While on paper it may look like the world is accepting the LGBTQ community with open arms, much goes on behind the scenes that still, to this day, establishes that discrimination against the LGBTQ community is rampant.
If you’re a cishet male/female, chances are you have never thought about how everyone in a restaurant will stare at you and judge you if you’re going out on a date. Things are starkly different for people in the LGBTQ community.
In conversation with trans rights activist and transgender model Naaz Joshi, we uncover the problems the transgender community faces while on the quest for love.
What Problems Do Transgenders Face While Finding Love?
Due to the widespread misinformation and misconceptions people have about the trans community, the problems they face while finding a relationship end up being extremely discouraging.
Naaz Joshi tells us about her broken marriage, which left her shattered. “I was married to a man and we lived together for 2 years. As a ‘secret’ marriage, nobody around him really knew he was married to me. When his family found out, they were adamantly against him marrying a transgender person, and he got married to a cisgender woman immediately after our divorce. ”
The process of trying to find love, she says, is also extremely disheartening. Despite some men wanting to start a relationship with a trans person, they’re often harassed by the people around them for it. “Men who want to date us do accept us but are hesitant because they’re worried about what their friends will say about them. For some reason, they’re scared of being called gay and they let what others say about them get to them. A lot of emotional abuse is thrown their way, ” says Naaz.
“I’ve heard people say things like ‘you need to get a proper woman’ or ‘you’re a disgrace to the family’ to men who were dating transgender women, ” she adds.
Finding love as a trans person is a challenge that makes many give up halfway through it. But what about things like dating apps? Are things more progressive on mainstream dating apps?
Related Reading: What Are The Legal Rights Of The LGBTQ Community In India?
Using a dating app as a transgender
Unfortunately, things don’t really take a turn for the better, even on dating apps. Naaz tells us about the problems she faced “On LGBTQ apps like Grindr, all I found was people looking for one-night stands. Trying to look for a relationship is the last thing on people’s minds when they’re on those apps, it seems, at least when I used them. ”
“I used to receive nude pictures without my consent all the time. I even had straight people on these apps ask me things like ‘what’s your price?’. There’s a misconception about trans people that we’re only looking for sex and not love. The whole experience turned me off and I never went back on those apps again, ” she says, about the difficulties she faced on dating apps.
“Apps like Tinder and Badoo ban the profiles of transgender people, without any communication or reason. When men see trans women on these platforms, they report the profiles and Tinder decides to act on those baseless reports. It happened to me as well when I was using the app in 2018. I was getting a lot of matches, but without even really texting anyone on the app, I was banned out of nowhere, ” she adds.
If things don’t go in the favor of the trans community when they’re behind a screen, using an app, what happens when they’re physically out on dates?
Discrimination against trans people while dating
When some transgender people do find a relationship, the expectations of the partner suddenly change for the worse, as Naaz tells us about a few observations she’s made.
“The relationship often revolves around money. The partners are completely reliant on us for their expenses. I know of a trans woman, who has given her house to her boyfriend to live in with his wife and kids while she lives elsewhere. She thinks that without giving him access to her money like this, he will leave. Even though he is reliant on her, ” says Naaz.
“When out on dates or just going to a nearby market, people stare incessantly. My friends have faced multiple problems as well. When they were planning a vacation, they weren’t even able to get a hotel together easily without facing disgusting remarks, “ she adds.
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What Can Be Done Against The Discrimination Around Transgender Dating?
With an optimistic message, Naaz tells us what she’d like to see change about the current situation of transgender dating.
“To make dating better for transgender people, we need to spread awareness, much like what you’re doing with this article. We need to make people aware that trans people deserve love, just like anyone else. People who want to love us should not be belittled for it. ”
“We shouldn’t poke our noses in anybody else’s affairs, right? If two people want to live together and want to love each other, why not just let them? Irrespective of their gender or orientation, let them love each other and live peacefully, “ says Naaz.