Are you OK with being called terms of endearment when you are out en femme?

How do you feel if a relative stranger used a term of endearment (such as dear, hon, honey, or love) when you were out en femme?

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  • It happened to me and I'm OK with it
  • It happened to me and it bothered me
  • It hasn't happened to me but I would be OK with it
  • It hasn't happened to me and I would be bothered by it
  • It depends on the circumstances
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  • #360750
    Alison Anderson
    Registered On: October 15, 2018
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    There has been a couple of women writing in to an advice columnist recenlty about strangers using terms of endearment, such as dear, hon, honey, or love. The original poster was against it, and there were some followups, both those who were OK (or indifferent), those who thought it wasn’t a big deal, and those who were strongly opposed to it.

    After the original post, but before the followup posts, I was at the supermarket deli counter, and the man behind the counter called me “hon.” Now I realize that it means I passed; I don’t think he would call me “hon” if he knew I was a guy. But on some level, it bothered me. Maybe I felt like it was condescending, or objectification. I could definitely see the point of view of those who don’t like it. When I walked away, he greeted the next woman in a similar fashion, so I understand that I wasn’t singled out.

    However, I have also been in restaurants before, both as a man and a woman, and the waitresses have used terms like “hon” before, and it never bothered me.

    I don’t know if I’ve changed, whether it depends on the gender of the person saying it, or just on the circumstances (waitresses often use such terms). I myself don’t use those terms, and particularly don’t do it  to strangers.

    I’m curious how others feel.

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    • #367281
      Patty Phose
      Registered On: May 7, 2016
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      The first time it happened to me was when I was 17. I was out in short shorts, pantyhose and platform wedges. I was waiting on a cashier line to buy more pantyhose at JC Penney. A woman behind me told me I had great legs. She really liked how my nylons made my legs look. She asked if the pantyhose I was wearing was what I was buying.

      I was shocked, stunned and pretty much petrified. Somehow I got the words out that I was wearing Legg’s Sheer Energy but I love JC Penney pantyhose too. I thing they make my legs look just as good.

      This happened several more times. At first I was nervous about it, but after a few encounters, I looked forward to it and hoped it would happen more often.

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    • #366226
      Jin Crocker
      Registered On: November 15, 2019
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      Happens a lot, especially if they are approaching from the rear. I have long hair and often wear ribbons, bows, or barrettes.

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    • #366210
      Penny Diamond
      Registered On: November 24, 2015
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      It hasn’t happened to me often and only once that I can remember … I was in town one day, near Christmas a few years ago and a man giving out ‘Christmas message’ leaflets gave one to me saying, “Here you go love!” as I passed by him, taking the leaflet. So I thanked him with a smile!

      It was a nice little boost to the ego, so I didn’t mind at all!

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    • #363795
      Registered On: October 22, 2015
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      still waiting for it to happen

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    • #363658
      Laura Lovett
      Registered On: March 26, 2020
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      GGs use those sort of terms all the time, so I am very comfortable with it, and use them when the occasion suits.

      I have mostly perceived men who use them to be posturing – with the exception of the theatre, where everyone calls each other darling for different reasons and effects.

      As Laura, I call people “Dear”, “Darling”, “Love”, “Poppet”, whatever springs to mind – but I would never emulate the lady I worked with in my first full time job.

      She called everyone “Duck”.

      Quack quack, oops!

      Love Laura

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    • #363584
      Brittney Andrews
      Registered On: August 1, 2019
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      I voted it would depend on the circumstances. I’ve only been dressed en fem outside twice so far, and both were safe/accepting environments. First was my CD/TG support group picnic last year and the second was clothes shopping at Janet’s Closet last month.

      I have been called Miss Brittney before, even when in drab. This has happened in one-on-one situations with cis women whom I have revealed to that I’m a CDer. If I was dressed en fem and out and about and a cis woman or a sister CDer addressed me with a term of endearment I’d welcome it. If it came from a cis male; it would definitely depend on if it was being used as a “pick-up” line, that I would not welcome.

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    • #362614
      Caty Ryan
      Registered On: August 27, 2017
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      The only time I can recall was when I  was out shopping in K mart in Caty mode and a woman almost bowled me over. She said “sorry dear” and went on her merry way.

      Guess in that very short moment I most “definitely passed”



    • #362587
      Paula F
      Registered On: August 7, 2019
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      I don’t mind being referred to as Ma’am, hon in public by people I don’t know, but there is definitely the circumstances when and where they are used that can make even those simple words sound condescending or even a little snarky.

      The place I have the most trouble with these ways of addressing each other are in the clubs.  A CD or Les GF can walk up to me and ask how I’m doing or even what’s shakin’, and end it with babe, and I am fine with that, because that’s how I know they are and we are friends of sorts.  Now, let a stranger say the same thing, male or female, and it has a totally different aspect to it.

      So, I guess it depends more on circumstances than about anything, and also on the mood we are in when we hear it too.  Being in a sour mood when someone says Ma’am or hon or dear, even if there was nothing negative intended by the other person, can make it sound totally different to me.

      I try to listen to how and when things are said to me before responding to them.  Again, it’s the effect of society trying to move and do things too fast.  We just need to slow down a bit and really listen to people.  I much prefer chatting with some one from the south than someone who talks so fast it’s hard to keep up sometimes.


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    • #362294
      Stephanie Flowers
      Registered On: June 26, 2017
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      That’s  something I really never really thought about but as time pass and eventually that special moment came that I venture out into the world it happened. Was at a gathering with other  wonderful cders and the waitress a pretty girl when taking my order replies “dear may I take your order” .well I was speechless to say the least. With a cracked voice I responded. Returning she compliment my outfit then said “enjoy your meal sweetie” I was beside my self but thank her as she left. Needless to say that night I did realize Stephanie is a person and that night 🌙  I felt wonderful and true to my dreams of being a woman. I smile every time it happens now.  An amazing experience for sure and it will certainly put a smile on your face every time 😀

      Stephanie 🌹….

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    • #362291
      Jennifer Swanson
      Registered On: April 20, 2019
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      It seems that anything a feminist might find objectionable a cd would love.  It’s so wonderful when anyone calls me mam or hon or dear.  This question misses the one answer I would love: when someone calls me by a term of endearment I’m thrilled all the way down to my silk panties.

    • #362121
      Deborah Sullivan
      Registered On: February 27, 2020
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      I love it when it happens too

    • #362120
      Mary Priscilla
      Registered On: May 23, 2020
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      Like many of the other responses, I would not only be OK with it, but would treat it as validation of my desire to be recognized as a woman (even if it was known that I was cross dressing.

    • #362062
      Registered On: June 18, 2020
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      I agree with you Lucinda, well said.
      It would make my day too, for all sorts of reasons

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    • #362002
      Rhonda Jones
      Registered On: March 17, 2019
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      Thank you Alison .

      Rhonda .

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    • #362001
      Rhonda Jones
      Registered On: March 17, 2019
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      Thank you Tiff Any .

      Rhonda .

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    • #361911
      Rozalyne Richards
      Registered On: March 10, 2018
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      Hi I’ve only been out a few times enn femme but never met anyone,

      If i could go out in full makeup and perhaps pass partly as female and someone gave me a compliment and called me love or ma’am or any other term of endearment i would be so thrilled i would be bursting with pride, xxxxx

    • #361721
      Registered On: January 21, 2018
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      Hi Alison, never bothered me, either as a guy or as a chick.  As to the condescension or creep factor to some of these phrases as various times, the problem isn’t the words but the vibe or attitude.  Anyway, I use these a lot, both here and in my offline life, it’s just my way of being friendly, I never mean any offense!!

      This is a little different perhaps, but one time I had to go file for unemployment — I had been laid off, wasn’t having any luck at finding another job & the bills were starting to pile up.  I was scared ishless.  The lady at the unemployment office called me “kiddo” lol suddenly, her calling me that made me feel that everything was gonna be ok

    • #361661
      Registered On: May 17, 2020
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      This is a thought provoking question. I am not so sure if I am more concerned with what someone else calls me, I pay more attention how it is said. If something is wrongly said, I try to step into their shoes and look at me from their view. I am so ok TODAY with ma’am, sir, miss, sweetie, as long they are respectful and very possibly confused.  It is quite possible from my masculine voice, I am male, my attire is female. Am I in trans to female?  They don’t know!  There were times past when I made those same mistakes.

      I personally have said thing wrongly yet innocently, and when I was corrected I would apologize.  I extend that same grace to others.  Opportunities for dialogue and education arise for me.

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    • #361421
      Rhonda Jones
      Registered On: March 17, 2019
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      About a month ago i was walking around a town , when i saw 2 men on the other side of the foot path .One of them called out to me the words ,lady lady how is the party up there ? .What he meant by, how is the party up there ? i have absolutely no idea .

      What i do know is I PASSED . THAT WAS A GREAT THRILL , it made me feel warm in side .

      Rhonda  .

    • #361322
      Kathryn Lynn Peters
      Registered On: October 10, 2016
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      Hi Alison,
      I’ve had this happen to me a number of times when I’ve been out as Kathryn and I took it as a sign of acceptance…that I could “pass” as a woman. Made me very happy! Then, the other day, I was in male mode (I have shoulder length hair and pierced ears and was wearing a pair of skinny jeans), I was in a doctor’s office waiting for an appointment. All the socially distanced chairs were taken when an older lady (it seems funny to say “older” when I’m 71) walked by looking for a seat. As I was raised to be a gentleman, I stood and indicated that she could have my seat. As I moved away, she spoke to someone on the phone and said,”Some nice lady just gave up her seat for me!” You could have knocked me down with a feather! It was a rush to be called a nice lady while in guy mode…I guess Kathryn is showing herself even in drab! Great topic, thanks!

      Hugs, Kathryn

    • #361235
      Registered On: January 24, 2017
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      Hi Alison, I’m in northern Canada, and I pretty much get called “dear” or “hon” at least once a week.  I certainly don’t mind it.  I suppose it depends on the tone of the delivery – if some guy says it in a very slimy kind of way, that would be offensive.  Luckily that has never happened to me.  Stay safe, stay healthy, All the Best, Hugs, Krista.

    • #361073
      Nick Lacroix
      Registered On: February 3, 2020
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      It honestly wouldn’t bother me. It would actually make me feel more feminine.

    • #361049
      Registered On: October 13, 2015
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      What an interesting topic…. Due to the health crisis, Leonara has not had the opportunity to stepping out to express her feminine alter ego.
      Hopefully, the opportunity will be soon. If and when someone refers to me as madam, mam, and holds the door open for me that would be the “Holy Grail” for any CD knowing that she passed and accepted.
      Hopefully I will be able to share with you that special moment…Leonara

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    • #361018
      Alice Underwire
      Registered On: September 16, 2019
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      I’ve had it happen several times.  Many use the term when speaking to another.  Often they have forgotten your name and use the term in their speech.


    • #360922
      Registered On: January 14, 2020
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      As I was born and raised in the south I said I would be okay. It is very common for both male and female to use such terms in  everyday encounters such as banks, retail, services, restaurants, etc. It is also very common for people to use please, thank you, your welcome, yes/no sir/ma’am. I do think however that those terms of familiarity has no place in the work place unless it is between close friends. I think that I would particularly  be flattered if addressed  like that while I was enfemme if it was done by a man. To me I would consider that passing as a woman….,Stephanie

    • #360887
      Stevie Steiner
      Registered On: June 11, 2020
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      I think the focus should be on the word endearment.  Pulling out my favorite book, Websters defines this as ” a word or act expressing affection “.  Assuming it is not said in a sneering manner, but in a friendly manner, I say bring it on.  The world needs a lot more affection in it, imho.

      There are a lot worse words out there ….


    • #360880
      Heather Jameson
      Registered On: April 1, 2019
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      I had a waiter call me miss once, boy did he get a great tip. I’ve been called dear a few times in stores and such and thought it was kind of nice and I’d bet a few of the British girls have been called love a few times, it’s a common term fora lady  over the pond.

    • #360870
      Lucinda Hawkns
      Registered On: September 1, 2015
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      if i had the chance to go out all dressed up an go shopping and some one called me hon or lady or mam, i would love to hear that  it would make me happy i passed as a female. plus hearing that mam or miss would make me feel so happy that i can pass as a female with out them knowing i was male dressed up as a female.

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    • #360867
      Alison Anderson
      Registered On: October 15, 2018
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      Ma’am or holding doors open is expected.  Peggy Sue, you make a point that the cultural norms may be determined by region and age of the other person.

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    • #360784
      Peggy Sue Williams
      Registered On: June 26, 2019
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      Oh my!  This is such a common thing here in the Deep South that I never realized it was that much different elsewhere?

      Well, now that I think about it, Atlanta is an international city, so yes, it is rarely heard down in the big city, but once one is away from Atlanta it is very common for people to address each other with, “honey, sweetheart, dear, pretty lady, love, sweetie, etc.”  Thinking more about, it is mostly persons over 40 who use these terms.  Special exception is Waffle House and the independent mom & pop country-style restaurants.  In those places, everyone is a honey, dear, sweetheart, etc.

      As a CD, when I am out as my female self, virtually all mature gentlemen will hold doors open for me and  call me ma’am, sweetheart, pretty lady, etc.

    • #360783
      Tiff Any
      Registered On: June 1, 2019
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      Hi Alison , I’ve been called babe or hun by girls in our exercise classes….I get treated like one of the girls there 😊💐💐

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    • #360773
      Amanda Cook
      Registered On: November 6, 2019
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      It has happened to me a few times over the years and It does not bother me for I ask for it ?!?! Like when I’m feeling sexy I’ll put a tight white top on with my black bra So it shows through it. A short Miniskirt that shows my stocking tops and 5 “ inch stilettos so I’m not surprised or upset when a man or two Shoutout Hey sexy or sex on legs I know I’ve got the response I wonted. If I didn’t won’t it I’d were a drab top a long skirt flat Shoes and then thay Say Deary.  Men get called names as well like Governor  guy. Mate And so on and thay don’t Moan

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    • #360754
      Sandy Jayson
      Registered On: September 29, 2019
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      Hi Alison, I thing it would depend tremendously on the circumstances.  I have been in drab many tinmes when a clerk or secretary has called me hon.  Sometimes I respond to those (jokingly) ” careful or I’ll get the wrong idea”.  In fem I would agree that in some cases I would feel yes I have ‘passed’.  Other places I think I might feel almost threatened.



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    • #360753
      Bettylou Cox
      Registered On: May 26, 2019
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      You nailed it when you said it was condescending.  Coming from a male stranger, it is a show of familiarity which is at best rude.  GGs, on the other hand, seem to use the term freely among themselves; including sales ladies to their clients.  I would take no offense under those circumstances.



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