Transgender women have forever been portrayed as hyper-sexual men in women’s clothes. Society has mocked us and created a cliche version of what it means to be a Transgender woman. A pathetic creature dressing like a hooker and willing to do anything a man desires.
I won’t lie, I fell into that trap myself. It’s one that young women fall into when they first discover the effect dressing provocatively has on men. The big difference was that I wasn’t young when I was doing it. I did it in my 30’s and even into my late 40’s. I thought it was exciting to see men’s eyes light up when I walked into a room. I didn’t care that most of the women either read me as a “tramp” or as a “hot trans mess.” Nothing screams out Transgender like dressing too provocatively or in age-inappropriate clothes.
I also discovered that in addition to setting off Transgender alarms wherever I went, I was also attracting the wrong kind of men. It turns out that you get what you fish for. If you use trampy bait, you will get trampy men. If you’re advertising sex, men will expect it. That’s fine, but doing that unconsciously may get one into trouble. I personally found myself in a few compromising circumstances before I realized that simple equation.
As I matured, I realized that the fun of attracting this low-hanging fruit was short-lived. These men had no intention of forming a long-term bond with me. They wanted something quick and easy. Something that in their minds may even feel kinky. Something they wouldn’t be introducing to their family or friends anytime soon. Once again, that’s all good so long as both parties understand each other. But if like me, you are looking for something more substantial in a relationship, you will need to use different bait.
I had to reevaluate my presentation and think clearly about who I wanted the world to see and what sort of man I wanted to meet. At 6 foot-one inches tall, I don’t need to wear 5-inch sequinned platform heels and a matching mini-dress to get noticed. At that height, I stand out already. What I need to consider is what do I want a man to see when he does notice me? What kind of man am I interested in? That just gets me back to understanding myself. What do I like and what do I want to call into my life? Do I want to call in a seedy one-night stand or a man who is interested in some deeper part of me? In my case, I decided on the latter.
I realized that I’m primarily a creative and athletic woman. I’m also someone with adult children. I don’t want to only be noticed for my sexuality. I want someone who is equally interested in the other parts of who I am. Once I realized this and began dressing the part, my prospects improved. I began meeting men that found those aspects of me as interesting if not more so.
Halloween is an especially difficult time for Transgender women to fight the temptation to dress as a cliche of themselves. I see it everywhere in my social media feed. I can’t help but feel a little sad for us when I see elegant Trans women dressing up again as the hyper-sexualized cliché we have long portrayed. I only hope that when my sisters dress this way they are aware of it and consider the sort of attention they may attract. I don’t hold this against anyone nor am I trying to shade them. I’ll be the first to admit I still have my Xena costume tucked away in the closet somewhere. Just be careful out there girls and remember, dressing up for Halloween is one thing, but if that happens every time you go out, you may get more tricks than treats!