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I usually ‘try’ to keep my forums and replies positive, however, this one is not. I have noticed a pattern, one I’ve tried to fix with little to no success, so this is me putting a final nail in the coffin.
If you’ve been out in public fully dressed, with make-up, wig, the lot, you can stop reading now as this does not apply to you. Read on if you want, I’m sure many of you will agree with the below.
The nerd in me refers you to this popular snippet of a conversation between Master Yoda and Luke Skywalker during training on Dagobah (The Empire Strikes Back).
Yoda: Always with you, what can not be done. Hear you nothing that I say. You must unlearn, what you have learnt.
Luke: Alright, I’ll give it a try
Yoda: No. Try not. Do or do not, there is no try.
Look it up on YouTube, or better yet watch the film if you want the context this was delivered in.
I feel this is a very appropriate in the conversation of going out in public. In fact, relatable might be a better word, as I feel like Master Yoda talking to a group of whinny Luke’s.
Many of you have posted topics where you talk about how you long to go out in public, how great it would be and want help to know what to do. That’s fine, that’s sort of the point of a website like CDH. However, I’ve read a lot of articles, where people complain about not going out because they are scared, the most recent was posted as recently as yesterday. Reading yet another one of these articles, pushed me over the edge, hence this topic.
Now, I can understand that it’s a frightening experience going out in public, dressed at any time, especially the first time. Fear is a natural response to danger. From what I’ve researched online there are two main fears, which are fear of being:
- Recognised as your male self
- Clocked or outed as a dresser and a scene taking place
This are legitimate dangers, so being scared or afraid is natural. I personally, worry about the first every time I go out, but I still go out, because if you want it bad enough, you’ll do it. If you don’t you won’t
I’m going to stop for a second to say that I know not all dressers want to go out in public. Some are happy sitting at home. I quickly found this boring and pointless. But we all have the right to freedom of choice. I’ve lost count of how many forums where I’ve made the below points already. So, when I see more and more posts where someone says, “I want to but, I’m scared of…”, it frustrates me greatly. So, I’ve compiled all my best tips below and hope not to see another post of this nature again.
The final thing I want to add before the advice, is that you may think “it’s easier said than done”. Though, I personally went out long before discovering CDH with no support and I’m suffer from Algophobia, a fear of pain. So, that fact that I managed (on my own) to, face these fears, despite the fact that they could cause me a lot of pain, proves that it can be done, it has been done by many others and there is no reason why you can’t do so too.
I was going to sort these for the two fears, but many apply to both (NOTE: they are in no particular order).
- Go to another town, city, (this should be a lot easier for most of you because you can drive)
- You’re not the first. If you stick to bigger areas, the more likely it is there’s been dressers there before you and people will be more accepting.
- If you’re not ready to walk around a shop, go for lunch while dressed, just go for a walk in the country or a drive. Start off small and work your way up, baby steps.
- Location, location, location – No, not the television show. I mean, if you’re unsure about yourself, stick to trans friendly areas
- Hair – This is pretty obvious, but make sure to get rid of hair. With the exception of the hair on your head, your eyebrows and that round your panty area, there should not be any hair on your body. Most women hate body hair, as we do. So, shave, wax, epilate, whatever way you want, but get rid of it. If, like me, you find these too short term, look into more permanent methods of hair removal. (I realise this may be difficult if you’re in a committed relationship, but there are other reasons for doing this you can use. Plus, lets be honest, you should have told him/her already.
- Though you may love fancy lingerie and tight-fitting outfits, you wear them in public. Dress your age, not like a stripper. If you’re not sure what women your age wear, just look around you when out and about. Each age group differs as they do from country to country. You should wear something to help you blend in, but have one or two statement pieces to make the outfit your own.
- Wear make-up – Unless you’re one of the very, very lucky one of us who has naturally female features, and you have been told so by other people on more a couple of occasions, then you, you need to. Women can not wear make-up and look feminine, the same way we go out as men and look masculine. So, to look feminine you need make-up to draw on your femme qualities and hide the masculine ones. Don’t overdo it though, or you’ll look like a clown. Go to a pro if you need help.
- Think and act like a woman – If you go out looking great, but walk, talk and sit like a man, you will be noticed. That’s why you need to adopt a different way of thinking. You may know a shortcut, through a dark alley, but that’s somewhere you could be attacked, so avoid it. You may talk strides that could be mistaken for lunges, but women take smaller steps because of heels and they’re hips sway, so practice in a mirror.
- Speaking – If you plan to go shopping, or anywhere in public, you will have to speak eventually. Practice speaking in a higher pitch. Women’s voices also vary while talking more so than men’s do. So, to achieve a more melodic, higher pitched voice I use sing along with female singers, try to mirror they’re voice before stopping the song mid-way and continuing. It helps if you can record yourself. Also, use a voice pitch analyser, which will tell you how high/low the frequency of your voice is.
- Know the boundaries – Do some research. Is it illegal to dress? I know it’s not in NI, there are just a lot of traditionalists who disapprove. Find out what the law says about using the bathroom
- Passing – Finally, there’s a lot of talk about passing. Though I don’t think you need to look in the mirror and ask yourself “Do I pass?” it is important. All of the above will help, but you need to be confidence/own it, as the kids used to say, at some point. True passing is about believing in yourself. If you think you’re meant to be there, so will others and vice versa. So, though it’s a strange thing to say to men dressing as women, grow a pair.
Hope you have found these tips useful, as I will not be posting them again.
Please do not click ‘Thanks’.
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