Craigslist might be an okay venue to sell an old car or couch, though you may be taking your life in your hands there too; but for a Tgirl to meet someone from craigslist is practically playing Russian roulette. You wouldn’t get all dressed up, pose on the old couch and announce you’re a tranny in your couch ad because it would potentially lead to you getting hurt. The same troglodyte who might assault you as a result of the couch ad illustration is just a couple mouse clicks away from getting enraged by your ad in Casual Encounters. Why on earth would anyone expose themselves to such potential dangers?!
In our minds, there’s an artificial separation between the everyday uses of craigslist and the sections where people go to when they’re feeling frisky, but in the end, it’s all the same wide-open and anonymous system with no barrier to entry. Closeted homophobes looking to prove their manhood to themselves and/or their peers, religious nut-jobs looking to be the instrument of their god’s wrath, law enforcement looking for entrapment targets, thieves, blackmailers, internet scammers on fishing expeditions, along with the serial killers who have found craigslist to be their go-to source for victims. It’s gotten to the point where anything short of the latest craigslist serial killer doesn’t even make the news anymore.
Sure, craigslist is free, though we would assert that with the potential risks incurred within the personal sections, it’s still too expensive, doubly so for the transgendered and their admirers. It’s unfortunate, but even in this day and age, where the LGBT community is making such great strides towards equality, the “T” portion of the community is not gaining the same level of acceptance and respect – still facing far too much open hostility and even violence out on the streets. Anyone, gay, straight, bi, whatever, can do much better than craigslist personals, but for transsexuals or those seeking shemale companionship, relying on Craigslist to find partners can be a downright masochistic misadventure.
We like to think that when we’re out on the internet prowl we have anonymity, and while it’s true that your grand aunt is unlikely to stumble across your online dating activities, if you’re using a dating site that anonymity is an illusion. Don’t be alarmed, this really is a good thing. Most dating sites’ free memberships don’t allow for too much direct communication, requiring you to purchase a premium membership for the site to be a useful means for arranging a date. Payment of the membership fees via a credit card or bank-linked E-payment directly ties each online persona to a real life identity. Under normal circumstances a third party has the data and it’s all kept in confidence, but if something horrible should happen there is now a clear trail that can be followed.
Now someone with nefarious intent can do a number of things to try and get around the system, using stolen cards, spoofing IP addresses and all that, but they usually don’t because it’s a hassle and just adds other risks – besides it’s easier for them to just go on craigslist where their only investment is 30 seconds to set up a dummy email account. Similarly, the random knucklehead who’s had a few too many drinks and is in a punchy mood, or the cruel dick looking to hurt someone’s feelings isn’t going to jump through all the hoops for entry to a premium dating service’s private system.
In a perfect world, everything would be free, everyone would be good to each other, we’d ride around on unicorns, and it would be sunny every day. Until that day comes, spending pennies a day to meet other TS people who also believe it was worth pennies a day to support a safe forum in which to meet – with a traceable trail should something go wrong – seems like the bargain of the century. There’s things to be on guard about with online dating sites too and nothing is perfect, but using a little common sense and reporting anything that seems amiss helps keep your dating community safe and you will find that the site owners respond swiftly to any unwanted behavior on their sites that jeopardizes the security of the membership. You won’t find any of that alongside ads to buy a second-hand area rug!