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Manchester, United Kingdom
Hello, I'm Aimee a young t-something from the UK. This blog charts my exploration of certain things that are of interest to me, most notably exploring my femininity and my interest in BDSM and all that fun stuff. Please enjoy my blog and let me know any thoughts and comments you have.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

transgenderfriends.com

I seem to have been doing ad-hoc reviews for some tg website the last couple of posts so I thought I'd do another one today. Just to come clean, I must confess that the reason I have been joining so many personal sits of late is to get a link to my blog out there (is that bad?) but it is an interesting experience.

Earlier this week I was looking at Gaydar, probably one of the most well known personal sites for people with alternative sexualities. These sites (because there are two different sites for guys and girls) are great. They're colourful, bold and have a great range of people. While they're are bonus features for members there is still a great amount accessible to free users.

The major problem however, from my perspective, is that it isn't very tgirl friendly. On both sites you only have the option of listing yourself as a woman or as a man and not the other or anything in between. I can understand that, because they probably don't want "bi guys" mailing bisexual woman who are on the site looking for other woman or visa versa. I totally understand why this has been done. However, it does mean that transgendered girls miss out on this wonderful main stream community and are often relegate sadly to fetish sites. It was the search for a main stream tg site that led me to transgenderfriends.com.

Now the blurb on the front page starts out well, telling us that this is a site for "transsexual personals, transvestites dating, transgenders and shemale." before further down asking "Do you wish to meet up with a transvestite, transexuals or shemales? We offer a full range of features that will make your search a pleasure?" This is where I think the site gets a bit confused as to what it's trying to be. Is it a site for tgs to find other tgs or for admirers to go tranny chasing?

Now I apologise to anyone associated with the site if this condemnation seems a bit harsh, but I will explain what informed this question. After a very commendable section of the front page about 'Who are Transvestites and Shemales' (again I'll avoid semantics here)There is a 'Search now!' option.

The options it gives you are I am/we are then male or cd/tv/ts. Now I don't mean here that there are four options. I mean that you can either say you are male, or you can say you are cd/tv/ts.

Now firstly that is quite a range clumped together there. I still do not know the difference between cd and tv but I know they are different to ts. It would be better having separate options for cd and tv (someone who dresses for fun), transgender (someone who sees themselves as being more female) and transsexual (someone who is diagnosed or in some process of grs). Not only would this give a distinction between different kinds of people using the site but would allow people to specify what they are looking for or how they describe themselves.

And the second problem with the "I am" button is there are no woman.

Now it is true that there are many more men looking for tgs then woman but they're are females out there and there are many tgs looking for woman. I also know from my experience on sites such as tvchix that many post-ops prefer to term themselves as 'women' and would not appreciate being defined as a cd/tv/ts when they have a vagina.

It raises the question; who is this website for?

More insight is given if you do join as the first page you get is a lady who looks suspiciously like a drag queen (feather boa, big hair, ball gown) saying "Come inside and share your darkest desires."

Once again I would like to congratulate the site for trying to impart understanding about transgendered people on its first page but this is one step forward, two steps back almost. Now for some people dressing and admiring is a sexy forbidden pleasure, however for many this is a stereotype that they wish to avoid. Now, is this site promoting itself as a fetish site, an adult site or a transgendered personal site? I really think the people running it need to decide one way or another because they're are some very confused signal.

Now I understand that the makers are probably trying to appeal to a broad church, get in the admirers, get in the fetishist and get in one or two transsexuals but I think it is possible to do this without resorting to the lowest common denominator.
My advice would be this, firstly to open up the options to differentiate between cd, tg and ts, throw some women in there as well as men and then you are truly opening up your audience. Now I know that many men find the thought of going with a t-girl homoerotic and that many people get turned on by dressing up and acting like a slut, but I feel these people will come to your site anyway without you having to specifically target them.

I do not wish to knock this site or see it taken down. It looks very nice (although I think they should have some more free options such as being able to see full sized pictures at least as a free user and not just thumb nails) and the UK's tg community needs sites like this however aim high, aim for the classy market and see what comes. I bet you membership will increase tenfold if you can get a good following of classy tg's to join up because frankly I'm afraid, at the moment I can see why some people may be put off.

3 comments:

Nick said...

Hi, I jumped across from the HA board. If you want to put up a few photos there, click on "Post Reply." Then scroll down to "Additional Options". Click on the "Manage Attachments" button. Use the window that opens to browse & upload your photos. When you're finished close that window & "Submit Reply". Hope that helps!

Nick said...

I hope you don't mind Aimee, but since you said you wanted to put some photos up on the HA board, I've done that with one from the front page of your website - actually I've linked to it at HA using the [img] BB code - and I've embedded it inside a hyperlink (using the [url] piece of code) so that anyone clicking on your photo at HA will come straight across and visit your blog.

Again, I do hope you don't mind, but since you said you wanted to get some photos up, and it might get you a little traffic to your blog, I thought I'd go ahead make that post at HA. Btw - it's a a lovely photo. (See link.)

Aimee Piper said...

Nick! thank you for your comment and help and of course i don't mind you reposting my pic on HA, in fact i'm very greatful! thank you! i'll deffinatly try and add some more. xx