Transphobia in America: Why a cis-gender man may be afraid of dating a transgender

Transphobia is a very serious controversial social issue in American society. It includes various negative feelings and consequent actions and attitudes towards transgender people or transsexuality in general. Transphobia can be anything from discomfort or fear around trans people to more violent responses such as hatred, anger, and abuse of transgender individuals. It can be manifested offline or online even on sites like But dating a transgender person is still something that people do. But why is it taboo?

This intense dislike for transsexual people occurs even more commonly than you can imagine. It is considered a form of homophobia since most homophobic individuals tend to be transphobic as well. Because of transphobia or the fear of it, a lot of cis-gender men who are attracted to transgender women do not come out openly with their feelings. Even for many who do, they prefer to keep the relationship secret. They would avoid being seen openly with and dating a transgender woman. And they would keep the relationship secret from their friends and family. 

Reasons why Cis-gender men may be scared of dating transwomen 

Transsexual people tend to elicit different reactions among the heterosexual male crowd. Most straight men consider trans women undatable; not because they don’t find them attractive (in fact, there are several men who do). But because they are scared of the idea of dating a trans woman or they are simply confused about it. Here are some of the reasons why a lot of cis-gender men are scared of dating transwomen: 

dating a transgender: muliti-coloured umbrella - view from underneath it.

Identity confusion and mislabeling

Despite being a widely discussed subject matter, sexuality and gender issues still remain quite mind-boggling for most people. Men can become confused about their own sexuality when they discover their attraction for a transwoman. 

A lot of men believe that attraction to a transwoman means they are gay, and this is a serious cause of concern. This mislabeling is one of the biggest reasons why most men that are attracted to transwomen would not accept it. In fact, a lot of men wouldn’t even dare to admit it to themselves; not to mention do so in public. 

However, being attracted to a transwoman doesn’t make a man gay. In fact, a gay man would not even be attracted to a transwoman. Most gay men are attracted to masculine features rather than femininity. But as simple as this concept is, it would take a lot of reassurance to convince a man to let go of this mislabeling and go out with a transwoman freely. Some men are also genuinely at loss for how to correctly relate with or speak to a transwoman without being awkward or sounding discriminatory. This can also be a cause of concern and a reason why some stay away entirely. 


The mislabeling of trans-attracted men as gay also affects society’s perception of their sexuality. A lot of men are afraid of loving and dating a transgender woman; as well as the shame it brings. The shame they feel can be almost likened to the shame and fear associated with coming out as gay. Thus, most men would simply prefer to keep such relationships secret to avoid being shamed for it. 


Fear is one of the biggest hindrances to relationships between cisgender men and transwomen. This fear is manifested in various forms and can either prevent a man from declaring his feelings entirely or affect how much he is willing to let people know about his relationship with a trans-woman. Here are some of the ways fear may affect transgender relationships: 

  • Fear of being seen in public: there are several men in relationships with transwomen but they would rather keep it out of the public eye. In such cases, even meeting up for dates in public places will be a challenge. Several trans women share their experience about dates that never show up because they developed cold feet about meeting in public even though they had a good relationship online. This is mainly caused by a phobia of being seen in public with a transexual person. 
  • Fear of rejection from friends and families: Just like it is difficult for many transexual individuals to come out of the closet even to members of their own family, several men in relationships with a transwoman are unwilling to introduce her to their friends and family because they are unsure of what their reaction will be. In many cases, this fear is due to a genuine concern for the relationship or for the woman herself. Being rejected by family and friends is not a good feeling. It can negatively impact the woman’s self-esteem and put a huge strain on the relationship. To avoid this entirely, some men simply opt for keeping the relationship under wraps completely rather than come out about it. 
  • Fear of getting a bad reputation: In some cases, the fear is not out of concern for the woman or the relationship but more about the man’s reputation. This type of fear is not only pathological but also selfish. This is related to the point mentioned above about fear stemming from concerns about people’s reaction to the relationship. Several men are concerned about words spreading about their relationship with a transwoman. Some men are concerned about being labeled as gay for loving a trans woman. 

Still feeling uneasy or uncertain about dating a transgender woman, read this detailed guide.  

In Conclusion

Despite the widespread knowledge about transsexuality and other related issues. Transphobia still remains a big societal issue in America. A lot of people are still non-accepting towards trans people. Dating can be hard on its own, but it becomes even harder with such pressures from society. 

With an understanding of these pressures, it is easy to see why some men are hesitant about dating transwomen or introducing them to their friends and family. However, there are still several men who would date transwomen openly and happily without shame or fear of rejection from friends and family. Hopefully, this number will increase with time as our society becomes less transphobic and more welcoming towards people of all gender, races and sexual orientation. 


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