My dating magazine
Washboard-Abs-No-Face and unsolicited dick pics that most women, unfortunately, receive. Right as a transgender woman (I was born male, but identify and present as female) adds a whole new dimension to digital dating.Since transitioning in I haven’t reacted positively to guys who hit on me in person because I haven’t mastered the art of telling them that we have “the same parts.” For the past three years, Tinder has been my gateway into online dating as a transgender woman.I ate kelewele, the Ghanaian version of fried plantains, at every single opportunity, often several times a day. Do I have a better idea of how to answer the question of how the trip went when people ask me now? But more importantly, I have learned to be OK with the difficulty in retelling some stories.My foray into the Ghana’s market bargaining culture can only be described as hilarious and unsuccessful. What caused me so much anxiety about that question, though, was where and how to begin answering it.Did I start with the moment I decided I wanted to go, which I’m pretty sure was when I first danced to West African music at Little Baobab in San Francisco?(I once walked into a shop expecting to pay 10 cedis for a highlife CD. I paid 18, and walked away feeling satisfied for about two seconds.) Back in New York at the time, I wouldn’t dare leave my apartment without at least four layers of clothing, but I was comfortable in Accra in a simple sundress all day long.
In front of a small dance floor, there was a live band playing highlife music (a jazzy, horn-heavy style that originated in Ghana in the 1920s).So, whenever I see 6’2″ or taller on a guy’s profile, it’s almost an automatic right swipe.As a trans woman on dating apps, I’ve always made sure that guys are aware that I am transgender. There have also been many documented cases of trans women being hurt and sometimes even killed when they disclose their status to transphobic men that found them attractive, so being completely transparent is also a way of protecting myself from potentially dangerous situations.I braced myself for the inevitable as I entered the elevator to head up to my first class back from spring break.Much like after summer vacation, a single, ubiquitous question swirls around every classroom in the country: how was your break?
Typically, people look forward to being on the giving and receiving end of that question, whether they spent a wild week in Miami or a sedentary one at home with Netflix, but this time, for me, it was different.