Saturday, February 4, 2012

Overdressing vs. Passing

Dear Stana.

Even though I pass very well and I get flattering comments from both guys and other T-girls, this is only when I am at a T-girl club. Outside of the club, I always 'know' that I am not a natural female and this reflects in my looking nervous; in turn, the lack of confidence then makes me more easy to read!
I also go for a glamorous look, which once again, is great at a T-girl club, but natural girls don't wear heels and a glamorous dress to buy a quart of milk. But without the glamorous additions, I feel less female and more drab and therefore, more easily read. I also hate looking dowdy as a girl as the fun (to me anyway) is dressing up and looking 'sparkly' and glamorous. Else wise, I might as well stay a boy!
I know this is all due to confidence, but it would be lovely to just be Emma and go out to lunch without all the worry. If you have any ideas to reduce the anxiety then that would be great.




Dear Emma,

Been there, done that, and still doing that!

I don't dress glamouously unless the occasion calls for it, but I do dress very nicely (heels, dress, jewelry, makeup, etc.) when I go out. As a result, I sometimes am overdressed for the venue in which I find myself.

Like you, I worried that overdressing was a dead giveaway that I was a tran. So I avoided going places when I was overdressed, which in effect, kept me out of a lot of places.

Six years ago, I was dressed to the nines (very sparkly) to attend a Christmas party. On the way to the party, I realized that I forgot to buy munchies for the party (all the attendees were supposed to bring some food or drink to share).

There was a Stop & Shop in the neighborhood where I could buy something. I was way overdressed for Stop & Shop, but I convinced myself that I had a perfect excuse for being overdressed. Also, I recalled in the past seeing other overdressed women in Stop & Shop while (I assumed) they were on their way to or from a wedding or graduation or some other dressy event (or maybe they were trans, too).

Although my confidence was shaky, my mind was set and I went into Stop & Shop, picked out some baked goods, paid the cashier, and was out the door without an issue. No one paid any special attention to me, no one pointed at me, no one laughed at me. It was all so anti-climactic.

That episode did wonders for my confidence. After that I stopped worrying about being "overdressed." I go where I please and if I think about it, I just tell myself that I am an appropriately dressed office girl running an errand for the boss or somesuch excuse.

You say, "you pass very well," so that just makes it easier.

So just do it --- after a few forays out in the real world, you will be amazed how confident and comfortable you will feel.

You go, girl!


Need advice concerning femulation, then e-mail me and I will happily give you my opinion on the matter. My e-mail address is stana-stana at


  1. Thanks so much for your stories and comments on passing. Unfortunately, I don't pass or come anywhere near doing so, and am concerned about the reaction and my physical safety if seen to be a "man in a dress" (even though I see myself as a woman who somehow is widely mistaken for a man in day-to-day life).

    I think much of my concern stems from having already survived a murder attempt by three wilding youths who expressed the desire to beat someone to death and nearly accomplished that when they met me. It was a wholly random meeting (they were looking for a victim and I was the next person to round the corner), but it makes me think, and thinking is hesitation. Hesitation enough to forestall actualization, so when I go out, I view the world with my womanly eyes but his skin.

    I also looked different as a child, and that difference caused not just embarrassment but humiliation as a child (with my teachers' tacit permission and sometimes, participation). I never mind embarrassment, but humiliation is another thing because it brings me back to that place.

    Reading your stories of being able to freely go out as yourselves is both heartening and encouraging to me, even if only vicariously, and I appreciate your willingness to share your tips and adventures.

    Be well!


  2. Stana,
    You are right on with respect to stopping and picking up something for the party. Women forget things just as you did. So going in and getting a thing or too dressd for a party is something people can rationalize. On the other hand, if you were dressed to the nines and you had a full cart of groceries, then you probably woul dhave garnered some looks, even if you were a GG.


  3. Great letter from Emma and an on point answer from Stana.
    GGs do not need the clothes to feel feminine and for most a pair of slacks and pullover top does not obscure her gender.
    CDs in most slacks and tops look like men and we spend most of our time in man mode.
    Getting into femme mode, especially if planning to mix with the civilian population takes time, effort and thought. Plus it helps to have a workable face and body.
    Be thankful that you can pass and get out there without fear or shame whenever you can.
    The ten year old boy coming to bat in a critical little league baseball game feels great stress. A home run would be wonderful but not likely. A single may advance the game. A strikeout is dreaded.
    At the end of the game, win, lose or draw, our young man is all the better for having participated and perhaps in the next game the butterflies in his stomach will be a bit calmer. Either way he has experienced the stress and pleasure of participating.
    I think things are much the same when we get out and about. There are real fears and concerns but every time we do get out and about we gain experience and confidence and we come away from the event a more fulfilled person.
    Keep pressing the envelope whenever you can.

  4. My philosophy: people get dressed up when they're doing something special. Every time I go out, it's something special, so getting dressed nicely is a given.

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  6. yes i too feel over dressed, but i like dressing better. as another said if i must dress grubby...might as well be in drab.
    but i am just a office girl on her way home stopping to buy food, fuel, etc.

    maybe i have been lucky, but so far in some years i have not had a "problem". most people out there are just wanting to get on with there day, and after will have a smile and a story to tell over dinner.

    the arm daggers. at least do not go were i go.

    out having fun while i can.