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Fat, Femme & Flourishing on Grindr

Toyota Corona
Photography: Shawn Rowe

The era of masc-for-mascara is upon us.

I've always been that fat bitch. But before I started transitioning, I was also an outcast on Grindr.

Being fat, femme, unconfident and underappreciated, I'd get more guys telling me to lose weight and kill myself than asking me to hook up. Like damn bitch, I just asked how your day was going! So I deleted the app and began the process of becoming the beautiful, proud and sexual woman I am today while also taking a break from floating torsos who only made me feel bad.

After some time focusing on myself and my transition, I decided on a drunken whim to re-download the app. And when I woke up from my Fireball-infused haze, I was shocked to see how many messages I had received. Guys from all over the country were in my inbox telling me how beautiful I was and how badly they wanted to have sex with me.

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My curves and femininity had become my best assets and led me that same day to hooking up with a hot dude in his pristine downtown condo--a dude who never would've touched or contacted me if I wasn't trans. Through Grindr, I immediately began to have dozens of hot random sexual encounters with guys who loved my body, tits and genitals--the three things I used to hate about myself the most.

What a difference months of hormone therapy and a good push-up bra makes, am I right?

Before this Grindr revelation, I had been using Tinder exclusively to meet men because I naively thought Grindr was just for gay cisgender men who wanted other men like them. But twink, was I wrong. I get so many gay guys who've convinced themselves that they're gold- or platinum-level whatevers because they've never been with a woman, but once we hook up they realize that tits are a universal language.

There's power in femme sexuality that is missing in gay hook-up culture, and trans women are here to fill this gap--or gape. And while I used to only fuck straight-identifying guys, it's so much more satisfying to have sex with someone who knows how to operate a dick other than their own.

Through Grindr, I realized there's so much more than just gay masc-for-masc sexuality; many of these bros I've met even want to be more femme than me. The first guy that asked me if I wanted him to be my "sissy," I was like, "Yeah, girl we're all sisters," but then he explained that he wanted me to dress him up and put him in makeup.

His profile pic was him shirtless in the gym locker room, but he wanted the pantyhose and heels--all of it. I said my makeup was too expensive to give away for free (which is a lie because CVS foundation is pretty affordable) and told him to bark up another t-girl's tree. But similar messages kept coming. I realized that many guys felt comfortable expressing their repressed femininity to a trans girl and were in a way "coming out of the closet" in terms of revealing this unspoken side of themselves.

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For some guys I've met, this is just a kink. They want me to dominate them as they parade around "like a girl," which is something I'm not here for--I'm not trying to perpetuate femme submissiveness. But there's another type of guy I've met that truly wants to embrace their femininity with someone they feel won't judge them for it. And considering Grindr, even down to the logo, is aggressively masculine, I feel it's my duty to femme it up, which has in turn helped me help others do the same.

Recently, I met up with Greg, who's name I've changed, and helped him pick out some makeup and order his first pair of heels. He sent me pics all dolled up (he looked a mess) and I could see a much happier, more honest smile behind his eyes. We haven't fucked yet, but I'm looking forward to scissoring the hell out of her when we do finally meet.

And while I am getting my life, it's not all sunshine and (clothes from) Rainbows, however. I still have ignorant dudes that call me an ugly tranny (nothing I haven't said to myself in the mirror) or say that I shouldn't be on this app. But for every hater, there's some muscle daddy with mommy issues waiting to suck on my nipples. I've been praised and lusted after, but I've also been shit on--literally. Luckily, gay and bi dudes know more about douching than their straight counterparts, thanks to Pure for Men fiber supplements.

Related | Keep Your Friends Close & Your Enemas Closer

I've been fat-shamed, but I've also been with guys strong enough to throw my fat ass around the bed. And with every year that passes, I feel like we are inching closer to a more queer-inclusive community and Grindr seems to be stepping up its game in terms of queer, trans and gender non-conforming representation.

Today, I use Tinder as a backup when the well appears to be drying, but on many nights shy away because I'm really not looking for another conversation about finance over crappy artisanal tacos. I want to be where the gay dudes are, and through Grindr help others to embrace the power of femininity and to judge people by how good they are in bed, not by what they look like. This has changed my life.

The era of masc-for-mascara is upon us and while we all can appreciate a nice masculine jock with a big pink dick, there is still room for us to love brown, fat, and feminine bodies, as well. Personally, I've been able to straddle the worlds of both men and women, so I can confidently say there are so many good things that can happen when men embrace their inner goddess. I will forever happily spread the word, spread the legs and open the minds of dudes who felt scared to feel girly, just so they can finally feel like a full person.

While Grindr was once a scary and lonely place for me, ever since I became the woman I always wished I could be, it has transformed into a source of knowledge, acceptance and pleasure for me and many others. I've been pushed to believe even more than ever that we must all work together to normalize femininity and learn that sexy comes in all gender expressions--even on a hook-up app.

This week, OUT will be looking back at Grindr's 8-year legacy since the gay hook-up app first launched on March 25, 2009. Through a series of stories and images, we'll investigate where we came from to know where we're going.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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