“Do femmes think I’m too short to date?”

CW: Naming transphobia, ableism.

a trans couple enjoying a moment together in the park
The Gender Spectrum Collective

This week I received an interesting DM from a follower that read: “Can you do a poll if more femme presenting queers mind dating shorter than them? I’m 5’2 and have a weird insecurity about thinking I’m too short for them and want to know the truth.”

My knee jerk reaction was, well…no, I won’t do that poll, and also, what will this person do with that information? This question makes it seem like they’re looking for evidence on what is undesirable about themselves. How will these answers help them in their dating life?

Before getting into my take on this question, let’s rewind a bit. This question asker is curious about whether femmes might feel the need to be shorter. But where does that idea even come from? Who developed it in the first place? Some potential culprits immediately come to mind: patriarchy, misogyny, transphobia, and ableism, just to name a few.

Ultimately, the dating world is thick with “preferences” and having a “type”. While some preferences might develop from a need for safety or to be understood (ex-if you’re part of any marginalized group, you might be wary of dating folks in the dominant group) but so much of “preference” goes completely unexamined. What we think of as attractive does not exist in a vacuum. It’s informed by the world around us; it likely reflects what we’ve been taught or what we have seen depicted in media.

So dear question asker, if someone doesn’t want to be with you because you’re too short (replace “short” with any physical trait) it might mean this person hasn’t done enough investigating of their biases, which are currently disguised as preference. It might mean they haven’t been exposed to folks who represent this version of love. It might mean that they aren’t aware of the work they need to do to dismantle the systems of oppression that exist within them.

It is, without a doubt, invalidating not to see people like you having the love you want represented around you. But with access to so many ways of life at our fingertips through podcasts, instagram, tik tok, etc., a lot of representation really is out there. And sometimes we just need to see it in order to believe that it’s not only possible for us, but something folks find really desirable!

So my advice to you is to surround yourself with positive messages that support the future you want for yourself. Say kind things to yourself. Talk to yourself like you would a close friend who was sharing these thoughts, feelings, and insecurities with you. Follow Instagram profiles and take in media that represent you. Find role models who occupy a similar space and shape as you who are living their lives fully. Work to see yourself, exactly as you are, in the exact body you have, as worthy of connection and love.

And as you continue to get a handle on that, see who you come across in the dating pool. See who actually cares about a height difference.

(And then, if you haven’t already, I invite you to investigate why you’re only seeking femmes in the first place.❤)

It can be so difficult to rewire beliefs that say who we are or what we look like might not be desirable. When we’ve been spoon fed a really particular image of what is attractive our entire lives, it takes a lot of unlearning to move beyond that narrative.

If you’d like a recommendation for a place to start this journey of unlearning what we’ve been taught about attractiveness and desirability, I highly recommend Sonya Renee Taylor’s book, “The Body Is Not An Apology”.

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Queer Dating Coach, Ariella Serur

Ariella is a Queer Dating Coach who helps kind, queer folks navigate the dating pool, so they have the courage to go after what they want in dating and in life.