Tuesday, October 30, 2007

passing among the clueless

Passing is challenging.

Although I have been crossdressing since I was a young pup, I have only been going out in public on a frequent basis during the past year.

Before that, I did go out, but usually to attend support group meetings or some outing sponsored by my support group or another trans-organization. In reality, those outings were just extensions of my closet with minimal contact with the public and I did not have to worry about being read.

I had an epiphany about a year ago when I gathered up all my courage and went shopping at a local mall. One of the first things I did was go to Sephora for a makeup consultation.

During my consultation, I mentioned to the consultant that I had beard cover under my foundation and that I was wearing beard cover because I was a crossdresser. The consultant probably knew that I was a crossdresser already. She sensed my uneasiness and tried to settle me down by saying, "You only have one life to live and you should live it like you want. If someone has a problem, then it is their problem, not yours."

Those words have stuck with me ever since. Whenever I hesitate going out in public, I remember those words and they motivate me to go forward, the public be damned.

But I am still a novice going out and at a stage that when I interact with the public, I assume that I am being read (because of the closer proximity of that public). And I am waiting for them to give me a clue that they know.

Most of the time, I do not get that clue. Either the other party has no clue and I am passing or they are good at concealing the fact that they know.

I guess that instead of looking for a clue, I should just go with the flow, assume that I pass, and enjoy my time out en femme.


  1. "You only have one life to live and you should live it like you want. If someone has a problem, then it is their problem, not yours."

    Very good advice, that is how I get through the day

  2. "I am waiting for them to give me a clue that they know."

    Another possibility is they probably know, but they don't care. Which has often been my experience. Admittedly I live in a very tolerant area, but I've got no illusions anyone mistakes me for female in up-close interactions.

    FWIW, I've found: 1) people are quite willing to treat me as if I were a woman; 2) people often seem to take their cue from me, i.e. if I act like it's nothing unusual, they won't either; 3) if I act like I deserve respect, I almost always get it.

    And on the rare occasions that someone's had a problem, as you're make-up artist said, it's their problem, not mine. As long as they're no threat to me, I just feel sorry for their small-mindedness.

    BTW, confidence is also good at turning the tables on the typical rude teen. Walking up to them, smiling sweetly, and saying something like "I know you were too shy to ask, but don't worry I'm happy to give you an autograph" will usually completely throw them for a loop, since they're expecting you to slink away. (Standard disclaimer: do use this technique with care, it's not suitable for would-be hate bashers.)

  3. The third possibility, that they know, but don't care, never occurred to me!

  4. I was a closeted crossdresser for years and then one day, 5 yrs ago, I decided to go out.
    I was scared as hell but nothing happened to me. I thought everybody was looking at me, but if it so was, nobody said anything whatsoever, so I began getting confidence.
    I am not yet fully confident and some times I scare out, but with time I have learned that people really dont care. Of course, I try to be as casual as possible, not to attire attention, but I can mix with the crowds, go to malls, and do manythings. I love when I am in a restaurant and they say me "Good evening, Mrs..." I think I lost a large part of my life in hiding, so I entirely agree with your makeup consultant "you only have one life".
    By the way, after struggling with many kinds of bear concealing foundation, I decided to laser my bear. I am very happy now with an almost bearless face.


  5. Today (Halloween) I was in a major mall. I saw a woman wearing glasses, made up with foundation that was a tad smoother than most women her age (early 30s, I'd guess), a tan suit and shoes that matched. Her walk in her heels was a bit off; her stride too long and too wobbly. I wonder how many people knew she was a crossdresser. I thought about it and looked for her, to just say "if I looked as good as you, I'd be dressed too!" and maybe mention that she should practice her walk, and my walk stinks too. I didn't find her again though, and I had to run to my yoga class. And yes, I thought of dressing for my yoga class. I wear women's sweats and a top anyway. Why not a wig and padding too? :)