I see transgender people shopping at the mall

T-Dar is an uncanny sixth sense we transgender seem to inherit when we embrace our trans-ness. It allows us to spot a potential sister hunting for a perfect skirt in the sale rack. Or an unusually tall woman from across the parking lot, or the otherwise perfect lady whose hands are just a bit large. With a few quick glances to confirm our suspicions (the adams apple and hands are usually the easiest places to tell), we feel a warm – if unspoken – bonding of community. Perhaps even a spark of inspiration at seeing a sister so confidently walking among us.

Staci writes an enjoyable blog called Femulate and recently she asked ‘Got T-Dar‘? Sharing the pitfalls of a T-Dar false positive, and the inherent inspiration. After all, if the six foot tall blond “woman” is actually a woman, doesn’t that give us more hope that we can maneuver our six foot selves around society without always causing a stir?

Over the last few years I’ve found myself getting more and more sensitive. It seems as if every time I visit Nordstrom Rack there are one or two ladies who get my T-Dar ringing. I’m torn between approaching them out of a sense of community, watching them for some tips, or quickly moving on so as not to draw unnecessary attention to them. After all, I imagine that I wouldn’t enjoy a similar amount of attention. I may perhaps even become a bit more disillusioned with any hope of passing in my momentary lapse, forgetting that the transgendered have this uncanny ability.

I can’t say that there is any one thing that sets off my T-dar. Height is an obvious factor, but I’ve been wrong more often than not relying just on this. I would say that after height, voice and body movement are the things I notice next. It usually starts as a subtle sense that something is amiss, that makes me pay attention.

Have you seen a transgender sister out and about? Have you approached them, or wish you’d approached them? Have you been approached by a sister while out and about?

Look fabulous!


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I’m passionate about creating a safe space for everyone in the transgender community to find laughter and friendship on their journey. I completed my physical transition in 2011 and through it I lost everything, and gained everything. I am blessed that I was forced to gaze inward and embark on the journey to discover and live my authentic self. My deepest wish is that all who wander here may find peace, happiness and freedom.

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Jane Don
Active Member
3 years ago

I’ve tried & Tried to get my TDAR & Gaydar working But—No dice—Is there a trick to turn it on?

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