Monday, December 2, 2013

Paula Visits Washington

By Paula Gaikowski

I was up at 3:45 to catch an early flight to Washington Dulles Airport. My plane got in at 7:45 AM and I was at the hotel by 9 AM. I was dressed and out the door by 11 AM. It seems to take at least two hours to get ready these days. This trip came up rather fast, so I didn’t have a lot of time to pick out new outfits.

The first stop was, of course, my dear Nordstrom. I went up to the woman’s section looking for a formal dress. There was only one I was interested in. The sales associate offered to let me try it on. I took a photo, but really didn’t like the way it fit.

I made a run to Payless shoes and found a pair of boots that fit. They were $50 and had to pass. I know I am going to regret that.

After spending the morning trying on all those beautiful expensive clothes at the Dulles Towne Center, I decided to grab some lunch before going to Burlington Coat Factory. I found a Chili’s near-by, had a salad for lunch and once again, nothing out of the ordinary happened. It amazes me that I don’t attract attention; I watch very closely out of the corner of my eye, but don’t see any glances or whispers. I won’t say I pass, but I am doing something fairly well.

In the Burlington Coat, I found three suits that I tried on. One was too big, one was too small and one fit just right. The same suit was on the rack at Lord & Taylor for $240; here it was just $40 in clearance. I loved it. It was beautiful and it made me feel so pretty, but I passed on it because it was really made for a formal event and not the kind of suit one would wear to the office or shopping.

So without having bought anything, I decided to go back to the M·A·C counter back at Dulles Towne Center and have them freshen up my makeup. I wanted to try a new look on my eyes. Of course, the sales associate was the prettiest thing and most friendly.

I just want to add here that if you are a novice or a newbie and you are trying to spread your transgender wings, M·A·C should be your first stop. Whether en drab or en femme, they will greet you with acceptance and a helpful positive attitude. When I read posts from girls asking “Should I tell them it’s a gift?” I answer “No, sister, you tell them they're for me," and your life will open up.

When I chat with sales associates at M·A·C, I always am very open about being transgender. I find this is a great opportunity for outreach and education. What I have found is once you open up, they usually have a ton of questions. This time the big question was “Why?”

It’s hard to answer “Why” on the fly at the M·A·C counter. I adjusted my heels on the foot rest of the high make-up chair I was sitting in, looked down at my nails while I thought a minute, and said something like this, “I have always admired, respected, and envied woman. For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to either be like them or be one myself. After many years of guilt and anxiety, I realized I may be different, but not bad. I do this because I appreciate women and their attributes. I value their nurturing, gentleness, empathy, sensitivity and compassion."

I believe I made my point well; she stepped back, with a thoughtful look on her face, and said “Wow, that’s so beautiful, I wish more men felt that way.” I then thought to myself if more men did they would probably be women or transgender.

Source: Femulate Archives

 Stunt man Bob Simmons femulating in the 1965 British film Thunderball.

Source: Daily Look

Wearing Daily Look.


  1. Great post, Paula, as was your "it's for me post" in September

    You're quite right, of course. My previous articles on telling to a friend about my other half explain that it has only had positive results (so far).

    Partly as a result of reading your earlier post I have decided when shopping for female clothes (away from my home town - I'm not ready for that yet) in future I will do the same as you. I have "come out" and shown photos to a female work colleague (after "sizing her up" for some time) and she has been great. I later summoned up the courage to say I really liked her lipstick (a shame that it took courage) and she told me what it was, where she gets it (MAC), and a story about how she chooses a shade. To have short conversation about that was nice (few straight men could do the same). Now let's see if, like you, I can have some conversations with sales staff when I say "It's for me". Michelle

  2. Thank you Stana for posting Paula's piece and thank you Paula for writing it.
    Paula, you photograph well and it is not a surprise that you can pass without causing a raised eyebrow. You look age and gender appropriate for the settings when you are out and about. I think it was very special that you got a "Wow, that's so beautiful..." comment from the makeup artist. It shows that everytime one of us gets out and about we open the door just a little wider for others.

  3. Paula, yo look stunning, and thanks so much for sharing your story

  4. Paula, as always your blogs are a joy and inspiration to read

  5. That is a great answer to 'why' and it would have taken me a lot longer than a minute's thought to have come up with such a perfect explanation

  6. Dear Paula,

    I enjoy all your articles that dear Stana posts. You do look lovely in all your photos. It is lovely to go out and about as a woman, and to be treated as a woman. I don't get out among the "general public" much, but when I do, love being called "Miss" or "M'am" and hearing myself being referred to as "she" and "her". We transgendered girls are SO LUCKY ... it is so beautiful completely dressing, being made-up, and acting as a woman!