Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Real RLE

Real-life experience (RLE) is a process where transsexual and transgender people live full-time in their preferred gender identity for a period of time, in order to demonstrate that they can function as a member of said gender. —Wikipedia

I was thinking about my RLE.

The longest I have lived full-time in my preferred gender was when I attended Fantasia Fair for 7 days in 2008, 2012 and 2014, but I discount those experiences because the people who live and work at the site of the Fair, that is, Provincetown, Massachusetts, are aware that the transgenders are in town for the week. Every tall female stranger is a suspected transwoman and nobody passes. How can you have a real life experience in your preferred gender if almost everyone you interact with knows your assigned at birth gender?

Discounting Fantasia Fair as an RLE for that reason also discounts the various three, four, and five-day transgender conferences and conventions I have attended in the past.

That leaves me with my four-day full-time experiences in New York City in 2009 and Hamvention in 2010 through 2019 (sans 2017) and my too numerous to count one-day outings. I consider those my real RLEs.

Admittedly, in some cases, some people knew what was going on because I came out to them, but the majority of people did not know. They may have suspected something was up, but I was just as clueless about what they thought as they were clueless about me.

I do think it is noteworthy that no one reacted negatively to me during my RLEs (a youth in New York City called me a "dyke," but I considered that a positive reaction).

So either (a) I passed as a woman in other peoples' eyes, (b) people suspected something, but were not confident enough in their suspicions to react to the tranny, (c) people suspected something, but respected my desires to present as a woman, (d) people suspected something, but did not care, or (e) people suspected something, but were afraid to react to a crazy transwoman.


In my opinion, my RLEs successfully demonstrated that I can “function" as a woman.

Source: Intermix
Wearing Acler blazer

Jeremi Sikorski femulates Izabela Trojanowska on Polish television’s Your Face Sounds Familiar.


  1. The RLE for transexuals tests their ability to live permanently in their chosen gender
    They also find out what happens when the novelty wears off and walking down the street in jumper and skirt is nor more exciting for them than it is for non TG women

  2. Your RLEs are likely similar to the experiences of many others. Most of us get out and about when and where we can and hardly any of us ever report a negative experience. In today's society I suspect that most of our successful outings fall into one of the "a-e" categories you have mentioned. In your case, lumping in all of your RLEs I would add category "f", "all of the above".
    There is little doubt that you could function as a woman and even to the extent that the civilians you encounter suspect something you will find most of the reactions to be somewhere between tolerance and general acceptance.

  3. I think you neglect the "Nobody noticed one way or the other" option. I can walk around crowds all day and not notice that there are other people around me let alone that they may be crossdressed. In fact, I've gone out dressed and not noticed whether or not anyone noticed me!

  4. My therapist told me about the "5-9-5" rule: 5% will really support you, 90% don't care one whit and 5% will be openly hostile and try to hurt you. Lately I have had zero negativeother than a funny look from time to time, but I do live in California so that may factor in, too. I spent 12 years almost full time femme and my experience was that sometimes I got read right away to people I had spent significant time with being absolutely shocked when I came out to them.

  5. Part of RLE is doing the day-to-day life as the target gender. I think the Big Step is to get a job.

    1. Most women my age don’t have a job, which works for me!

  6. Stana -

    I'd say that nobody cared one way or another. You present well, and likely blend in better than I do. "Passing" is something that most of us don't do. And I only care that I am treated as the woman I'm presenting as.

    - - - - - -

    Meg -

    You are correct - part of RLE is working in your target gender. I am trying to do that now on a part time basis. Ideally, I will build up a career as Marian, and leave my other identity behind.


  7. Stana

    You pass very well in fact you dont even need to pass at all because you are a woman that leads her life as as normal person. Surely, you have confidence in going about your day with no worries ( except maybe for neighbours) about getting caught by some red neck?

    I have found I personally feel the most comfortable dressing in my age group as a middle aged woman on her way to and from work. Maybe for me its trying to represent a business woman as a fantasy instead of truly having gender identity feelings but I have less confidence as I am acting as opposed to more confidence as its a real internal feeling.

    I will probably know better if I can be a woman longer than a day to really know if I can wear Spanx that long

    I think confidence is so important

    Come on gurl, any woman walking at the local CVS with white gogo boots has to be the real deal?


  8. I spend a lot of time on Reditt r/asktransgender

    It's a 20 something crowd of transgender persons, the paradigm of one year Therapy->RLE->HRT->SRS

    seems to have gone by the wayside , many seem to slowly assimilate into their identified gender, many are on informed consent HRT

    A huge amount start dressing androgynously in high school and college

    They also have support from friends and family.

  9. Mostly people simply don't care. For most of us RLE is about doing the mundane ordinary day to day stuff, going to work, washing up, cutting the grass etc. I think there is also a large degree of how does it feel after six months, two years, or whatever, continuous experience of living all of life in your preferred gender identity.

  10. How do I apply to become a resident of RLE?