Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Bagged Cat

“That cat wasn't let out of the bag, it was yanked out!” – Fred Mertz

Exchanging e-mails and reading your comments about my Validation post brought to mind more thoughts on the subject.

Receiving a comment like “You look better than most women I know” is validating with regards to the way you look – your outfit, hair, makeup, etc. But is the commenter saying “As a crossdresser, you look better than most women I know” or is the commenter saying “As a woman, you look better than most women I know.” The former indicates that the commenter read you as a male, while the latter indicates that your femulation is working and the commenter believes that you are a cisgender female. 

Both interpretations are validating, but the former is definitely preferable to the latter. You'll never know for sure which is the case unless you broach that topic with the commenter. But why ruin a good thing and let the cat out of the bag. 

Not following this advice, I yanked the cat out of the bag on more than one occasion.

I believe I often pass at a distant, but not so much up close and personal. I assume that face-to-face, too many clues are apparent that give me away. In the past, with that in the back of my mind, I did not think twice if I said something that indicated that I was cisgender male.

About half the time when I gave myself away, I was surprised that the person I just clued in had no idea I was a guy! My femulation was good enough to convince them that I was really a woman! As a result, I have learned to bite my tongue when I feel a clue about to escape my mouth and just assume my femulation is working.

Wearing Ranna Gill
Wearing Ranna Gill

Blogger Hannah McKnight
Blogger Hannah McKnight


  1. I was shopping at Macy’s in a pink blouse, black lace skirt and Kate Spade heels, the prettiest but most uncomfortable shoes in my wardrobe. A woman in her 80’s stopped me and said “ I hope you’re not coming to work dressed like that!” At first I thought she meant that Macy’s shouldn’t allow male employees to wear such feminine clothing to work. I replied “No, I don’t work here.” To this she replied “Oh that’s good. You look so nice but I can’t imagine you standing in those shoes all day.” To this day I’m still not sure if she knew I was male!

  2. Me too! I never assume my femulation is working 100%, and the few times I have yanked that cat, I was surprised that THEY were surprised. So I have learned to take the compliment with a smile and a kind word in return. At the risk of filling these comments with trite aphorisms - "Never look a gift horse in the mouth"

  3. I consider myself to have very accurate trans-dar

    There's a term used on reditt trans forums "hug boxing" it means that you are giving inaccurate praise.

    Telling a person they look great or passing when they really are not.

    So no hug boxing here.

    When I watched the youtube of you at the hamvention I was amazed at how naturally feminine you spoke and moved.

    Your pictures always gave a great impression but those other two things seal the deal.

    So I believe you are passing more than you think

    1. Thank you, Paula.

      Until I saw that video, I had never seen myself "live" en femme, so I was clueless as to how I appeared to other people. When I saw that video, I was shocked by how feminine I appeared. Especially since I knew that I was not faking it; I knew that what I saw was the natural me.

      If you missed it, here is the link to the video. My appearance begins at the 6:40 mark.

  4. I am 6'4" tall and love to venture out. Even though I stand head and shoulders over most, I find that people only see what they want to see. Mostly it's a tall woman they see.

  5. The typical (if one exists) crossdresser works much harder on their appearance than the average woman. Particularly in this age of the mask, most women aren't bothering with makeup (or, maybe, a bit of eye liner and mascara), and are out in yoga pants or jeans and a t-shirt top. Admittedly, most of us need to wear more makeup for coverage and to feminize our features, and a lot of us aren't going out unless we are wearing a dress or skirt and heels. Thus the compliments, particularly from more mature women who still put themselves together regularly.