"Have you ever used one of these Transgender dating sites such as iDate Transsexual?" asked Celia, my Trans-pinay friend. "There are all sorts of profiles of men from Perth and the surrounding areas."
"I've looked at some of them, but never tried one," I replied. "Why?"
"Well, from what you were telling me earlier about the problems for Transgender women meeting nice men to date in Perth. I just thought it might be an idea to join one."
"Hmm..., maybe. Just give me a few minutes to finish doing my nail varnish and I'll come and have look at the site with you."
My name is Ying and I was born and grew up in Perth. My family emigrated from Singapore to Australia about five years before I was born so all I've known is life in Australia. When I was around 14 or 15, I began to think I was gay as realized that I wasn't really attracted to girls. I used to like to play with them, and do girl related activities, but had to hide my true feelings for fear of being bullied. People used to say I was quite feminine and delicate for a boy, and I must admit I never liked the rough and tumble sort of games boys want to play.
Still, it wasn't until I was around 17 that I realized that I was a Transgender woman. It all just fell into place once I discovered on the internet what being Trans is all about. Perhaps surprisingly, for Asian parents, my family took it well when I came out as a T-girl to them at 19. All my father said was that he was happy he had made the decision to leave Singapore all those years ago as it would be difficult for me there. He said Singapore is a small city with a lot of rumors and gossip and also very conservative with Christian religious factions having the upper hand.
Fast forward almost ten years. I had gender confirmation surgery just over three years ago. Fortunately, I was able to get a good job in the technology sector as my parents had made sure that I had studied hard and was well qualified academically. In Perth, provided you are capable, most employers are not too concerned whether you are gay, straight or Trans. This is especially true in the arts or entertainment or tech sectors where younger people tend to dominate.
Perth has lots of Trans women, especially from the surrounding Asian countries. From what I can see, there are two main reasons for this. Firstly, it is much closer to Asia than the rest of Australia. Perth is, in fact, in the same time zone as Singapore and only a few hours plus or minus the time in Thailand, Vietnam, The Philippines and Indonesia. Secondly, if you are gay or a Transgender woman in most Asian countries (perhaps excluding Thailand) to escape social and, certainly, family pressures and live in Perth is a dream for many.
Apart from Celia who I mentioned above, in Perth and the surrounds, I know several Ladyboys from Thailand, three or four Waria from Indonesia as well as some Trans girls from China. In fact, we have grown to be a big community and look out for each other whenever we can. Another thing we have in common: we all bemoan the lack of genuine men to date in Perth!
I blew on my fingernails on my left hand to make sure the nail varnish was dry. "Yes, Celia, I'm ready. You can show me the Transgender dating site you were talking about."
"It's called iDate Transsexual," she said. "Come and sit by me and I'll show you," she added, patting the stool next to her.
I quickly read the opening page. "Free to join for Transgender women. Joining is easy and can be done in a few minutes."
"Yes, but look how many profiles of men looking for Trans girls there are," said Celia. "There are guys from Perth and some of the other cities around here. Ha..., hey Ying, we can sit here and pick out the men we like the look of. No need to mess around going to clubs and bars and getting harassed by Tranny chasers and insincere men."
"I agree. I'm so tired of wasting time hanging around waiting for a nice man to suddenly materialize. The only guys I seem to meet don't understand transgender women. Or whenever I have met a good-looking man and we seem to be getting on well, as soon I say I am Trans it's like a shutter comes down. I can guarantee within five minutes he has lost interest and moved on to talk to someone else."
"Well that won't happen on a Trans dating site like iDate Transsexual," Celia continued. "All of the men know they are talking to a Trans woman from the first contact."
We looked at each other and smiled.
"What are we waiting for?" I asked, giving Celia a quick hug in my excitement. "We can be chatting to men we like in the next five minutes!"