I only started going out en femme less than two years ago, and I haven’t had what I’d call a negative reaction at any time. Since my first very tentative forays to places I knew were accepting, I now go most places en femme that I would in drab. Mostly I pass quite well, so I think most people who see me and deal with me don’t realize I’m a crossdresser or transwoman, which ever term one prefers.
I don’t have any physical alteration to my body to make myself look more feminine, and I don’t believe I will. I just the usual forms, pads, clothes, and makeup. Also, for the record I don’t dress my age, whatever that might mean now. I’m 66, and generally pass for a younger person.
I do go to busy places times, and use care and judgment in how I dress and present for the situation. Certainly lots of girls to push the envelop somewhat, and that’s fine for them, but I don’t. Like going grocery shopping at the local store is not the same as going out for dinner to a nice restaurant, or to a private party at some’s house, where I can where short skirts and generally doll up. I do like to look nice, and tend to dress at the better dressed end of the spectrum for a situation.
There have been times when it would seem as if I’ve been noticed for not being what I appear to be, but I’ve never ever had anything like a negative reaction. Also, sometimes I’ve told people, and the reaction has been similar. Not that somewhere along the line I might receive a negative reaction, but not yet.
Though I do live in “small town Ontario”, this is Canada, and all kinds of alt lifestyles are gaining much more acceptance here than ever before. Even in this area, which I was a bit concerned about, acceptance is very high. Certainly not everything is perfect, and abuse can and does still occur, but nothing like it was 30, 40, or more years ago when folks like us were beaten up, either by the authorities, or else they turned the other way while it happened.
I also believe the more we are out and about in the world, the more attitudes will continue to change for the better.