I haven’t quite developed the confidence to just go out anywhere and do anything en femme, but I’m trying to edge towards that. Most times when I’ve been out, it’s been walking around my neighborhood after about 2 am and before 5 am. In other words, there’s not much chance of me encountering people and potentially having to interact with folks. I’m trying to work up to the idea of being accepted (or at least tolerated) as any other person who is wearing a dress or skirt.

When I first moved into this neighborhood, I was a little apprehensive about what would happen if I went out and then be seen by one of my neighbors. In the next day or a two might they come to me and ask me, “What the heck were you doing? Why?” I wouldn’t have an adequate explanation, because I don’t really know the answer myself. I’d rather not make enemies of my neighbors, or at least not ostracizing myself from them (because you never know when you might need a favor). One day, I just thought, I’m going to do it. If some sort of undesirable encounter were to occur, I’d be sure to make up something plausible. “Oh, I think you’re mistaken; it may have looked like me, but no, it wasn’t. I had someone visiting me overnight. You must have seen them.” Then I could just go back to never going out again; that would be OK. I’ve lived that way for years anyway.

I put on a nondescript shirt and a conservative length, dark-blue, corduroy jumper  (this one actually, except no tights, and athletic shoes instead of flats.) With some trepidation, I ventured outside. I remember eventually standing out in front of my house and thinking, “Hey! Oh my goodness, I’m outside…IN A JUMPER…In FRONT, where people CAN easily see me!”

Every now and then, I again put on something pretty and went outside, “in the middle of the night.” Each time, I stayed out a little longer. I walked down the sidewalk of the dead end street where I lived. One day, I put on this outfit, and went outside. I walked the four houses down to the corner of my street, as I’d done in similar outfits. But instead of returning as I usually had done in the past, I thought, this is going soooo well, just keep on going! I went all the way around the block. I have to say…that it was a sensual feeling as I was aware of the swish, swish, swish of my slip and how the dress moved against my legs as I walked. It was so exciting to have gone so much further than ever before, and importantly, without incident.

After a while, I began feeling that this is all well and good, but…how about taking it to the next level and go out in the daytime? How wonderful it would be to walk around where it’s undeniable that people will see me, if only from a distance. I set out on a mission…to go to the parking lot of one of the local supermarkets  dressed like this. I had a plan…sit in my car until no one was particularly close, get out and walk towards the store. I’d take my cell phone out of my purse, pretend to read a text message on it, and then return to my car…as if the message I’d read was urgent and I needed to return home. I must say…I think it went well.

I’d brought a pair of heels and a pair of flats with me. I wanted to try walking in both, just for the experience of wearing each of them. On the way home, I passed by a Target, which had just recently been in the news on their policy of wanting to be transgender-friendly. I repeated the exercise in the Target parking lot, this time in the other shoes. I didn’t look around as much as I usually do; I kept my eyes straight ahead to watch where I was going. I felt that if I looked around, I might notice people staring at me disapprovingly…ignorance is bliss and all that. Although I may have convinced myself I would feel better, this is probably not the best of strategies. If trouble is headed your way, whether it be someone looking somewhat disapprovingly at you and thinking, “It’s a dude in a dress?” maybe even meaning you harm, or a vehicle headed in your same path, it’s probably better to look around and remain safer overall. It did make me nervous for that reason.

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So really, if being out in the public en femme is a goal of yours, you don’t have to tackle it all at once. It’s likely you can start small, in somewhat more controlled conditions. You can try the far-less-likely-to-encounter-people situation of the really early morning, when nearly everyone is likely to be asleep. For other ideas, you can search Web sites and YouTube, and read what our fellow sisters have shared on this site. There are many good tips on how to look better and build up your confidence (such as giving yourself an “out” like the text message thing I thought of). You can keep pushing at your boundaries until you are at the level where you feel comfortable.





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I have been dressing in women's things pretty much ever since, in my early teens, I wondered what the women in some of the first Sheer Energy ads felt like. After I tried on my sisters' pantyhose, my curiosity grew and grew. I would "borrow" more and more things, and eventually decided I wanted to wear whatever I wanted when I was alone (or at night when everyone else was asleep). When I got my own apartment, I was even more free to pursue what it feels like to be in a leotard, dress, skirt, tights, or whatever. With some encouragement from CDH, I have even now been out a little bit in public, to experience a small taste of what it's like to be like women.

Latest posts by MaryJo (see all)

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Dani (@michaelg1231)
1 year ago

Thanks for sharing Maryjo. My story is a little different. I have an awesome spouse who understands and supports me. We go shopping together, etc. Well I decided I was going out in public last week. We had already booked seats at a pro-wrestling event and I decided what the heck…Michelle is going. We spent all day shopping, getting our eyebrows done and then my bride really did me justice with makeup. Yea, I got a lot of looks and whispers but I just didnt care. It waant about being pretty or accepted….it was about me expressing my feminine side.… Read more »

Sophie Valcar
Sophie Valcar (@sophie902)
1 year ago
Reply to  Dani

good on you girl.

Helena (@helenalovelady)
1 year ago

It’s all about the small steps, but they are also giant steps! You are an inspiration! And your outfit is just too cute for words!

Brianna Rain
Active Member
Brianna Rain (@brianna-rain)
1 year ago

Maryjo, thanks for this article. It’s very inspiring and I hope I can gather up the courage to take small steps of being out in public like you have.

Laura Lovett
1 year ago

The first walk I had as Laura was around a recreation ground at around 2.30 in the afternoon. I saw 2 other people, one in the distance, the other a lady walking her dog, who was coming down the path I was walking up, so unavoidable. As I approached the very first person I had met who wasn’t my wife, while dressed entirely in women’s clothing, badly made up and as obvious a MIAD as you could hope to see, I felt very nervous, but determined to exercise my right to be myself, and also determined to let her enjoy… Read more »

Lindsay Freeman
Lindsay Freeman (@lindsay1962)
1 year ago

Do what makes you comfortable I have gone to get several pedicures en femme .Fully dressed from head to toe including jewelry and favorite perfume.

Harietta (@harietta)
1 year ago

Here’s my advice. Baby steps..to be sure. But here’s what makes my public appearances work…a giant step. I save up some cash and pay for professional hair and makeup. I keep the cost and the anxiety down by finding private makeup & hair pros on Kijiji or Craig’s List. I would hesitate to go to a dedicated crossdressing makeover studio. They can be expensive and not that great. One I went to on Gerrard St. in Toronto was a giant disappointment. Their binder of “looks” lokked tacky and “drag queenish”. The makeup station looked sketchy and I walked out. Fortunately… Read more »

1 year ago

I love your story. oh my!!

Morgan Staar
1 year ago

nice article..I was fortunate to have a friend that forced me to test my limits…first a walk to the park, then the mall, then lunch at the mall, met some of his friends, basketball game at his school on a friday nite, the first dance, school picnic…every weekend was a wonderfully scarey adventure….your one your way…enjoy

Sophie Valcar
Sophie Valcar (@sophie902)
1 year ago

l know exactly how you feel but with me l don’t feel confident yet to go out because l feel my makeup is bad and l walk like a men and yes lam practice both .It’s funny because you want to be like all the other girls just get up and go right. l know l will get there in the end. many thanks to you.for till us your story take care. love Sophia

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