She's got legs; she knows how to use them*
I am tall, so my legs are long; maybe their length causes an optical illusion making them look better than they really are. I don't know, but I am not going to argue with success. If other people are happy with my legs, then I am happy with them, too.
So, I ask myself, "Since my legs are such a great asset, why not show them off?" I usually respond by wearing skirts and dresses with short hemlines (sometimes scandalously short hemlines) and high heels that are 2, 3, or 4 inches high.
Adding 4-inch heels to my 5-foot, 14-inch stature, I standout in a crowd topping out at an Amazonian 6 and 1/2 feet! When I am out in that crowd, some people may think I am an Amazon; other people may think I am a man in drag.
One rule of thumb for passing is that you should dress your age, i.e., if you are an XX-year-old crossdresser, you should dress like an XX-year-old genetic woman. At my age (XX equals 40-something-plus) that means long skirts and lower heels or worse. By "worse" I am referring to the fact that these days genetic women dress like genetic men! Trousers and slacks, not skirts and dresses, is the norm especially among women my age.
Last month, I dined with four other T-girls at City Steam in downtown Hartford. The place was full of 20 and 30-somethings, men and women alike. Do you know how many people I saw in the restaurant wearing a skirt or a dress? Two: one of the T-girls I was dining with and me! I did not see one genetic woman in a skirt or dress. The temperature was hovering around 0 degrees that evening, so that had something to do with the dearth of hemlines among the distaff side of the crowd. Yet, you would think that there would be a few skirts around the knees of some genetic women, but there were none.
If I wanted to pass that night, I should have worn slacks, not the short black skirt that I did wear. And if I really wanted to pass that night, I should have worn flats instead of high-heeled boots, socks instead of pantyhose, a plaid shirt instead of an animal-print top, boxers instead of a panty girdle, a t-shirt instead of a bra. Also, I should have nixed the make up and left my pocketbook, wig, and jewelry at home. Then, I would have passed easily, but as a man.
In my opinion, passing is overrated. If I have to make a choice between dressing to pass or dressing to thrill, I will choose dressing to thrill every time. Sometimes, I dress to pass, but that is no fun. For starters, when I dress to pass, I usually am not very happy with the clothing I wear. To make matters worse, when I dress to pass, I constantly worry about passing. I cannot enjoy myself out en femme. It is a real drag!
On the other hand, when I dress to thrill, I am very happy with the way I look and I can be myself because I do not worry about passing. What is interesting is that sometimes when I am dressed to thrill, I pass!
Here is my favorite passing-when-I-wasn't-trying story. Years ago, I did office girl drag for Halloween at work. I ran my pantyhose early in the day, so during lunch, I went to CVS to buy another pair. I did not want to cause a commotion, so when I entered the store, I went straight to the first employee I saw and explained my predicament, i.e., I had run my pantyhose and needed another pair for my Halloween costume. The woman I spoke to responded with, "The pantyhose are in the last aisle, ma'am." And so it goes.
So when I go out en femme, I am likely to dress to thrill and show off my legs rather than dress to pass. If I do pass, then that is just an extra thrill.
* You all probably recognize that line from ZZ Top's hit recording Legs. I wonder if you remember a brief T-moment in the video for that song. In the video, leggy girls, who are dressed over-the-top, are shopping in a boutique outfitting for another girl who is more conservatively dressed. The T-moment occurs when one of the leggy girls grabs a dress from a guy who is holding the garment up to himself to see how he looks in that dress.
|Actor Josh Kenney femulates on stage in Fabulous!|
The Queen of the New Musical Comedies.