Reading the thread about TIMs taking over ABTF subreadit has inspired me to tell my own story of how TIMs behave in bra stores.
I have owned a lingerie store for over 20 years. We have always had a very open policy to helping men who wanted to wear women's lingerie as long as they were respectful and followed our rules ie: no men trying on lingerie with only one salesperson on the floor. I taught my staff to be no more than professional when helping men buy lingerie for themselves, to be very careful and not to react to anything they said except with indifference. We never knew if men were trying to live out some sexual fantasy when shopping with us, where they get off on our shock or their humiliation, so never to feed into that.
Over the last decade or so we have had less and less of those types of encounters and more and more requests from TIMs for bra fittings. It took me years to realize how much more abusive and taxing the requests from "trans women" were than from our previous male customers. At least before I knew what to be aware of and I could ban someone from the store for their behaviour. With TIMs I always feel like I am walking on eggshells. Like if I don't treat these encounters exactly like how they believe I treat my female customers that I (and my business) could suffer repercussions.
Fitting TIMs made me realize that, no, transwomen are not women. I have never been treated the way TIMs treat me in a fitting by women. TIMs are unbelievably picky when it comes to bras. Women have an understanding that bras are challenging to find the right fit. TIMs demand that I find them bras that make their chest look like it is on a different body. Even when I find them the bra that fits, makes their chest look how they want it to look and is the exact type of lace and cut they want they do not buy it. Less then 10% of my encounters with TIMs have resulted in sales and most of these fittings are upwards of an hour long (taking me away from my other customers and work. Meanwhile, when I fit women and developing girls, 95% of those fittings result in a sale. TIMs are super demanding and high maintenance. They require you to stroke their egos and tell you how great they look in bras that I know they are not going to buy anyway. They complain that implants isn't covered by the government, meanwhile I have to pay if I want to reduce my very very large natural breasts. I find it funny how people who claim to be persecuted women have the exact same attitude of entitlement of white rich men.
About 3 years ago I had an experience with a TIM that made me change my mind about how I feel about "trans women". At first I didn't realize that he was a man. He was asking me what I he could wear with a strapless dress. I told him we had some great strapless bras.
"Oh no" he said "my breasts are way too big for a strapless bra."
"I know in the past there haven't been good options for strapless bras but now there are great options even for busty women. I have performed dance recitals in this one." I pointed to a bra that I works great for even my 38HH sized breasts.
"My breasts are much bigger than yours. It may work for you and I wish I could wear it but it won't work they are very heavy" he replied. I looked at him, he looked like a 34G which is 5 sizes smaller than me and tried to assure him (all the while thinking he was a woman) that he could wear a strapless bra.
When I got him into the change room and he took off his dress I saw that he didn't have anything that resembled breasts at all. He was completely flat chested. He was wearing a completely hollow bra. This man was trying to dismiss my struggles with my real breasts and finding a bra to fit and support them with his imaginary breasts.
He did end up in buying a bra from us that day. The bra that he had worn in he had bought from us too. At the cash he said to me. "I look so great in this bra. All the men at work always tell me how great my tits look when I wear it."
"I'm so sorry you experienced that" I said "you should report them to HR".
"No, I love it" he said "My tits look great and everybody notices it" Then there was lots of lewd gesturing on his part.
It was a very upsetting interaction. I stayed polite and professional the whole time. But it was infuriating to have my lived experience with my breasts undermined by someone with imaginary breasts.
I didn't peak at this point. But I did decide "No, transwomen are not women".