Whether in boy mode or en femme, most sales people and other shoppers have been pretty accepting. But I think the biggest factor in how any of us are treated is how we feel about ourselves.
For many years I thought dressing was something shameful and my trips to stores reflected that. I thought I was doing something wrong and was too ashamed to make eye contact, smile, or have a conversation. I used to go to a particular Lane Bryant store and slink around and refuse help or admit I was shopping for myself.
Once I accepted that dressing was OK and worked out at home that I didn’t have to hide anymore, I now go to the same Lane Bryant and am greeted with smiles and I know all the associates by name. They told me that the confidence I project is the biggest difference.
It works the same in most situations. If I feel at ease, most others do, too. Whether in boy or girl mode, if I am friendly and smile I get along with other shoppers and clerks in the women’s section or the dreaded long checkout line. And I can only feel at ease because I chose to accept this aspect of my life and don’t feel ashamed about it.
Any clerk I’ve encountered who isn’t accepting usually just rings things up with a sour look and leaves it at that.
I do, however, try to stay in more tolerant communities and avoid too much interaction in less accepting areas. So far, almost all clerks, even male clerks at thrift stores, have been friendly and accepting.