A Woman Revealed That She’s Transgender On A First Date, And People Just Can’t Get Enough Of Her

Image: YouTube/First Dates

When Dani told her pairing on First Dates that she was transgender, she had no idea how he’d react. In the past, it’s changed people’s perception of her completely, so would the same be true of her companion? She steeled herself to reveal the truth, and soon the words came tumbling out.

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Reality television has yet to capture everyone’s interest – indeed, some might wonder what all the fuss is about. Why would you want to watch people just like you instead of trained actors and celebrities? Well, in many cases that’s actually part of the appeal.

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Some TV aficionados find seeing regular Joes and Josephines on the small screen more relatable. It allows them to see beyond the smoke and mirrors to the people beneath the performance. Of course, reality TV comes and goes like any other genre, and some titles are more popular than others.

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Take First Dates for example, a matchmaking show which pairs up strangers in the hopes of building romance. American viewers may know it as the Drew Barrymore-narrated, Ellen DeGeneres-produced series that aired on NBC in 2017. It began on April 7 and ran until May 26 that same year.

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However, that series shared the name of the popular British reality TV show it was based on. The original First Dates debuted on June 20, 2013, on the British broadcaster Channel 4. It was so successful that it’s still running today, and not just on UK screens.

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In fact, the series has been adapted in 15 other countries, with 11 still currently making the show. Its premise is simple – it pairs strangers up on a dinner date at London’s Paternoster Chop House. Then, they get to know each other over a meal to see if they have chemistry.

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Afterwards, each pair is questioned on the success of their date, and the potential of future romance. First Dates doesn’t seem to revel in the chaos of mismatched couples. Instead, its purpose seems to be to find genuine matches for successful partnerships.

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And it would appear that the show’s has been successful too, at least to an extent. Some diners do find relationships and occasionally even love. Some of the couples who met on the show are still together. Ibiba and Aarron are a good example.

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In 2016 the showed paired Ibiba and Aarron together with unerring accuracy. The two got on so well and were quickly smitten, but that wasn’t the end of their story. On April 22, 2017, the pair announced that Ibiba was pregnant with their first baby.

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And as well as Ibiba and Aarron’s success story, the show has further proven that love isn’t just a young couple’s game. Following their date in September 2017 James and Doreen captured viewers’ hearts with their earnest conversation on First Dates. Both had suffered losses, albeit of different kinds.

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Doreen was unlucky in love, after her husband of 46 years left her for a younger lady. Meanwhile, James was left heart-broken when his wife passed away. Nevertheless, they found each other thanks to First Dates and they’re still going strong.

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One of the wonderful things about the show is its inclusive approach to the dating game. It doesn’t just entertain straight couples. Gay pairing Greig Fairweather and his partner Shaun made a surprise announcement following their First Dates appearance in June 2017.

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“I have some absolutely fantastic news for you all,” Shaun posted on Twitter in December 2017. “Last week, I asked Mr. Greig Fairweather to marry me. And he said yes! Beyond thrilled, happy and excited. Haven’t stopped smiling!”

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As well as Greig and Shaun, burly diners Dan and Adam were also lucky in love following their 2014 match up. And in 2016 they announced their engagement. There have, however, been unconfirmed rumors about their split shortly after.

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Elsewhere, Danielle ‘Dani’ St. James was one of the First Dates participants on November 19, 2017. St. James is a bright and bubbly 25-year-old model and makeup artist who hasn’t had much luck with dating. Part of that reason is because she’s a transgender woman.

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St. James was born in Barry, South Wales, as Daniel, officially starting her transgender journey at 17. Before then, the realization of her gender identity sort of crept up on her. She spoke with the Daily Mail about her situation on 20 June, 2013.

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“For me the transition to a woman was a gradual process,” St. James explained. “I grew up playing with girls’ toys, I started wearing make-up when I was 11. And I told my parents I was gay when I had my first boyfriend aged 12.”

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The first dater continued, “When I was three, my mum brought me a pram. I’d always liked girls’ toys and I was never interested in sport, Action Man or anything like that. It never seemed natural to me. I think the first time I realized I was different from other boys was when I was around eight years old.”

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“I’d been invited to a boy’s birthday party,” St. James recalled. “All the other boys at the party spent the afternoon playing football in the garden together, while I stayed inside and played with his dog. I hated it.”

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St. James revealed that due to her supportive family, she didn’t often feel out of place. Then, during her teen years, she discovered a passion for makeup. As she became a more avid makeup artist, St. James started wearing cosmetics every day.

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At age 17 she was regularly dressing as female, and the following year Daniel began identifying as Dani. Consequently, the transitioning young woman continued her journey with hormone treatment. St. James told the Daily Mail that the process was pretty straightforward.

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“Becoming a woman has never been an issue as my family have always been extremely supportive,” she said. “I never had any drama surrounding my gender, I was accepted for who I was. And I never felt as though I was trapped, because I was always free to dress and act as I pleased.”

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Despite the relative ease of St. James’s transition, her journey hasn’t been without its challenges. Specifically, she’s experienced some setbacks when it comes to finding love. That’s because, while public understanding for LGBTQ identities are growing, some people still harbor hurtful opinions on the subject.

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The young woman explained as much to the First Dates team, in an interview which the show broadcast. She described how after she reveals she’s transgender, everything hinges on her date’s reaction. It can make or break a potential relationship.

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“You’re about to tell [a date] one thing about your history, and it could change everything,” St. James expressed. “Dating as a trans person is just a minefield. An absolute minefield.”

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“For the most part, the people who date trans people are really secretive,” St. James continued. “And they’re really scared to be seen with someone who is trans. And that’s a really hard pill to swallow. You just know that they will see you completely differently from one sentence.”

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With this in mind, St. James turned to First Dates to help find her a match. The show’s producers chose 28-year-old Aiden, a bar manager by profession, to accompany her to dinner. And they certainly started the date on common ground – both had been out drinking the previous evening!

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Just prior to his date with St. James, Aiden expressed as much to the show’s producers. “I’m still wearing the same clothes I went out in last night,” he revealed. Regardless, it didn’t seem to damage his first impression with St. James.

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From the beginning of their date, the pair seem to hit it off. But for her part, St. James didn’t want to conceal her trans status, as she explained on the show. “If I like someone, I’m going to tell them, I’m open about it.”

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St. James’ trans nature comes up when Aiden questions her about work. The young woman must have thought there was enough of a spark between herself and Aiden to discuss the subject. She begins by talking about a related topic.

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“I’m setting up a lingerie brand,” St. James reveals to Aiden. “Basically, I was very frustrated looking for lingerie. I… want to make products because I couldn’t find anything made for trans women… which is me.”

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“Oh my god, I’m so glad I got that out the way,” St. James concludes. She looks visibly relieved, but perhaps the most surprising thing is Aiden’s reaction. His smile doesn’t falter at the news. Instead, he simply replies with, “I didn’t even notice!”

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Furthermore, Aiden had something else to add. “It’s not a problem to me anyway,” he says before the cameras. Judging by the grin on St. John’s face, she couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. Perhaps Aiden’s acceptance is one of the reasons First Dates initially paired them together.

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Indeed, her fellow diner is so accepting, it makes St. James wonder if Aiden’s been in a similar situation before. But despite how it seems, he states that she’s his first transgender date. However, there is something else Aiden has to tell her.

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Aiden informs St. James that he’s pansexual, or what some people might term gender-blind. It basically means his romantic preference isn’t limited to a specific gender. Instead, he bases his relationship choices on whichever individual person attracts him.

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Both diners had such a connection that, following their first date, they confirmed a second meeting was on the cards! In addition, their honesty with each other has warmed the hearts of open-minded First Date viewers. Both Aiden and St. James have received a lot of support from the general public.

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The couple enamored the show’s crew, who tweeted a message for St. James on November 19, 2018. It said, “You’re an incredible woman Dani, you’ve stolen our [hearts]. And Aiden’s too, by the looks of it!”

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The tweet inspired a lot of similar comments, all from viewers of the show who felt the love. “Dani and Aiden, I love this show!” one person tweeted, also including a love emoji. Other fans were similarly riding on the romance train.

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“Really pleased for Dani and Aiden,” another person posted. It was accompanied by messages such as the one reading,“Yay for Dani and Aiden!” Another tweet was simply the couple’s names, filled with hearts. So it would seem that both Aiden and St. James have quite a support network online.

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It’s great to see such a progressive attitude towards coupling from a dating show like First Dates. It’s also heart-warming that the public are rallying around an untraditional pair such as St. James and Aiden. We wish them all the best for the future – they certainly deserve it.

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