The key word is “anecdotally”. What I said is the reflection of what I have been told by some trans women that I know. I think the location has to be factored in. There are a number of out lesbians here; “here” being Palm Springs and the surrounding area. Perhaps they are a bit more selective in general. I don’t know if anyone can say definitively. But, the fact remains that the trans women have been rejected as soon as they revealed their status. Further, the women who explained their situation to me were not masculine looking trans women (term only used for description, not judgement) and had affirmation surgeries. We must also consider that some lesbians are put off by the sight of a hot dog, so to me that could suggest that trans women may still be viewed as men.
Obviously this is all speculation as neither of us have sufficient data points for anything that could be remotely considered statistically valid. It is also the kind of thing where the possibilities of formal research are pretty unlikely.
As far as trans women developing romantic relationships with other trans women, perhaps it would parallel Jewish lesbians seeking other Jewish lesbians. The relationship is built on a degree of commonality of information and experiences. I had a good friend here, who has since passed away, and I realized that the foundation of our friendship was the fact that we were contemporaries. While we may interpret an event differently, we were working with the same information and experiences (such as Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan show, Neil Armstrong’s moon walk, the assassinations of the Kennedy’s and Dr. King, etc.). In other words, the history didn’t need to be explained in order to talk about it. For trans women, it might seem a bit strange to talk about dilation exercises with a cisgender woman, compared to another trans women.
Regarding relationships between trans women and cisgender males, I always wonder about the role of the novelty effect. The indicator would seem to be if there are long term relationships or not. From my observation, I suspect that there are not many.
Anyway, these are all quite complicated situations and, in my opinion, not likely to be unraveled any time soon…