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?
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