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The Guy-lemma

Another thoughtful post from the heartbeat of Kandi's Land!

By Amanda J.

I sometimes write posts several months before I send them to Kandi and they languish in a Word document waiting their turn, some unfinished and others complete but not ready for publication because I don’t think I’ve quite nailed down the issue I’m discussing.  One or two sit there unpublished for no other reason than I fear the comments section filling up with declarations of ‘you’re on your own with that one ‘Mand’!  Think of it as something akin to going on a two mile naked run every night at midnight – it’s probably very liberating, perhaps even exhilarating, good for the circulation but the sort of thing that could destroy your reputation in an instant if you admitted to it when in the company of others!  And, before anyone asks, I am definitely not speaking from experience on this one!

The whole issue of attention from guys falls into that particular category as far as I am concerned because as soon as the subject is discussed, it’s very easy to be in the murky waters up to your neck if you admit to anything other than abject disgust about the whole thing.   But then Trish posted a photo of her dancing with a guy and Gwen regaled us with an account of being asked for, and obliging with, a kiss and both of them lived to tell the tale with their dignities intact.  And given that I have next to no dignity to start with, what have I got to lose even if it all goes horribly wrong?!!

So with that out of the way, let’s do a deep dive into the murky waters and look at the thorny issue of attention from guys.

Now that in itself could cause a lot of confusion on a site like this because of the chromosomal composition of the contributors here, despite appearances to the contrary!  So guys in this context means guys who identify as guys and whose interest in all things trans is as a spectator, not a participant.  I also want to stress that I’m writing this from the perspective of a heterosexual male who feels the need to cross the gender divide from time to time and some of what I write won’t be relevant to those further along the trans spectrum than I am.

So let’s begin.  We probably all have, or have had, our social media platform of choice.   I’m no longer active on social media but when I was, mine was Flickr but other places like TVChix, URNotAlone, YouTube, Facebook/ Instagram etc. also have their fans and, on all of them, there’s a common thread – we go all out to present the best possible view of ourselves.  When posting photos or videos, we take a lot of care to post those which we hope make us look attractive – nice clothes, hair & makeup on point and, as far as is possible, any hint of what lies underneath hidden from prying eyes.  Even when I’m having some personal Amanda-time, I want to look in the mirror and like what I see.  I actually find doing ‘ugly bloke in a dress’ very easy but would rather spend an hour or two to achieve a rather more appealing outcome!

Of course, heterosexual guys are experts in what makes a woman attractive, at least from their point of view, and I’m no exception.  I could list what I find attractive in a woman but there’s really no need – just go to the ‘contributors’ page, scroll down to the floozy in the yellow dress and that’s it in a nutshell.  So, putting on my self-obsessed & delusional tart hat for a minute or two, if I look at that photo and like what I see, it’s reasonable to suppose that others may have a similar reaction.

Each social media platform has its own modus operandi but on Flickr, the general pattern is you post a picture and (hopefully) people see it and leave a comment telling you how nice you look.  We get that warm and fuzzy feeling as ‘Zoe’ tells us how gorgeous we look, ‘Lucy’ compliments us on our outfit choice and when ‘Natasha’ (who, as her exotic name suggests, will look drop dead gorgeous) tells us we look sexy, our emotions go off the scale!

But what’s this?  ‘Peter’ has just left a comment telling us how beautiful we are?  Aaaargh, no.  Hasn’t he read my bio that says ‘ABSOLUTELY NO MEN’?  Probably not, actually.  He was probably too busy gazing at the goddess in the photo (end of delusional bit)!

And that is the paradox – why do we gratefully accept compliments from other girls but recoil in horror if they come from a guy?  Because, shock horror, under the surface, ‘Zoe’, ‘Lucy’, ‘Natasha’ and the rest of us share an awful lot more in common with Peter than we’d like anyone to believe.  In fact in our normal lives, you’d be hard pressed to tell us apart, either from what we look like or from our personalities and opinions on the fairer sex.

There’s a straightforward answer, of course, and that’s that a girl to girl compliment is very different to a guy to girl compliment.  But is that really valid in this context, firstly in the light of the ‘provenance’ of the girls of whom we talk and secondly because, if we’re giving a girl to girl compliment, we’re usually applying the same standards of attractiveness as we do in our ‘normal’ lives.  In general, men are programmed to find women attractive – the survival of our species depends on it – and it does not depend on what they (men) happen to be wearing at the time!  We may have dual personas but we have only one personality and it is that personality that drives the compliment not the persona we happen to be adopting at the time.

Now, I warned about murky waters at the outset and I already feel the tide rising around me so let’s stop and regroup for a moment.  I’m not for one moment suggesting that to pay a compliment to another trans girl is an indication of any form of sexual motive or anything like that.  I’m just saying that we don’t stop finding women attractive just because we’re either dressed as one or are identifying as our female persona at that particular moment.

Of course, there’s an unwritten convention on these sites that a girl to girl compliment is absolutely fine, notwithstanding the fact that both the girl giving the compliment and the girl receiving it have chromosomes of the ‘XY’ persuasion.   Getting a compliment about how nice we look is an amazing boost to our ego so why do we lap it up if it’s from a girl but recoil in horror if it’s from a guy?

Of course, the obvious answer is that many of the guys who hang around trans forums are total sleasebags!  They assume that all they have to do is to display a photo of their ‘manhood’ and every single member of the trans community will be begging them for more.  They seem to think that women only exist to satisfy the needs of men and they are often members of groups with titles that leave no doubt as to their deplorable attitude to women.  I could go on but I’m sure you get the picture.

But ‘many guys’ does not mean ‘all guys’.  It does not even mean ‘the majority of guys’ and it would be nice to think that the aforementioned deplorables are, overall, in the minority despite them being a widespread problem.  So what about the rest?  There are many guys who, for innocent reasons, are interested in the trans scene.  We refer to them as ‘admirers’ or ‘tranny chasers’ with all the connotations that those epithets carry but do they really deserve that sort of moniker when their only ‘crime’ is to find us attractive and perhaps dare to tell us that we look nice?  We don’t look down on guys who find women with a certain hair colour, or from particular races or with a specific clothing style attractive so why should those who find transwomen attractive, particularly given the amount of effort we put in to our presentation, be treated differently?

So the question is – how should we react if the aforementioned ‘Peter’ looks at our photo and tells us that we look nice?

And that’s the dilemma – or guylemma as I think we should call it!

First off, many girls put ‘no guys’ in their social media bios and I was no exception.  That’s all very well but there are a couple of problems.  Firstly reading the bio is not something many do before commenting on a photo.  If someone looks interesting, we may wish to see what they have to say about themself but we don’t check every time to ensure that we fit their preferred profile to leave a comment.  And then, let’s face it, being told that we’re attractive is the best validation of our feminine status that we can hope for, particularly if it comes from the gender that, had things been different with our birth, we would probably be looking at as husband material (to be clear, I’m talking about the male gender in general, not specifically those members of it who lurk on trans themed websites)!  And any girl who posts a photo of herself accompanied by a guy will often be rewarded with a deluge of comments expressing a little envy and/or saying what a lovely couple they make.

And, as I continue to feel the murky waters rising up around me, I’ll make a few confessions about myself.  The first is that I, like many CDers, have on occasion wondered what it would be like to go on a date or be the wife in a heterosexual relationship.  It’s not something I would ever contemplate doing for a number of reasons, the main one being that I’m married, closely followed by a total lack of interest in any romantic liaison with a guy.  But seeing myself dressed in a way that (a) I find attractive and (b) I would have hoped that any woman male me took on a date would have dressed is a powerful emotional image.

The second confession is that when I was active on Flickr, I received compliments on photos I posted and messages from guys and I agonised over what to do about them.  I place a great value on ‘Amanda’s’ interactions with others and have a personal belief that if someone has taken the trouble to reach out, it’s only polite to reply.  As far as other girls are concerned, I only failed to do that twice, both times because I felt that they’d strayed into territory that I was uncomfortable with.  But with messages from guys – and I received several very nice ones – it was a different story but one that I agonised over.

And the third confession is that, to all intents and purposes, I have been one of those guys.  I may have had a history of crossdressing but while I was still respecting the terms of the promise to cease & desist that I made to my wife in 2014, I was active on trans sites and paying girls compliments.  Nowadays, the few photos that I post here leave no doubt as to which side of the road I walk on but, whilst I had had a history of CDing, at that time I was not actively doing it.  I could say that that history and calling myself ‘Amanda’ were sufficient to prove that I was in the girl camp but would others view it that way?  In fact several did not and blocked me as a result.  And that also raises the question of how many guys adopt a feminine name in an attempt to gain immunity from accusation as a chaser/admirer?

The fact of the matter is that guys have nowhere to hide.  We may pay a girl a compliment for no other reason than we think that she is absolutely beautiful (despite being a guy underneath and not because of it) but we can always hide behind the implied innocence of the girl to girl dynamic.  Guys have no such protection and so any comment immediately arouses suspicion.  In many cases, that suspicion is justified but not always and the unfortunate thing is that, as far as they are concerned, we often don’t differentiate.  And sadly, no matter how heartfelt their compliment was, they never received a reply from me.

And when I say ‘sadly’, I mean it.  I would have loved to have felt comfortable thanking them for taking the trouble to leave a comment.  I would have loved to have told them that reading what they wrote really made my day.  I would have loved to have had the opportunity to have a friendly discussion about trans issues with someone who was genuinely interested but had a different perspective to mine.  But I didn’t because from my point of view, it’s wholly inappropriate to interact with anyone who displays even the slightest hint of attraction when I am in a marriage which has already endured for over three decades.  And that’s before we add the gender role reversal into the mix.  In guy mode, I wouldn’t dream of engaging on online discussion about her looks and lifestyle with a woman so why should things be any different when the roles are reversed?

But the whole thing is really a sad indictment of this whole issue.  Any guy who dares to tell us that he appreciates what we do is automatically tarred with the same brush as the reprehensibles who think that our life won’t be complete until we’ve experienced a photo or two of them in all their glory. And how are those same guys who do show us the respect we crave as females often rewarded?    With labels like ‘tranny chaser’ or ‘admirer’.  We could coin a new term for those guys who are interested in the trans scene and who show respect but never overstep the mark but it’d only be a matter of time before it became synonymous with all of the other less than complimentary terms in use.

So guys, if you’re still reading, you’re destined to stay misunderstood and sidelined as a result.  It’s not easy living on the trans spectrum and what we choose to post & share with the world is often only a tiny part of our lives – lives that are often complex due to the need to manage our two sides in a way that doesn’t hurt others.   But show us the respect that you would want to be shown in return and you can be assured that the compliments you give and messages you send will be appreciated and will quite possibly make our day, even if we don’t feel able to acknowledge them and thank you personally. 


13 Responses

  1. Amanda:
    I so enjoy and can relate to this article! You have certainly brought to light any number of issues I have experienced as a CD in the social media world. As Kris I strive for an image I find attractive in hopes others will too. When complimented by a person presenting as female I am flattered and feel great, am happy to acknowledge my gratitude and often check out their page and images – many have become friends. However if a person presenting as male does the same I react with skepticism -what are his motives? I imagine most GGs feel the same. Yet, in truth both groups are males – with the only difference being how one is presenting at the moment.
    Personally, I am OK with that. I have come to accept and indeed enjoy the duality that CDing brings, even encourages. I revel in the ability to be able to, at least on some small level, the male/female attraction dynamic from both sides, and hope it makes me a more respectful person as well.

    1. Kris, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

      It’s a weird situation all round, isn’t it? As I put in the post, when I had promised to quit and was in a five year period with next to no CDing, I was quite active on Flickr and sometimes those I interacted with in some way – either by following, ‘faveing’ a photo or leaving a comment – blocked me. In some respects, it was quite distressing at the time – something akin to rejection from a community I desperately wanted to be a part of – I felt my activity was legitimate because I was a CDer at heart, if not in practice but, of course, they saw me as a guy, plain and simple.

      I also think that we do have to accept that we place a high emphasis on attractiveness – a look down the photos on the contributors list here is proof of that – and that can set us apart in an age when most women tend to dress down for most of the time. So it’s somewhat ironic that many go out and out to project the most attractive image of themselves that they can and then complain when others compliment their efforts!

      I guess my biggest lament was that when guys contacted me, and there weren’t that many, they made no effort to understand my back story; it was just about either them or the photo. But as you rightly say, I guess GGs have to contend with that on a continual basis.

  2. Amanda,
    Thank you for providing the world with another thoughtful post. A great read which makes us all think.

    My social media experience is minimal except for Kandi’s Land and YouTube. All the other platforms (if that is the correct term) are foreign to me. I have never had a Flickr account but I have viewed a few of the photos of nice CD/TG women who have class. I can’t leave complimentary comments because I don’t have an account.

    But I do leave comments on Kandi’s site (duh, obviously).

    I created a YouTube account a few years ago and posted many videos of Jocelyn walking around town while wearing a variety of outfits. I expected comments and received some. I would guess over 90% of the comments I got were from men (defined so because of the name they used). The comments were very nice and I always replied with thanks. Occasionally there was a back and forth of friendly banter. As a woman I felt no unease, just two people being kind to each other.

    But there were two men who took the exchange way to far. There was no disgusting, deviate comments about their manhood, but a genuine proposal of marriage. Who knows what their motive was. I responded that I live with my partner and I will definitely not accept their offer.

    People come with all sorts of expectations. I believe we have to reach out to all “Commentors” and show our appreciation. If they go too far, then action has to be taken. But for the vast majority of exchanges it is very enjoyable.


    1. Jocelyn, thank you as always for sharing your thoughts and for your friendship & support.

      I guess many men jump to the conclusion that if we post photos or videos online, we must be (a) ‘up for it’ and (b) wanting the attention. The idea that it’s just a vehicle for us to live a side of our lives which we must otherwise keep hidden probably never enters their head!

      Most of the guy comments I just laugh off – in particular the one I received on Reddit asking whether I’d like to trade photos of myself for photos of my correspondent’s wife! But the two I referred to in the post that were from other trans girls were more disturbing. I’d struck up a sort of friendship with both; one was very much finding her feet in the trans world and we exchanged several messages until she outright stated that she was attracted to me. The other one was from someone I’d already decided was a bit of a weirdo and many comments sailed close to the wind but when, in a private message, she started talking about being in bed with me, enough was enough! In both cases, they’d breached the girl-girl code that we all live by – we can’t stop thinking that a particular person is attractive just because we know they’re a guy underneath but, to occupy the women’s world, we have to behave like women!

      I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t enjoy knowing that my feminine presentation was deemed worthy of attention from guys, let’s face it, it’s the biggest compliment we can get, and in many respects, it’s sad that the antics of a few deplorables have tarred the reputations of those who want to play a part in our community but on a different basis to the part we play. But, in the end, we have to ask ourselves where things would lead if we did engage with those who pay compliments and I think we all realise that we could be in deep water fairly quickly.

  3. Amanda,
    A quick comment on your statement , ” Mand you’re alone with this !” Please don’t feel you are ever alone ( you have my Email if you really need to talk ) .

    So what about the guys ? Perhaps I could start by recalling a recent incident . I took a coach trip to join a canal boat accompnied by a full roast dinner , I thought I was sitting alone but an older guy had bought a ticket next to me . We chatted for most of the time on the journey and when we reached the boat he guided me to my seat and then sat next to me . After the meal he offered to pay for my drink of wine and then and then chatted most of the journey back . During the return he handed me his phone number , so the I had a dilemma should I return the compliment ? I did in the hope it would be like most others in that we would never hear afterwards . I should add he was 90 and had a 61 year old girlfriend who was on holiday in Turkey at the time . A couple of weeks later the phone rang , it was him inviting me out to sunday lunch at his local pub , thankfully I made the excuse as I was seeing my mother for Sunday lunch .

    Like you I have no interest in dating men but evenso should I be flattered ? There is no way I can join him on any date , I know my reasons are different from a GG being asked but at the same time how would a GG feel when she knew he could be two timing her , in my head I’m having to think in both genders in dealing with it .

    While we debate the possibilites of ever finding a female partner I’ve also been hit on by a possible lesbian at my art group , while I’m not attracted to her it still raises questions about our real gender and our assumed gender . It certainly throws the question of ” passing ” wide open .

    I don’t subscibe to any social media sites but I hve encountered ” tranny chasers ” in my social groups , I’m afraid some use dressing as a cover but you soon get to read them , the obvious answer is you’re either inclined that way or you’re not , personally I’m not .

    I see the real problem arises when a male undergoes full surgery , he may move from a heterosexual situation to one where the question arises over who do you form a new relationship with ? Some may stay in a relationship so there’s the possibility of questioning the sexual preferences of their partner . It’s one reason why I know it’s not right for me , I don’t want a relationship with a man so what would it make me if I did transition ?

    I realise much of your thoughts are based on social media experiences , I saw so much of this on another forum , they can cause deep distress at time , the simple answer is unsubscribe , how much do you really need them . The other lesson we must learn is how safe is it to submit photos ? I knew I took a huge gamble as most forums are seen by a Worldwide audience , as far as I know it hasn’t caused any harm . It doesn’t matter so much to me now as I’m out to the World as Teresa , what people think isn’t my problem , the simple answer to that is , ” no one is perfect !”

    Also a quick comment on discussing trans related issues to some guys , some are genuine , we must consider they could be suffering more than we did . I experienced this at my opticians when a young sales guy came out to me after I’d asked for female frames , he was so grateful to discover he wasn’t alone .

    1. Teresa, thank you for your kind words and hand of friendship. The ‘you’re on your own with that one ‘Mand’’ was a joke acknowledging that sometimes we plough into issues that absolutely no one else agrees with and an acknowledgement that as soon as we step into the murky world of guy attraction, we may well find ourselves out on the proverbial limb, particularly if we admit that, whilst we may rant and rave on the surface, deep down we’re rather flattered by it! Guilty as charged!

      And having emerged unscathed from both the post and the first three comments, I’ll admit that I probably did appreciate the male attention more than I was prepared to admit. Again, at the risk of prompting a chorus of ‘you’re on your own with that one’, I do feel there’s a big emotional conflict here, at least as far as I am concerned. As I put in the post, I have often allowed my mind to wonder what it would be like to be wined and dined by a guy and yet the idea, in practical terms, does not interest me in the slightest. I can categorically state that I’ve never been in any way attracted to a guy, and as I’ve realised that my CDing goes perhaps a little further than just recreational CDing, it’s an aspect that I’ve taken far more notice of. In the end, I think it’s a case of detaching myself from the woman in the mirror and imagining who she, as a separate entity, would be dating.

      You asked how much I need social media – not at all these days although I do miss it from time to time in idle moments. You’re right about the risks of posting photos and whilst, like you, I have posted a few here, I have a personal rule not to post any taken inside my house, primarily in case I was careless and another family member saw them and made the connection but also, remote though the chance is, if someone who knows me as ‘him’ saw them.

      I guess the biggest issue here, though, is the question of what, emotionally, does the guy want. ‘Crushes’ aren’t the sole preserve of teenagers and what starts as innocent ‘banter’, for want of a better word, can soon move in a direction that we don’t want. We can joke about chasers and say that if they want to play with fire, they should expect to get burned but I’d never want to think that I’d caused anyone emotional upset by inadvertently leading them on.

      A murky world indeed!

  4. Amanda,
    Obviously I can’t mention names but I have a trans friend who played with fire more than once and sadly paid a high price and needed to spend time in a secure institute . She’s OK now , she realises what might be light banter to some is something much deeper in others . She’s also on hormones and often preaches about the benefits to me but I’m not convinced as they do appear to have clouded her sexual preferences .

    1. Teresa, it’s obvious that too many people look at transition, particularly medical/surgical transition, through rose tinted spectacles. In some respects, it’s difficult not to as there are any number of people happy to show off what it’s done for them. But the reality is that hormones are only an effective therapy for gender dysphoria, they will not resolve all of the other issues in life and, in fact, can exacerbate them.

      The whole question of sexual preference/transition could filll many posts on its own and I’m certainly not qualified to deliver that particular one! The stock opinion is that hormones don’t change sexual preference but there are plenty of examples of heterosexual guys transitioning and becoming heterosexual females. Whether that means that the stock opinion is wrong in general, whether, in the specific cases that it has happened, it points to a latent, but hidden preference which the hormones somehow awakened or whether it’s just a case of post transition TGs experimenting with what society generally treats as the norm (something like I’m now a woman so I’m going to see what being with a man is like’) and not finding it unpleasant – who knows?

      It’s sad when it all goes wrong but I’m glad your friend is OK.

      1. Amanda ,
        From the trans friends I know I soon realised hormones affected them differently , I’ve already mentioned one and I admit she does have a few problems but she is still a good friend and pleasant company . Another had problems with brittle bones and had her T blockers removed , her dysphoria problems went off the scale almost becoming suicidal , despite all those problems it didn’t affect her sexual preferences , again she is an incedible person being knowledgeable in so many fields , and a great friend .

        At least you are honest by saying you’re no expert , the fact is very few can claim to be experts as we are all inividuals with our own little quirks . I have to take the medical profession to task on this whole issue as we are the source of their information , we are as expert as they are because we live it , their opinions are based on second hand knowledge derived from transgender people so all they can offer are guidelines to help us find ourselves . Most of the answers are in our own heads sometimes that isn’t obvious , we don’t always see the wood for the trees .

  5. Hi Amanda,
    Another well written and thought provoking post from one of my fav people. I honestly don’t know how you do it but I’m so glad you do. I’m not sure where to start especially after my name was thrown in the mix, lol. I have and do correspond with a few men on Facebook. I think most of what I do is because of how I feel deep inside when I’m Trish. Please keep in mind this is coming from me as my wife and I celebrated our 48th anniversary yesterday.
    I have told all the girls I’ve helped and am helping find themselves this story. When I started going out fully dressed as a female I was in my late teens. Vancouver was the closest big city to me so that’s where I went. Back then there was no internet so as far as I knew I was the only CD on the planet. Back then, as I finally discovered, I had no problem passing as a female. However, like most of us on our first few times out, if someone even looked at me I thought I’d been made. It was extremely nerve wracking especially because back then the acceptance we enjoy today was not there then. I believe it was on my third excursion to the coast that I was walking around down town Vancouver and was waiting to cross an intersection when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to see a young man looking at me and he said “I think you’re very pretty and I would really like to get to know you. Would you like to have a coffee with me and maybe we can get to know each other better?” I smiled at him and just said “I’m sorry but I don’t think my boyfriend would appreciate that but thank you for asking”. That was the last time I worried about being clocked. That guy, as you put it Amanda, made this girls day and changed how I felt about myself forever. As well as how I felt about men while presenting as Trish.
    I totally agree with you that there are a lot of ‘sleaze bag men’ cruising the various internet sites, but I have also made some good male friends on the media platforms I am on, Flickr and Facebook. Actually one of them is a countryman of yours. He lives in Birmingham. In one of our exchanges I told him one of the people I worked with was from there and for helping him out a few times he bought me a Birmingham City football jersey. He knew I was going to Diva Las Vegas so asked me if I could take the jersey with me and send him some pics of me wearing it. So I said sure, as long as You send them to the football club, I want to be their poster girl, lol. I will talk to a lot of the men that contact me and I’m straight up with all of them that I’m happily married and if they’re just wanting a friend fine but if it starts to be something else or if they send obscene pics they will immediately be blocked. And so far it has worked well for me.
    Trish I find needs males and females to confirm her femininity. I need the girls to confirm that I’m presenting my self properly and in good taste but the men’s looks and sometimes more, like the guy who asked me 3 times to dance and who finally just pulled me by the arm to the dance floor to get there, I need to have my femininity confirmed. So there you are Amanda your article has made me open up my sole for all to see. Take care girl and don’t take too long to post your next one.

    Trish 💖🥰

    1. Trish, thank you for taking the time to comment. And, in all honesty, I don’t know where it comes from either. English language and literature were, let’s just say, not exactly my strongest subjects at school and I have the mediocre GCE grades to prove it! Possibly it was all buried so deep within the inner woman that it could only be unleashed when she was?!!

      But if you really want to see the person to whom praise is due, look in the mirror! This is not the first time I’ve read one of your comments in awe with the thought that it should be a post in its own right. Oh, and congratulations on the 48th, that’s an amazing achievement and I hope that you and Mrs Trish have many more happy years together.

      Where to I begin on your wonderful insight? I guess, taking an overall view, it evidences a level of self-acceptance that eludes many of us. We may have long since given up the fight to embrace who we are but still lack the confidence to venture too far from the security of the gender divide and its doorway (or is it a worm hole?!) back into our ‘normal’ life. It’s interesting that you say that Trish needs males and females and I suspect that’s true for many of us although few would admit to it. As I said in other responses above, I had some interest shown in me by men, most of which I laughed off – the guy who wanted to trade photos of his wife and the one who wrote ‘this is really random but are you into guys? I’m 23 and quite handsome’ being particularly notable examples of the genre! – but one or two emotionally touched me to the degree that it left me feeling guilty that I did not respond.

      And I guess that, all in all, this just highlights the difference between men and women. In my corporate days, a female colleague who sat opposite me had a bit of a savaging at the hairdresser’s – not to put too fine a point on it, it looked terrible, she was devastated and the only positive thing I could have said to her was ‘don’t worry, it’ll soon grow out’ – brutally honest but I decided that discretion was the best option and kept my mouth closed. All day long, a procession of other women from the office passed her desk and were gushing in their praise of the new style! In the end, a woman to woman compliment has to be thought through and planned; a man to woman compliment, if it happens, is generally spontaneous and far more reliable as a result! The conundrum, of course, is when the compliment comes from one of us and trying to decide which side of our personality has actually delivered it!

      And regarding your final sentence, I already have several in the works but I’ll also bat that one back to you as yours are absolute gems!

  6. Amanda,

    A lot of valuable insights in your post on what can at times be a very confusing topic.

    I have a Flickr page for a number of reasons. One is because having come out to the public fairly recently (May 2022) it’s my way of announcing to the world “Hey look, Fiona’s here!”. Another is to stay in touch with CD friends I may not get to see very often. And lastly, I like to get input from other CD’s which helps validate my efforts at presenting as a woman and also frankly because I like to receive compliments. Most males typically don’t get a lot of compliments on their appearance and to receive them now, while presenting as a woman, does wonders for one’s confidence and self-esteem. It feels good!

    I have the standard “No guys” disclaimer on my page but I believe very few ever read it. As a result I have blocked innumerable men (and a few raunchy CD’s) who insist on showing me their dangly bits. So far every single male trying to contact or follow me are of the reprehensible variety. And even if/when one of the nice ones you described were to leave me a comment, I may or may not respond. I don’t feel the need respond to every single comment anyone (even CD sisters) leaves me, some I do, some I do not. If I did respond to Mr. Nice Guy, it would be with just a polite “thank you”, nothing more. Polite but negative responses are also how I handle getting comments or attention from men in public. My replies are a “no thank you, I’m not interested” or I point to my left hand where I wear my wedding band and a (fake) diamond engagement ring and say that I’m married.

    So I have zero interest in males but love to interact with males dressed as women. Seems contradictory right? My rationale is best phrased by quoting a comment made by a CD friend – “I love the female form, no matter who presents it”. Yes, most MTF trans ladies do have the aforementioned dangly bits but, if they have truly accepted who they actually are and luxuriate in their femininity, they are not typical males. Of course they are not female either but are a wonderful mix of the two and are the type of person I enjoy interacting with, dangly bits and all.

    I enjoy reading your articles Amanda, they always make me think.


    1. Fiona, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      One thing I noticed on Flickr, apart from the sleasebags, was another type of guy who went overboard with the compliments but always stayed well within the boundaries of decency and, in all honesty, never put a foot wrong. In many respects, I found these more problematic than the sleasebags. I used to check out every single person that followed me on Flickr and anyone who had photos of their ‘thingy’ on show or was a member of groups with titles like ‘**** my wife’ would be quickly blocked, not that I think it troubled them. I’ll never criticise a guy for enjoying photos of naked women, either genetic or trans, but these guys went way beyond that and in the end just evidenced a deplorable attitude to women, an attitude I want nothing to do with.

      But the respectful guys were more problematic because there really was no basis to block them but I often wondered what their motives really were. Were they just a different facet of our community, appreciating what we do but not directly participating or were they hoping for a deeper friendship? I have to say that I liked Trish’s approach on her comment above which sets out the ground rules at the outset but human emotions are unpredictable and I’d hate to think that I was inadvertently leading someone on.

      And I think you and Trish should write a joint post about all of the variations and nuances in our wonderful community – you could call it ‘Not Just Black & White’ (sorry, I’ve been dying to use that one for ages!!!)

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