Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Better Read than Dead

I received the following e-mail from a reader:

When you're out as a woman and someone "reads" you or you run into any kind of trouble, how do you handle it?

Since I got my act together, I have been very lucky; I seldom notice anyone who I think might be reading me when I am out solo as a woman. However, my mileage will vary if I am out as a woman with other transpeople.

When I do get read, I seldom get more than a smirk or dirty look from a reader or a reader might nudge his/her companion to get their attention and "get a load of that."

I usually do one of two things when I think I’ve been read:

      Ignore the reader and go about my business.

      Flash a great big smile at the reader, which may disarm/confuse him/her.

There is a third option someone passed along to me that I would love to try, but never have:

      Flash a great big smile, then say, "Yes, you recognized me. Would you like my autograph?"

Thankfully, there has never been a "scene" or any kind or trouble that I have had to deal with.

Now let me back up a bit and elaborate on what I wrote above.

Since I got my act together…

When I was a "man in a dress," I got read more frequently than I do now. But as my presentation improved, the readings diminished.

I seldom notice anyone who I think might be reading me…

Unless the reader confronts you or reacts in some way (a smirk, a laugh, a grimace, etc.) indicating that they know what's up, you never know for sure if they are reading you or just checking you out or even better, admiring you. (I always assume the last option, although when I was less confident about my presentation, I always assumed the first option.)

By the way, I wear eyeglasses in boy mode, but seldom wear them in girl mode except when I am driving. As a result, I might miss a read or two sans eyeglasses. However, my vision is not that weak, so I doubt that I am missing much.

All that being said, in my opinion it is better to be read than be dead. That is, it is better to go out and experience the world as a woman and be read occasionally than to suffocate your woman in the closet.

Source: Madeleine
Wearing Madeleine.

Kevin Kriegel
Kevin Kriegel (center right) femulates on the Florida stage in Sylvia.
(Thank you Jan for the heads-up!)


  1. You keep your elbows like a man.

  2. A very good post. If we do ever meet I would hope that you would honor me with an autograph.

  3. Our group went out to dinner in San Jose area 2 Saturdays . We had a long walk to the Resturaunt & sat at bar drinks -then had dinner & walked back to car through town
    - no body batted a eye at us. Did anybody Clock us ? or is the Bay Area so kool with TS girls ? Or did we all pass?

  4. I saw a woman in a mall pushing a stroller and glaring at me as she walked, even over her shoulder. I did the smile and wave and I honestly believe she was more embarrassed being "read" as a fathead than I would be being "read" as a male.

    I do like the "want my autograph?" bit.

  5. This post is SO timely! I experienced my first real Girls Night Out last Wednesday night - casino with 2 GFs - and it gave me a great boost of self confidence. I have the opportunity to go out this Monday (daytime! Yikes!!) by myself, and have been vacillating. It's a "city bus to a thrift shop and bus home again" kinda trip, and quite honestly it's got me a tad scared. But your post was JUST what I needed to hear today! Thank you so much for all you do for those of us still taking baby steps - even though we're doing it in 4" pumps! (And to top it off, I just learned a theater in my town is doing the play SYLVIA this summer - and I'm going to go out for the cross dressing role!)

  6. I am reminded that on one of my very early excursions I decided to abandon my glasses to make it harder for anyone to recognise me. I thought a bonus would be that I would not see people staring at me either, however I'm sure they did stare at me as I walked into unseen lamp posts and post boxes!