Challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals during dating

By Akshaj Awasthi

While dating by-and-large remains the same across different scenarios, the queer community in particular faces some challenges unique to being an oppressed minority that can sometimes have fatal consequences. 

The first of these reasons arises when in countries like India, most queer folks do not have the choice to come out of the closet to their friends and family. It is a question of privilege, and time and time again strikes at the the classist divisions within the community. If a queer person’s surroundings are hostile, they cannot access a community within which to find a partner or establish a support system through which to talk about the issues affecting them. Furthermore, even in privileged circles, the dating pool within the community is very limited. People often end up dating and/or knowing everyone else’s exes.

A further challenge faced especially by the transgender community is the amount of transphobia rampant even within the queer spectrum. Cis queer folks are equally discriminatory as their straight counterparts when accepting trans members of the community. 

In addition to the challenge faced by a queer identity, queer womxn face the additional layer of oppression in gender— a fact especially prominent in the community with the tendency of cis gay men taking over most queer space (the irony that I, as a cis gay man am writing this is not lost on me.)

Asexual and aromantic individuals are often dehumanized and their experiences invalidated, both inside and outside the queer community. Some queer circles even actively define themselves as ace-exclusionary — only weakening an already oppressed minority.

A challenge unique to the queer men is the internalized homophobia and misogyny among cis male queer individuals. A good example of this are dating apps like Grindr, where several men put up disclaimers about not being “into girly men”. 

Overall, safety features as a big concern in queer dating circles, and especially more so for gender-non-conforming members of the community. Without family support and a friend support group, dating can be perilous—especially since most of us meet our dates online, who are usually strangers.