Dating sucks when you are both trans* and pan, especially the former. Being stuck in gender limbo when everyone wants gender tied up into nice little packages with boys on one side and girls on the other leaves prospective partners, long or short-term, confused and wanting to just stay away. I am sure there are people out there for me, I just can’t find them. So far OKCupid has been little help.
For the record, OKCupid is pretty awesome. You can do more for free than any other site, and it is more inclusive of LGBTQ folk across the spectrum, allowing you to list your orientation as bi (something I had never seen except on sites like Adult Friend Finder) and having profiles where you can clarify your gender status pretty quickly. Still, it can improve.
Having just bi, and not pan, as an option reinforces the gender binary. You can be attracted to the same sex, the opposite, or both, but not anywhere else, apparently, in the vast mosaic (c’mon, I’ve told you before how much I love that word) of gender. You must list yourself as male or female but there are no options for anything else. What if I want to be straight forward about being a trans* woman to avoid unpleasant surprises later? What if an intersex person wants to do the same?
It is kind of funny and sad at the same time that those of us that have the hardest time finding a partner are those consistently ignored by dating web sites. Straight people fitting into the gender binary can easily go to a bar, club, coffee shop and find someone. I cannot, and right now my only options are sites like Adult Friend Finder which reinforce my status as a fetish object. The only people interested in dating me are men who want to nail a “dude in a dress,” because that would make them feel even more manly. I’m not saying I still wouldn’t find those on OKCupid if I could list my gender status, but I would find it easier to find someone for whom it did not matter.
So you wonderful people running those amazing dating sites, please remember that there is an entire world of gender and orientation out there that you are ignoring. It is populated by people who have the hardest time dating, and therefore need your help the most. Please, OKCupid, don’t leave me in the cold.