When I first realized that I was a Transgender woman, I was living in Brisbane. To be honest, I was so confused about my gender that dating men was one of the last things on my mind.
If you talk to almost any Transgender woman, she will tell you that the realization you are a T-girl comes in stages. A bit like the actual transition to living as a woman full time.
Trans girls also tend to have the required gender confirmation surgeries step by step too. Sometimes this is due to financial constraints but also, if you think about, so many operations are a lot for the body to accept all at once.
When I first realized that I was a Transgender woman, I was living in Brisbane.
My family emigrated to Brisbane when I was 9 and I thoroughly enjoy living in Brisbane. A nice city with all the amenities you need, a lovely waterfront and great weather.
In my late teens I knew there was something different about me, but wasn't sure what. Whenever I had the chance I'd dress up in women's clothes and, over time, perfected a very feminine look. I could pass quite easily for a young woman. In fact, when I was in my early 20's and had a place of my own, I often went out as a female, spending time shopping and dining out. Yet, I hadn't heard of the term Transgender woman so thought being gender fluid was part of me and a phase I was going through.
I think part of my confusion arose because, that at that time, I didn't want to date men. Maybe this was because I was unsure of my sexuality. Or maybe because Brisbane isn't the biggest of cities and I was worried I might end up meeting someone I knew!
So, I ended up doing what of Transgender woman who are learning about themselves do. I started going to a meeting group for cross dressers. This was held either once per week or once per fortnight in a venue only known to members.
You have to remember that pre-internet and the enlightenment which resulted about Transgender, non-binary and even gay people, Australian society was generally very conservative. This was especially so in Brisbane which had acquired a reputation as a very parochial type of city. The city administration was known to frown upon anyone who was different, either by gender, sexuality or ethnicity.
The cross-dressing group I went to contained an eclectic mix of people. Fetish cross dressers and some men who liked to dress as women part-time. There were some others who were fledgling Transgender women like me but still didn't appreciate the fact. And, of course, T-girl admirers.
Some members were heterosexual. Some denied being gay but would have sex with another man when dressed as a woman. Others only liked to have sex with women whether dressed as a man or a woman. And, others like me, we're not sure. The admirers, who later became to be known as Tranny chasers, would have sex with anyone who offered.
Again, as many Transgender women do, I outgrew the cross-dressing group. Partly as they tended to do the same sort of thing every meeting. They were also very secretive and none of them dared to go out when dressed. And, partly, as I knew by then that I was not a cross-dresser: I was a T-girl.
I grew my hair long, only bought female clothes and started spending all of my spare time outside of work presenting as a female. Brisbane had evolved and the city was becoming less conservative. Although still far behind Sydney when it came to being anything to do with a liberal.
My plan was now clear: I had to transition and live full time as a woman. I was keen to find someone to date but my experiences with the cross-dresser meeting group made me quite wary. I knew there were all sorts of people under the "T umbrella" and felt I needed to be sure that any person I met was genuine and had a good understanding of T-girls. This is very important as sometimes we don't understand ourselves.