Ah, that’s an entirely different set of information. Let me first say I’m available and looking for work as a media consultant (and as an organizational consultant, a campus speaker, a trainer, a writer, a filmmaker, a model - let’s just say I’m looking for work). I’d be happy to work with you and your story one on one and can work out some reasonable rates. I have a very sharp eye for wider implications or how a specific part of a story might be received by the trans community and can help your work feel real, but more importantly feel meaningful and resonate with people who don’t get to see themselves represented in media very often.
Drop me a line if you’re interested, but for now let me give you a couple freebies and cover some really basic parts.
1 - Linguistics: Use ‘trans’ as an adjective, not a prefix. That means putting a space between it and a word rather than creating a new compound word. You don’t say queerwoman, tallman, blueshirt. When you write ‘translesbian’ it sounds like you’re creating an entirely new (and confusingly unclear) sexual orientation. When you say ‘trans lesbian,’ it sounds like a lesbian who happens to be trans.
2 - Linguistics: You don’t always have to specify ‘trans’ when referring to someone, but if you do you should mirror referring to others as cis. When you specify a “trans lesbian/lesbian couple” you’re only marking the status of one of them and letting the other remain in the norm. That sets up a power differential between them and what is considered normal. Instead you could say “trans lesbian / cis lesbian couple” or “trans/cis lesbian couple” or “lesbian couple where one of the two women are trans.” At other times when trans/cis status isn’t important, you could just call them a lesbian couple.
For example, “Going to the local dyke bar was supposed to be fun, supposed to be a place to find community and support. But when they went they often wondered if they were going to be singled out from all the other lesbian couples. Even if no one would tell them they didn’t belong there, they knew to expect a cold reception. The one exception being the roller derby girls, who always treated them like family. Like it should be.”
3 - Representation: Don’t try and figure out what the perfect trans/cis lesbian couple should look like and write that. Instead figure out what your characters look like. Learn enough to know what will be realistic and not to sound like you have no idea what you’re writing about, and double check things at the end for any problematic representation. But don’t trap yourself into thinking there’s only one way that they should be represented or that you need to figure out what’s the one way they should have sex.
Maybe you’ve got a cis character who’s dated trans women before and is has done activism around trans issues.Maybe you’re trans character has been burned by cis partners before and started to date only other trans people but is making an exception because this cis woman is amazing. When it comes to sex, maybe the trans woman is a stone butch and doesn’t want to be touched but is able to get off by bringing her partner to orgasm again and again and will use a strap on for that. Or maybe she’s tired of messages about what kind of sex she should or shouldn’t have and is pushing herself to do all the things she’d normally be afraid of doing? Maybe the cis character has her own body shame and doesn’t want to be naked in front of her partner? Maybe she’s intensely curious about sex with a trans partner and doesn’t know what to expect?
4 - Representation: Real people have issues. Even if you created the perfect representation of a trans/cis lesbian couple, it might come off as plastic. Let them speak to their anxieties. What are their fears? Will they end up triggering each other? How do they deal with that? Don’t be afraid to have your characters engage in problem behavior, as long as the overall narrative makes clear that behavior is problematic. You don’t have to model perfect behavior, sometimes modeling how to handle it when you screw up is even more valuable. Real life is messy. Will someone’s boundaries be crossed? Will the cis character accidentally say something hurtful? How do they resolve stuff like that? Maybe they take a break, talk about it, comfort each other, then go back to having sex. Maybe it’s a big deal, maybe it’s a small deal. Maybe it’s easily resolved, maybe it takes the whole story for it to come to resolution. Really engage with these options as you are deciding what kind of story you want to tell.