Ever had one of those days where nothing seemed to go right? Your hair frizzed up, your outfit so shocking it could make a teenage girl weep with shame, and your makeup looks like a bad rendition of kindergarten finger painting?
Or perhaps it is something more subtle. A feeling of disquiet, an awkward motion more robotic than feminine, or a strained high pitched sound in place of your usual confident contralto.
That would be a good description of my yesterday. I decided to wear one of my favorite patterned skirts of orange, blue, green and dabs of black and white beneath a plain orange top and unassuming flats. A comfortable outfit for running a few errands around town before spending an idyllic few hours in the park drenched in sunshine.
Passing (or not) when Crossdressed
It started out well – I made small talk with the teller at the bank while depositing a few checks, then I was off to grab a Starbucks. When I opened my mouth the barista at the drive through was clearly shocked. To his credit he recovered quickly with a smile, and we chatted about the beautiful mountains the clear day had made visible. Note to self – more voice feminization practice. Feeling a bit lazy, I decided to go shopping later in the day, and headed to the park.
Were I delusional I would think that the lingering looks from men in the park were all a natural male reaction to a beautiful, tall brunette passing them by. I’m not quite that pretty, and the somewhat confused looks I saw on a few faces betrayed a response of more than just appreciation.
Sometimes when I go out I’m fairly passable, but that on day passing was not in my destiny. As if to confirm this sentiment I exchanged radiant smiles with a few woman in the park. And it only got more fun when I walked into Safeway. The lady giving away free samples forgot her pitch momentarily when she saw me, and to my overwhelming joy and chagrin I was carded by the cashier on the way out. I must confess, there are better experiences in life than producing your male ID while out en femme. The cashier looked a bit befuddled before blessing me with an encouraging smile. Note to self – get your ID photo updated to look more gender neutral.
So, did I fail by not passing?
If you believe every time you fail every time you’re read, then perhaps you would recommend I review my own tips for passing as a woman. Looking back on the day, I went out as Vanessa, I felt great, chatted with a few people and was on the receiving end of many smiles. Everyone I met was pleasant – I even walked past a gaggle of teenage girls without inspiring shrieks of laughter (or even a comment). Perhaps it was my worst day in a while for passing, but I had fun and expressed my true self. In my book that’s a success.
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