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    • #641292
      MelanieElizabeth
      Lady
      Registered On: January 9, 2021
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      I can’t agree more Mary Jane. I’ve heard for years that dogs can recognize your fear but I think people can as well. If you are embarrassed and afraid you will be treated as such by those you come in contact with. As some have mentioned keystone was a big eye opener for me as far as learning this fact. I was so afraid to check into an off site hotel dressed as Melanie but I sat a moment in my car and told myself “ it’s going to be ok . You can do this”. Sometimes taking a deep breath and thinking about what you are doing can give you the confidence to experience life the way you want to. I walked in with my head held high and gave the person at the desk my male driver’s license and credit card , obviously the picture didn’t exactly match my presentation but she didn’t care, she handed them back to me with the room key cards and off I went. I had never been in public before and there I was handing over my documents to a perfect stranger basically clocking myself but it didn’t matter that little pep talk i had with myself gave me the confidence I needed.

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    • #641085
      Natasha Inaskirt
      Lady
      Registered On: August 6, 2020
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      That is great advice and I will remember it. It is important, however, for some passing is a goal and will help them feel both feminine and also content and relaxed.

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    • #641080
      Coral Wentworth
      Duchess
      Registered On: July 12, 2019
      Topics: 8
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      I have got to say this is a beautiful site full of beautiful people, reading all of the remarks makes me so happy that I am here. Thank all of you for your thoughts, such wisdom amongst us. Love you all, Coral

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    • #639373
      Lauren Mugnaia
      Duchess
      Registered On: November 1, 2021
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      I would love to add to this discussion with some interesting observations after my first two weeks working as a woman. I came out as a transgender woman at my workplace and almost all of the staff are aware of that, so I don’t have to worry about passing as they know I am TG. I am accepted, respected, and encouraged as the person I am, it is wonderful! However, when I leave work and take the bus home, it is a different game! I have to walk on a busy public sidewalk to get to my 1st bus stop, take that bus into town and transfer to another and then cross a busy street and walk down another sidewalk to get to the condo where I now live. So I am getting a lot of public exposure. At this stage of living as a woman 24/7 I’m not sure if I pass or not. I’m still working on standing tall and confident. My imagination is working overtime and I feel like I am under a microscope unless I am at work or at home. I am dressed in my work outfit which is black fitted pants, a pair of black ballet flats, my uniform shirt with a camisole and a nicely fitted jacket over top. I’m always wearing one of my wigs, full makeup and completely manicured gel nails. My breast forms are only a C cup so I’m not overly “out there!” I have a coach I talk to on a regular basis and she says I look great and not to worry, “stand tall and proud, look them in the eye and smile.” I have a passable feminine voice which is how I speak to everyone at work – they say I have a pretty voice. So I guess I’m still working on overcoming what my vivid imagination comes up with.
      But, in the end, I really don’t care what anyone thinks. Whether I pass or not, I am who I am and that cannot be taken from me!

      Take care girls, love you all to bits 🙂

      Lauren M

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    • #639329
      Haley Ann
      Registered On: October 12, 2020
      Topics: 6
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      For most of us, passing is an illusion only we see. Like any girl, I want to be noticed…yet I do not want to stand out. As I go out more, I have found that I enjoy dressing just like a woman would, not like a “tranny”, which is a word I dislike very much. I tend to favor a very casual FL look, light make-up, etc. My friends tell me i look great en femme, and I’ll take those compliments all day long. But it’s really more about being my true self, being proud of who I am, no longer feeling shame and guilt…and I have no problem looking anybody in the eye. I am who I am and those that love me the most will always accept me, just as they have accepted the changes in my look and nature up to this point.

      Haley

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    • #639326
      Gail Rich
      Lady
      Registered On: October 11, 2017
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      I know that I do not pass for a woman. I have only been out fully dressed a handful of times. I have built up the confidence not to care that I don’t pass. I only go out far from home, so I will not be recognized. I began by pumping gas and going to a drive through. Then I got the courage to go to a convenience store to buy a soda. ( the first time I had to speak) Then I went to a Subway sandwich shop and ordered a sandwich, and had to stand in front of multiple workers, who could tell I was a man in a dress. Then I progressed to a chain drug store and bought make up. Another woman in the aisle and then the counter to pay. Each time my confidence grew. I knew I was a man in a dress. I knew that others knew. And it was OK

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    • #639097
      Ashley Konners
      Lady
      Registered On: August 15, 2020
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      Mary Jane, I couldn’t agree more. I use to want to be so passable but now I find it more about the way it feels natural to be dressed in feminine attire.  Even when out fully dressed I normally tell the sales associates when shopping that I’m a crossdresser right off the bat. Always had a good response and looked after like any other customer. Also trying to pass no matter had I try I’m still a man in woman’s clothes. Once I’m out and the nerves settle I own it. Like you said confidence is king. This is me and like it or not I still enjoy this side of myself.  Thanks

      Ashley.

      • #639309
        Alison Anderson
        Duchess
        Registered On: October 15, 2018
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        (Sorry, I meant to reply to the main post.)

        After I had my first makeover at a transformation place, I went out with the woman to the local diner.  (This was supposed to be my only time I’d be able to go out en femme.  Ha ha, how wrong I was!)

        I’m pretty sure I passed according to the patrons as we never even got looks from anyone else.  I couldn’t tell you whether I passed with the waitress.  It’s not too difficult to fake your voice for a few words to order.

        But when we were leaving, the manager at the cashier asked us how everything was.  My friend said something positive, then the manager turned and asked me.  I got nervous.  Putting up a realistic feminine voice for a (short) conversation was a whole different thing.  But I gave her an answer in my best attempt at a female voice.  She thanked me and we went on our way.

        When I think back, I would have to say I probably didn’t pass.  Or let me put it this way.  Do I think the manager thought I was a woman?  No.  But did she let on, look at me funny, treat me any differently?  No.

        I’ve learned over the years since that passing has two different meanings.  One is to fool people into believing you are a woman, and not give you a second thought.  But there is a completely different meaning, too.  That is not to fool the observer(s) but to nonetheless be treated with respect, dignity and acceptance.

        By this second definition, I passed with flying colors.

         

        • #639313
          Gabriela Romani
          Managing Ambassador
          Registered On: January 11, 2021
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          Hello Alison.

          You make a very important distinction between the two scenarios, and I agree, they are very different. So why call them the same?
          In your personal experience, did it feel the same when you thought you were passing than when you felt you were being accepted?

          Acceptance allows us to be ourselves. While passing, at least as a CD, is more about role playing. And when “playing the part”, you only get feedback when you are doing a bad job at it. When you are good… you really don’t have a way to tell if they believed your character, or if they knew and didn’t care, or if they knew and hate it but couldn’t do anything about it, or they knew and even embraced you for who you are.

          But while attempting to pass, most restrict themselves to keeping quiet so they won’t be read, or know they will be read the moment they start talking. (So much for passing!). Very different when you feel confident and comfortable enough with who you are! And then you can really socialize with those around you and really enjoy being you and being out and about!! (Much better than pretending!)

          • #641021
            Alison Anderson
            Duchess
            Registered On: October 15, 2018
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            Sorry for the delay in the response, I have been busy with holidays.  But this lead to a serendipitous reading today which may explain things.  Pardon my mixed metaphor, but I think it works here.

            About 10 years ago I was at a dinner with many other crossdressers (and a few GG’s) before performing in a show.  The restaurant was on a lower level, down a ramp from the waiting area and entrance.  Since the meal had already been paid for, people were making their way back to get ready for the show on their own time.

            As I was leaving, I passed a woman in the waiting area.  As I was going past, she said to her friend in a “how-curious” tone, “You see that table of women down there?  I don’t think they’re women; I think they’re men.”  Well for me, I knew that the cat was out of the bag (and was alive).  But for the people remaining at the table, they had no idea and could easily believe they passed.  Not unlike Schrödinger’s cat, they both passed (in their minds) and didn’t pass (from my observation) at the same time.  For those remaining, the cat was very much still in the bag (and probably dead).

            Consider if you are in a room with 5 people.  One person knows but accepts you, and the others have no idea.  Did you pass or were you just accepted?  What if it were 1 out of 100?

            Do you have to fool everyone to pass?  What if you were walking somewhere and someone reads you but doesn’t say anything or act any different, or maybe says something when out of earshot (and maybe even out of sight)?  Did you pass?  You can easily be in a state of being read and accepted by some, and fooling others, at the same time, just as Schrödinger’s cat was alive and dead at the same time.  Since you really don’t know what others are thinking, you never know if you are fooling the other person or just being accepted.  And everybody is different, so the answer can be different person to person.  Does knowing what others are thinking really change the situation?

            It’s for this reason I consider being accepted and “passing” (fooling others) to be the same thing.  You never know how many you are fooling, how many just aren’t taking notice, how many people just don’t care, and how many people are accepting.  On the surface they all seem very different, but the result, the observation, is the only thing you know for certain.  If they are all the same, I consider all of these to be “passing.”

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          • #641063
            BobbiJo C
            Lady
            Registered On: March 29, 2022
            Topics: 2
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            Alison,

            I read this at 6am. Too in depth for this hour. My question is this,

            The cat doesn’t seem interested at all, does it?

            The only interest is in the observers and their reactions.

            Passing is confidence, in the mind of the observed.

            BobbiJo

            1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #638948
      Teri Linnealis
      Lady
      Registered On: January 28, 2022
      Topics: 7
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      Mary Jane,

      You said it all. On days when I feel less than stellar and I’m in full femme mode and dress, I’m just not as comfortable as other days. I do believe the nervousness is broadcast to those around you as you said. The other day in Target I felt the whole world was analyzing me due to my lack of confidence in myself at that moment. Very well done….Luv, TERI

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    • #638940
      Marie Chandler
      Baroness
      Registered On: June 29, 2020
      Topics: 4
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      I couldn’t agree more! For me, it’s all about being accepted rather than passing. With that in mind, I tend to go places where I think there is a high probability of being accepted. I’m a crossdresser. I don’t mind being seen as a crossdresser. I just don’t want to put myself in a position of being insulted for being a crossdresser.

      • #638961
        Mary Jane
        Lady
        Registered On: September 30, 2020
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        Oh yes. Treat ourselves with dignity and respect

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    • #638878
      Michelle
      Lady
      Registered On: October 14, 2020
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      Oh my gosh, truer words have never been spoken.  I understand some people’s need to pass, and I am by no means criticizing it.  The way I choose to present is no where near even attempting to pass.  I am in feminine clothes shoes, no makeup no forms.  I hold my head high and wear a smile, mostly because I am presenting exactly as I want, and comfortable doing it.  I get stares, looks, but that only emboldens me and increases my confidence.  It is my hope that a closeted soul will see me being happy and confident, and then think to themselves, it they can do it then why can’t I?  We will not be accepted until we can be happy and confident,  and most importantly be ourselves.

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      • #638921
        Michaela Anthony
        Lady
        Registered On: December 29, 2021
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        Well said Michelle, on this we are kindred spirits! ❤️

        *** Kayla ***

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    • #638872
      Michaela Anthony
      Lady
      Registered On: December 29, 2021
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      Another thoughtful post that’s right on the money Mary Jane!

      I’ve been working on developing an androgynously feminine style that I can wear out in public everyday without going full blown female (all the makeup and a wig). That style is 100% stealth women’s clothes and footwear plus my femme eyebrows with a touch of eye makeup and now my pierced ears. What I’ve put together and worn so far has really helped me to gain the confidence I need for if and when I think I’m ready for that next big step of presenting fully female. Whether I ever get there or not is not as important to me though as I’ve already proven to myself that I can go out into the world owning and enjoying my own comfortable feminine style without fear or shame. What a liberating experience this is! ❤️

      *** Kayla ***

    • #637944
      Liara Wolfe
      Duchess
      Registered On: August 14, 2021
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      Well said. The term blending seems more appropriate to me.

      Hugs, Liara

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      • #639348
        Marg Produe
        Lady
        Registered On: March 16, 2022
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        Thanks Liara.   I too am a blender.  It’s been that way all my life.  Marg

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    • #637552
      Aurora Eden
      Lady
      Registered On: June 29, 2021
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      Hi Mary Jane,

      You are so right! This has been my own experience as I have become more confident. So many people have told me lately that I look great or am always beautiful that I am beginning to believe it myself. 🙂

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    • #637551
      Diana Stockton
      Lady
      Registered On: September 6, 2015
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      I totally agree.  Confidence is extremely important.  I would also add to dress appropriately for the place you are at and your age.  Wearing a ball room dress at the mall will bring all the wrong attention.

      7 users thanked author for this post.
      • #637587
        Gabriela Romani
        Managing Ambassador
        Registered On: January 11, 2021
        Topics: 873
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        The conventional wisdom says that this is definitely true. But… Couple weeks ago I had a hair appointment and then a makeover. I had decided to wear a beautiful red floral dress and classic black pumps. By the time I was done with both appointments I was feeling so great that instead of just going back home I decided to go shopping to a mall. It was the middle of the day, on a lovely early spring day. My look out shopping after hair and makeup appointments

        I’m pretty sure that I must have been the only one wearing a dress and heels. And not any dress, but a bright red dress. Walked to one end of the mall to the other, and back. And it was totally fine. Any comments I got were positive. Was I passing? Don’t know, don’t care! I was enjoying myself, wasn’t doing anything outrageous or illegal, and I was feeling awesome and pretty!
        When out, I don’t shy away from interacting with people like I used to back almost 25 years ago when I went out for the first time. I engage in conversations with people, from sales ladies to other patrons. I have never practiced to get a perfect feminine voice, but I do fine.

        Anyway, long story short… Yes, in general, dress for the place and the time where/when you will be out. But also, don’t let that dictate who you are. We are special! We don’t have to shy away from expressing that!

        😉

    • #637522
      Tina Que
      Lady
      Registered On: April 14, 2021
      Topics: 50
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      Not only confidence but inner beauty. In our daily interactions, we seek those that have inner beauty as they are much more pleasant to be around. Outer beauty combined with inner ugliness makes for people that are nice to look at but not to talk to.
      Inner beauty can make social interactions much easier for both parties.
      We can be confident in ourselves but we can also draw confidence from our friends which can lend itself to how we portray ourselves.
      Shopping as Tina for the first time was scary at first but I had support which made me more confident.

    • #637520
      BobbiJo C
      Lady
      Registered On: March 29, 2022
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      Hi Mary Jane,

      I agree that confidence improves your vision of yourself.  Gaining this confidence  comes with repetition. I’ve been out and about for a number of years always interacting with the public. I’ve gained that confidence a little at a time to reach the level that I’m at now.

      One thought though. In the last 2 weeks,  I’ve been to a dry cleaner to have the dresses and gowns cleaned, Keystone,  and upon my 1st visit it didn’t seem to be a warm welcome.  The person was professional but seemed cold. Upon returning to pick up and drop off more dresses, she explained that she couldn’t find BobbiJo in their computer files, however she did find my old name.  She asked if I wanted it changed.  I said yes. After receiving my clothes,  we talked for 20 minutes and boy did I miss read her completely.  What a nice woman.

      Remember,  when in public that the public may be having a bad day and don’t miss read it as a negative opinion and let that break your growing confidence.

      • This reply was modified 1 month ago by BobbiJo C. Reason: spelling
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    • #637509
      Stephanie Bass
      Hostess
      Registered On: November 30, 2019
      Topics: 22
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      Hi Mary  Jane what a true statement for us all as only been out once into the world ha ha  at Keystone for a week it was eye opening as i was not scared was not nervous and happy being there with my wife in hand along with many girlfriends from CDH a blast and the plans are there for next year yea..

      Stephanie Bass

      • #637602
        Camryn Occasionnel
        Duchess
        Registered On: December 10, 2018
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        Hey, Steph, you bet, the Keystone conference was great — the most amazing experience I’ve ever had, drab or femme. So happy to meet you and many other girls from CDH.

        While at the conference, I didn’t care whether I “passed” or not (I know I did not), but it didn’t matter. I was among CD sisters from all over the country and the world. I’m sure the staff at the Sheraton were schooled before the conference started that they were to address us all as “ma’am” — and they did!!

        I wish it could’ve lasted forever!!

        Hugs, girlfriend!
        — Camryn

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        • #637609
          Stephanie Bass
          Hostess
          Registered On: November 30, 2019
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          Hi Camryn agreed it was a great time and yes to last longer for sure.. So plans are allready in the books for next year with wife in hand we will be there he he ..

          Stephanie

          4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #637507
      Michelle Davis
      Duchess
      Registered On: August 19, 2021
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      Hi Mary Jane,

      I think you have the right of it and I like Kim’s comparing the nervousness too speaking to a group for the first time.  I am hoping to have the opportunity and courage to go out in public sometime before the end of the year.  However, I am terrified and when I first started speaking in public I was so nervous I did very poorly at it due to the paralyzing fear I had.  Over time, I got much better at it and people told me I was a natural.  Little did they know I was still terrified but learned to manage the fear.  So the analogy is very helpful for me since I believe this journey will follow a similar path.  I will have trouble dealing with the fear at first but need to have patience and it will get better over time.  One thing that helped me with my speaking was convincing myself that the audience was on my side and wanted me to succeed and  were interested in what I had to say.  So going out I will try come up with a similar story to tell myself to help me manage the fear.   When I survive a few outings I know the fear will become easier to manage and a new world of possibilities to enjoy that feminine part of me will open up.

      I get a lot of insights from reading your posts and replies and appreciate this very helpful post.

      Hugs,

      Michelle

       

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    • #637498
      Kim Dahlenbergen
      Lady
      Registered On: November 18, 2019
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      I think some degree of nervousness and uncertainty are natural reactions to stepping out into the world as a woman.  And of course the lack of confidence will show.   That is true whether you are new to presenting as a woman in public or speaking to a group for the first time.     Expect to be read, expect to make a few mistakes.   That’s how we learn and grown.

      5 users thanked author for this post.
    • #637497
      Anonymous
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      There is a quote that I printed out and posted in my office. It reminds me about this subject. Here it is:

      “Unless you learn to face your own shadows, you will continue to see them in others, because the world outside you is only a reflection of the world inside you.” Carl Jung

      • #637500
        Teri Linnealis
        Lady
        Registered On: January 28, 2022
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        Amethyst,

        Awesome quote. So very true…Thanks for sharing….Hugs, TERI

        3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #637493
      Philippa Parker
      Baroness
      Registered On: March 13, 2018
      Topics: 3
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      Hi Mary Jane,
      I agree with you absolutely it is all about confidence and acting natural. Being who you are chest out looking the world between the eyes with the message this is who I am and are proud being that Trans Male to Female woman. In my experience this is not only the key to social acceptance but passing as well. I find the majority of people see me as the woman I should have been. I now go all over with this ‘don’t give a flying damn’ what other people think attitude to the extent that I now use the Ladies loos when out and about and don’t get a second glance. Without confidence there is no way I could have contemplated doing this. So yes confidence is indeed key to social acceptance (and it sure helps with passing).
      Love Philippa

      5 users thanked author for this post.
    • #637469
      Gabriela Romani
      Managing Ambassador
      Registered On: January 11, 2021
      Topics: 873
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      Hi Mary Jane.

      It seems to me that we end up getting to a very similar destination while traveling similar yet not identical roads.

      I believe that “passing” shouldn’t be the goal. At the end of the day, being accepted is what can bring joy to your heart and soul. And the only way to find acceptance from others starts by accepting your own self.

      Only then you can be really confident, be able to express who you are, instead of having to pretend being somebody else

      • #637485
        Mary Jane
        Lady
        Registered On: September 30, 2020
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        Well said.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #637466
      Raymond Swarmer
      Lady
      Registered On: August 22, 2020
      Topics: 2
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      I so very much agree with you Mary Jane. The other night coming home from my usual club outing i was very hungry. I decided to stop in at one of those all night quick cook restaurants for a bite before i went on home. It was very late, but there were a few customers there. Im one who really doesnt much worry what others think. I am who i am, like me or dont. To make this short, i had my meal, enjoyed a chat with the waitress, and went on home. I wish now that i could’ve heard the conversation there after i left, im sure it was quite interesting. I did this totally spur of the moment. Im another person who knows that i dont really pass, but I went in as myself and just enjoyed it, not worried at all what others may say or think. Thank you for an interesting topic.

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