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.
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.