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Blog: My Experiences Dating as a Transexual Woman And Some Tips

Do you think that dating is hard? Try dating as a lesbian, demisexual, transsexual woman in her thirties.

We all need a little romance from time to time.  You are never too old to start playing the dating game.

Dating as trans is hard and often dangerous, but if you take good care of yourself, it can (and most likely will) also be super fun and rewarding!

*hey, you, if you want to go straight to the tips and skip my experiences dating, just scroll down to the sub titles. Otherwise keep reading. 

Also, I think it’s worth mentioning that I am demisexual, which basically means that I simply don’t feel any sexual attraction unless I have developed a strong, meaningful bond with somebody first.

Being demi is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it is bad because it limits my dating pool to a small number of women who only want to have a serious, committed, long-term relationship but, on the other hand, it is good because I don’t put myself up for casual dating and all of its potential risks involved (such as STDs, sexual abuse, rape, etcetera)

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against casual dating and open relationships. It’s just not my thing.

So I was ready to start playing the dating game, and because casual dating was not an option, no dating apps were involved. Only real-life, old-school dating! Yay!

I went to an LGBTQ bar almost twice a week for two months and after this period, which was quite amusing, to say the least,

 

I thought that if I could think of a few tips that would definitely cause a good impact and probably get anyone a date, Here’s my top 6 must have to date just about anyone you want.

1. Dress Appropriately And Keep A Good Personal Hygiene

This one should be a no brainer, but it is still surprising to see how so many beautiful people are turned down on dates because of an awful choice of clothing. This happens to both trans and cis ladies alike!

A regular woman in her thirties like me has to keep a discrete look, I wouldn’t go out with someone whose style and choice of clothing would make me feel a little bit embarrassed in public places.

Clothing and style are quite a big deal within the trans community worldwide, and it’s heartbreaking to see beautiful transgender ladies who get deliberately misgendered in public or treated badly (read bullied slash ridiculed) because of their poor, tasteless choice of clothing.

Unless you don’t care, the more out of the ordinary you look, the more eyes are going to set on you, and that’s when misgendering happens.

My advice would be to dress accordingly. Many, many transgender women go (badly) over the top with accessories and clothing, or dress like a petite 14-year-old teenage girl when they are 6’2” tall and a large build.

Big, tall ladies can be pretty too if they pick the right clothes for their body shape and size. Find out what looks best for your anatomy. There are plenty of fashion tips on sites like Pinterest and youtube where you can get ideas from.

As per personal hygiene. This is a big must. Personally, I am turned off by girls who don’t keep themselves well. It’s a personal preference, and I’m sure it’s the preference of a lot of people in the western world, too!

So, to recap: Dress according to your age, body shape, and size. Keep a good personal hygiene and good breath at all times! Avoid drinking alcohol,  and smoking during your date. Apart from looking awful, it gives you bad breath and most women don’t like to go out with someone who drinks, does drugs or smokes.

2. Be a little mysterious

But don’t go over the top either. While it’s true that no one likes a doormat, no one likes someone who ignores you for days on end either.  Being a little mysterious is not going to hurt. Play hard to get a little bit.  Get them interested in you, get them to chase you around a little. Trust me on this.

I understand that finding true love is a big deal in the transgender community, specially for straight transgender women who have to deal with fetishists and perverted men on a regular basis. However, because they want to fall in love so desperately they often blow it when they find the right match because they came off too strong or overly exited.

You need to like yourself, be comfortable with yourself. That will give you confidence. To get a confidence boost, try socializing outside social media more often. Joining an art workgroup, or a course on something are great ways to get you socializing with peers that have things in common with you other than your gender identity.

3. Be Genuine

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist in order to be interesting, well maybe a little. Just kidding.

While it is true that a lot of us are attracted to intelligent people, you don’t have to impress a woman in order to get her to like you. Just be genuine, even if you are the most monotonous, boring person in the whole world. So, to recap, if all you do is to draw pictures of snails on your sketchbook, you can still cause a great impression and make girl melt with the right delivery and body language. Be genuine.

 

4. Look interested, look in the eyes, but don’t stare.

When you are talking to your date, try to show yourself relaxed and warm. Look in the eyes, smile, show yourself human, vulnerable, let your soul be seen by your date.

DO NOT STARE.

Let me say it again: DO..NOT..STARE..

Staring can come across as mega creepy.
Also, try to show some confidence when you speak. there’s nothing more disappointing that someone who feels uneasy during a date. If you do feel nervous, which happens to all of us when the date is promising, just say it. Be honest about it, it’s endearing.

5. Don’t friendzone yourself unless you want a friendship.

Most people who complain about being consistently friendzoned by their potential dates are usually doing it themselves.

Yes, Seriously!

While there’s no magic recipe for seducing everyone you want, if you are getting friendzoned too often, it probably has nothing to do with your looks, your hygiene or your social status (although, like I said above, good breath, nice posture, nice clothes and accessories and a good attitude help) It probably has to do with the way you are introducing yourself, and how you are approaching your date.

Different cultures react differently to certain things, but as a rule of thumb, if you have a romantic interest in a girl, you better start flirting with her from day one or you’re only sending a very confusing signal that will only get you friendzoned if you are lucky.

Even if you are bad at flirting, just let your date know clearly what your intentions are. If you find yourself unable to talk during the date, write a note before you go.

6. When to move for the kiss?

This one is a toughie. I would advise you to try simple things like holding your date’s hands, stroking their skin, test the waters. If your date takes the hand away or feels rather uncomfortable, do not go for the kiss. Test the waters. Always test the waters.

 

Have you gone on dates as trans or are you going out on a date soon? I would love to hear about your experiences!! Tell me your stories in the comments section below!

By Ellie Hope
Ellie on Facebook and Twitter 

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Sense8 Finale is coming back to Netflix After Cancellation

Lana Wachowski has confirmed the return of the show for a 2-hour special finale

After getting canceled by Netflix, shortly after the release of its second season, Sense8 is now getting a last-minute stay of execution in the form of a two-hour special. It will air in 2018, as by its creator Lana Wachowski on the show’s Facebook page:

The facebook post received hundreds of thousands of likes and reactions as well as shares

It is believed that, despite the overwhelming amount of viewers that the TV show had received, the production cost was amongst one of the highest in the world, estimated at $9 million dollars per episode, which may have contributed to the cancelation.

However, at this point, and paraphrasing Lana, it seems like nothing’s been said and there’s a big chance we might see more sense8 in the future.

 

By Ellie Van Leeuwen for Girl Things (@elliehopeauthor on Twitter & Facebook)

Are Trans Lesbians Real Lesbians?

I came across a meme on the internet that read: “Trans lesbians are lesbians, get over it.” 

Copyright (C) 2017 / Pixabay

Are trans lesbians real lesbians? Seems like a no-brainer, but it’s a bit more complicated than that.

What is a real lesbian anyway?

Without falling into a game of semantics, we can all agree that a lesbian is a woman who is exclusively attracted to other women. Right?

There is no easy way to approach this topic, but as a transsexual lesbian, this is what I think, and I welcome everybody to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Gender identity, just like sexuality, doesn’t develop overnight. It’s a lengthy process for the most part so, naturally, there will be people who know they are women inside, who are legitimately attracted to other women, independently of the way they look, and this is basically what being a lesbian means.

It doesn’t mean that other lesbians will perceive you socially as a lesbian, it only means that you believe that you ARE one.

The disagreement stems from the socially-perceived image of what a woman should be and, the most discriminatory one: How a woman should look like. 

The most radical lesbians have some high standards for what makes a woman a real woman, and therefore a lesbian woman, a real lesbian woman.

There are lots and lots of discriminatory standards, but the most common ones are:

  1. Real lesbians should have XX chromosomes
  2. Transgender lesbians should be passable if they want to be taken seriously
  3. Transgender lesbians should do a “full transition” (which is strictly referring to performing a vaginoplasty)

The problem with these three statements is that they don’t stand to logic, or any rational thinking, for that matter.

Now, to debunk some myths:

The chromosome excuse always struck me as some kind of half-bothered attempt at trying to exclude transsexual women from womanhood in a rather uninformed and childish way. As a neurobiology student, I can confirm (with tangible evidence) that the gender of humans is determined by a small region in the nervous system, which has nothing to do with whatever set of chromosomes you were born with.

Some people heard about the myth that all women are XX and all men are XY without knowing very well what a chromosome pair is and what does it do. I, in turn, know what a nervous system is and how it works.

The passing excuse is a bit far fetched and discriminatory on itself. Every time I hear this argument I think to myself: Who sets the standard?

 

When it comes to anatomy, I know a lot of cisgender women who are much taller, wider and masculine-looking than myself. Would you say that, for example, a super pretty woman like Taylor Swift is trans just because she’s taller than me? Probably not.

Would you say that Ellen Degeneres is trans because her voice pitch is lower than mine? or that Hope Solo is trans because she’s bigger and stronger than me?

So who sets the standard?

 

The surgical reconstruction of genitals is not ideal. This reconstruction is known, in the transgender world, as GRS or SRS, which stand for Gender Reassignment Surgery or Sex Reassignment Surgery, respectively.

These procedures do not convert masculine genitals into female genitals. These procedures eliminate the testicles, reduces the size of the urethra and converts the penis gland into some kind of clitoris, where in most cases, for all intents and purposes, works like a working vagina.

But transsexual women who perform any of these surgical procedures on themselves are not getting working female genitals. Science still has to come a long way until some major breakthrough in these procedures provides transsexual individuals with a working uterus and ovaries. Transsexual women who perform an SRS/GRS still need to shoot themselves with estradiol shots since their main organ for producing a sex hormone is gone, and they have no ovaries to produce oestrogen naturally in large quantities.

My advice, as a psychologist, and as a somewhat-experienced transexual woman, would be to simply wait. Upon doubt, just wait. We don’t know if, within five or ten years time, a fully working reproductive system will be a reality. Don’t settle for something you may not absolutely need when you can wait for better options. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you are incomplete because you don’t want or cannot get surgery in your private areas.

So if no vaginoplasty is required to obtain your woman card, no anatomy can determine what your gender is, and chromosomes are proven to determine sex but not gender, then who can tell, apart from yourself, what a real lesbian is?

If you consider yourself a woman, independently of your biology, and you are sexually and/or romantically attracted to other women, independently of their biology, then you are probably a lesbian, but then again, the decision is exclusively yours.

 

By Ellie Hope (@elliehopeauthor on Facebook/Twitter

 

 

Semantics and Half: How to Come Out?

The power of the choice of words, and some things to consider

Coming out is hard. On that, we all agree.

Everybody that has struggled with their sexuality or their gender orientation knows about it. Families, relatives and friends of LGBTQ people, on the other hand, also struggle with the subject, to whether confirm or disprove their suspicions.

While I cannot tell people what to do, I can try to show people how to see for themselves what their options are, and most importantly, how to take the right decision.

Before I start dabbling into this riddle of semantics, let me quickly explain the basics of sociology: Everyday life.

We are social people.

We live in a world that we share with other people. We connect and interact with them daily. The world was time and space before we even existed, and it will continue to be present after we die.

This unquestionable truth is what we call reality.

In our daily lives, we synchronise our internal sense of time with the that of reality. We can tell, for example, when something is taking longer or faster than usual based on our ability to contrast experiences with the new data that we receive as we go about our business.

This is when the other unquestionable truth comes to mind: Things take time.

Coming out of the closet is no different. From the first time we questioned aspects of our identity or sexuality to the moment that we finally came out of the closet, there had been several steps in between or there should have been. In short: It did not happen simultaneously.

The problem to some people begins when they have accumulated lots of information about LGBTQ issues during their journey, and they want to compress years of thoughts, research and experience, into a small family conversation. It is impossible to do. If you manage to, though, let me know how.

I am not going to say that by following a sensible approach you will succeed because there are families and friends who will refuse to listen regardless. You can, however, pave the way and prepare them to listen.

Just think for a moment about the disparity in knowledge between you and someone who knows nothing about LGBTQ issues. Think about the amount of knowledge that you would have to impart on them before you even discuss coming out.

Some peers and relatives —rare, wonderful creatures— have so much empathy and selfless love that they care without needing to research or understand. If that is your case, consider yourself very lucky.

However, testing the waters and imparting a bit of knowledge in the form of raising awareness on LGBTQ issues, a little at a time, won’t hurt anybody.

To recap:

  • Remember that it took you a while to learn about LGBTQ issues.
  • Remember how your thought processing used to be before you became an advocate.
  • Speak to your peers and friends in a language that they can understand.

I know a lot of people who were openly homophobic before they came out. In fact, there are some studies about that, which suggest that homophobes are potential closet homosexuals themselves.

Let’s not get into that just now, though. Let us just remember that our parents and friends might have the best intentions, but they lack the background information, and will naturally not be in touch with what you’re saying. That doesn’t make them bad people. They are just human.

 

By Ellie Hope (@elliehopeauthor on facebook/twitter)  

 

The Concept of “dead-naming” is No Bueno

In my almost 5 years of transition, I have seen and heard the term “deadname” quite frequently, and honestly, it makes me wonder what are they really trying to say.

I remember, during my first years in the school of Philosophy, in University, how we talked about who we really are and What Are We. It sounded confusing at first, but it all made sense as classes went on.

Basically, our lecturer was saying that we are subject to many changes, but they can be divided into two categories: Accidental Changes and Substantial Changes.

Basically, when we talk about Accidental changes –assuming we apply this concept to humankind– we are talking about the changes a person goes through, from the moment they are born, until the moment that they die. For instance, I went from child to teen, from short to long hair, from short to tall, etcetera. You get the point. These changes, even including changing your socially-perceived gender, are not substantial changes but accidental changes instead.

Substantial changes are a bit simpler to understand since they only happen twice in a lifetime. First Substantial change occurs at the moment you were born. The second one; when you die. You either exist, in whichever form you want, or you don’t exist as a human being anymore.

What is “Deadnaming” and why “old name” is a much better term

To those who are not familiar with the term deadnaming, often used by many transgender people (whether they are non-binary, genderfluid, male-to-female or female-to-male transgender people) it basically means the name they had prior to their transition, the name assigned by their parents, guardians or tutors when they were born.

The term doesn’t make much sense, since these people are still pretty much alive, and they’re the same person they were before their transition.

Ok, some might argue that transition brings a lot of behavioural (psychological) and physical changes and they feel like a whole new person. Poetry aside, however, they are still the same person.

Why? Because most transgender people who transitioned have one thing in common: They struggled with gender identity issues most part of their lives. Living under their old socially-perceived gender was not their true gender to begin with!

Most people who transitioned as adults waited for social conditions in their community to be somewhat apropriate. That was their window, and they came out of the closet. When the conditions were right, they did it. Whether they think they should have waited or not later on, they did what they thought was right with the knowledge and the tools that they had at the time.

In a nutshell: Their old social gender was their cover, and their new gender is their true identity.

So these people had been on a lifetime journey to discovering their true identities but this in no way means that they were born again, or died.

The problem with terms like deadnaming is that the word itself, compound noun (in the case of deadname), contains the word death, and people would naturally turn it into a much bigger deal than it really is. Don’t get me wrong. It is really nice when people get the names and the pronouns right, but accidents and stubbornness will happen.

So instead of saying “Please stop deadnaming me.” saying “please stop using my old name.” Will cause more of a positive impact in the lives of people, most of whom would be more likely to respect and understand what you are going through.

There is a blurry boundary between expression and identity, and terms, that strike people outside community as exaggerated or dramatic, might cause some confusion.

In a world where we are trying to build bridges between the LGBTQ community and the rest of our societies, these terms may be causing more harm than good.

 

By Ellen Hope Crowe (@elliehopeauthor) 
ellie@girlthings.net

 

 

Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning Prison Sentence

The White House says that Manning is one of 209 inmates whose sentences Obama is shortening.

Chelsea Manning / Uncredited / AP

According to experts, commutations and pardons cannot be undone by Donald Trump after he is sworn in Friday as the nation’s 45th president.

Manning is set to be freed from Fort Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas in five months, on May 17 of this year, rather than in 2045, The New York Times reports.

Her lawyers said in her nearly seven years behind bars, she had already served the longest sentence of anyone convicted of leaking secrets in United States history.

Many of the mainstream media reports included a detail irrelevant to her imprisonment: her former first name, given at birth. The military reluctantly agreed to adopt her chosen first name, Chelsea, in her medical records, although an Army doctor refused to change her gender marker.

What about Edward Snowden?

A White House spokesman told reporters there was a “pretty stark difference” between Manning’s plea for mercy and Snowden’s, noting what he called “some important differences.”

“Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing,” Earnest said. “Mr. Snowden fled into the arms of an adversary, and has sought refuge in a country that most recently made a concerted effort to undermine confidence in our democracy.”

 

 

Whose Line Star Defends Transgender Daughter from Haters on Twitter

And his comeback was fabulous..

Comedian Colin Mochrie revealed that he and his wife, Deb McGrath, have a transgender daughter when he went on twitter to defend LGBTQ rights.

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The “Whose Line Is It Anyway” star revealed that he’s the father of a transgender girl when  he questioned people who can’t accept transgender people.

“My 90-yr-old mother-in-law and 87-yr-old mother love and acceptance of our trans daughter warms me. Wonder why some who are younger can’t,” Mochrie tweeted.

“The negative is that my mom refers to the community as BLT. It’s a learning curve.”

Mochrie hasn’t spoken publicly about his daughter, but he and McGrath performed in May at an event to fund the Welcome Friend Association’s Rainbow Camp, a one-week camp for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer questioning, and allied (LGBTQA) youth that “honors creativity, individual choice, and social justice while having fun.”

L’ORÉAL PARIS ANNOUNCE FIRST TRANSGENDER SPOKESPERSON

L’Oréal Paris announced their first transgender spokesperson.

The French-based cosmetics giant has chosen a transgender woman as a spokesperson.

American transgender model, Hari Nef, has been chosen as the new spokeswoman for the brand.

Viewers of Transparent will recognise Nef as the actress who plays Gittel. She also made waves as the first transgender woman to front a major commercial magazine in the UK when she graced the cover of ELLE.

Props to L’Oréal!

 

Times are changing <3