Thursday, January 7, 2021

Can’t a man look beautiful?

The always lovely Carollyn passes along her passing success story.


I have never really worried about passing, but I realize is is part of dressing for all of us. We always want to look our best and not be “a man in a dress.”

I try to visit with my cosmologist about once a month. What happened on one of my visits with Melissa at the local mall could have been a disaster, but turned out better than either she or I could have expected.

Thursdays were always a good day for a trip to see Melissa, who was my makeup girl for about 10 years. The first session with Melissa, who I immediately told I was a crossdresser, was wonderful and we became good friends. She taught me so much about makeup application and style. One day, though, was the topper to my “passing.”

I arrived at the store at my typical 10 AM. My plan to was to see Melissa for a quick touch-up, then do a little shopping before we enjoying lunch together. While I was sitting in Melissa's work station, she whispered in my ear, “My mother-in-law is coming down the aisle. What should we do?” 

I responded, “Just let me sit here like any other customer.”

Melissa's mother-in-law, Mary, walked up, gave her a hug and sat down in the chair to the right of me. Melissa’s face turned a bit red. At first, Melissa chatted with her mother-in-law, but sooner than later, Mary started directing her conversation in my direction. 

Before I could answer, Melissa formally introduced me to her mother-in-law. Mary was so kind and complimented me on my outfit and hair and asked how long I have known Melissa. The three of us talked for about 15 minutes just like other women would in a cosmetology department.

Suddenly Melissa couldn’t contain herself and started laughing. She blurted out, “Mom, Carollyn is a crossdresser... you know, a man who likes to wear women's clothing.”

Mary almost fell out of her chair, but quickly regained her composure and said, “I can't believe it! You’re so beautiful.”

I said, “Can’t a man look beautiful?”

Wearing Lafayette 148
Wearing Lafayette 148

Andy Collins femulating on stage in She Rantulas from Outer Space in 3D
Andy Collins femulating on stage in She Rantulas from Outer Space in 3D.


  1. Ooops! I love your story Carollyn, but the wordsmith in me needs to correct your terminology. A cosmologist is someone who studies the universe. Carl Sagan was a cosmologist. Makeup artists are Estheticians. While cosmetics -- cosmology seems to be a logical connection, I suppose the space people got there first.

  2. Carolyn, thank you for your story -- it was wonderful. I did wonder why Melissa felt the need to out you in front of you. I would have expected one of our allies to mention it privately (if at all, as I am not sure why it is relevant as anything other than gossip). It is as if she thought it was funny because you were "fooling" Mary. But, I am not trying to pass to fool anyone. I am doing it because it makes me feel more authentically me, and there is nothing funny about that

    1. My impression is that Melissa thought that Mary was embarrassing Carollyn by talking to her woman to woman and tried to help

  3. Another word for esthetician (with your definition) is cosmetologist.

    1. Esthetician is a term often used (in the US) for cosmetologists in the mortuary business.

  4. Do you not use the word beautician on your side of the Pond?
    Penny from Edinburgh.

  5. Carollyn's above account quotes: "We always want to look our best and not be “a man in a dress.”". but however much i may agree with that statement personally, it is quite evident from a couple of other pics posted here with regard to the subject of passing (or otherwise) that others do not share that view.

    i can only assume anyone who (for want of a better description) is "a man in a dress" is making some kind of statement in that they feel they should be free to wear whatever they like, regardless of what rules or restrictions society has imposed on them a as a result of their physical gender? however, how do (what i assume are still the vast majority of) cross-dressers that do make that effort to "conform" to what might be considered the traditional stereotype female appearance (ironically more-so than most biological women do these days) feel about that?

  6. I love your story! I hate to be a wordsmith, but a cosmologist is someone who studies the solar system, Carl Sagan, for instance. You'd think yours is a correct word for someone in cosmetology but I guess the space guys got there first. The person who tries (usually in vain) to do something with my face calls herself a makeup artist because she always has to explain what an Esthetician is.