Monday, September 27, 2021

Coming Out Unintentionally

By Lisa

Do the people in your life know that you identify as CD or TG or something else outside the traditional binary? How do they know? Did you disclose it to them or did you unintentionally out yourself? Those questions are important if you are still partially in the closet as I am.

Coming out unintentionally came to mind when I was watching the excellent documentary Our Dad, Danielle, which played at the 2021 Vail Film Festival (23-26 September 2021). 

Danielle came out unintentionally to her daughter, Sarah, on a day when Danielle thought everyone in the family was away on a shopping trip. She decided to lounge in the family’s swimming pool in her swimsuit, but her daughter was in an upstairs bedroom with the blinds open and saw her dad and couldn’t make sense of it. 

Why would her dad wear a woman’s swimsuit? Had he simply looked for the nearest suit because his own swimsuit wasn’t available? It was confusing to her, so she asked her mother about it. Danielle’s wife, Becky, thereupon insisted to Danielle that she come clean.

That part brought back a memory when something similar happened to me. It also was very real to me because I am blessed with access to a swimming pool too and love to go there as Lisa (I also love to wear a sarong because I think it looks simply lovely).

My children are all grown and because I have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” relationship with my wife, when she is at work over the weekend, it is time for Lisa to be out. On one such a Saturday I was dressed casually with no makeup or wig making myself some lunch in the kitchen when my 28-year-old daughter walked into the room. It was her house too growing up and she was looking for something, so she thought nothing of simply walking in. She took one look at me and the only word she could utter was, “What?!” Whereupon I said, “Give me a second…” and I rushed out of the room to change into my costume (guy clothes). 

When I reappeared, I sat her down and explained that I was TG. She was gobsmacked because she had no idea that her dad identified as a woman. I told her that when she was a little over five years old, she had walked into the closet I shared with my wife and had seen me in a bra, panties and stockings. She didn’t remember that happening, which I found fascinating because it obviously meant that she had no strong feelings associated with seeing me in women’s undergarments. It was not in her long-term memory. Whereas I had very strong feelings being discovered by her and it was indelibly stamped in my own memory! 

It may be that the incident occurred prior to the point when she start noticing gender differences. In any case, as we talked I learned that the most important question for her was whether my wife knew about my gender dysphoria. I assured her that my wife knew, but only as much as my wife was willing to know. 

And my daughter wanted to know whether my sons knew. They did not and still might not know except that I felt compelled to tell them so that they had a personal stake in defending TG rights when a “bathroom bill” was introduced in our state legislature.

From the day of that outing until now, my daughter has been my staunchest ally and supporter. She allows me to share with her some of my experiences and feelings about being Lisa. She knows Lisa is fundamentally who I am. 

Kids today are so much more aware of trans issues and they fully accept that some people have gender dysphoria. Still, I have learned to keep my filters intact with her. A daughter is still a daughter, even if she is an ally. There are some things that are just too personal, particularly between a father and daughter, to be said or shared. I believe that is true for any relationship: an ally of mine (and I have some others) should only know what someone in that particular type of relationship would generally know about me.

How about you? Have you inadvertently been outed? If so, what did you do? Was it ultimately a positive or a negative experience? 

My hope is that you benefited from someone important in your life knowing, as I did – even if it was unplanned!

Source: Rue La La
Wearing Elisabetta Franchi

Fernand Raynaud
Fernand Raynaud femulating in the 1959 French film La Marraine De Charley (another rendition of Charley’s Aunt)


  1. Thing is there is so much social pressure against displaying a transfeminine identity which will never change in our time and no matter what laws are passed , people who do not have the desire to femulate will never and cannot understand , how can they ? it's not in them .

    1. I know you are correct, but we have seen rough progress in our lifetimes, haven't we? I have great hope for the young ones among us.

  2. I never like the movie, I understood it, but it looked more campy, than what there trying to show, the reason was sound, the mechanics wasn't,

    by Velma

    My next door neighbor, a retired Army Military Police officer, has been waaay too close to finding out my secret identity.

    One time, I was in my kitchen looking for a cold drink whilst dressing up.
    I heard the knock at the door and turned and realized the blinds were not fully pulled shut, so I hauled back into the back room, wearing only bra and girdle before my neighbor could see what was going on and perhaps figure anything out.

    The second close call with the same neighbor, was when I was driving back through the neighborhood, returning from a glorious day of shopping enfemme when I spotted the same neighbor and his wife cleaning up their front yard deadfall after a rather vicious thunderstorm.
    I realized that they would see a strange blond haired woman driving what is most distinctly ‘the neighbor-boy’s truck’ and I would have to do some ‘serious splainin’ if I got caught.

    The main trouble was that my bladder was on ‘full’ and I needed a pitstop.
    I quickly made a turn into another neighbors empty drive and drove out of the neighborhood to the nearby Taco Bell for some bladder relief.
    I decided to kill some time by shopping for makeup at the adjacent Target. I found nothing I wanted at Target, so I figured it was safe to drive back home. This time the neighbors were missing from their front yard, and ‘the coast was clear’ so I made a discrete landing back into my carport.


  4. I love those stories, Velma. There was a near miss for me as well with my youngest son. It is a long story, so for another time, but suffice it to say I had a good laugh it's him about it when I finally (intentionally) came out to him.

  5. A run into: Oops!

    Back in the 80s, I had planned a trip to Washington DC for the weekend, loved going to the two or more lesbian bars that were then operating in Georgetown. love the Smithsonian Museum and enjoyed the Library of Congress reading room during the daylight hours; so I took off Friday, dressed and spent the day driving up using the Shenandoah Parkway for part of the drive, making it a six to seven hour trip.

    Late in the day I stopped at one of the NEW outlet malls outside DC in Virginia, shopping in several stores and at a just opened Hanes Outlet: where I bought a couple dozen pairs of panty hose and several nice unmentionables at a great price.
    Standing in line with one lady checking out ahead of me, I turn around and my mother's best friend is standing there behind me, as both of our heels click as we move forward she says Hello Sweetie.....she was leaving after three days in DC on Business, she was back in the 1960s a one woman Public Relations Advertising firm that served Political Campaigns all over the State, She had a herd of political operatives that she contracted with in order to out together a complete Campaign Package. You may have heard of one of her Slogans, she said she should have trademarked it when she gave it to the State for use, it would have made her a living for was "Virginia is for Lovers".

    We had a nice talk in the Parking lot and she never said a word about my presentation.
    In later years, I would provide photography service in many of her Campaigns and at 6"2" I even was a personal escort "bodyguard-fixer" (in drab) for some events when her regular contractors could not cover a campaign event.
    Five years later I was at her house going over a photo assignment with her when the local wife of Politically active lawyer who had been just appointed to the State Supreme Court dropped by on Business, Mamie introduced me (in drab) to her as her "best friend's daughter".
    That was a RUSH. The Lady just looked at me and shuck her head, as everyone was used to what we called "Mamie-isms".... little did she know!!!


  6. An amazing story Sara. With love comes acceptance. I don't know Mamie, but what a wonderful woman!