Sydneys famous Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade has lots of Transsexual women in attendance. It started out as a gay man’s festival but has grown dramatically so that we now have people from all shades of the LGBTQI community participating.
It's a fantastic social event with an international reputation, some 12,000 participants and over 300,000 on the streets watching. It is a great place to meet new people, maybe even get to date someone if you are lucky!
Transgender girls are relative newcomers to the party with, as I said, the origins of the Mardi Gras involving only gay men and women. Of course, there have always been drag queens at the Parade. Indeed, show me a gay man who, at some time or another, don't want to dress up as a woman. When in drag, the main purpose of gay men is to "entertain" by parodying women, accentuating and exaggerating their busts, make-up style and mannerisms. Some people ask whether this has a deeper meaning given the sexual orientation of the protagonists, but let's leave that for now.
Unfortunately, this leads to all sorts of problems for Transgender women whether in Sydney or elsewhere. The first problem is that it causes a lot of disrespect for and confusion about T-girls. The vast majority of Transgender women are just normal girls wanting to live a quiet, peaceful life. However, the general public sees drag queens and Transgender women as the same. This leads to the second problem, namely the assumption is that all T-girls are gay men. This is, of course, quite incorrect with many Trans women seeing themselves as women, and therefore are attracted to men. On the other hand, there are many T-girls who even post-transition are attracted to women.
I've been to the Mardi Gras Parade three times over the last six years or so. Each time I have seen some familiar faces and been happy to meet up again and talk. I have also met a lot of new T-girls. The improving visibility of Trans women in the media has given many the confidence to come out and show themselves to the world. No matter which stage they are at with their transition, you have to understand that Transgender women like to be seen, like to show off their beauty in public! And not only at Mardi Gras in Sydney.
Most of the Transgender women I met at the Parade are slowly moving forward with their transitions. Dealing with their gender dysphoria as best they can and looking forward to the days when they have completed all of the necessary surgeries.
Some girls are already in relationships with men who love them, some are not. Some other T-girls, including me, have had bad experiences dating men in Sydney and are now very cautious.
In fact, talking to most of the T-girls at Mardi Gras, a very high percentage of them had found the man they are with through a specialized Transsexual dating site such as iDateTranssexual.
I was quite surprised about this, having always thought that, in liberal, open Sydney it would be "easy" for a Trans woman to find a loving man to date and settle down with.
So, until about two years ago, I had never bothered to join a site such as iDateTranssexual. I thought that it would be possible for an attractive Transgender woman to meet men on a regular basis. I went to restaurants, bars, clubs and other places where I knew there were single men looking to date. I took my time getting ready, always looking my best. Bought new clothes, shoes and make-up in an attempt to make me look that little bit special. Sometimes I went out with other T-girls and sometimes alone.
The end result? I met a lot of insincere men. A lot of admirers who thought they might get me into bed after knowing me for all of five minutes. Some nights, I spent hours in a club and didn't meet anyone. I didn't even have anyone come up to me to chat or say hello!
Using iDateTranssexual meant that I could stay at home and look through the profiles of men looking to date T-girls. All of these men, knowing about Trans women and understanding the issues associated in dating us. All of these men willing to chat online and talk about what attracts them to Transgender women as compared to genetic girls.
It also gave me the chance to see how sincere such men were and, after chatting for a week or so, make a decision if I wanted to meet them or not
Needless to say, this saved me not only a lot of time but also a lot of money. No hanging around bars and clubs, no spending money on entrance fees and drinks. It also eliminated any misunderstandings. In the past I had been in clubs and had men start talking to me, not knowing I was Transgender. In a couple of instances, I became quite concerned for my safety when I told the man in question that I was a T-girl. Most took it well, thanking me for telling them. One or two swore at me calling me derogatory names. One even tried to hit me.
Still all that's behind me now. Within a few days of joining the dating site, I was talking to three men, two from Sydney and one from south of the city. I'm still dating one of them and things are looking good for the future...