Real Talk: Dating safety tips for transgender people 💌
This is a guest blog post by Natalie Fontana, Outreach Coordinator and Baton Rouge Representative to the Board of Directors.
Safety in relationships is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. My main motto is “it’s all about consent, and consent is sexy and required.” I have been polyamorous for over 10 years. I have also been in the BDSM community for over 10 years. That means that I have multiple romantic and sexual relationships at a time, and I am usually on the lookout for new relationships. When I’m meeting new people now, it is definitely scarier because I have started my transition. I want to date people who see me as a person, not a fetish.
These tips aren’t just for people who are poly or involved in the BDSM community though. They are important safety tips for any adult interested in pursuing a relationship:
You have to be safe. Always have a safe call in place when you are going to meet someone new. A safe call is when you have a trusted friend call and check on you at a specific time and have a word in place that will let them know everything is ok. It's important that it's a phone call and not a text message, so that they can hear the tone of your voice.
Always meet in a public place and provide this information to the person you have the safe call set up with. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I still use a safe call when I go to meet someone new.
Don’t agree to meet up with someone after only a few messages. Take your time, and trust your gut. Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Be very clear about what you want and don’t want, and don’t forget, you can withdraw your consent at any time. If you withdraw your consent, that means the other person has to stop. If they don’t, that’s assault.
For more dating safety tips, download this resource guide from FORGE, a national trans anti-violence organization.