Many would say that 2015 has been the year for the trans community, transsexualism really has hit the mainstream and we're talking about it more now than ever before. I could go on forever about statistics on our place in society and the issues we face but you can watch my documentary with Reggie Yates on BBC iPlayer Extreme UK: Gay and Under Attack where we were talking about those issues; but something I didn't really cover is that it is quite difficult as a straight trans woman to break the stigma that we're just sexual fantasies.
Almost everyday I receive messages from men insisting that they would like to "hook up" with me, they will start the conversation with "you're beautiful" which (with me being slightly naive) I thought was quite flattering. Within seconds they ask "how big are you?", no they are not asking for my height, then they'll say "send a pic?" and most of the time its not a picture of my face they want to see. I have met a lot of trans women this year after being involved in several organisations and it has become apparent that this is the norm for most women like myself however I have come to the understanding that this is a main source of income for them as well.
Many 'shemales' are using this niche to their advantage at the cost of these sexually curious straight men that perhaps arent getting their sexual desires fulfilled elsewhere. A lot of the community call them 'tranny-chasers', they're fixated on the idea of a 'chick with a d**k' because we give them that illusion, that perfect fantasy.
Although these men are more than willing to blow big money on a night of intimacy with women like myself, they fear the thought that their sexuality would be questioned by those around them because of the nature of it. Its hard for these men because not only is there a stigma attached to us but there is a stigma attached to them as well, I mean the majority of us trans women don't 'pass' 100% (I most certainly don't), there's always something that gives it away that we're masking some form of our masculinity, so when it comes to a straight guy being in public with us its understandable that they perhaps feel they are being judged more than ourselves - "Why are you holding hands with a man dressed as a woman?" I've had before.
I went on my first date this year with a guy and I instantly thought it was too good to be true, he was tall, dark and handsome, played football y'know all those matcho traits that typically a girl would like, he kept telling me he thought I was too good for him and so on but as time went on I began to wonder why I was only meeting up with him in lavish hotel rooms? We had enjoyed each other's company for some time now so I asked "Why do we never go out in public?" to which he replied "Why does everything have to be public?" I said "But that's the thing though, nothing we do is public... are you embarrassed to be seen out with me?", he answered "Well its not that I'm embarrassed, its more because I know that everyone would be disgusted if they found out, I know that I'm not going to be with a trans girl long term, my parents would be disappointed because its not normal.. I just prefer us having a sexual relationship which no one knows about." At this point you can imagine what I wanted to do with the stiletto that was in my hand, I began to raise my voice as I asked him "So you've been using me, I've basically been a free escort?' Well, I surely burst his bubble that's for sure!
I'm not embarrassed to share that story because that was me being naive and I learned not to go on dates to hotels unless you're getting something out of it too. But you can imagine just from my experience alone why heterosexual men struggle to have more than a sexual relationship with us and you can understand why some trans women are cashing in on that. In hindsight I can see the attraction to escorting, I'd be lying if I said I hadn't considered it myself especially after my experience I thought "f**k it if he's using me, I may as well use him too and get some money out of it" however I thought not as I have knowledge on how dangerous the world of escorting can be. But I mean what's not tempting about £300-£500 for a couple of hours worth of intimacy when most of today's youth are doing that every weekend for free anyway.
I've been transitioning now for nearly two years and I'm fortunate enough to not have faced any discrimination in either of my jobs and I've made do with the basic wage but I guess my point is that I can completely understand how life as a trans woman can lead into this lifestyle of sex for big money when a lot of us struggle to make a living any other way especially when being a trans woman is a lot more expensive than being cis-gender.
I do hope that one day there will be no shame in a straight man being in an open relationship with a trans woman, we may be a sexual fantasy but we're still human. We're worthy of love.