Crossdressers change the business outcome

The battle for transgender acceptance is like walking uphill in high heels – a tough slog. As transgendered woman we constantly run afoul of social norms and religious ideology. We’ve valiantly tried to tie transgender rights to civil rights, using the law as a tool to drive equality. The transgender law center is one organization that does great work in this area.

Many have advocated for a dual pronged approach – seeking to change not only the law, but also the hearts and minds of it’s citizens. I agree with them – I think it’s vitally important to express yourself to others in a positive way. Each interaction will break down their prejudices as they see that we are more alike than different.

We have a third arrow in our quiver as we fight for acceptance and equal rights.

Transgender Heaven - Gender Journey

Crossdressers – Show Me The Money!

For those outside the US my reference to Republicans may seem confusing. In the US there are two dominant political parties. I’m over simplifying: The Democrats (Obama’s party) typically advocate a more liberal agenda – both socially (e.g. gay marriage) and as it affects business (workers rights, consumer rights). The Republicans (Bush’s party) typically advocate a more conservative agenda – both socially (conservative Christian morals, anti-abortion) and as it relates to business (more business friendly, lower corporate taxes, etc.).

There are few social forces more powerful than the free market economy. Over the last century it has presided over America’s path to becoming a super power, and this century is ushering in China’s resurgence as a global player. It has given us better cars, cheaper clothes and faster computers. The more cynical among you may lament that greed has been the predominant force of the last 150 years. Even after the last two years, making money is still an important part of our society. And one that we need to recognize as we work towards transgender acceptance.

Transgender Capitalism – It Starts With a Blessing

A few weeks ago I raved about the experience I had at a local Lucy’s Activewear store. I also sent an email to their customer service department:

Hi There,
I wanted to share with you a wonderful experience I had recently at your Bellevue, WA store.

As a transgendered woman there are many times I receive questionable service when out shopping. This last weekend I was looking for some hot yoga pants in Lucy’s. The staff was courteous and helpful. They offered suggestions on what would is the most comfortable, what most flatters my figure and let me know which new styles were coming for fall.

I must admit that I was somewhat blown away by the level of service I received, and wanted to say thank you!

I run a reasonably popular blog and many of my readers are interested in woman’s apparel. I thought I would share my wonderful experience with them – you can read what I wrote at


I hope many of them go on to become loyal customers of Lucy, just like I am!

Thank you again for your wonderful clothes, your stellar service and for being transgender friendly!

The next day I received an encouraging and heart warming response:

Dear Vanessa,

You just made our day.  We’re so happy that you had such a great experience shopping lucy at Bellevue!  We love the great blog review, and we have forwarded the link to our PR rep.  I will also be forwarding your compliments to our Bellevue store.

Thank you so much for writing and sharing your great lucy experience with us.


In some small way I rewarded Lucy for being transgender friendly. It took 10 minutes of my time, didn’t require me to ‘out’ myself and reinforced transgender customers as a market opportunity. As part of doing that I hope I also imparted a small measure of our shared humanity to the people who received my email.

Business Cannot Justify Transgender Bias

The most successful businesses are driven to create value – for customers and shareholders. Very few let ideology get in the way of profits. The reason more businesses aren’t transgender friendly is because they don’t know we’re a market for their products. Or if they do know, they underestimate our collective purchasing power.

Changing The Hearts And Minds of Businesses In 3 Simple Steps

You can do 3 simple things to ensure transgender acceptance among the business community:

  1. When you have a great experience let them know! Most companies allow you to contact customer service through their website. It’s quick, and you don’t need to disclose your male identity. Let them know about a great experience you had, no matter whether you shopped en femme or bought feminine things as a man. Be sincere – everyone loves praise!
  2. Share your wonderful experience with the world! If you have a blog, or belong to a forum – let others know about your experience. Reward the business for being transgender friendly.
  3. Highlight a transgender friendly business on Crossdresser Heaven! Email me at Share your story with me, the name and website of the business and I’ll post it to Crossdresser Heaven.

I also recommend letting them know when you share your experience on your website (or when it appears on Crossdresser Heaven) – it’s a powerful motivator for them to know that your experience touches many others as well.

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Dedicated to creating a safe, supportive and welcoming environment for everyone in the transgender community.
  1. Petra Bellejambes 10 years ago

    Dear Vanessa – right on say I. When we are open, when we are not being furtive, we chisel off just a little stigma and make life easier for the next girl. And this surely extends to how and where we choose to spend hard earned dollars (or drachmas and dinars and whatnot).

    I am a serial product reviewer. Most of the chain shops ask you to talk to them. Look at the receipt, find the URL, and write a note. Management pays mind to these, I can assure you from personal experiece. I encourage everyone to take the 2 minutes required to send a note and advance the cause just a scootch.

    I blogged on the topic last year ( Macy’s has always been tops in my book, but there are many others I recommend.

    So throw the shoulders back, hips forward, shake out the hair, and speak clearly to and about the shops you love.

    Swing that purse…. Petra

  2. Jessica Sideways 10 years ago

    Yeah, I am not in the habit of writing customer reviews on my blog but I should get into that habit more often. But then again, I only purchase my clothing from discount stores and thrift stores.

  3. MELONY 10 years ago

    Dear Vanessa, i had a wonderful experiance in a wig shop in hampton,n.h, it was called ann’s wig shop. i was very nervous about going in there to buy a wig, for myself, and she was great, she asked me if i crossdressed and she told me how she has many cd’s come in,, she tried all these wigs on me , till the right one fit and looked great, she brushed it very careful, and was very gentle. made me feel good, and i thanked her and let her know that,,,, yours melony

  4. Brenda 8 years ago

    I have never really had any negative comments while shopping in my guy clothes..  shorts, V-neck ladies tee shirt, light pink nails and earrings in both ears as usual with my long hair .. I buy anything without comment..  I have even tried on skirt and dresses in Walmart ..  lingerie has never been an issue either

    • Vanessa Law 8 years ago

      Wonderful to hear! I definitely think that stores and the clerks are
      becoming more open and accepting – thanks for representing our community so

    • dorthy 7 years ago

      walmart to me seems freindly to us shoppers i never had problem shoping there other than womon going somewear ellse i have also tried female shorts on at mall they didnt care even let me go in dressing room i was curios how sears is i want to buy shoes in public now i wont beafrid to try dress on in walmart i think they know its for me

  5. Staci 8 years ago

    I usually always order online, but lately my wife and I have been going to thrift stores for lingerie. That’s always been easy. We pretty much wear almost the same size and we check out together so there hasn’t been any real experience there.
    Shoes are a whole different story. I’ve been ordering online since last February when I discovered I can actually get heels in my size. Those were the first I’ve ever bought in my whole life and since then, I think I’ve spent over $2000 at Zappos alone and an unguessable amount on other sites – talk about purchasing power! I have 3 pairs of Stewart Weitzmans that I absolutely LOVE! – and quite a list of other very nice choices.
    I’ve been CD for about 18 years and a barefoot one for 17 of those. WHOOHOO!
    So anyway, about a month ago my wife and I decided to order something from Nordstroms when we found we can pay for it online and then go pick them up that night. That was exciting because until then, we would order stuff on Friday night (payday) but wouldn’t get to see any of it until the following week. This was the first time we could order something and actually have it that same weekend!
    So I ordered these Ivanka Trunp Ellens at 50% off. They are absolutely gorgeous! When we went to Nordstrom’s that night, we went up to the cs counter to get my order and the girl behind the counter was incredibly nice. She looked at them (I’m sure she had to see what size they were) and complimented how they were such beautiful pretty shoes. She then looked up at us and she asked, “would you like to try them on?” The part of this that was interesting: she looked back and forth at both of us just dying to see one of us try them on. Looked like she was thinking, “which one of you? I really want ot see these on somebody.” My wife is considerably shorter than me and a size 8m and I am a size 12m. I don’t know if it was obvious who they were for, but I felt like if I did try them on, this girl would have been completely cool with it. But of course my response to her was, “Oh no, we’re good. Thank you.”
    Then we went downstairs to look at other shoes my wife was interested in. I was in complete male mode and walking around the store looking at ladies shoes. My wife later told me she over heard 2 guys talking and something about a bet for $20 and they were talking about me. We both had to laugh at that. Just too funny.
    Last weekend, we did the Nordstrom’s thing again for a pair of BPs but at a different location on the other side of town this time. Of course it was a different girl behind the country and a very different reaction. When she brought the bag out, she looked inside and looked completely stunned as if she just caught her husband masterbating or something. Before she looked in the bag, she looked just professional doing her job and then after… she was trying to stay calm on the outside, but her stuttering words and suddenly cracking voice clearly showed she was freaking out on the inside.

    These 2 experiences are the only ones I have right now and are the closest I’ve come to even “coming out”.

    Goes to show that business is made up of the people you see behind the counter with just a small hint of decision making from the top that you don’t ever see.

  6. Jaimelynn 3 years ago

    Hi Vanessa,
    I have found Orchard Corset very friendly to male customers and even encourage them to share and participate in their ‘before after waist training journey’ as an encouragement to other men. I added a reply to one woman on a subject that came up and turns out it was not a woman but a very active crossdresser or beyond that point. At any rate the Orchard Corset staff is very friendly and very helpful. It has hooked me on steel boned corset waist training and some amazing results. Will be waist training for many years to come…at Orchard Corset that is!

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