Gay Men News

Bringing the Best in LGBTQ to you

For Nonbinary People, Struggle for Recognition Extends to Romantic Relationships

For Nonbinary People, Struggle for Recognition Extends to Romantic Relationships image
Gay Dating Gay Relationships LGBTQ
Posted by Joseph on August 17, 2019
211 views

Image: Rilen Taylor

Many nonbinary people report having romantic partners who do not fully validate their gender identity.

Rilen Taylor matched with someone on a dating site, but the experience went sour when the match insisted Taylor identify as only one gender, either as a man or as a woman.

“If we were to date, I needed to be a girl,” recalled Taylor, who identifies as both male and female and responds to male pronouns. “I think he misunderstood and thought I was a tomboy.”

This is just one of many uncomfortable experiences that Taylor — a freckle-faced, off-Broadway actor in New York — has faced as a nonbinary person trying to date in a binary world.

As more people, like Taylor, are coming out as neither exclusively male nor female, they are fighting for recognition not just legally, but also socially — and research shows this can be especially challenging in the dating world.

Taylor said most people who contacted him on dating platforms assumed he was a cisgender (non-transgender) woman, even though he described himself as “gender fluid” on his dating profile.

On the primary dating site Taylor used, he had to choose between identifying as either “male” or “female” — something that he said felt limiting and uncomfortable. Hovering over the two options, he ultimately clicked on “female,” the sex he was assigned at birth, but he made it a point to clearly disclose his nonbinary gender identity within his dating profile.

“Along with writing that I enjoy ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ and that my favorite movie is ‘Scream,’ ‘Oh, by the way, here’s some trans 101 on what gender fluid is,’” he said.

Not having a nonbinary gender option on the drop-down menu “didn’t allow me to be upfront,” he said. “I was going to lose either way.”

Despite disclosing his gender identity within his profile, Taylor said “99.9 percent of the time, I was getting messages from men thinking I’m a cisgender woman. Occasionally, I got messages from women who thought I was a lesbian.”

These types of interactions were distressing, defeating and exhausting, Taylor said. One user asked if he had a vagina; another asked if he could have babies; and one, after realizing Taylor is nonbinary, simply wrote “sorry” and then blocked him on the dating site. Thinking back on his online-dating history, Taylor recalled how common it was for people he met online to lose interest as soon as they discovered he is not cisgender.

“If they had an option for me, then I could get it out of the way,” Taylor said.

In fact, a study published last month in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found more than 87 percent of people would not consider dating a transgender person at all.

A BATTLE FOR RECOGNITION

While nonbinary IDs are now available in at least a dozen states across the United States, and an increasing number of companies, including dating sites, are recognizing genders outside the male-female binary, a study published in the journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy concluded what many nonbinary people, like Taylor, have long known: The battle for recognition extends to romantic relationships.

“I thought I was going to have to be alone for the rest of my life or settle for mediocrity.” – RILEN TAYLOR

Researchers at Towson University’s Gender and Sexuality Lab interviewed nearly 400 nonbinary people, who were either currently in a romantic relationship or had been in one within the past five years. All of the respondents reported being subjected to experiences within their relationship that attempted to invalidate their gender identity, with some reporting they were only viewed as their sex assigned at birth, as opposed to the gender with which they identify, by their romantic partner.

“By the time you’re in a relationship, you’re there to get a different type of support,” study author and psychologist M. Paz Galupo said. “When you’re used to not being seen as valid and facing discrimination outside of your relationships, relationships can hold so much power and have a potential for healing, because it’s one place where you are truly seen.”

Not being seen as “valid” by a romantic partner can lead to a host of negative effects, including increased symptoms of depression and anxiety, according to the study.

Nearly 15 percent of those surveyed reported their partners would attempt to block forms of social transition, like wearing clothing to express their gender identity, using a new name or getting gender-affirming health care, including hormone replacement therapy to more closely align their body with their gender.

“This is a romantic relationship, and this is where you go to build trust in others,” Galupo said. “If you feel like you can’t communicate or be fully yourself, then you might not feel like you can in your friendships — it’s harder to disclose or navigate outside that relationship.”

‘OUR IDENTITY IS A REAL THING’

The Towson study’s findings don’t come as a surprise to Ericka Hart, an award-winning sexuality educator in New York.

“The world doesn’t value nonbinary and trans folks, and that violence can rear its ugly heads in our relationships,” said Hart, a self-identified “black queer femme activist” who uses both female and gender-neutral pronouns.

Simply put, Hart said the lack of understanding in personal relationships mirrors society’s lack of empathy toward nonbinary individuals.

The extra work and worry can lead to depression and anxiety, she said.

“There are all these precautions they’d have to take to date people, so they can feel safe in their relationships,” she explained. “You can feel like you can’t date or that you’re undesirable.”

She said it’s not unusual for a nonbinary, agender or gender-nonconforming person to ask themselves, “Can I only date other trans people as a trans person?”

Image: Blyss Bryant
Blyss Bryant Courtesy Blyss Bryant

Blyss Bryant, 28, a nonbinary resident of Springfield, Missouri, uses gender-neutral pronouns. Because of past experiences, Bryant said they now exclusively date other transgender people.

“They understand that fear of not being accepted, feeling like you have to look a certain way to pass, and how scary it is to tell people about that part of you,” Bryant said.

Bryant said their previous cisgender partner of three months would constantly dismiss their chosen name and pronouns.

“I felt like he wanted to date a guy and not me. It’s invalidating,” they said. “It feels like they don’t see our identity as a real thing.”

‘WHO’S GOING TO LOVE ME?’

Constant rejection by others nearly made Taylor give up on finding a relationship on mainstream dating platforms.

“I felt like who’s going to love me for me with these binary dating sites? I thought I was going to have to be alone for the rest of my life or settle for mediocrity.”

Then, Taylor met his current partner online last year. Within weeks, the two hit it off and began a romantic relationship.

One day, as they sat in the living room of Taylor’s apartment, the two discussed the future of their relationship. Taylor recalled his partner, who is cisgender, turning to him and saying, “I don’t care if society believes we can’t be boyfriends.”

“My stomach dropped,” Taylor said. “It was an affirming and life-shattering moment. What I was to him was a guy, no big deal.”

“I never felt more seen in my life. I’m worthy to be who I am, and it shouldn’t be questioned,” he said. “For someone to affirm my male identity so freely is beautiful.”

.

.

Check out the original story here: NBC Out.

.

.

Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

Join a gay dating site where you can meet single guys from any town or city. Rely instead on Gay Dating Solutions to do the work for you! Don’t get fooled by free offers made by other sites. Gay Dating Solutions is offering a FREE 6 month promotion ABSOLUTELY no strings, request for credit card numbers, etc…it is the only site that is truly free to join!

Sign-up now: www.gaydatingsolutions.com

Download our mobile apps: https://appurl.io/jd0jaqp0

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GayDating101

Tweet us: twitter.com/GayDating101

Tags: #BigBankChallenge #BohemianKissChallenge #EqualityActJapan #StopAsianHate 12 Dates of Christmas 2020 Olympics Aaron Schock Adam Castillejo Adam Rippon addiction ageism Aging AhTave AIDS Aime Wichtendal Alaska Alex Morse Almost Love America's Next Top Model American Medical Association Amy Coney Barrett Annise Parker Antes Que El Mundo Se Acabe Anti-Asian Violence Anti-LGBTQ ANTM anxiety Aptima HIV-1 Arizona Armie Hammer astrology At-home date Atlanta Atlanta Black Pride Atlanta GA Atlanta Nightlife Atlanta Pride Atlanta Pride Run Atlanta’s Queer History Bicycle Tour Austin Swink Austin Texas Austin TX Backpacks for the Street Basel Abou Hamrah BFI Flare Bisexual BLACK GAY MEN Black LGBTQ Atlanta Black Lives Matter Black Love Bohemian Rhapsody Boston Boston MA Boston Nightlife Brian Sims Broadway bully Bullying California Call Me By Your Name Canada Capital Pride Capitalism Cason Crane Celebrity News censorship Chemistry Chemsex Chicago Chicago IL Chris Evans Christian proselytizing Christianity Christmas Christmas commercial Christmas movie Christmas Movies Chucky Circus of Books civil unions Cody McCook Colorado Comedy coming out commentary compatibility Confidence Congress conspiracy theory Conversion therapy CoronaVirus Court Vox COVID COVID-19 Covid-19 vaccine Cubbyhole NYC daddy Dallas Dallas Gay Bars Dallas Gayborhood Dallas Texas Danica Roem Daniel Harding Daniel Howell Date night dating dating advice Dating Apps Dating Red Flags dating rut dating tips DC Pride Dead to Me Denver Depression discrimination Disney Documentary Dolf Pasker Dolly Parton Domestic Violence Donald Trump Donna Price Drag Race drag racing Dustin Lance Black election Election 2020 Election Day Elite Employment Entertainment Entertainment news epidemic Fabio Fasoli Family family gatherings Film Finding True Love First Date First Date Etiquette first date ideas first date tips Flirting Tips Flirty Dancing Florida Fort Lauderdale Franklin Graham Freddie Mercury Garrett Clayton gay gay asian gay asian men Gay Atlanta Gay Austin Gay Bars NYC Gay beaches Gay Boston Gay Boston Nightlife Gay Chicago Gay Christmas Gay Couple Gay Couples Gay Culture Gay Dallas Gay Dallas Nightlife gay dating gay dating advice gay dating app gay dating apps Gay Dating Red Flags Gay Dating Solutions Gay Dating Tips Gay DC gay discrimination gay film Gay Florida Gay Fort Lauderdale Gay Health Gay Holiday Movie Gay Houston gay kiss Gay Love Advice gay marriage gay marriage proposal gay men Gay Miami gay midlife Gay Mountaineer Gay Movies Gay New York Gay nightlife Gay Nurse Gay NYC Gay Panic Gay Pride gay relationship advice gay relationship tips gay relationships Gay Santa Gay Scene gay seniors gay sex gay singles Gay Soldier Gay Travel Gay Twitter Gay Washington DC Gay Wedding gay weddings Gay Widower Gays Over COVID gaysian Gen Z Generation Z Georgia Gert Kasteel Ghosting GLAAD GOP Gorsuch Greater Houston LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce grindr Guy Vandenberg Gym Gays Haaz Sleiman Hallmark Halloween Hate Crime HBO Max Health HGVT HIV HIV prevention HIV stigma HIV treatment HIV vaccine HIV/AIDS hobbies Holi-date Holiday Film Holiday Movies Holidays Hollywood Holyoke Homophobia hooking up hookup hookup culture Hot Vax Summer House Hunters Houston Houston Texas Houston TX Hulu Ian Jordan Indya Moore Instagay Instagram intersex Intimacy Intimacy coach Iowa Iowa caucus isolation It's A Sin Jake Gyllenhaal James Bushe Japan Jaymes Vaughan Jayson Conner Jeffrey Newman Jennifer Tilly Jewish Jewish persecution Joe Biden Jonathan Bennett Josef Salvat Jussi-Pekka Kajaala Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg JVN Jwan Yosef Karamo Brown Kristine Stolakis Lady Gaga Lesbian lesbian couple Let It Snow LGBT LGBT Austin LGBT Travel Guide LGBT-Free Zones LGBTQ LGBTQ Asians LGBTQ Atlanta LGBTQ Austin LGBTQ Boston LGBTQ Chicago LGBTQ Dallas LGBTQ DC LGBTQ discrimination LGBTQ employees LGBTQ Family LGBTQ Film LGBTQ Film Festival LGBTQ Films LGBTQ flag LGBTQ Fort Lauderdale LGBTQ Health LGBTQ History LGBTQ Houston LGBTQ Miami LGBTQ movies LGBTQ New York LGBTQ nightlife LGBTQ NYC LGBTQ Pride LGBTQ retirees LGBTQ retirement LGBTQ Rights LGBTQ Seniors LGBTQ Victory Institute LGBTQ Youth Life Lifetime Lifetime TV Network Linda Warren lockdown London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival loneliness Love Victor Love Wins Luke Evans Male Nurse Malik Brown marriage equality marriage proposal Marsha P Johnson Marvel Marvin Cortes Massachusetts mature gay dating mental health Mexico Miami Miami Beach Miami Beach Pride Miami Florida Miami nightlife Michael Cashman Michael Henry Middle-aged gay men midlife Modern Family mormon Mr. Right Muscle gays music video My Gay Match NASCAR National Coming Out Day Nationwide Conversion Therapy Ban Neil Gorsuch Netflix Netflix Special Nevada New Year's Resolution New York New York City Nonbinary North Dakota Northern Ute tribe Norway Nurse Appreciation Week NYC NYC Events NYC Pride NYC Pride 2021 Oak Lawn Obergefell v. Hodges older gay man Omander Omar Ayuso One True Pairing online dating online dating apps online dating tips online gay dating Online trolls Open Relationship Operation Hyacinth OTP Outfest Outfest LA 2021 Outfest Los Angeles Pan-African Pride pandemic Paper Moons Pat Robertson Pennsylvania Perez Hilton personality Personality Matching personality type Pete Buttigieg Pink Capitalism Poland Politics polyamorous polyamorous relationship polyamorous relationships Pope Francis Pose power bottom Pray Away PrEP pride Pride 2021 Pride Afrique Pride Flag Pride Month Prince Harry profile pic Puerto Vallarta quarantine Queer eye Queer Film Queer Films Queer Holiday Movies Queer Lawmakers Queer Love Story Queer Santa Queer Youth racism Rafa Olarra Rainbow Wave red flags Reddit Relationship relationship advice Relationship Tips relationships religion Rep. Andy Biggs Republican retirement Ricky Martin rom-com Romantic Comedy Ryan Murphy Ryan O’Connell Samaritan’s Purse same sex marriage Same Sex Relationships Same Sex Wedding Same-Sex Couples Same-Sex Kiss same-sex marriage same-sex marriage ban Santa Claus Schitt’s Creek Score Miami Score Nightclub Scott Evans Scott Wiener Section 28 self isolation self-care Senior Gay Dating Senior Gay Men senior gays Senior Prom Seven Summits sex Sex and Intimacy Sex Education sex life sexual identity sexual preference sexual racism sexuality short film Shy Gay Guys Single All the Way single gay man Single Gay Men Single Gays Single Young Gays social distancing social isolation social media Social Security Somerville South Florida sports Stonewall Stonewall Riots straight men Super Bowl ads Super Bowl commercials Super Bowl LIV Supreme Court Switzerland Syfy Syria Tan France Television Tennessee The Boys in the Band The Center on Colfax The Christmas Setup The Eternals The First The Thing About Harry Threesome throuple TikTok Tom Daley toxic gay relationship toxic masculinity toxic relationships Transgender Travel Travis Shumake true love Trump administration Turner Free TV series Tweets Twitter Unconditional Love United Methodist Church US economy US Supreme Court Valentine's day viral news viral video Virginia Washington DC Web Series Wedding When Harry met Santa Workplace workplace discrimination World AIDS Day World Pride Young Gay Guys young gay men Youth YouTube

Comments
For Nonbinary People, Struggle for Recognition Extends to Romantic Relationships – Real Gay dating

[…] post For Nonbinary People, Struggle for Recognition Extends to Romantic Relationships appeared first on Gay Men […]

Leave a reply

Related articles
image for My Gay Match: Dating Guide for Young Gay Guys
My Gay Match: Dating Guide for Young Gay Guys

Gay relationships and socialization are already complicated by nature, more so if you want to be intimate with someone who you think is special. But don’t fret. This quick guide gives out gay dating advice for young gay guys out there who want to be more prepared.

More
image for Queer Things To Do in NYC This Weekend December 17-19
Queer Things To Do in NYC This Weekend December 17-19

The home stretch of the holiday season is bringing a selection of options for queer New Yorkers, including LGBTQ storytelling, networking, and benefit concerts.

More
image for This Adorable Same-Sex Marriage Proposal Will Melt Your Heart
This Adorable Same-Sex Marriage Proposal Will Melt Your Heart

A beautiful same-sex wedding proposal has gone viral on TikTok and Twitter for all the right reasons.

More
image for Best LGBTQ-Friendly Weekend in Washington, DC
Best LGBTQ-Friendly Weekend in Washington, DC

Make friends at a DC bar, take a tour of the city and delve into the neighborhoods with this weekend guide to LGBTQ+ DC.

More
image for Better Than Grindr? 5 Gay Dating Apps That Can Help Find Your Perfect Match
Better Than Grindr? 5 Gay Dating Apps That Can Help Find Your Perfect Match

Most online gay dating apps are a bit superficial in how you match with someone. If you want a different experience, try these gay dating apps.

More