I've found myself more attracted to men lately. Or, to be more accurate, more interested in the idea of being with a man. This attraction has long been present but it's taken a lot of inner struggle to accept this part of me. I think for a long time I viewed my sexuality as one thing that made me "normal;" I might want to live/dress as a woman but at least I was still attracted to women. I am still attracted to women but I do have to acknowledge an attraction to men as well.
I would currently consider myself bisexual but as I told a class of undergraduates, sexual orientation doesn't matter that much when you're not in a relationship. That brings me to the subject of dating. I've never been the most active dater but I feel that dating is difficult for transgender individuals. People expect people to fit into certain boxes, the most basic of which is gender. When you don't quite fit into the box you claim for yourself, it seems to confuse or upset people.
As I grow to accept myself as a woman, I find that dating is one of those areas where I still lack the confidence to be the woman I am. Particularly in regards to online dating. I think I do okay with in-person interactions but I still lack the confidence to get on an online dating site and select "Woman" for my sex/gender and open myself up to the negative reactions of people who came to the site looking for a "real" woman.
I think all you can do is try to be as open and honest as you can while still protecting yourself. That's one of the reasons I like to try to meet people through friends. My friends act as sort of a filter; they know me and know the other person so I trust them more than a dating site to introduce me to people. (Though I can't say it's made much of a difference recently).
I think another hurdle I face personally is that I don't really like the places people go to meet people. I've never really cared for bars and clubs, mainly because I don't drink. I think another reason I don't like trying to meet people in places like this is that meeting people in a club or bar seems to be mainly based on physical attraction (in my opinion at least). Physical attraction isn't that important to me; I usually don't see someone and think "I want to date them!" It's usually only after getting to know someone a little better that I find myself attracted to them. Now, I don't mean that I have to know someone for an extended period of time or be friends with them before dating; getting to talk with someone and get to know them better in the more private setting of a date works for me too. But the thing that leads to this type of conversation usually isn't seeing someone across a crowded club. I've also never really seen myself as the type of person that someone else would be attracted to in this way; I've never thought someone would see me from across the bar and think "I have to talk to her."
Dating is tough for everyone and meeting people seems to be the most difficult part. All I want is to find someone who can love me for who I am. But I'm going to need some help meeting that person.