Dating as a trans, non-binary, or gender-non-conforming/gender-expansive person can be a challenge. Since there is so much gender essentialism and transphobia out there in the world, it can be hard to know when it makes sense to come out to the people we are dating.
First off, it’s important to come up with a strategy that fits with your own personality, how you live your life, and your dating strategy. For example, some people live their lives primarily in “stealth” mode – meaning they aren’t out to very many people in their lives. Others are out to most people, some in-between. For those who aren’t out to many people, they are not likely to want to disclose in a dating profile.
It’s important to dive into why you want to disclose when you do. Is this out of fear? For instance, if you are out to most people in your life, but you don’t want to disclose in your dating profile, is this out of fear that you might be “missing out” on potential partners?
One important note: In general, disclosing up front, either in your profile, or before the first date, does decrease the likelihood that you will experience either a very negative, or potentially violent response from the person you are dating. If you feel confident in handling that kind of response, and feel that based on your personality and dating strategy, you don’t want to disclose until you’ve been dating someone for a while, that’s fine. But if you are unsure, being on the safe side, and disclosing early, is a good idea.
It’s also important to remember that there are plenty of people out there who are open to or happy dating people who are trans and/or gender-expansive! Dating someone welcoming and informed, instead of someone you have to educate, and come up against transphobic or ignorant comments, can lead to more fulfilling connections. But it can take more patience to find them, depending on your geography.