Like most of us, I remember growing up and taking chances to find moments to be me. I would go into my sister’s room and wear one of her dresses, even for just a minute. Later on in life, living by myself, I had more chances to dress up. I realized I didn’t know much about clothes and makeup, what colors and styles would suit me, what sizes to buy, hair styles or color. All the things mothers helped their girls learn as they grew up into women. When I started going out, there were so many things I had to learn all by myself.  These are a few of the things I learned on my journey; I hope they can be of help to others as they embrace their own path.

I posted this list of mostly common sense tidbits on a different forum before. I had many good comments and I wanted to share them here. Most of these, I learned firsthand through personal experience (another story to share someday), and others happened to my friends and family. Hopefully, this list can help some of you avoid the mistakes that I learned the hard way!

1. Most important; you are the only one who knows all the facts about your own life so don’t let others tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. Make your own choices within your comfort level. Be happy with who you are.
2. Dressing up to stay home is a cool thing. You can wear whatever you please, makeup doesn’t need to be perfect, clothes don’t need to match, and it’s a great opportunity to experiment. If it makes you happy, great!!
3. Women come in all heights, weights, and shapes. It’s the same with us. You can look good no matter your body makeup. Don’t be afraid to try different looks.
4. Be realistic. Going out and trying to “pass” isn’t about being a glamour model…though some can pull it off; it’s more about looking like an everyday woman. I’d rather pass as a soccer mom than be called out by comments such as “That’s a hot tranny”.
5. Gaby’s Main rule for going out. There’s a big difference between being read and being recognized. Being read isn’t always a big deal. If you aren’t ready to deal with the repercussions of being recognized, then DON’T go out, at least not where you might be compromised.
6. Gaby’s second rule about going out. BE SAFE! Going to places that might put you at risk should be avoided. They might sound exciting, but if you don’t have a support group to go with, it’s better to go elsewhere. Don’t put yourself in a situation that could lead to harm.
7. Unlike dressing at home, going out is about blending in. The best way to find what works is through trial and error. Wearing the right size of clothes is key!!! The fact that you can squeeze into a size 8 dress doesn’t mean you’ll look good in a size 8 dress. It’s better to pay attention to how the clothes fit, rather than the size. This is especially true when buying tops and bottoms, usually different sizes for most of us.
8. About makeup. You need to find the right light to check your makeup. What may look good under fluorescent light may look like… well, not good in the sunlight.
9. Don’t be afraid to try different colors and clothing styles. The dress you envy in a catalog looks great on the model, but might look dreadful on you.
10. Most anybody can do a “glamour” look. The glam look isn’t normal for going out to most places. Take the time to practice with a more natural look. It also makes it less likely you’ll be read.
11. Always carry your real ID with you. If flying, don’t try to use a fake id, the same if you are stopped by police when driving.
12. Most stores will be ok with you shopping there as a woman, even if they read you. One thing to do to avoid a potential problem… when selecting things to try on, ask the clerk “Where can I try this on?” She may lead you to a more private dressing room. If you take the clothes and head to the main dressing room, and the women read you, it might make for unwanted trouble. Be upfront.
13. On using the ladies room. Act lady-like. Remember most women wash their hands before leaving the ladies room. Many times, you’ll find a line of women. Take a notebook, agenda, or something else to read, write on, etc. so you’ll look busy. The women will be less likely to talk to you (if you want to avoid small talk or lack confidence at first). A crowded restroom isn’t a good place to re-apply your makeup. If you are read, be quick to leave if you are asked and avoid making a scene. It’s not because she has the right to kick you out, but sometimes the wiser decision is to avoid the hassle.
14. High heels are nice. It takes lots of stamina to stand all day in them, especially if you aren’t used to doing it. Try keeping another pair of flats nearby, just in case.
15. In the long run, passing is better than not passing, though it sometimes feels anti-climactic. How can you really be sure you weren’t read and actually passed? (It’s not always easy to tell)
16. The chances of being read increases greatly by the number of CD’s in a group. The more there are, the more likely you might get read. Not that it’s bad being read, just be aware of it.
17. Do your best not to become a caricature of a woman. Avoid falsettos! Don’t overdo the hip-sway, etc.
18. Unless you are lucky to be “blessed” with wider (woman-like) hips, use some padding… really. Many women would love to have “boyish” hips, but in a CD, it increases the chances of being read. It’s better to keep a proportioned figure… (hips and shoulders should be balanced, waist should be roughly 2/3 the size of the hips)
19. Even if you have a credit card in your femme name, always carry some cash with you. Be sure to carry your male card with your name and another appropriate ID in case you are asked when you use your femme card.
20. A good “Rule of thumb” on how to dress for the occasion. Take note of what other women wear to similar outings. You don’t often see women dressed fancily at the mall. There is a cool trick if you want to dress up. Wear a small badge/plaque with your femme name on your lapel and people may think you work at one of the stores at the mall.

These are only a few of the things to be aware of and considered. I’ll share more in another post.


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The clothes I wear do not define who I am. I am the same person regardless if I present as a man in jeans and a plaid shirt or as a woman in a gorgeous gown. That may have been the most important moment in my self awareness. I don’t have a girl side or a guy side competing in one body. When I get to present as a woman I’m being myself as much as I am myself in my every day life. Being able to realize that I don't have to separate my personality in a "Feminine side" and a "masculine side", but that every aspect in me should be integrated into a well balanced persona was very liberating.
  1. Lori Femme 11 months ago

    All good points! I’ve been 24/7 for 2 years now and I’ve figured a lot of this out the hard way.

  2. Jennifer Acevedo 11 months ago

    Good list,you contradict on rule 3 and 18 ..Note to first timers if you can go out with a veteran or seasoned gal go for it .

    • Author
      Gabriela 11 months ago

      You think so Jennifer? Maybe. But while women may have narrow hips, (or wish they did), that is one clue for people to maybe look twice, and on a CD, is is likely that there will be more clues, in my opinion.

  3. April Serrano 10 months ago

    Nice points–especially about going for a more natural look!

    • Author
      Gabriela 5 months ago

      Achieving a natural female look, for a CD, is much more difficult than a very glamorous look, but if you can get it, it is a lot easier to be accepted when going out as a woman, IMHO

  4. Melissa Nelson 10 months ago

    I agree with what you wrote. I also follow these same priinciples. Just blend in don’t overdo it

    • Author
      Gabriela 5 months ago

      People dresses with different motivations. But if the motivation is to be able to go out and about and just be accepted as any other person, yes, blending in is the thing.

      Thank you Melissa!

  5. CharleneQ 2 months ago

    Is a newcomer just coming out and into my identity I find this information to be very helpful I’ve got to go in public good night girly where’s but from what I read when I am ready to do so I will keep in mind and we read this article hoping it will still be up thank you and you’re right it does help to get some information on how to do things what to do how to respond two situation that is certainly going to come up

    • Author
      Gabriela 1 month ago


      Late, but I’m glad you think that some of what I wrote may be of any help for anybody. 🙂 Just passing along tribal knowledge which either I got from somebody else, or from experiences of things that happened to me.

      Gaby ♥

      • CharleneQ 1 month ago

        I know I still got a lot to learn and understand not only about my parents mannerism but myself as well as I am growing into my on feminine side right now she’s curious self-conscious as well when she understands she has a long journey ahead of her but she’s more than willing to take it because she has waited and hidden in the dark for far too long in fear and she no longer has the strength continue down that path thank you for the information I will continue to read and get more

  6. CharleneQ 3 weeks ago

    when it comes to that technology and human behavior there is such a world of difference human behavior changes in pursuit of Freedom via technology however we become trapped seeking the freedom we long for because of the technology also technology has taken human behavior two-level disconnection more than connection sure we can interact with all those well via to technology Matrix but face-to-face live some of us are having a great deal of challenges we seem to forget that when you’re in someone’s face live there’s no point and click button because you get a reaction that you don’t like or I’m comfortable with I’m not a technophobia I love technology the abilities that it gives us connect to be more efficient and to be prompt but I also worry about the fact how we think technology can actually take the place of another human being in my life there’s no truth in that Humanity by default are design to connect to one another physically mentally and emotionally and it seems right now technology it’s helping us evade the physical connection part which is needed it has been proven that when people hug each other for 2 minutes or more there is an energy transference between the people that are hugging for instance if someone is feeling slightly depressed and another person is happy when they embrace one another there’s a energy transference that will help the depressed person’s energy level rise in the one whose energy levels already high goes up even a little bit more that’s something only technology can only monitor and not copy or pass on via email

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