A plus-size transgender model is calling out transphobic guys who abuse her once they find out her gender identity.
Shay Neary posted on Instagram screenshots of chats she had on dating apps with guys who rejected her after finding out her transgender status.
Some of the messages are pretty abusive, including one guy calling Neary a “freak” and another saying he couldn’t date her because he’s a “heterosexual male”.
On OKCupid he wrote: “Hey, I didn’t see that you were a Transwoman. I’m a Heterosexual male. Please don’t take offense. Be well Shay.”
Another wrote: “Being a freak show is the norm now a days lol that’s what your headline should say”.
Neary also calls out people for fat-shaming her, with one message reading: “You fake as fuck… tried multiple times to hit u up… Put down the food and speak.”
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Neary said: “You’re exposing yourself, making yourself vulnerable and telling them your gender status when it’s such an awkward conversation to have.
“It shouldn’t be necessary. We should be more comfortable with gender as a society.”
Neary added that when she is rejected for being trans she feels like her gender is being denied, “as if we’re walking penises and vaginas”.
The model lives in New York City and works a day job as well as modelling.
She says: “I give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to comfort… I’m willing to be more open to take things slow.
“If they’re not comfortable with where I’m at in my transition, that’s OK. If they still want to know me on a deeper level, that’s OK.”
Neary said she used to use PlentyOfFish to date online, but that her profile was repeatedly deleted because she is transgender.
She uses OKCupid now and says she asks “Do you know I’m trans”, rather than what she used to ask “Did you read my page”, in order to avoid abusive conversations.
“It’s just about how it’s addressed. If someone is just genuinely no interested but educated on the topic, that’s OK,’ she said.
“There has to be a level of respect. If you can say, “I was attracted to this person but I understand they’re trans and I’m not really interested,” that’s OK.”
Neary earlier this year opened up about body positivity and shared an important message that everyone needs to hear.
She made history when she modelled for New York retailer Coverstory in December, and has since come to the UK.
The 28-year-old, who lives in New York, has since modelled for plus-size fashion label Yours Clothing’s spring and summer lines.