Our last D word is dating. This is too large an area to really get into in one blog post, so I will focus on the main issue. The main question intersex (and transgender) people have regarding relationships is: “when do I disclose this to someone I am dating?” This is a very important question. Many potential partners will not be accepting of this (or have even heard of intersex). If the relationship is heterosexual and they feel their sexuality was threatened they may even become violent. There are four main schools of thought on when to tell.
~ right away. This is pragmatic. Get it out in the open before either party has invested much time or emotion into the relationship. You might end up teaching them about intersex issues if they have never heard of it. If they can’t accept it they can walk away with no hard feelings. No muss no fuss.
~ before sleeping together. Some people feel it is best to let the relationship blossom for a while first. Let them get to know you and maybe love you first so they are more likely to stay. Then disclose things before the clothes come off. Also as you get to know them, and realize they won’t handle the news well, you can call it off before anyone gets too hurt. At first this seems like a good idea. The only potential problem is they may feel lead on. Also if they don’t handle the news well, it will be messier if they have more time and emotion invested into the relationship.
~ never. This is risky and somewhat radicle. The line of thought goes cisgender people never have to go disclose their gender identity in a relationship so why should I. If they truly love me they will accept me. Or if I have had genital surgery or non-ambiguous genitalia they won’t find out. Thus there is no reason to tell them since it could destroy the relationship. Both scenarios are dangerous. If they get into bed with you and find things are not as they expected, or somehow discover the person they love is not quite what they thought they may become violent. Even if they may have been accepting, the feeling of being lied to may actually lead to the end of the relationship.
~ be out of the closet to begin with. This is the option I personally think is the best. If it is already widely known that you are intersex (or transgender) there will be no need for a big reveal. They will most likely already know. If they have been living under a rock and didn’t know, then tell them right away, your safety may depend on it. As a bonus, if they approach you, you know right off the bat that they are accepting of you. This is one more reason to come out ASAP.