Zak: I’m sorry it took so long for us to get to your question. The two of us actually talked about this for a bit, and its kind of a tough question to answer because I think it is different for everyone. Being stealth itself really varies from person to person. There are many people who are stealth in their everyday life, or at work, but are out to close friends, the people at an organization they belong to, or online. These different experiences vary immensely, particularly when it comes to relationships. For instance, some individuals who are stealth would feel perfectly comfortable mentioning their trans* status (or being FAAB) in their profile on an online dating site, others absolutely would not.
Many people go stealth and still have relationships, either relationships that they started before they went stealth or through meeting someone new. Others find dating undesirable or impossible, because it is difficult to meet people, because they are anxious about disclosure, because they are uncomfortable with their bodies, or a myriad of other reasons. Dating while stealth or post-transition IS possible, though.
When and how they disclose to their partner(s) (or potential partners) also varies. I’ve heard of some people who make an effort to tell as early as possible, either the first date or before that. Others wait until soon before the relationship becomes sexual. I have never heard of any trans* men having a long-term sexual relationship with a partner and not disclosing to them, but I suppose it is possible. I personally think it’s important to share that information just because secrets and withheld information are not healthy for a relationship. However, it can also be extremely nerve-wracking and potentially dangerous to disclose to someone.
I’ve seen a lot of guys talk about this on youtube and in books they’ve written (The Testosterone Files, Becoming a Visible Man, and Just Add Hormones were all written by guys who were pretty far in their transitions and mention dating). However most of the people who talk about it are worrying about it or looking for advice, not sharing their experiences or giving advice. Part of this is that relationships are tricky and each one is different, and so it is difficult, if not impossible, to give good advice that will work in a lot of different situations with a wide variety of people. There are a few people who are sharing their experiences and giving advice about dating as well as other post transition issues, though. Aaron_FTM has a great video about Dating Post Transition, and Charlesasher has covered many facets of post transition life from body image to dating.
Adrian and I recently started recording a series of youtube videos about various post-transition issues, from assimilating in society as male to our relationship with the trans* community. We should be editing and posting these soon, and hope that other people will feel inspired to make similar videos or blog posts sharing their experiences. You’re right that there is significantly less stuff out there for people who have already physically transitioned (as much as they want/plan to), and hopefully that will change. However, there are quite a few great people talking about these issues out there. Not only Charles, who we already mentioned, but also Aydin, deaddogx, Mel, Reese, Skylar, and laidbaqq.
Hope that helps. Sorry for the long answer.