Tuesday, February 9, 2021

I'm a Traveling Ma’am

Romney asked me for my views and advice about “traveling pretty.”

The term “traveling pretty” was popularized in a blog titled “Traveling Transgender” written by Kimberly Huddle, who flew regularly en femme. Kim has not posted anything since April 2020, but her blog had a great run for over 12 years and is well-worth visiting to read her flying pretty adventures (especially since I have never flown en femme, so have no advice to offer on that matter).

All my traveling pretty has been in a motor vehicle, mostly in my Subaru. And I have done so throughout Southern New England as well as New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The only advice I offer about driving en femme is to follow the rules of the road to avoid close encounters with officials wearing badges. 

No surprise here, but male drivers will take advantage of woman drivers. Men drive more aggressively when they cross paths with me. They assume that I will back off and give them the right of way, which I usually do, not because I am meek and mild, but because I am en femme and I do not want to get into an accident.

The worst that can happen traveling pretty in a motor vehicle is having an accident. Dealing with police and a potentially irate driver (of the other vehicle) is not my cup of tea. Luckily, I have never had an accident en femme despite driving a standard transmission vehicle in high heels over 14,000 miles. 

Almost as bad as having an accident is having a vehicle breakdown. 

Years ago after an outreach session, I returned to my Subaru and it would not start. I have AAA, but was not anxious to face a AAA man while I was en femme. So I popped the hood to have a look, found nothing suspicious and got back in the Subaru to try starting the car to no avail.

A small pickup truck pulled up next to me and two young fellows got out to offer assistance. After trying a few things unsuccessfully, they suggested trying to start the car by popping the clutch. I was parked on an incline, so all they had to do was give my car a little nudge and I was on my way, popping the clutch and getting a new battery the next day.

(Today, I have much more experience en femme dealing with men, so I would not hesitate to call AAA.)

Roadtrips require stops for gas, food, rest rooms and overnight stays. Dealing with civilians who sell gas, food and overnight accommodations is no worse than dealing with the sales rep at your favorite boutique; they want your money, so they will treat you nicely in order to collect it. I have never had a problem – even those times when I checked into a hotel en homme and checked out en femme. No one batted an eye.

Rest rooms are a different story. In Connecticut, it is legal to use a rest room that matches your gender presentation, but in some states, it is illegal to use a rest room designated opposite your birth gender. Seeking out a “family” designated rest room is your safest bet. However, that option is not always available, so you might have to throw caution to the wind and use a rest room designated opposite your birth gender. For what it’s worth, I always use the women's rest room wherever I am and have never had a problem. But your mileage may vary.  

I love traveling pretty and cannot wait for this pandemic to end so I can continue my travels en femme.

Bon voyage!


Wearing New York & Company
Wearing New York & Company

John Ritter femulating in a 1977 episode of The Love Boat. Just as I would never be pegged as a “civilian” in light of my history of public Halloween femulations, I believe that Ms. Ritter is in the same boat. He managed to find himself en femme in one too many of his television and film appearances.


  1. Stana

    Shy girls who have never been outside have a wonderful chance to do so wearing a mask. Of course travelling by car has its risks and I was always worried in a rental car in a state I knew nothing about. I have been super lucky to be able travel and bring an extra suitcase so I could venture out en femme. The fear has always been that I woukd be outed and humiliated in public and bumping into someone that may recognize me. I have found none of these were an issue but just my little voice inside my head holding me back. Several times I was confident enough to take the Metro in Montreal and no one ever noticed that the secretary was just doing what everyone else did. As long as I walked with a purpose and stayed confident I was able to go about my day. Visiting a Target during a slow evening also proved no one noticed. A big shout out to Kimberley doing what I never could do travelling by plane but you are right that checking in as a man and going out after as a women then back to man mode is easy peasy as most hotel staff have seen this before. In fact, if you are taking a long trip by car then a wig and a bit off make up , press on nails and low heels is easy to remove at your destination in the car as you dress like so many women in jeans and a sweat top. Of course a blouse is the better choice.

  2. Kimberly gave me the courage to step out while traveling on business. She is the one that showed me how to do it and that there was nothing to fear.

    Here's an oldie but goodie about my traveling days I hope they return soon.


    I never made a long distant road trip like you did Stana that is on my bucket list. What a sense of freedom it must be.

  3. What now seems like many years ago, when I was first considering going "Full Time" I decided to use a week's holiday in Malta with a good friend as a trial run. My plan was to travel and stay the week without a safety net, i.e. no male clothes or accoutrements at all. This meant that I would be flying each way traveling pretty, although at that point both Malta and the UK were in the EU it was still an international flight and all my ID was still very much in my male name.

    I used both "Traveling Transgender" and http://youcancallmemeg.blogspot.com/ as my text books and role models for the trip. Everything went well the whole week and I was treated with respect at every point. The only incident was when we arrived at the Malta passport control, I handed over my passport and the officer glanced at it and started saying " I think you've given me your husband's passp....." as he looked up and saw my very dark haired friend towering over me looking a bit like Fred Flintstone ~ as the penny dropped and he realised that I had given him the right passport he was all apologies, ushered us through quickly and never once misgendered me!

    That week went so well that I haven't looked back, I can say it was a truly life changing experience.

  4. I must admit, I have never Travelled Pretty. But I have made many an Out Of Town Business Trip where I took full advantage of the fact that no one in this town knew me. That level of annonymity does WONDERS for one's courage.
    I agree with your statement about retailers wanting your money. My experience has been that if you're not causing trouble, they are MORE than willing to take your cash. No matter how you are dressed.
    I have also had no trouble using the Ladies Room in a number of locations - restaurants, big box stores, fast food joints. It's all a matter of confidence. Walk in there like you belong and (practically) no one will bat an eye. In the spirit of full disclosure, I usually try to make sure there's not a full house in the Ladies Room before going in. Only once have I shared the facility at a Wal*Mart with 3 other ladies, and that was because I had to rush in due to an . . . emergency. (lol) But we all survived without an incident.

  5. Once upon a time Mikki went to her car after having dinner with friends and the damned thing wouldn't start. The symptoms pointed to a dead battery. I, too, could have "popped the clutch" and probably gotten home, but what if it stopped again and there was no place to re-do the clutch procedure? I figured, "What the hell", I'm a AAA member with one of their batteries, so I gave them a call. They got there efficiently, determined my battery had a dead cell and replaced it free of charge. The mechanic handled doing the job for a man in a dress quite well, not batting an eye and I don't recall him using any pronouns at all. It was nicely done and I headed home.

    Once I had gotten over the first couple, "Everybody is looking at me", episodes a bunch of years ago, I went into the, "Well I'm out here now, so whatever happens just happens" mode. And you know what, nobody has made even a small deal out of it. So the AAA event was just another in a series of encounters in the adventures of Mikki.

  6. I've never flown pretty, but I've driven pretty and made some long road trips. The longest was last winter from New England to Florida. I drove South like any other women stopping for meals, gas and hotels. Of course I was dressed appropriately for a women my age. When I checked into my the hotels, I showed my male drivers license; never a problem and no visible unusual response. I attended the mangers receptions and breakfast just as any other women my age traveling. I've also been stopped by police officers for minor infraction: tail light out, etc. Never a problem the officers were respectfully and helpful. So get out there and enjoy being the special women you are. Enjoy! I plan on driving again to Florida after I get the vaccine.

  7. Yeah John Ritter was an interesting case. I remember seeing him in some form of drag on just about every one of his TV shows (except Three's Company, oddly, where he played a guy pretending to be gay) and a couple of his movies. Hearts Afire, Hooperman, Changing Channels, this Love Boat spot etc. Who knows, maybe he just thought it was indispensably funny to be a guy dressed as a woman. But if he had a special interest in it, too bad he never got a chance to discuss it. Having a popular, apparently-straight actor talk about that sort of thing might've changed some perceptions.

    1. Actually, he did appear en femme on "Three's Company" on at least one occasion (the 1979 "Jack on the Lam" episode, in which Jack disguises himself as Chrissy to avoid FBI agents who are on his trail).

  8. I don't even have to dress en femme to look like a woman. No matter what I wear I am read as a woman. This makes for VERY interesting encounters with the men's room.
    A few interesting experiences:
    1. A couple saw me come out of the men's room and the woman went toward the men's restroom and the man went towards the women's restroom.
    2. I was standing close to a women's restroom and I was wearing standard male street clothes and a woman came up to me and asked me if I was waiting to use the women's restroom.
    3. A woman saw me going into a men's restroom and then entered it.
    4. As I enter a men's restroom I get puzzled expressions.

    When I encounter such situations I use my very masculine bass voice to set things straight. (I sing the deepest bass part in choirs, going down to C2, two ledger lines below the bass staff.)

  9. Driving in heels! I tried it once and took them off at the first stop light. Love these stories:)