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T-girls enjoy growing acceptance in today's society

Your mind is like a parachute - it works best when it is open

by Shelby DeSouza

  Shelby DeSouza
 

Shelby DeSouza.

The number of heterosexual men who admit to a curiosity about or preference for T-Girls (transsexuals, transvestites, she-males, etc.), has grown significantly and quite steadily in the last few years, due mostly to increased media and internet exposure, as well as a growing acceptance among mainstream culture.

Shows such as "Jerry Springer" and "Ricky Lake", as well as the introduction of the world wide web, allowed for a huge amount of information on the subject to be available to a large number of people, which in turn led to more people, particularly straight men, becoming interested in knowing more.

In fact, based on internet and street surveys conducted in Toronto during the years going back to about 1998, the percentage of ‘straight males’ 18+ with an interest in, or a past experience with a T-Girl, went from being the minority (30-40%) to the very large majority (70% +). Other information would also indicate that this is a worldwide trend, with the most general acceptance coming from North America and some countries in Europe.

It seems that straight men, young and old, from all walks of life , ethnic and cultural backgrounds, just seem to be fascinated with T-Girls and that ‘something extra’ they offer.

And contrary to what some men mistakenly believe, attraction to T-Girls does not mean that they might be gay, since the attraction is to femininity. In fact, there are very few homosexual males who are attracted to transsexuals in a sexual way. This is because most gay men are attracted to masculinity, which is the complete opposite of what most T-Girls aspire to be, which explains why so many straight men find overtly feminine T-Girls so attractive.

Now, despite this growing social acceptance, there is still a degree of confusion among most people as to what different terms referring to transgendered individuals can mean, so in order to better understand what the more common terms are, here are some basic definitions:

T-Girls - general blanket term for all transgendered males. For simplicity, all terms here will refer to males who were born with a fully functioning penis, although females can also be transgendered.

Transvestites - a biological male who derives pleasure from dressing fully in women's clothing, wearing makeup, etc. Being homosexual or heterosexual has nothing to do with it. In fact, a larger percentage of transvestites identify themselves as heterosexual. It is more a matter if identifying with the femininity aspect. This can be sexual in nature, or not.

Cross-dressers - similar to a transvestites, this term usually can mean a biological male who likes to wear, and is aroused by items of female clothing, as opposed to dressing completely. Many heterosexual men, for instance, like to wear female underwear underneath their male clothing when going out. There is a certain degree of daring which can be arousing in itself. More and more, nowadays, straight men are becoming in touch with their feminine side, which doesn't necessarily mean that they wish to become female through surgery, but simply that the feminine symbolism of the clothing arouses them. .

Drag Queens - usually refers to female impersonators / performers who dress in female clothing for performance, more so than for a sexual fetish or arousal. Some performers choose to emulate famous female stars or singers by dressing to look just like them, and lip-syncing to a popular song done by the celebrity. Most drag queens, although not all, are homosexual and can identify with the female perspective.

Transsexuals / She-males - can mean a biological male who chooses to take female hormones and sometimes, have breast implants, while still having a male organ. Due to hormones, this can sometimes mean a degree of impotence in the individual, although this is not the case for all transsexuals.

Pre-Op - simply means a transsexual who has been on hormones, has some breast development due to hormones or breast implants and lives full-time as a female, but has not had any 'bottom surgery', meaning a sex-change (turning the penis into a vagina), but is preparing for it. This is perhaps the fastest growing segment of the transgendered population, since most breast implant procedures have now become affordable to more people with shorter down-time in the hospital. Although, the majority of pre-ops eventually have their complete sex-change, many choose to just have breast implants and keep their penis.

Post-Op - a transsexual who has gone from being born male with male sex organ, to taking hormones and then having complete surgery (top and bottom) and now lives full-time as a female with breasts and a vagina. There is also a certain amount of required psychological and medical counselling to prepare the individual for life as the opposite sex.

Hermaphrodite - perhaps the most misunderstood term in use, when referring to transsexuals. A Hermaphrodite is actually born with both sex organs, sometimes choosing to be either exclusively male or female as they develop during puberty, by taking hormones and adapting to their chosen sexual identity. Hermaphrodites can be heterosexual or homosexual, and can look like any other male or female, from outward appearances, although research on the subject or any statistics are sometimes hard to come by.

So, is this a new trend, or just one that is finally becoming more openly accepted by society?

Well, looking back through the decades, it becomes very apparent, that T-Girls have always held some degree of interest, although many years ago, it was considered acceptable only in a comedic context (e.g. Milton Berle in drag on nightly television, or the 1960s cross-dressing caper, "Some Like It Hot"), and although T-Girls have always been a part of popular culture, through most of the last century, it has only been in the last few years that they are seen as more overtly sexual, as opposed to a source of comedy.

This is reflected in the popular media, which has had more films with respectable T-Girl roles in the last few years. "Transamerica" and "Pricilla: Queen of the Desert" although somewhat comedic, did show a more serious human side to the struggle of the transsexual in society. This respect then bled into real-life when both films received nominations for the lead roles (one for best actress and one for best actor, but its a start).

So as more T-Girls become more comfortable about being themselves, and realize how many heterosexual men. and even some women (straight and lesbian) are attracted to them, it seems possible that in 50 years, a straight male or female dating a transsexual will be as common as an interracial or gay couple. One can only hope that the predjudices held today by some, although decreasing, will become a very small minority in the near future.

About the writer:

Shelby DeSouza

Shelby DeSouza.

Shelby DeSouza is a university-educated aspiring writer in Toronto with a film production and business background, who also works in the Adult Entertainment Industry. Shelby is working to reduce ignorance and educate people about gender preferences and stereotypes through informative writing. After almost 5 years of personal research, including online and street surveys, she has compiled a fair amount of information on the subject.

If you would like to find out more about Shelby or the subject of T-Girls in Today's Society, as well as links to Safe Sex and Fetish websites, check out, LINK or e-mail sable_tv@hotmail.com.

And remember, "Your Mind is like a Parachute; It works Best when its Open."

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