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So I finally made the leap!
At the beginning of the year I decided that I will finally explore this area of myself more seriously and see what I can find out. Will I keep going like this half and half or will I dedicate myself a bit more, or maybe something else. So I set the goal of going out in public completely in female mode by July, but things happened that kinda made me change my mind (I am sure that some of you have experienced the see saw of emotion regarding dressing up where you feel like you can accept yourself, then next morning, bam! You want to throw everything away). Throughout the year I constantly battled with myself, sometimes accepting this side, other times rejecting it. So I figured the only way I will be able to find some clarity, and if it can be more than just doing it in private and living a stealth fem life, I mustered up the courage to go outside.
Where I am now, we have a long weekend (Monday is a bank holiday) and we are working from home due to the Covid pandemic, so I have been dressed casually in mixed gendered clothing for the last couple of weeks and it has been nice to be able to be dressed at times. I can answer work emails in my pjs, or sometimes even do meetings dressed up, but with the camera off. Sometimes wearing a specific, comfortable snug garment can just be relaxing.
This week, however, I’ve been dressed in mostly feminine clothing. I even went to work twice this week, and both times had a more feminine outfit on (mainly because almost no one was in the office), but no overt changes like make up or body shaping. After a long, and weird week, I decided that this weekend I will do nothing but play video games (replayed MGS1 and busy with 2 now), reading a little and maybe cooking/baking something. Just fun things that I like to enjoy. I painted my nails on Friday, a nice gloss black, and decided to practice make up a little after I went for a good jog. I am still way below where I want to be in that skill set, but I am getting there ;).
I decided I will make dumplings for myself on Saturday, but when the time came, I realised I didn’t have one of the most important ingredients, the meat! So I had to visit the shops, or not make the dumplings… I gave it some time and laziness won so I decided to go today. I didn’t want to remove the nail polish only to reapply it when I got back, and seeing that the masks we have to wear in public spaces (it has been made mandatory here) cover half our faces, I felt a little brave. I flipped flopped between going out in a feminine outfit, or just with the nails, and I decided to go all out.
I got dressed in a nice fitting pair of jeans, Converse sneakers, a hoodie, a wig and a cap to round off the outfit. I applied some eye make up and went outside. Quickly jumping in my car and driving around, nowhere in particular just yet, just solidifying the courage to actually step out of the car. As I got closer to the store (I selected one further away than the ones I usually frequent) I kept feeling this calmness and said to myself “No one is going to pay attention to you, there will be a lot of people going about their business”. As I park my car, quickly checking my phone before I got out, I also kept saying to myself “even if they do make you, your face is cover, you have a wig and a cap on, you’ll never see them again and they will never recognise you even if you do see them again”.
I slowly got out and walked to the entrance. I had to constantly calm myself as I got closer, got my hands sanitised and nobody shot me a look. There was a gaggle of people at the door, but I passed through without that dreaded laughter or pointing that the anxiety conjures up as the only logical conclusion to dressing in public for the first time. I grabbed the trolly and went straight for my goal, the meat. Walking felt strange, it didn’t feel real. It felt like any moment now, somebody, somewhere will call me out and everybody will stop, stare and point.
But nobody cared. I walked as if I belonged, because the secret to that is that I actually DO belong. At the core there is no difference between me or any other patron of the store, I was there to buy something, and so was everyone else. I grabbed the meat, then realised that I will also need a few other things. Instead of bolting to the nearest cashier and running out, I decided to slowly go through some of the aisles and grab what I might need this coming week. The fear I felt as I was driving up to the store, which turned into that “point of no return” anxiety, turned into pleasure and I enjoyed finally being outside.
As I turned a corner, I nearly bumped into someone, and I am sure that they made me, but I just didn’t care anymore. Granted the mask probably helped a lot, since it did allow for a greater sense of cover. I even went to the deodorants to grab a new fragrance and a new shaving razor. Then I finally decided to head to a cashier, only realising that the only necessary interaction with anyone at a supermarket is at the till!
I managed, with grace and luck, to slot in behind someone who was just leaving, so no extended waiting in a queue for me. I unpacked the few things, the cashier was friendly and we greeted each other. My voice was slightly gone from fear and trying to get back into my female voice (still practicing to sound passable, at the moment it isn’t 100% male, but more adolescent to teen I suppose). Not a second glance or a stare my way. Paid, took my bags and left for my car. Someone yelled “mister” to another guy walking in, and I instinctively thought I was made (again), but when I looked, I saw he was chasing someone else.
I got in my car, slowly left the parking lot and then started to giggle for most of the trip home. I finally did it! Even though this is probably on Easy mode since half my face is covered, but I still did it! When I got home, I decided that actually, since this is the perfect time to practice my make up, and the mask is covering half my face, giving me essentially dutch courage without the fun, maybe I should keep going out more and more. Maybe try going to the store at least once a week en femme? Build up my confidence while the going is easy. Build up my make up skills so that when I want to, I will be able to have enough confidence and look more passable than at present without a mask too.
Sorry for the long post, I was just really excited and wanted to share my experience. I also feel great since I finally fulfilled this goal and didn’t chicken out or felt rejected by this part of myself even if it is essentially in easy mode.
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