s etiquette policies. A good site will give you clear instructions on how to block or report users whose behaviour you find offensive or inappropriate.
- Ensure that payments are encoded and encrypted. When taking out a subscription, you want to be sure that your financial details are safe and secure.
Staying safe online
No matter which dating sites you use, there are always scammers and fakes lurking in the shadows. Here are a few tips to help you maintain your online safety.
- When creating a username, never incorporate any personal information, such as your phone number, date of birth or address.
- Never feel pressured into giving out personal or banking details by another user.
- If the site you’re using offers to create a password for you, accept this and store it in your browser. These are designed to be harder to crack than the passwords most of us come up with.