Patterns of Online Relationship Seeking Among Transgender and Gender Diverse Adolescents: Advice for Others and Common Inquiries

Junye Ma, Aaron K. Korpak, Sophia Choukas-Bradley, Kathryn Macapagal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Online relationship seeking is a normative aspect of adolescent development and is common among sexual minority adolescents. Yet, little is known about transgender and gender diverse (TGD) adolescents’ subjective experiences with and needs related to online relationship seeking. This online, mixed-method study examined TGD adolescents’ patterns and experiences of online relationship seeking. A sample of 130 TGD adolescents (68.5% non-Hispanic White, M age 16.8 years, 73.8% transgender men) were recruited online to complete a survey assessing patterns of online relationship seeking and their questions and advice about online partner seeking. Thematic analysis showed that adolescents emphasized maintaining personal safety, setting realistic expectations, and strategies for online relationship seeking as three key areas of advice to share with other sexual and gender minority (SGM) adolescents. Participants also had questions about ways to connect with other SGM teens, gender identity disclosure, and relationship management when seeking partners online. Mixed-methods analysis revealed that participants who had dated before offered more specific advice and asked more nuanced questions about online relationship seeking than those who had not dated. Findings highlighted identity-specific needs and the lack of knowledge about online relationship seeking among TGD adolescents. This study underscored the needs for TGD-inclusive relationship and sex education for this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-299
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022


  • Gender minority
  • Geosocial networking applications
  • Online dating
  • Social media
  • Transgender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Psychology(all)


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