LIFESTYLE

Transgender Model On First Dates Opens Up About Dating Woes: '9 Times Out Of 10 I'm Treated Like A Tourist Attraction'

22/04/2015 16:18 BST | Updated 22/04/2015 16:59 BST

A transgender woman, who has long been looking for love, has opened up about the trials and tribulations of dating.

Alex Collins, who is set to appear on Channel 4's dating show First Dates, has revealed that dating as a trans woman isn't easy and that - aged 29 - she's yet to have a good date.

In an interview with HuffPost UK Lifestyle, Collins, who is a hairdresser and part-time model from Essex, said that it's "safer" for her if she always discloses her trans status to potential dates.

"Safety for me is paramount," she revealed. "I would not want to get into a bad situation that I could have prevented with honesty."

alex collins

Growing up, Collins knew from a very early age that she was born in the wrong body.

At primary school she wanted to wear girls' clothes and play with the same toys as her female friends.

"We would play kiss chase and I would chase the boys," Collins revealed. "They never chased me back and I didn't understand why.

"All the time I would hear: 'That toy's for girls, you are a boy'."

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Collins went through her late teens as a homosexual man, but tended to avoid the dating scene.

She soon came to realise that being male just wasn't for her and from that moment on, Collins began her journey as a woman.

The 29-year-old has had two serious relationships: the first was when she was 18 years old and "trying" to live as a homosexual man, and the second came along after Collins began to dress in the way she felt most comfortable - as a woman.

"He thought I was female at first," she revealed. "But as they say, he fell in love with the person, not what's between their legs."

Sadly, the relationship didn't last and Collins ended up back on the dating scene.

Since then, she revealed that the majority of her dates have been unsuccessful: "Nine times out of 10 I'm treated like a tourist attraction."

"The worst date I've ever been on was a guy I met on Plenty Of Fish," she added.

"He didn't like cats, he drank too much on the date and got a bit hands-on in the bar. Then he told me he had brought an overnight bag with him and winked at me. So creepy.

"He also lied about being a smoker."

The date ended in disaster after the pair had a row in Liverpool Street station because Collins refused to go home with the overly-amorous smoker who didn't like cats.

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"Sadly, I am yet to have an actual good date," she admitted.

"I've tried dating sites and I do chat to guys, but so many are worried about meeting in public because they want to be 'discreet', which I don't want to be.

"Either that or they'll cancel the day before," she added.

But, despite the setbacks, Collins is an independent and strong-willed woman - and she insists that she won't stop looking.

"I don't chase boys, it's so boring," she said. "If the right one is out there he will chase me... And I can run in heels!"

See how Alex's date pans out this evening at 10pm on Channel 4's 'First Dates'.