1. Dating a Trans woman is just like dating anyone else.
It requires the same level of respect, empathy, and love you should show anyone. If you have dated a human being before, then you already have everything you need to date a trans woman. If you haven't dated a human being before… go and live your life!
2. Know what trans means.
I am a trans girl, which means that the gender assigned to me at birth was incorrect. The doctor incorrectly assumed that having a penis when I was born made me a boy, when gender in fact comes entirely from inside your mind. Unlucky for me, at a few seconds old I had not gained enough of a mastery of the english language to protest his decision, so instead I probably soiled myself and fell asleep.
3. Sexuality and gender are separate things.
I personally identify as pansexual, I have dated boys, girls, and others on the lovely gender spectrum. I am really proud of my sexuality, and I believe being open like this makes the world a more exciting place to live. But this leads me on to…
4. I did not transition to sleep with men.
In fact, being trans has absolutely nothing to do with sexuality. We've passed 2015, so it's officially the future now (ask Michael J Fox!) so please do not assume what someone's sexuality is, based on how they look. Base it on the signals they give you.
5. Be open about who you are and what you want.
We live in 2017, a strange, crowded, and anonymous world. I don't know if you are a sociopath with no friends, whether you are hiding a family or if you are openly transphobic and plan to hurt me. Letting me get to know you before we're alone together will make me feel safe!
6. Try not to be overly fixated on genitals.
What did I say before about it being the future? Some girls have dicks, some girls don't, and some are in-between… deal with it. In fact, when was the last time you approached a girl on the dance floor because of the shape of their vagina? Spoiler, you haven't.
7. Try not to be overly fixated on her transness.
If you do, she's gonna find your date extremely boring indeed. Chances are, if she wanted to educate you and chat about trans things, she wouldn't be at dinner, she'd be writing an article for Cosmopolitan instead.
8. She is a girl.
She is not a half girl, or a quarter girl, regardless of what she looks or acts like. In fact any girl, trans or not, can look or act in any way she likes, and she is still a girl, get it? Good.
9. So treat her like you would treat a girl. Any girl.
That means if you would pay for a girl's meal (how quaint!) pay for this date too, if you would complement a girl, compliment on this date too, the list goes on! The bottom line is you're dating a girl, end of. By the way this goes even if you are a girl! For example, no matter how small or large you are compared to your trans date, everyone likes to be the little spoon once in a while, right?
10. Fancying her does not make you gay.
Dating a trans girl makes you straight, lesbian, or whatever sexuality you already are. I can't tell you how many times I've caught myself consoling a guy I don't even know on a night out, just because I told him that I was trans, and now he's worried he's gay. Honestly, don't be that guy. If you are the dude who treats me like the girl I am, regardless of history, that's cool. And you never know, I might see you again.
11. Be educated.
By that I don't mean be a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, I mean you should have a basic knowledge of what transgender means. Do a quick web search and spend 15 minutes reading about concepts such as gender dysphoria, pronouns, cisgender, non-binary. That should get you started.
12. Being trans is not a secret.
I didn't tell you because I want your approval, I'm not begging for your acceptance, and I'm definitely not warning you. The only reason you know is because it was an integral part of a witty and amusing anecdote I was telling! Some girls may on the other hand not want to tell you that they are trans. That's because it's easier not to sometimes, as stupidity and misunderstanding will inevitably ensue if you out yourself to the wrong people. In this case she told you because she trusts you, so act like you deserve that trust, right?
13. Know that she is beautiful and you are lucky to have her.
And if you are respectful and loving to her and her identity, she is lucky to have you too.