A male holds a door open for you. What should you do?

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  • 1. Nothing. Don't look at him. Don't say anything to him, just hurry past him and get on with your business, even though it's kind of rude not to thank him, because if you thank him, your male voice will confirm you are a male.
  • 2. Look at him and just smile as you go past him. Kind of safe, but maybe he will clock you?
  • 3. Smile, say thank you in a soft voice, proceed past him and out the door in as feminine and graceful way as you possibly can.
  • 4. Other
  • Creator
  • #765505
    Peggy Sue Williams
    Registered On: June 26, 2019
    Topics: 27
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    Happens to all of us.  Well, at least it happens to me all the time when I am out in public as my female self.

    I approach a door at the same time a male does and almost, well almost all the time, (there are still many men who do not know how to treat a lady),  the male will hold the door open for me.

    Some gentlemen will often add, “After you ma’am.”   Trouble is here you are a CD, looking up at this huge six foot six hulk of a guy who obviously bends steel for a living.  If he were to realize you are a guy, will he become upset?   So what do you do?

    For me, I have always used option three (3) and have never had any problems, but I would enjoy hearing of your experiences.

    It is scary sometimes, but I have had some pretty big guys here in Atlanta come barging through doors, only to realize I was coming through the door at approximately the same time.  They would then back up, realizing their mistake, hold the door open for me and address me as “ma’am.”







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  • Author
    • #765713
      Marg Produe
      Registered On: March 16, 2022
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      Yup, Option 3 for me too.  Happens without even thinking.  Marg

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    • #765711
      Sarah Kanter
      Registered On: April 25, 2019
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      I would probably just use my normal voice and see what happened. I don’t really pass well enough to fool anyone anyway. I held the door open once en femme for an older gentleman, and he was visibly uncomfortable. It was during COVID and masking, so I think I passed, but I think he felt bad that he wasn’t holding the door for me.

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    • #765697
      Lauren Russell
      Registered On: July 27, 2023
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      I would acknowledge their politeness with a smile and thanks and pass.

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    • #765686
      J J
      Registered On: September 13, 2019
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      I don’t worry about being clocked since I doubt I pass up close, though from a distance or in a crowd I probably pass at a glance. I just smile and say thank you and leave it at that.

      I just try to be myself when I am out en femme. I tend to avoid conversation, but if somebody talks to me I reply and just let the conversation go where it may.

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    • #765683
      Darcy Grigsby
      Registered On: July 1, 2020
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      The first time this happened for me was when I ran into a Lowe’s (hardware store) to use the restroom. When I was leaving the store, there were automated sliding doors and I and a gentleman approached the opening at the same time. He paused to let me go first and out of years of habit I did the same!

      I fairly quickly realized my error and smiled and got my feet moving and made my way out to the parking lot ahead of him. No idea if he realized who I was or not.

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    • #765635
      Patty Phose
      Registered On: May 7, 2016
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      This has happened to me on several occasions. I don’t converse. Just a little smile and a nod is what I do.

      Moist of the time when I’m out alone, I don’t get into conversations with other people. There has been instances over the years where I’ve been complimented on my shoes and got asked where I got them. And I’ve gotten compliments on having nice legs and got asked about my pantyhose. Similar incidents have happened with dresses and my hair.

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    • #765619
      Angela Booth
      Registered On: August 1, 2020
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      Yes Number 3. If you look good enough to be seen as a woman then enjoy the moment. You only need to mouth ‘Thank you’ although suddenly you walking on air would be disconcerting for the gentleman holding the door after you pass.

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    • #765549
      Alison Anderson
      Registered On: October 15, 2018
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      Obviously #3. My voice may be read in a long conversation, but in a short situations (like saying thank you) my voice can pass. And I’d do the same even if the door holder was a woman.

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    • #765543
      Lauren Mugnaia
      Registered On: November 1, 2021
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      I have gentlemen hold the door for me quite often, I pass well enough and speak in a feminine voice, when it happens I don’t really think about it, I just say thank you and go in, or out.


      Ms. Lauren M

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    • #765520
      Registered On: November 5, 2019
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      Didn’t have to look at the voting response, as #3 was by far the most obvious and most thoughtful and quality response.  If you’re out in public, dressed as you’d like to be, appearing as you’d like to be, there’s no reason not to act the way you would expect others to casually see you as.  If someone is going to ‘clock’ you, I doubt it will matter what you do. But not showing graciousness and returning kindness with an expression of gratitude might possibly lead to easier ‘clocking’ than just hoping you’ll be ignored.

      This morning I drove (in male drab) to get a paper at a local convenience store. I parked, got out of the car and saw that I was going to get to the door about 2-3 seconds before another  senior citizen would get there from inside. I opened the door and held it for him, not because he might be older (or in some way needing it more) than me, but because that was the polite thing to do.  He seemed surprised but thanked me.  Right now I have no memory of what he looked like or anything other than I did a kindness and a kindness was returned.  What more could I hope for.

      Hugs, ChloëC

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    • #765517
      Kerri Smith
      Registered On: November 21, 2022
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      this has never happened to me but if it did I would be so flattered that I hope I hope I would be gracious and thank the gentleman, regardless of whether he clocked me or not.

      thanks for this thought.



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    • #765509
      Gabriela Romani
      Managing Ambassador
      Registered On: January 11, 2021
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      Number three as well.

      Never had an issue with men getting the door for me. Part of the reason is my following my rule number one… never go out to a place I wouldn’t like my wife or daughter to be out by themselves. So, less chance to run into a bad situation.

      Nice poll @catgurl!!

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      • #765523
        Peggy Sue Williams
        Duchess - Annual
        Registered On: June 26, 2019
        Topics: 27
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        Exactly, Gaby!  Years ago, I was a member of a CD group here in town which would patronize some nasty places at night.  I recall an incident around the time I resigned from that group.  We were at a pizza & beer joint in a nasty run down part of town.  As we exited the place, there was a gun fight going on in the parking lot!   The reason we were there supposedly was because it was the closest place to a play we were supposed to see.  These days I patronize more civilized business establishments in better parts of town.   I don’t think that group ever put much prior planning into where they went.

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