Many of us have tried online dating to find the person of our dreams, and automatically assume that the person in the other person’s profile picture is the person we are talking to. We form conversations, we get to know one another, and once we think we have fallen hard we think that this could possibly last forever. But what if the person we thought we knew was lying the whole time and used another person’s picture while also lying about their gender? Catfishing happens on a daily basis with the main reason being that people want to scam you out of your money. However, this isn’t always the reason why people choose to catfish another human being. There are also people from the LGBT community who choose to catfish as another gender for multiple various reasons, so it is always important that you verify who you are talking to before rushing into a serious romantic relationship.
Why Do People of the LGBT Community Choose to Catfish as Another Gender?
Being a part of the LGBT community can be confusing at first since a lot of people are in denial when they first find out who they are. They get urges to experiment with who they really are, yet some don’t know how to go about it. They don’t want to flirt with peers at school because they fear that they might get looked at differently, which is why some people of the LGBT community have resulted in online dating. This way, they can know that they are meeting people who are also a part of the LGBT community. But what happens if you don’t want to admit to others, or even yourself, that you are a part of the LGBT community?
One in four people of the LGBT community has catfished others as another gender. This is because they are trying to experiment with their gender identity and sexual orientation to see what they like without having to admit to themselves that they could be LGBTQ. They could also be doing this because they don’t want anyone to find out about their sexual identity so they hide behind an anonymous profile while figuring out who they are. Some catfish to try to date in a heteronormative way thinking that its the only way they can date, and also to prevent bullying and harassment from peers.
Teenagers want a way to explore their sexual identity without their parents or peers at school finding out. Many teens are confused about who they really are as a person and are still trying to figure out who they truly are. They are in the process of maturing and becoming young adults, and with that picturing who they want to be with for the rest of their lives. This results in them catfishing others on the internet, so they can keep their anonymity while also keeping it a secret from their parents and/or peers. These teens might have unaccepting family members or friends that they don’t want to find out about them, or they just aren’t sure of their sexual identity yet so they catfish on the internet to hide that part of them.
Adults hide behind a fake profile with the fear that they could get fired from their jobs. They want to discover their gender identity and sexuality without the fear of being caught since LGBT discrimination protections are on a state-by-state basis instead of a federal basis. They could get in trouble at school, or lose their job if they come out about who they truly are. Therefore, they pretend to be the opposite gender and catfish heterosexual men or women to experiment and determine if they are really apart of the LGBT community.
How Can You Explore Your Sexual Identity Without Catfishing Another Person?
The only person that can determine your sexuality is yourself. No one else can determine that for you, and if they try then just know that they can’t read your mind and only you know what you are thinking. Therefore, when experimenting with your sexuality it may be tempting to take the easy route and catfish people online so that you don’t have to admit to yourself that you may not be straight. However, that will only leave the person who you are talking to heartbroken once they discover who you really are.
With these tips, hopefully you can feel comfortable discovering who you are while the person you are talking to also knows who you really are and still wants to date you:
- Set up an online dating profile using your real images, and change your dating preferences to the same sex. This way you are still meeting people online, but only people who want to meet with the same sex can see your profile. This way, you are forming what could be a long-lasting relationship versus a temporary experimental one.
- If you’re questioning your gender put the gender you want on your dating profile while still using your real images. If you’re truthful with your partner and let them know you are questioning your gender identity, then they could help you through it. This would lead to a longer-lasting relationship and you can possibly figure out who you are faster.
- Try talking to other peers who are out of the closet, and letting them know how you feel. They have been in your shoes and can let you know what they have experienced so that you can compare your experiences to theirs and feel less alone. This could lead to you figuring out who you are faster if you have someone with your same experiences to talk to.
- Don’t feel like you need to come out of the closet until you are ready to do so. Don’t let anyone pressure you to come out to anyone if you aren’t ready to do so. Sexual identity is very personal and only you know when you are ready to come out to people.
- Talk to a counselor on the Trevor Project’s LGBT 24/7 Hotline. Counselors can help you feel less alone and talk you through what you are feeling.
If you feel like you’ve been catfished by someone who is experimenting with who they are, you are not alone. Social Catfish is here to help anyone who needs it by looking up information on who it is you were really talking to. You can reverse search any name, email address, phone number, username, or image to see who it is you were really talking to. This is why it is important to avoid catfishing since it leads to heartbreak and people will find out who you really are.