Alright, this post is one of the most popular pages on here, but it’s a bit outdated so I’ve decided to write a new one. Let’s start with the basics: what is a gay FtM? In this case I’m using it to mean trans men (however you want to define that) who are attracted to men, including cis men. There are plenty of trans men who are attracted to other trans men without being attracted to cis men, but this isn’t going to focus on them. For many of us the bigger question is whether or not a cis guy will ever be willing to date/sleep with us. The answer is…it’s complicated. It depends on a variety of factors that I’m going to try to cover here. This is all based on my own experiences in various cities and countries at different stages of transition. Like everything on this site, your experiences may be different. Yay for diversity.
- Perceived gender. The ‘perceived’ part of this is important. I know, you’re a guy. That’s great. That doesn’t matter if no one else can see it. If you go to a gay club or group or event and all anyone sees is a straight woman or lesbian you’re not going to have much luck. Why? Gay men are (get this) attracted to men. If they don’t know you’re a man they’re probably not going to be attracted to you. Are there exceptions to this? Yeah, of course. I know I dated gay cis guys before coming out, some of whom knew I was a girl and others who didn’t, but that’s fairly uncommon. It also tends to cause issues as the guys question their sexuality. So if you’re no-ho or pre-T or early-T or whatever don’t expect to pull at a night club. Coming out to a group of guys and then eventually dating one of them? Bit more likely. The random, anonymous sex bit is harder to do when not passing though.
- Perceived gender expression. Again, ‘perceived’ is important. If you’re like most trans guys chances are you’ve vastly overestimated how effeminate you are. Here’s a hint: if you prefer a lumberjack look most guys will consider you butch. They don’t know about your My Little Pony collection or ballet training. Even if they did, they may not consider that enough to override the flannel and cargo jeans. Consider it a bonus, effeminate guys of any orientation or genital configuration tend to have a harder time finding dates/sex. Sissyphobia is still alive and well in the world, including the gay community. Biggest difference between you and a cis guy here is that you’ll probably get at least one variation on “why didn’t you just stay a girl?” Yes, it sucks. No, chances are you won’t be alone forever. It just makes everything a little more difficult.
- Age. The world has changed a lot in recent years. There’s more knowledge of trans guys, including gay ones, than ever before. We’ve been on the news, in TV shows, and in gay men’s publications. Sometimes this is useful, it means we have less educating to do. It can also be a problem when guys think they know everything already. I’ve found the younger a guy is the more likely he is to be open to the idea of dating/sleeping with a trans guy. It’s not a 100% thing, but in general younger guys don’t have all the “oh crap, they’re trying to make me straight” hangups older guys do (for good reason) and tend to know at least enough to not think you’re a drag king or something. That doesn’t mean go for 18 year olds if you’re 40 or something (that tends to not go well regardless of genitalia), but keep it in mind when deciding how to go about coming out.
- Subcommunity. I will never understand why this is, but bears and leather daddies have always been the nicest, most accepting guys I meet. If I was into them I’d totally be having more sex right now. If gay trans guys blogging about their sexual experiences are any indication, they’re also pretty open to trans guys in their community. I wouldn’t know, it’s not my thing. Go you if it’s yours though.
- Preferred ‘type’. This goes in combination with your own perceived gender expression. Guys who are perceived as neutral or masculine tend to be able to go for anyone they want. Guys who are perceived as effeminate get strange looks when we’re attracted to other effeminate guys (exception being hipster effeminate). It’s stupid and heterocentric, but that’s the way things are for now. It is entirely possible to be an effeminate guy who is into other effeminate guys and still find sex/dates, it’s just another thing that’s a bit more difficult to navigate. It also seems to be getting easier as time goes on which is nice. Just be prepared for straight people constantly asking “so who’s the girl?”
- Sexual preferences. This is in combination with all of the above. Guy who’s read as a feminine straight girl and is into effeminate guys and really wants front hole sex is going to have more trouble than a masculine, passing guy into neutral guys who hates anyone going near his vagina. In my experience if you’re effeminate the assumption is you like stuff up your ass so if you prefer strapping one on you’re going to have to say that. Only not in those words, they’re likely to make people think “lesbian”. Which brings in the next factor.
- Language and how you try to pull. Guys, this isn’t straight girl flirting. Being coy is more likely to turn other guys off than get you laid. Spend a few weeks just watching gay guys interact without trying to get any. Learn what the cues are and how they’re different from whatever messages you’ve internalised. Then go practice without expecting to actually succeed. Be prepared in case you do of course, but don’t be too disappointed if you don’t. It takes a while, even for cis guys. Unless you are exceptionally hot you’re going to have to work at it a bit. Everyone does. Only difference is that you also have to find a good way to come out.
- Confidence. This is probably the one I’ve seen guys (cis and trans) have the most trouble with. Remember what you learned in middle school? That idea that no one wants to be with someone who doesn’t like themself? It’s true. If you walk around with body language that says “I’m so disgusting, no one will ever love me” then chances are no one will. I know, that sounds harsh. Unfortunately, the world at large is not going to accommodate your self-esteem issues. If you don’t believe that you’re hot then fake it. Stand in front of a mirror and pretend you are the hottest guy in the world. You will feel like a moron at first because it’s just an awkward thing to do, but eventually you’ll get over it. Keep doing that until it feels natural. While you’re doing that work on your actual confidence. Find a good therapist, start volunteering, whatever works. You will be amazed at how big a difference being comfortable with yourself makes.
- Sociability. I want to make something clear: you do not have to be a club kid. You don’t even really have to be all that outgoing. If you don’t like partying or going out with large groups then don’t do it. Honestly, why would you want to attract someone who’s into that if you don’t want to participate in it? However, I keep seeing trans guys sitting on their computers all day and whining that they’re not getting laid. Well no shit! You’re not even trying. Get up off your ass and go meet people. Sign up for Match.com for all I care, just don’t expect the universe to send you a boyfriend via FedEx.
…I wanted to make this an even 10, but that’s all I can come up with right now. Really guys, there are a wide variety of factors that play into whether or not you’ll get laid. Some of them are related to being trans and some of them aren’t. Just get out there and start trying. Be prepared for disappointments, everyone experiences them. Don’t let fear hold you back though. Only person that’s hurting is yourself.