Monday, August 31, 2020

Not One Iota

Going out for the first time is a very big step in the life of a femulator.

When I grew tired of the closet, I wanted to go out en femme, but I was very apprehensive. After years of practice in the closet, I thought my dress, hair and makeup were passable, but my size worried me.

I did go out en femme to Halloween parties about a half dozen times and those experiences should have given me confidence about my femulating abilities. In each case, I dressed in “office girl drag” and strangers at those parties asked about me – they wanted to know, “Who is the woman not in costume?” Yet, I still shrank away from going out en femme because I thought my size would expose me as a faux female.

After about 20 years of femulating in the closet and out on Halloween, I joined a support group (Connecticut Outreach Society) that met 30 minutes away via the interstate. The group provided the option to dress at their meeting hall if desired, but I dressed at home and drove to the hall en femme. Perhaps, my Halloween experiences had emboldened me enough so that I did not fear driving en femme without the safety net of October 31.

I was a regular attendee of the support group’s meetings and eventually was on their board of directors, edited their newsletter and organized their annual banquets.

In addition to the annual banquet, about once a year, my support group had an outing – usually to a restaurant where we were ensconced in a separate dining room so as not to scare the civilians. I did not cotton much to those arrangements, but it was better than nothing and it did give me an opportunity to mix with the civilian staff of the restaurant and any civilian customers that I might encounter entering or exiting the establishment. And being a rebellious sort, I always used the civilian restroom instead of the bathroom assigned to us girls in order to mix it up with the civilians.

In retrospect, those outings don't seem like much, but they were baby steps in the right direction.

I wanted more, but I still feared that my size would out me. I attended a few trans conventions, which were typically held in high-rise hotels. In those scenarios, there was a greater chance to mix with the civilians, but in truth, the hotels were just a bigger closet than the one at home or at the hall where my support group met.

At one convention, a friend dragged me out of the hotel to shop and dine. Although I looked passable, those were deer-in-the-headlight moments. I acted like a man in a dress in fear of being found out rather than acting like a natural born woman. As a result, I was read right and left.

I retreated to the closets where I felt more comfortable and I became even more active in my support group editing their newsletter and running their annual banquet. The latter probably helped me a lot because I had to deal with civilians who ran the hotel where we held our banquets. In boy mode, I would contact the banquet person at the hotel and meet with her to arrange the event. In doing so, I was admitting to a civilian that I was trans and guess what? The world did not end and the news did not phase her one iota!

As I became more active, the need to go out increased. Finally, I had to do something, so one day, I dressed to shop – sweater tunic, leggings, booties, etc (see photo above) and drove to mall. I sat in my car for almost a half hour before I could overcome my fear and push myself out of my car and into the mall.

As an average looking, middle-aged woman, I was invisible shopping in the mall. No one paid any attention to me except for the sales people trying to sell me their wares. If any sales person figured me out, he or she did not indicate the discovery and treated me as the woman I portrayed. And guess what? The world did not end and my presence in the mall did not phase the civilians one iota.

The flood gates were now open and I began going out with great abandon. I attended a four-day workshop in Manhattan as a woman, I started doing outreach at colleges and universities as a woman,  I began attending ham radio events as a woman, I attended my law school reunion as a woman, etc. Whenever I went out, I went out as a woman.

And guess what? The world did not end and my presence in the world as a woman did not phase the civilians one iota.

Source: Beyond the Rack
Wearing Bosccolo

Jack McBrayer
Jack McBrayer femulating on television's 30 Rock : A One Time Special.


  1. Sally StoneAugust 31, 2020

    Stana, I read your comments and kept thinking you were writing about me. My coming out spanned years and my experiences are so similar to yours, it's almost uncanny. Thanks so much for the trip down memory lane. I will add that I wish I hadn't wasted so much of my life living in the closet. Well, at least I'm making up for lost time.

    1. Yes, “making up for lost time” is my motto!

  2. Thank you for sharing this story, Stana. I identify with the apprehension, the fear, the desire to get out of the "closet" - as I'm sure most of your readers do. And it's stories like this that can give those hesitant ladies the extra push to step out the door. For me, it was having someone to go out with, to take me by the arm and say "See, no one's staring and pointing." And of course that first time or two was all I needed to get the confidence to step out the door on my own. And we know that these successes can and do aid the struggles of many others. (Say, maybe this is a good topic for MY blog, too! ~~giggle~~)
    Again, thank you for sharing your experiences. (And I cast my vote for Mr McBrayer as Not A Civilian.) :)

  3. Stana Great article that documents very well the process and struggle of many years. I can relate to much, if not most of what you experienced, and just wish it hadn't taken us so long, or maybe journey is and was the part to be enjoyed.

    What you said below resonates so well with me, It wasn't so much being out dressed as a woman that I remember as milestones but admitting to a civilian that yes the make-up or the pantyhose were for me. That was so freeing.

    "In boy mode, I would contact the banquet person at the hotel and meet with her to arrange the event. In doing so, I was admitting to a civilian that I was trans and guess what? The world did not end and the news did not phase her one iota!"

    1. I believe most people don’t care as long as it does not affect them directly.

  4. It's really amazing, as we look back on our apprehensions about going out of the house as our femme selves, how little of an impression we make on the world. I'm embarrassed to think about how it took 1/2 hour to go maybe 20 yards from my car across a sidewalk to the door of the building where my first "Trans*Quility" meeting took place. Looking back on it the entire city of Baltimore was NOT right out there waiting to gawk at me and shame me. There was maybe one person within eyesight. And when I checked out in stores with my female products do I really think the clerks believed me when I told them the stuff was for some "other" female? Of course they knew the things were for me.

    I started just nodding when clerks asked, "Are they for your wife". Then a clerk in Nordstrom Rack said, "I'll bet you have a nice red dress to go with these red shoes", and I said, "I sure do". And that's all there was to it! The world didn't end! Not long after that I started going into dressing rooms, first at friendly stores like Avenue and Catherine's (Both now out of the retail business). At the makeup counter I started asking about my complexion. The world kept spinning and Mikki, even though I'm pretty clearly a man in a dress, was free to be out and about, just like her drab counterpart. Did I really go through all that grief? Sure did -- and I lived to tell!

    1. I found that saleswomen are glad to help you even in boy mode if you admit the truth.

  5. Stana, Thanks for your column always enjoy them. I really enjoyed this 8-31 column it sounds like so many of us. I have been getting out a bit over the last 45+ years, some more some less and I don't think I ever have had a negative comment. Maybe once I heard "hey is that a man" The come back should be "thanks, I almost forgot" although I don't think I have ever used it. I guess I have had more comments when I am buying something girly in boy mode. The answer to those comments are "there for me", which the SA knew anyway. To me getting Sallee out of the closet is a great cheap thrill, but not so sure it is cheap.
    My biggest concern is I don't want to lose the thrill and if I spend to much Sallee time it grows boring after 3 or 4 days. So, I try to keep things in perspective and not over due anything in my life. To much of a good thing might ruin the good thing. So, Sallee will keep getting out and about and try to keep things in perspective with life.
    Thanks for your column I look for it almost every day Sallee

  6. What the others said! Love your blog/column and you do so reflect the trials and tribulations of many of us.

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Joanne.