Today, I continue addressing the questions and suggestions readers sent me in response to my call for topics that they would like me to write about or expand upon.
Joan Elizabeth Barette suggested, "I think something that would be welcomed would be if you editorialized on what your perceptions were of a particular femulated day and the interactions with others in greater detail. What do you perceive they perceive of that moment? Speculation can be so much fun!"
In past days out en femme, I tried to read the minds of everyone I encountered. I'd think, "Why did she smile at me?" or "Why is he staring at me?" or "Why did she glance at me?"
On those occasions in which I had to speak with a civilian, I often outed myself. I'd say, "You know I'm trans" or "I do drag" or "Normally, I don't dress like this."
And if I could manage it, I would avoid encounters with people altogether.
I stopped trying to read everyone's mind because I was bad at it. More than once, when I had to speak with someone (like a salesperson) and I assumed they had read me, I would out myself only to discover that they had no clue and were surprised at my revelation.
And I stopped outing myself. What the heck was I thinking when I was outing myself?
I still wonder what the people I speak with think about me. But I seldom wonder about the people that just pass by. It would just slow me down trying to figure out what everyone was thinking.
For example, walking through the mall last week, I probably passed a couple of hundred people, but most of them were just a blur to me. I paid little or no attention to them and as a result, I am not aware if they paid any attention to me.
I did notice a few women who smiled and/or said "Hello" as they passed by, as well as a couple of guys who were checking me out the way guys check out women. In both cases, it was an affirmation of my presentation as a woman and it made me feel wonderful.
When I entered DressBarn, one of the saleswomen greeted me, but they greet everyone who enters the store, so that indicated nothing. Later, I had to ask that same saleswoman to open a dressing room for me so I could try on the dresses I found and she did so without blinking an eye.
When I paid for the dresses, the same saleswoman handled the transaction. When they ring you up at DressBarn, they ask for your phone number and it reveals who you are. My wife and I both have accounts at DressBarn, so in the past, I have been asked if I was my wife or me when I gave them my phone number.
Last week, the saleswoman, did not ask and proceeded to ring up my order. Either she perceived me to be a woman and rang me up using my wife's account or she did not care. She was pleasant throughout the transaction and we even small-talked about the weather. So, who knows how she perceived me.
And that is typical for my days out en femme.