The Demand For Transgendered Prostitutes

My neighborhood in DC, in addition to being home to some new condos, is the traditional epicenter of transgendered prostitution in the nation’s capital:

At 2:30 a.m. the girls own the strip, K between Third and Seventh: escorts such as Staci, plus the $150-an-hour diva prostitutes and the homeless-and-hungry hookers who’ll jump in cars at a red light for spare change — all transgender or transsexual, male to female. They’re trailed by bashful “straight” boy groupies and older men who can’t quite transcend drag queendom, never mind pass with the aggressive elegance of Staci, who seven years ago was a chunky teenage boy from Alexandria sitting on that electric box at Sixth, watching the ladies walk K Street like a runway.

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At that time Staci’s 5-year-old niece needed money for school. Her first client was a Howard University employee, she says, and she spent 20 minutes with him for $200 and everything started to fall into place.

Some people in my building get really huffy about this, which I never really understand. But the other thing I don’t really understand is just that the supply of potential service providers seems a bit strangely high. Is the demand for this particular thing really so high? Even in the Internet age, when there should be less need than ever for paid sex transactions to happen on the streetcorner?