Would you be seen with me?
So who is up for a date? It is not really the right question to be asking. It should probably be, who is prepared to be seen out on a date with me?
It takes a very special man to date a transsexual and that is a shame.
Believe me, men love transsexuals but being seen with them is a different story.
When I owned GlamorGirls, supposedly the country's first legal transsexual parlour, the girls did well.
Even some of the boys on the construction site across the road got up the courage to phone and make bookings.
But I had to let them in and out through the back door. I had to sit on the girls not to wink at them or acknowledge them on site.
I knew the owner of a big trucking firm and used to drink with him regularly. Never a client or anything sexual.
He and his drivers were always wonderful to me and I'll never forget them.
His boys doing long haul used to stay in the same motel in South Auckland. I have had five of them as personal clients and some came through the parlour.
None of them knew the others were clients.
I have had clients who were on the dole, CEOs, doctors, lawyers, farmers and wharfies. Believe me, men love transsexuals but it is society's stigma of being seen with one that makes it so hard. Peer pressure.
It is some eight years since I have been in a relationship and I miss the closeness and cuddles. Recently, I meet a really nice guy. Average to good looking, fit, can communicate, we get on.
First date went well, we meet in a bar and I admit I have never felt like this before. He told me he felt the same and so he stayed the night, both of us saying it was never our intention.
Next day we walked hand-in-hand around the viaduct, ate in cafes and drunk in bars. We played pool and he never batted an eye lid. The romance continued.
He has come to my place and stayed the night several times but now I see a problem: he is scared of what his 18-year-old son, middle-aged beer drinking flat mate, former partner and workmates will say.
He says he doesn't care, that he wants us to be friends and has similar feelings for me, but he won't introduce me to his circle. Peer pressure.
Time will tell what will happen between us but he is a special man. It is a hard choice when it's the bigotry of friends that put this pressure on him.
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