Going Out and Passing

This topic contains 9 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Carolyne Sherman 9 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #72977

    Julie Slowinski
    Registered On: June 26, 2017
    Topics: 6
    Replies: 41

    Hey CDH,

    I’d like to talk about the subject of passing while out in public. Now I get a lot of comments on my pictures saying that I’m totally passable. First, thank you for such a wonderful compliment – every compliment is nice, but those in particular make my heart soar. However, I assure you that I am nowhere near passable. I know cuz I’ve asked people (When did you first figure it out? Invariably the answer is immediately.)

    Now some of you might be disheartened. But, you should not be. Think about what this means. Every person I’ve interacted with (a few dozen in conversations and hundreds just passing on the street) has known I’m actually a dude, but they were for the most part completely accepting. No pointing and laughing. No hey Mr. where’d you get that dress. Just regular people trying to be nice to a person that’s a little different (or even ‘being nice to another regular person’).

    Let me actually backup a little and tell you that this mindset is what got me out the door the first time and is the foundation of every time since. If I worried about being passable and if this person or that person was going to figure me out, I would be a total wreck and would not enjoy even a single minute of my adventure. Since I assume they already know, I am free to go about my business of just being me out in the world enjoying life. Here’s the funny part – by assuming I’m not passable, I actually become more passable. The reason is that it allows me to be comfortable in my own skin and just be a friendly engaging person. People like that and generally react poorly to a person that seems overly nervous (what sort of no good are they up to?) Now I’m not saying I’m never nervous, my first time I was a total wreck. But, knowing that people were seeing a crossdresser and still not reacting with scorn definitely put my mind at ease. Plus, it definitely gets easier with practice.

    If you’re planning to go out for the first time here’s some advice:

    – Do not lurk in the shadows. I know that late at night, when nobody’s around, seems like the best option, but it’s actually just unsafe for you and if anyone does see you it gives the impression that crossdressers are just creepy dudes hiding in the bushes.

    – For you’re first time, go to a trans friendly venue. Maybe a support group meeting, a cd meetup at a bar or just a gay club preferably one that has drag shows. You’ll be in an open public place (much safer and less creepy), and you will be confident that the people around you will be accepting. If you don’t know where to go, ask around here on CDH or other sites.

    – Keep those skirts long and those necklines high. Yes, try to be sexy (or not), but keep it respectable. Even in the craziest club, you don’t want to look like a hooker. You’re already exotic, no need to go over the top.

    – Start with an evening event. I know I said don’t be lurking, but it cannot be denied that a little darkness will make you feel less exposed. Also, you’ll likely be over dressed for the daytime where sweatshirts and flip flops dominate over skirts and heels.

    – Find a more experienced girl to go with you. Definitely a confidence booster to have that support and help. But, just remember that not everyone is G-rated. Some girls like mix it up, if you know what I mean. If you’re not into that and they are that doesn’t mean you can’t hang out. But, in either case, before you meet you should make your intentions clear with a simple private message. You should not think you are being rude by sending that ‘Hey were all G-rated, right?’ message. It has to be done, is extremely common and in the end saves everyone unnecessary embarrassment. I also advise having an in drab meeting (in public of course) before meeting in girly mode. This is not essential, but it will make you more comfortable when you get to the big night.

    – If you need to, get a hotel room for changing. This kinda freaked me out at first, but hotel workers like cab / Uber drivers have seen it all and won’t even bat an eye.

    – Don’t drink and drive. The last thing you want is to be in lockup in a dress. Ubers are cheap and as I said, they’ve seen it all. Just be prepared for the driver to drive right past you cuz their looking for a dude and not a dude in a dress. Okay maybe the one occasion where I’m passable. Of course, that ends as soon as I get in and start talking in my dude voice.

    – Oh yeah, that reminds me. Forgot about that girls voice thing. If you can do it easily, fine. But, for me I figure why waste energy on trying to get my voice right, when they already know I’m a dude. I have much better things to put my mind on – like why does this club have so few mirrors.

    – Bathrooms? If you’re in a trans friendly venue then there’s no wrong answer. If you’re in a mainstream place try to find a gender neutral bathroom first and if that fails go with your heart. What you should not do is piss yourself. You have dignity and have the right in relieve yourself. With all the media discussion on this subject it’s actually never been a problem for me. And, it has likely made more people who would normally sit on the sidelines, become advocates and welcome you in any bathroom you choose.

    – Finally don’t forget to smile and have fun. You’re hurting no one and it makes you happy. Who could argue with that?

    💋💋💋 Julie

  • Author
  • #89272
     Carolyne Sherman 
    Registered On: February 20, 2018
    Topics: 3
    Replies: 124

    Julie you speak as a wise sage. I have been going out for a long time and have found attitude trumps appearance EVERY time!  I may or may not pass but as others have said elsewhere some gg’s don’t pass. I have never had a bad experience and I shop at malls, eat out and do as I please. I have even had a younger (20’s) lady ask my help and opinion on scarves for her mother’s Christmas present (maybe because she thought I was an older woman like her mother 😱) . I don’t skulk in the shadows and am who I am and nobody seems to care because I dress appropriately and don’t act the skulking creep and just in general act like any other lady out and about. For those that worry too much about appearance I want you to think of those teenage girls who worry so much about how they look they forget how they act. Maybe thats us growing up and becoming women instead of girls also. We become who we are instead of who we think we should be.



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     Karen McCall 
    Registered On: February 8, 2018
    Topics: 0
    Replies: 2

    Great article thank you


    ever since I first ventured outside my front door around the age of 14 I have been obsessed with being seen as nothing but a pretty young girl/smart woman over time


    I  have an easy feminine voice I can use which helps so have only been ‘clocked’ a handful of times and often in my younger years because I fell into the short skirts/high heels in midday trap!!


    i have had experiences with guys who got intimate without finding out (“sorry not there it’s my time of month”)


    but i I see all that as my rites of passage in my journey to Karen today


    it no longer matters what people think. I’m a nice kind wonderful person and if nice people wish to chat to me, become my friend, even more, they are doing so with me. Karen. A very special and warm woman.


    and I’m comfortable with that xx

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    Registered On: July 20, 2017
    Topics: 2
    Replies: 12

    Julie, in your pics, you are totally passable. But being passable is more than just looks. Voice, mannerisms, and many other factors goes into being passable.

    I’m not passable. My looks and voice give me away. I’m slowly working on both. I’m pretty good with feminine mannerisms and way of speaking (not the voice, the choice of words) but can use some improvement.

    I want to be passable, but it’s not critical. More important is me being happy, and going out as a woman makes me happy, even if I’m not passable. Nothing makes me happier than when out in public, a cashier, waiter, etc. calls me “Ma’am.”

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    Registered On:
    Topics: 99
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    Bravo Julie. Your advice is spot on.

    “Passing”, or the perceived need to do so, has caused more stress, heartache and shame than any other aspect of crossdressing. I have never tried to “pass”; I am well aware that I am a male-bodied person who presents as female. Unless we happen to have been born with apparently feminine features we are rarely likely to fool anyone. In fact, I feel more comfortable being identified as a crossdresser because it feels more ‘honest’. I am who I am, I’m not pretending to be someone else.

    Concentrate on feeling comfortable with who you are and how you want to present. Don’t try to look like someone you are not – mutton dressed as lamb still looks like mutton, it just gets more ridicule.

    There is plenty of acceptance out there, at worst there is indifference. Both make enjoying being who you are so much easier.

    Thank you again for a very well-written post Julie.

    3 users thanked author for this post.
     Jessica Flower 
    Registered On: September 17, 2017
    Topics: 1
    Replies: 14

    Julie, thank you for writing this. This is great advice. I have been so tough on myself that I must be perfectly passable before I ever go out. After reading this I realized that I need to lighten up a bit. Thanks.

    2 users thanked author for this post.
     Stephanie Flowers 
    Registered On: June 26, 2017
    Topics: 7
    Replies: 1415

    Julie  :   beautiful written.   This is one piece I plan to read over and over. I’m not there yet. Going out just scares me. Unfortunately I have nobody around me to buddy up with and right now just not ready anyways but hopefully in time. This information is a must read and will be passing this to ladies who are thinking about venturing out. Thank you Julie for sharing. 🌹🌹

    2 users thanked author for this post.
     Nancy Gamms 
    Registered On: March 1, 2017
    Topics: 7
    Replies: 65

    That is excellent advice and very well said.  We are very similar in that the photos I post look very passable according to others but in reality I’m not near the woman I would like to appear to be.  There are places it is easy to blend in and if you are “clocked” no one cares.  Confidence and being comfortable is half the battle.  If in a hotel or restaurant the staff is paid to treat guests well and going at non crowded times and being treated well helps build confidence.  Eventually you just stop caring whether people know, think they know, or not.  You be you.

    3 users thanked author for this post.
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    Replies: 120

    Thank you Julie, you are always so helpful! (make up video from sweden). This article/story so very nice to read. You have made my day! XO

    2 users thanked author for this post.
     Terrisa Washbourne 
    Registered On: October 29, 2017
    Topics: 7
    Replies: 150

    Julie this has got to be an article!  This is some of the best advice I’ve ever heard and it so true that no one really cares as long as you do keep it respectful. I love the DUI advice, so true especially if you’ve have a serious accident. And yes your profile pic is amazing!

    Hugs – Terrisa

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