New online and mobile platforms seek to provide safe environment for the trans community to connect with others
Los Angeles, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/23/2018 -- In early 2018, Backpage was seized by the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation and, just a few days later, Craigslist responded by deleting their "Personals" section in an effort to avoid their own federal interference. Unfortunately, both of these pages were important spaces to members of the queer community; these online platforms offered them the opportunity to connect with accepting and affirming individuals in a low-risk, anonymous environment—before making the decision to meet with them in person.
Unfortunately, trans people were disproportionately impacted by these closures, as they heavily relied on these spaces to connect with others, find friends, and romantic or sexual relationships. Trans, or transgender, people identify as a different gender than that assigned to them, particularly biologically, at birth. The terms trans, trans-person, trans-woman, and trans-man are all commonly used and socially-acceptable. Trans people are of all sexual orientations and express their gender identity differently.
The trans community is unfortunately under repeated attack from more conservative individuals. Politically, new legislation is always being brought up to lawmakers in an attempt to legislate what trans people can or cannot do, and make it more difficult for them to change their gender on government documents, like their official birth certificate. The trans community also has higher rates of mental health concerns, including suicide ideation or attempts, and higher rates of violence against them, including sexual assault and murder.
These are only a few reasons why online spaces are frequently so important to the queer community; it gives trans people the opportunity to connect with others online, before making the decision to meet up in person.
Some trans people, are still using Craigslist to connect with one another. A quick glance at the "Missed Connections" section shows plenty of individuals using the "craigslist t4m" and similar tags. "T4M" stands for trans for men—meaning the individual posting is a trans person looking to connect with men. Similar tags include "m4t" (men for trans person), "w4t" (woman for trans person), and "t4w" (trans person for woman).
Beyond Craigslist, there are also other websites and phone applications that have tried to create safe spaces for connection within the trans community. These spaces include and list at www.transgenderdatingsites.org.
To learn more, please visit the links above.
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