Friday, August 18, 2023

Reaching Out

That’s me in the photo above seated in front of a Human Sexuality class at Southern Connecticut State University where I did outreach a few years ago.

I loved doing outreach.

Outreach was like the proverbial Forrest Gump box of chocolates. Going in, you had no idea what to expect, but you could be sure it would be interesting.

What is “outreach”?

Before I go on, let me briefly explain what outreach entailed for those of you who have no idea what I am talking about.

The goal of the outreach I was involved with was to educate civilians about being trans. We accomplished this by presenting a brief trans-oriented biography and then fielding questions from the civilians. Easy-peasy! Nothing to it! And it usually worked – at least the comments (written and oral) from the civilians indicated that they got it, that is, we usually were able to leave them with the knowledge that we are not freaks. Rather, we are just like they are – human beings just trying to get along in the world.

Our biographies established our credentials. It was the questions and answers that opened the eyes/minds of the civilians. 

Here are some of the more memorable questions I have answered doing outreach.

Q: Are you married?

A: Yes.

Q: a woman?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you crossdress when you have sex with your wife?

A: Never

Q: Why do you have your nails done only to go out once or twice a month?

A: I wear pre-glued, stick-on nails that take about five minutes to apply.

Q: How did you pick your female name? (This is probably the most asked question.)

A: It is a female version of my male name. (This is probably the most common answer to that question.)

Q: What do you do when someone stares at you or reacts negatively to you?

A: I try to disarm them with a smile and if they are close enough, I will say “Hello.”

Q: What do you do when you are at a bar and a guy hits on you?

A: I say I am not interested and point to my wedding ring.

Q: Which bathroom do you use?

A: I always use the ladies' room.

Q: Did you have a hard time learning to walk in heels?

A: No, I took to heels like a duck takes to water.
Q: Don't you worry that your voice gives you away when you are out in public?

A: Usually my voice is not an issue. (By the way, my voice is not deep and I am soft-spoken even in male mode.)

(I turned the question around and asked the class, “If you did not know I was a male, do you think my voice would give me away?” Three or four students answered and they said, “No.”)

Q: How do you hide your genitalia

A: I wear a panty girdle to keep my genitalia in check. At one time, I tried a gaff, but discovered that it was very uncomfortable and that my male parts would escape and required regaffing. The panty does a much better job keeping those parts in place and is much more comfortable.

Q: Do you do hormones or have you had surgery?

A: No. (That answer often surprises the students.)

Q: The way you move your hands and gesture is very feminine. Are you doing that intentionally?

A: It is not intentional. (I noticed that I gestured while answering the question and suddenly became aware that my hand gestures were indeed feminine, which gave me pause.)

Q: What would you do if you could do it over again?

A: I would live 24/7 as a woman without hormones and surgery, but I would have electrolysis.

Q: Do you ever feel that you are really a female?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you ever think about living full-time as a woman?

A: I think about it every day.

I don't go fishing for compliments when  I do outreach, but some come my way nonetheless.

A female student loved my hairdo and thought that my wig was my real hair. A pretty student said my makeup looked “fabulous.” Another commented that I should teach the females in the class how to apply makeup.

One female student thought I looked good enough to do female impersonation.

Another female student commented how good I looked for my age. Immediately, another female jumped in and said how well I was put together. After that comment, nearly all the females started talking at once, commenting about how nice I looked. I blushed with embarrassment and thanked them for their compliments.

One student commented that my outfit was “cute.” That made my day until another student stopped by to say, “You are so pretty!” She was very pretty herself and I was stunned by her compliment.

My most memorable outreach experience occurred about ten years ago. After the class, a female student approached me. She said that when I entered the class, she thought I was a woman, not a trans woman, but a born woman.

Thank you, I thought to myself, but then she added that besides thinking I was a born woman, I was also the most beautiful older adult woman that she had ever seen in person!

I thanked her profusely as she examined my presentation up close. She thought I was about 45 years old and she was very surprised when I revealed that I was 60 a the time. Then she told me something very personal that I will not repeat here. I thought I detected her eyes beginning to well up. The encounter became so emotional for me that I cannot remember if I gave her hug or not. (If I didn't, I should have.) Those few minutes with her were priceless to me and I will remember her forever. Can you understand why I love doing outreach!

By the way, I am available to do outreach. Contact me via e-mail at stana-stana (at-sign)

Source: Bebe
Wearing Bebe

Six young “ladies”
Six young “ladies”


  1. Did you ever have any students confide in you that they were transgender or cross dressed?

    Paula G

  2. Since the first time I ever put on a dress, and that was sixty years ago, I've craved sharing it with people. I don't understand why, but I yearn for some level of acceptance though by the time I was a freshman in High School and secretly dressed up in mom's outfits, being discovered was something I wanted yet intensely feared. I don't know what I would have done if mom had caught wearing her nylons and skirts. I never have been caught crossdressing.

    Yet throughout my life I've had dreams at night in which I'd show up to school or work dressed as a girl and no one ridiculed or teased me. Those are pleasant dreams and I love it when I have them.

    The very few occasions when I crossdressed in public: A High School Womanless Beauty Pageant, two Halloweens, and a couple of Crossdressing events, each time it felt very satisfying to be public in those safe settings, still I was terrified people would guess my secret.

    I remember seeing a tv show in the eighties in which a couple of the male characters were in drag and they looked so good I told myself if I looked that good as a girl I'd never dress as a man again. Of course I don't look that good and I don't dress up that often.

    Often I think that I'm glad I'm not a woman. I love woman and love being a man with my wife. I'll admit that had I'd been born to be a beautiful woman I probably would have like it just fine, but what if I'd been born to be an average, or unattractive woman, how would that have worked out?

    I'll never find complete answers, but I always wonder what's wrong with me?


  3. Stana, the picture of the college student is self-evident that they are young. I have read your postings of appearing at other events. You are "well put together" and totally opposite of any visual presentation of "drag queens." How do you think you'd be received in a group setting of random adults of an older generation.

    1. Good question. I will answer it in an upcoming blog post.