Wednesday, December 6, 2023


I used to be very closeted. I feared being read because of my size (6'2"), so my closet was bounded by the walls of halls and hotels where crossdressing meetings and events were being held. As FDR once said, “...the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself,” so once I overcame my fear of heights, the closet walls disappeared and now I go anywhere and everywhere en femme.

Question: How did I overcome the fear?

Answer: By mixing with civilians. 

Doing so, you quickly realize that no one cares or if they do, they are not going to do anything about it except maybe smirk or nudge a companion to check out the crossdresser.

Almost 20 years ago, I was so sick and tired of being stuck in the closet that I decided to do something about it. So I put on my big girl panties and visited a mall, which I assumed was a safe place to go to escape from my closet.

Why are malls safe?

Malls have security to provide a modicum of safety for its customers. Visiting a mall, I never required help from security, so I assume the previous statement is true.

The sales staff in mall stores are in it for the money, so they will welcome all shoppers while overlooking their faults. I have never encountered a salesperson who was not welcoming. Don’t know if they knew I was crossdressing, but I assume some figured me out because when it was time to settle up, my driver’s license revealed all... sometimes.

I cherish the times when I handed over my driver’s license while using a credit card and be asked, “Is this your husband’s driver’s license.” By the way, I use a Bank of America credit card that only has the initial S for my first name, so if the seller does not require a driver’s license when I use my credit card, I am home free.

Visit a mall when they just open to avoid civilian crowds that show up later in the day. Today, crowds don’t bother me, but if you are just beginning to escape from the closet, fewer civilians in the mall will add to your comfort. Sadly, many malls are “dying” these days, so you may not encounter crowds any time of day.

Go to Sephora, M·A·C, Ulta or other makeup emporium and get a makeover. My first mall visit, I went to Sephora (photo above) and asked for a consultation concerning issues I had with my makeup application.

The Sephora saleswoman made me feel at ease, taught me a few things about makeup and made suggestions on how to improve my presentation. And, yes, the she knew I was crossdressing because during the consultation, I mentioned that I had beard cover under my foundation. 

The saleswoman probably knew already that I was en femme. Working up close to a customer, the telltale signs of masculinity are harder to hide, so a pro will know. Despite all that, she sensed my uneasiness and tried to settle me down by saying, “You only have one life to live and you should live it like you want. If someone has a problem, then it is their problem, not yours.”

I have lived by those words ever since.

Source: Rue La La
Wearing Yumi Kim


  1. Fake it til you make it! With crossdressing, we need not fake it for long before we realize that there is little practical difference in outcomes.

    One of the ironies of crossdressing is that we are safer in large crowds than we are when nearly alone.


  2. Excellent column today Stana! I echo your recommendation for makeup stores, especially Sephora. I'm well known at my local Sephora and they are very helpful no matter how I'm dressed. JJ

  3. When I first started going out, I would walk around places at night. Even if someone could tell that I was a man in a dress, they would hopefully not be able to see my face. That was such bad security. I started going out in public wearing skin-toned pantyhose under my men's shorts during the day. I figured everyone could tell. Eventually, I became brave enough to wear darker sheer pantyhose with shorts. People obviously noticed those. They would look at my legs, and then go on about their business. I learned two things from that: People could not see my nude pantyhose, and People did not care what I was wearing.
    I have found that it does not matter if you do not pass. It does not matter if you don't even present female. You can wear whatever you want and society flows with it.

  4. A number of years ago, I went en femme to a Macy's counter (Clinique?) for a makeover. At one point, I said "do you get a lot of 'girls' like me?" and she said "what do you mean 'like you'?" I could have kissed her.

    Stating the obvious, if there are a choice of makeup techs, find one whose makeup you like and approach her. There's always a chance someone else did hers, but....

    1. Meg, it’s so nice to see a comment from you! I was a faithful reader of your blog for many years. Thanks again for all of your great posts. Hope you’re well. Best wishes. Linda Marie Daniels

  5. Since I first began cross-dressing, the desire to go out in public has always lingered. As I reflect on it, I realize that it's about seeking recognition and validation for the woman within me. I don't believe this is fundamentally different from a cisgender woman who yearns to be acknowledged and treated as a woman. Going out in public feels like shedding training wheels or breaking free from a cage – it's an incredibly liberating experience to be addressed as "ma'am" or "miss."

    Paula G

  6. I certainly can relate when handing over your credit along with driver's license! I was checking into a hotel as Lee, I knew this hotel always asked for credit card along with the license. I had plans to strip off the make up, wig and be dressed a bit more androgynous, but at the last minute I decided to give a go. I handed the card and license to the clerk and she said, "Mam, I'll your need husband's license. Wow, that felt wonderful.

  7. Thank you to Stana and all the others for sharing their experiences out in the real world. As a stay-at-home CD, I live vicariously through your adventures so keep those stories coming! Please and thank you:)