Bermudas and Breakdowns

A few weeks ago an incident occurred which really made me think about my assumptions about “passing” and what it really means. My wife and I were on the way back from visiting relatives when our car began to lose power and buck wildly. I managed to get the car off the highway and into a nearby garage, but I was concerned with more than our vehicle. As usual for me, I was dressed more or less en femme. I was wearing a pair of acid washed, distressed Bermuda shorts, a cute red top, and my pink Converse sneakers. I had just shaved my legs. My nails were done up in pink, and I had all of my rings on, as well as some new bracelets I had picked up earlier that day at a flea market.

I was seriously worried about how the men at the garage would react to my appearance. I mean, I dressed like this everyday with the loving support of my family and colleagues at work, but not only were these men strangers but they were mechanics and as such, notoriously “manly” men. As we walked into the garage’s office, I had visions of heckling or worse, but I decided I would just have to tough it out. I tried to be as confident and assured of my femininity as I could without being exaggerated or “in your face.” I simply acted like, as a woman, this was how I was supposed to dress. And it worked! There were no rude comments from the mechanics, actually no comments of any kind. They even called me “ma’am”, as they tried to help us.

As it turned out, our car couldn’t be fixed right then, and we had to call for a truck to tow us home. We ended up having to wait over three hours for the truck, and we spent a sizeable chunk of that time at a nearby fast food restaurant. There I had the same experience as at the garage. I was totally sure of being a woman, and the fast food workers simply accepted me as such. I even joked easily with them as I repeatedly ordered drinks and such during our extended stay. Later when the tow truck finally came I wondered how the driver would react to me, but by that point I had lost all my concern and inhibitions. Just like all the other “normal” people I had encountered so far, the driver simply treated me like any one else. Actually, he was more concerned with getting our car where we were going as fast as possible to care about my Bermuda shorts.

So what’s the moral of the story? I don’t want to get all preachy, but it seems to me that when I faced my fears of discovery and derision, and simply acted like what I am (and was dressed as)– a beautiful woman– that’s how the people I met responded to me. I still fall prey to my fears sometimes, but this experience has given me a tremendous amount of confidence in myself and others. I hope your car breaks down sometime while you’re wearing Bermuda shorts.

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Simone

is a crossdresser from Philadelphia. She has only been active for about 6 months, but has never been happier. She really enjoys indulging her feminine side, and dresses every day to some degree, even at work. She loves being a girl.
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  1. Profile photo of ...
    ... 8 months ago

    Actually I wasn’t wearing shorts of any kind – it was a skirt and blouse and the engine simply died. The driver paid me no mind even when I had to show him my AAA card with my male name on it.

    Like you I have seen that, generally, people see what they expect to see and most won’t look deeper. Those who do can be easily thrown off guard with a simple smile and go about your business attitude.

  2. Profile photo of Karyn Lobelia
    Karyn Lobelia 8 months ago

    I had a somewhat similar experience in wearing white Bermuda shorts in Florida . I had my nails and toenails done in French nails and was wearing light makeup and lipgloss and a white halter top in Daytona . My wife ask me to drive over to the mini market to get a few groceries we need for a party at our beach house on the ocean as she was preparing a dinner for several of our friends . Normally I do not drive if we are going together but this time I was going for just a short quick run . Unfortunately I made a wrong turn on red and was pulled over by an officer . When he saw my license which was in the wallet of my handbag , he paused and then I got a little nervous because I still had male on it he started asking me what I felt were personal questions . Of course because I was wearing a diamond tennis braclet and long silver hoop ear rings it was OVS that I was dressed in femme especially in my wedge sandals with and silver ankle braclet . He actually ask me if I had. sex change and what had I had done OMG I felt flush and was so nervous that I just told him that I was feminine and wore feminine clothes : He ask me to get out of the car and then ask me to turn around from for him , which I did in a sort of little quarter twist and said was that OK . . Well I was shocked that he ask me were those my real breast OMG I was about to tremble but just decided to answer all questions honestly and politely . Yes I said they are all mind and would he mind less personal questions as I felt honestly nervous . Of course my halter top with no bra made it obvious that I had female breast after 18 months on hormones and and I really was a little aware that cars going by were looking at us and I felt like I was exposed to public display . Luckily another police car arrived with a female officer . She was kind and ask me as I was very nervous if I was on any drugs , I started crying and told her I was just very feminine and was embarrassed by the other officers questions and could I please get some sort of ticket and go . She told me to calm down and get on the passenger back side in my car . She talked to the first officer he left and then she got in my back seat . At this point I was starting to cry and she told me to calm down again and put her hand on my face and told me he had left and everything was ok . I started to say something and she told me not to worry and ask to hear my story or experience . She was kind and told me that she could boot comment about him , but that there was to be no ticket and that she was sorry I experienced such personal questions . I politely thanked her and ask if I had done anything wrong . She simply said that I looked like an attractive lady and he used that as an excuse because of my license ! She said she simply told him I had a right to dress however I wanted the questions he ask about me were un professional . She told me she was leaving and very nicely suggested that i freshen up my lipstick and makeup before I left as I had been crying s little . I told her I wanted to kiss her , but simply said goodbye and went to finish my shopping : I was keenly aware of how embarrassing situations can arise and how lucky I was that she stopped . I also somehow was very very aware of my breast and instead of not looking at other shoppers became aware that I was now a young lady and started feeling empowered that I could be who I was without being nervous . . She told me that she knew what I experienced and that simply in the future to ask what the charge was and if none was given to simply say AM I FREE TO GO – if none was given . The experience now made me more confident and of course I had a wonderful story to tell my friends that night at the party about the mostly rude questions from the no do nice male officer and the other lovely kind female officer who was a real professional and treated me in a lovingly gentle way after I was so upset . After a couple of glasses of wine I could laugh about the exprience but never about her precious kindness . You always need to find something to be great up about

    • Profile photo of Simone Author
      Simone 8 months ago

      Karyn,
      Your experience with the police is my nightmare when I drive. I am always doubly careful to obey all traffic laws when I do so, but the anxiety takes a lot of the fun out of the driving experience. I am sure most male officers would react the way the policeman you met did. Just read some of the stories in Patrick Califia’s “Sex changes”. (Sorry, I’m a librarian. Books are part of my life.)

  3. Janet 8 months ago

    I’ve gone out as Janet many times after dark completely EnFemme. I enjoy being a woman driver. I love seeing my long polished nails (always red) on the wheel and check my makeup and lipstick in the mirror often. I’ll stop and get out for a short stroll and love feeling my dress or skirt brush against my nylons and hear my high heels clicking as I practice my womanly walk. I’ve never had an issue and hope I never do.
    I enjoyed your story and like hearing how much girls like me can enjoy themselves as females

  4. Profile photo of skippy1965(Cynthia)
    skippy1965(Cynthia) 8 months ago

    Hmmmmmm…I gotta get myself some of hose Bermuda shorts!! 🙂
    Seriously, though, I too have found your point valid-the reality is rarely as scary as my pre-journey fears! IT is that thought which will get me safely through the SCC TG conference this fall!

  5. Profile photo of Janine
    Janine 8 months ago

    I am in complete agreement with you about being the person who you are dressed should be.
    As long as you look like a woman and act like you are one, I have found that when you get in a situation that is unforseen ordinary people will treat you as such.
    It always makes me feel feminine when someone calls me ma’am because I know that all the time that it took me to transform myself into a passable looking female was worth it.
    I haven’t had a experience like you did with your car problem but I’ve been addressed as ma’am at stores when I am buying something and can’t use self service checkout.
    Thanks for the story. I know that it raised your confidence in yourself as to the way that you looked and were treated
    I hope that you will write more about your experiences while you are dressed as a woman
    I enjoyed your story and look forward to hearing more from you.

  6. Profile photo of Kayla Jameson
    Kayla Jameson 8 months ago

    Very encouraging story. Thanks.

  7. Profile photo of Captain Sally Sparrow (The Corsair)

    I was thinking you meant that you “hope” others have a car breakdown not literally but in the same way as the theatrical “break a leg.”

    Cheers.

  8. Profile photo of JaneS
    JaneS 8 months ago

    Simone your story is another example that most people in the world just take others as they are. We tend to be far more fearful of imagined reactions and thus create in our minds scenarios that just don’t happen.

    Thank you for sharing an encouraging tale, though I hope the breakdown part doesn’t affect too many of us. 😉

  9. Profile photo of Abbie
    Abbie 8 months ago

    Thanks Hunny

  10. Profile photo of Cookie JessicaLynn (Irish)

    What you have just told so eloquently is something that I have been preaching since arriving in our community. Be confident in who you are….and smile.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

  11. Profile photo of Dot (Donna B)
    Dot (Donna B) 8 months ago

    Nice story. I’ve wondered what would happen. I sometimes go for coffee driving using a drive through after midnight. Or what would happen if had car accident. Hope it would go as well. Congratulations on your nice trip.

    Hugs

    • Janet 8 months ago

      I’ve gone out as Janet many times after dark completely EnFemme. I enjoy being a woman driver. I love seeing my long polished nails (always red) on the wheel and check my makeup and lipstick in the mirror often. I’ll stop and get out for a short stroll and love feeling my dress or skirt brush against my nylons and hear my high heels clicking as I practice my womanly walk. I’ve never had an issue and hope I never do.
      I enjoyed your story and like hearing how much girls like me can enjoy themselves as females

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