Dear Bitter Single Guy:I actually just ran into your site and I’m hoping for a reply. This could get lengthy, but I’ll make it short as possible.

I’m 20, a college student, bisexual, and oddly enough, transsexual. I’m pre-op, pre-hormones, but I’m a FTM (female to male). However, the trouble is that I hardly pass as a guy, and when I say I’m bisexual, I actually mean that I’m almost gay. I’m open to dating women, and I’ve been attracted before, but I’m more often than not… head-over-heels for some guy.

I’ve only been on one date (the guy was almost three times my age and was too sexual/creepy to begin with) and my longest lasting relationship was two months.

The problem is that, because of my transsexuality, I’m sort of a fetish object and it really annoys me (I want to be liked for who I am, not what I am). I want to be in an openly gay relationship as a man, and I’ve tried nearly everything to find someone. However, I seem always to fall for straight and/or taken guys.

There are people who are interested in me, but they’re either too scared to say anything or I’m not interested in them. One guy, though, is pretty decent, and even though I’m not very interested in him.

Honestly, I don’t know where to start or what to ask, but… What exactly should I do? When’s the best time to tell someone about my gender situation (before or during)? ~Not Sure of The Rules~

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Dear NSTR:The Bitter Single Guy is blessed by having some friends who are trans, so he finds that he’s actually had a chance to think about situations just like yours. That doesn’t really mean he has an easy answer (answers are rarely easy, NSTR).But here are some ideas.

Much of what you’re describing is true of any relationship regardless of gender and sexuality. Sometimes you’ll be attracted to people who are not attracted to you, and sometimes people will be attracted to you who you’re not attracted to. Honestly, the BSG doesn’tknow howanyonemanages to connect sometimes.

One solution to your concern is one the BSG hopes has already occurred to you: spend time in a community of like-minded folks. This is true if you’re a devout Catholic, deeply into Jack Russell Terriers, or if you’re transgendered.If you’re not already in contact with a group of other transgendered folks who are faced with similar dating conundrums, find them. Granted, the BSG lives in a good-ish sized city, but he’s surprised sometimes that there seems to be a community for everyone. Find yours NSTR.

As far as fetishism goes, the BSG finds that the line between festish and attraction is somewhat vague. If you only date people with brown hair, that’s an attraction, but if you want to spend hours brushing your partner’s hair then it becomes a fetish. The BSG points this out because you should definitely avoid folks (like the creepy one you mention) who fetishizeanythingabout you (gender, weight, hair color, whatever), but know that there are folks who will find themselves exclusively attacted to people like you (in your case: FTM Trans) and you don’t want to write them off as potential dates. They’ll bemucheasier to date than educating someone new every time.

As far as when to tell a potential date about your gender status, the BSG wants you to think about what you’re asking that potential date. If you don’t broach the subject until an intimate moment (the BSG is blushing), then you give your date mere seconds to figure out how he feels about your revelation.This is a lot to ask during what is likely already a highly pressured situation. For that reason, the BSG recommends having the conversation sooner rather than later, even though this could mean fewer second dates.

Even as he provides this advice NSTR, the BSG wants to reiterate his point about finding a community. The BSG can pronounce platitudes about the details of dating in the trans community, but the truth is you’ll be best supported by folks whose experience is more like yours.But he’s still pretty pleased that you felt good about coming to the Bitter Single Guy…where all are welcome.