May
18th

Getting Laughed at for Crossdressing in Public

Filed under crossdressing, crossdressing in public | Posted by Gabrielle

checking makeup in carSociety (on the whole) has a problem with differences in people, especially when gender lines are crossed. One thing crossdressers often encounter is ridicule and/or harassment. The cause: choosing to be out in public in a feminine form of self-expression.

People laugh at other people in public all the time. If someone is too fat, too ugly, out of style, or has some kind of deformity, there’s a good chance they’ll be the butt of jokes from others. For a crossdresser, all one needs is to be identified as such, or as we call it, being read. That single element alone will draw unwanted negative attention, laughter, ridicule, and sometimes harm. Because only a very small percentage of crossdressers pass 100% as female, most of us risk facing this unpleasant treatment when we venture out en femme. Our crime is feminine self-expression.

I’m just starting to venture out into the public en femme. I got all dolled up this past Saturday and went for a drive (by myself). Mrs. H. was in the mood for a milkshake. Before returning home, I hit the drive-thru at a local McDonald’s and ordered us a couple of shakes. The young man (in his late teens or early 20′s) who handed me the shakes read me almost immediately after pulling up to the window. He had a hard time holding his composure but was able to do so (more or less) just long enough to hand me the shakes before turning around and laughing.

If you’ve seen photos of me (check the photo gallery), you may be wondering how he read me so easily. Looking feminine (to the extent of passing as female) in 2D pictures is one thing. In person and in motion, I certainly do not pass. My somewhat muscular arms were exposed, not to mention my femme-voice is less than convincing. Either of those may have played a role in his speedy recognition that my genetic gender differed from my expressed gender.

The photo up top is of me checking my makeup in the car prior to going to the drive-thru. Do I really look laughable? Is there a bright green booger dangling from my nose or giant wart protruding from face or something this guy might have found to be good cause for uncontrollable laughter? Maybe I’m wearing too much makeup. My wife told me I had on too much blush… and she’s right. I’ve seen real women wearing much more makeup than I was without being laughed at for it though. Aside from the fact that I’m a male to female crossresser, what exactly looks so funny about this picture?

No one enjoys being laughed at, but I can’t say it bothered me much. My immediate reaction was to begin laughing myself. For some reason, I often find amusement in situations that should be embarrassing to me. When I’m all dressed up as Gabrielle, I simply feel too good about myself for something like this to upset me. Even so, I would have preferred not being laughed at. I think it’s safe to say I also became an amusing story told to his co-workers/friends that night and will likely be a reoccurring story of “those crazy people you meet working the drive-thru”.

Being laughed at for simply being (read as) a crossdresser is pretty disturbing to me. If all other elements are status quo – why is feminine self-expression alone still cause for such amusement? The short answer is because we are still stuck in the 1950′s when it comes to transgendered issues.

There was a time when a black person might easily be laughed at, ridiculed, or even harmed by whites – the only reason being their skin color. It seems completely absurd today to think that such behavior could have ever been so widely accepted and tolerated in society. Does perfect racial equality exist today? Not likely. Will a black person still face laughter, ridicule, and harm from a white person simply for being black? With few exceptions, the answer is no, of course not. Why would anyone (non-black) treat a black person poorly simply for being black? It makes no sense.

So why then are the lines still firmly drawn at gender expression? Why is it funny to see a man who chooses a feminine form of self-expression? Why is it cause for laughter and ridicule? Why is it cause for harm? What year do we live in again?

It’s been established as fact, that crossdressers are not mentally sick for their choices in personal expression. Some crossdressers may actually be mentally sick, but that is an entirely separate personal trait and not related to the crossdressing. A mentally sick non-crossdresser is not mentally sick because they don’t crossdress, right? Doctors, psychologists, and professionals in the mental health fields all know the truth: crossdressing is but a very natural form of self-expression in men who have a strong feminine side to them. It varies from one to the next, but that’s it in a nutshell.

Sadly, it’s going to be some time before crossdressers and trasngendered people are treated with proper respect in society. Regardless, it’s not going to stop me. This is the first time I’ve been laughed at in public for simply being a crossdresser and it won’t be the last. I will not stop venturing out en femme because people might laugh at me. Maybe I’ll wear a little less makeup in the future, but I’m just getting started.

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82 Responses to “Getting Laughed at for Crossdressing in Public”

  1. By Sarah on May 18, 2009 | Reply

    We are all unhappy at being laughed at, for whatever reason. How much it happens to a crossdresser that has the audacity to venture out into society, depends to some extent on the culture of that society. Take my case in point. I live near Cape Town in South Africa and have been going shopping en femme now for some months. Once again, if you look at my pics on Flickr you may think I can pass easily but I don’t have too many illusions about it in reality. I am 73 and when dressed, feel about 43 but the wrinkles are a bit hard to hide (I photoshop them out before posting). Despite this, nobody has laughed at me, at least not openly and I believe that this is because I live in a very reserved society here in the Western Cape. It takes years to be accepted when you move in from another part of the world – even if you are completely normal and conventional. Cross-dressers would probably never be accepted, hence they are ignored if seen. We become invisible !! This is absolutely fine with me because I have told nobody about it here anyway. I hope to socialise with other cd’s one day, but it will only happen when I visit a more open society.

  2. By Gabrielle on May 18, 2009 | Reply

    I’m glad to hear you can move about en femme without being laughed at or otherwise bothered, Sarah. :) I wish it were more like that where I live. People around here are generally very closed minded and pretty vocal about it. Being invisible is a good thing to an extent (certainly much safer), but I’d honestly rather be respected than ignored.

  3. By Sarah on May 18, 2009 | Reply

    You are quite right Gabrielle. It would be much better to be respected than ignored However human nature is such that respect is not easily achieved. It also depends on what you mean by respect – a much maligned word these days in my opinion. Many young punks go around in the world today being aggressive and even criminal, aying that all they want is “respect, man ” Society in this case is quite right in according them disdain. What we as cross-dressers really need, in my view, is not respect -after all we arn’t really doing something wonderful that the world looks up to such as winning an Olympic medal, or saving whales etc. All we really can hope for is complete tolerance for our predelictions which are no threat to anyone.
    I doubt I will see it in my lifetime but perhaps you will. Great to be in contact. write to me directly if you want.

  4. By Gabrielle on May 19, 2009 | Reply

    Thanks for your input, Jessica. I understand his laughter and you’re right about the insecurity thing. He’s probably never seen a crossdresser in person and has no real knowledge about who we are. In his mind, I’m sure we’re a bunch of freaky, perverted “fagots” (note the quotes) who wish we could trade our man parts for girl parts. We need to educate people about us and make it known that we are NOT perverted, deviant freaks. We’re people with feelings, emotions, lives, families, we experience pain and loss, we work, we pay our dues on this planet just like every one else… and then we pay even MORE dues simply because we exist on both sides of the gender spectrum.

    Like I said – this is the first time I’ve been laughed at in public and will not be the last. I really appreciate your compliments on my photos! :) Keep in mind it’s a lot easier to look passable in 2D photos than when I’m in full 3D and in motion. I don’t pass (in person) and this guy read me in an instant. I think I still look good in person, but not truly female good.

    I forgot to add in my article that there were two windows I drove up to. The first window, the guy there took my money, made change and wished me a good evening. I said nothing, and just smiled and nodded. He never looked at me funny, smiled, or did anything out of the normal. I believe I passed to him. It was the second window that had another guy who handed me my shakes, one at a time. It may have been my lame feminine voice that tipped him off, because I did vocally respond to his greeting. Regardless, he read me and the other did not. 50% ain’t too shabby for my first interactions outside my own home, right? :)

    I’m not afraid to be who I am. I’m not ashamed of who I am. I LOVE who I am. Laughter, jokes, funny looks, and all the other garbage I’m going to get will not have me cowering with fear and keep me locked inside my house. Not by a long shot. I need to mind my safety of course, but if it’s just laughter, stupid comments, and funny looks – I don’t really care. I’d rather not be laughed at or made fun of, but I expect this will just be something I’ll need to deal with for a while. It doesn’t get to me though. I feel too damn good about myself for something so trivial to bother me. I’ll get my respect in the end. We ALL will. :)

  5. By Jessica on May 19, 2009 | Reply

    I really admire your courage in venturing out and not letting being laughed at slow you down. People laugh and point when they feel insecure in themselves. Maybe the dude saw you in the camera, thought you were cute, and then upon hearing your voice felt embarrassed that he still felt attraction :).

    You look great in the photos and I hope to be brave enough soon to have my own adventures to tell of. Just remember that you are inspiring so many people by choosing to be a trailblazer.

  6. By Tom on May 22, 2009 | Reply

    Hey Gab’s… go back there and ask him to help you out with some weed.. then he would think your cool.. nice move on going to mac’a’dees.. you do look pritty cool in your pics btw.. but the one above.. hot.. but to much blush.. love them gloves though, no like really were did u get them.. i have to know!

  7. By Gabrielle on May 22, 2009 | Reply

    Thanks, Tom. :) Yeah – I’m blushing about wearing too much blush. lol Got a little carried away with the blush brush.

    The gloves (gauntlets?) came from a chain store called “Hot Topic”. They sell alternative and gothic style items. It’s a pretty cool place. I’m may go there as Gabrielle sometime.

  8. By Tashee on Jun 1, 2009 | Reply

    I have been terribly sick so when I get laughed at for being enfemm I feel like i’ve died already.
    I am so glad you & the many can handle this-This so called social stigma must be broken At all costs.

  9. By Gabrielle on Jun 1, 2009 | Reply

    We’ll break that social stigma, Tashee. It will take some time, but we’ll get there. :)

  10. By "Anna" on Jun 7, 2009 | Reply

    You mentioned that it use to be how the blacks were so overly discriminated against, but how that changed, because it was wrong!
    I went to a church open discussion time last night. I live in Iowa and the topic was how horrible it is that we passed the gay marriage laws. I’ve always been hugely for equal gay rights, even before Matt came out to me as a cross dresser and the discrimination now falls on us too.
    I tried to make the point that GLBT groups {crossdressers too} deserve their rights just like blacks and women deserved the right to vote.
    They pounced on me….told me that the black/women issue is hugely different, that the Bible doesn’t say how wrong that is. Told me I wasn’t a Christian.
    Society has such a long way to go. More than laughing, I worry about the day someone shoots Matt and me for being with him.

  11. By Gabrielle on Jun 8, 2009 | Reply

    I think it’s great that you had the backbone to stand up and speak your mind, Anna. :) I also believe that gays should be allowed to marry… jeez, sometimes I can’t believe how far behind our society really is when it comes to basic HUMAN rights. People still treat other people as non-humans if they’re too different. It’s terrible… and yet still so accepted today.

    Sadly, many “people of God” twist and contort Bible passages and use God’s “word” (note the quotes here) as a powerful means of control and influence over others. The Christian faith is not the only one that suffers from this – I’m sure you’ve heard of people “killing in the name of God” (or Allah). It sickens me – it truly sickens me to see people use God as their personal tool of influence. I think some of them may not know better, but I’m sure that many of them know exactly what they’re doing. They’re preaching HATE in the name of God, and they believe that hiding behind the Bible (or their twisted version there of) will hide the fact that they’re just haters and allow them to keep things in their communities just as they are – stuck in the good old 1950′s! ;)

    I too, worry about harm coming to me. Not so much from Christians, but from thugs or tough-guys wanting to “teach me a lesson”. I do not exactly live in a very open-minded town. Plenty of haters around here in addition to all those who would make fun of and laugh at me.

  12. By Robert on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    First a little history. I have been crossdressing since I was 11 yrs. of age. My mother started me by dressing me as a girl for the next 5 yrs. Except for when I was at school, I was in dresses. She took me out dressed for shopping or to babysit for her female friends. The only thing is she never got me skirts, I discovered those on my own.
    I go out dressed. I have grocery shopped, been to department stores (Walmart, Kmart,etc).
    I wear my skirts or my skorts. Sometimes I will mix my male shirts with the skirts/skorts, or wear a nice blouse. I have yet to have a negative reaction from either the store clerks or from the other customers at the stores. I did once have a guy ask me if I was Gay (I’m not)and I told him no and if he was looking he went to the wrong place.
    So I don’t understand how some people here are getting the reactions stated. The only way you get a reaction is if and when you do something that attracts attention from other people. Just so you know. I am not passable, I look like a man in a skirt, nor do most of my mannerisms say female. I do it (crossdress) for comfort. I HATE WEARING PANTS, I only own five pair. However, I own 13 skirts and 6 skorts.

  13. By Gabrielle on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks for sharing your experiences in public, Robert. :) I’m happy to hear that they have been positive and without negative incident. That is how it should be for everyone, regardless of personal appearance.

    I’ve ventured out in public a handful of times since publishing this article. Each and every time I have come in contact with other people, I was laughed at, at least once. Not by everyone who has set eyes on me, the ones who laugh are usually in the minority.

    I think the difference in reaction people get is based on a number of factors. Location is probably the most significant. If you were to travel the same paths I have in my town, I have little doubt that you would also get laughed at by at least a few. I live in an area that is fairly lacking in sophistication, culture, and open-mindedness. The average income level is low, as is general level of education. That is not to say there are not open-minded people who are very accepting of differences around here, I am only pointing out that there is a significant number of those who do not. Drive an hour to the east, and those conditions change considerably.

    I am certain that if I were to move to a better environment, my public outings would be that much more enjoyable with minimal chance of static from others. I am also certain that when I finally vacate my current town of residence, I will be kicking myself for not doing so much sooner – for many reasons, not just public acceptance.

    There is no shortage of jerks in the world, regardless of location. One need not be crossdressed to be made fun of or laughed at by others. Around here, and many places abroad, exhibiting any significant difference from the “norm” can result in trouble. To put things in perspective, there are still places in which racial differences can be troublesome. I think it is safe to say that those places are also lacking in the higher education and sophistication departments among other things.

  14. By CHARLENE-ANN on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    MY OPINION IS THAT PEOPLE THAT TREAT YOU BADLY ARE YOUR BEST FRIENDS. I HAVE FEMALE FRIENDS THAT TAKE CARE OF MY HAIR, FACE, GIRL CLOTHES, TAKE PICTURES AND GO OUT WITH ME EVERYWHERE AND THEY SAY I PASS. NOW THAT IS FUN ESPECIALLY WHEN I AM WITH DOZENS OF PEOPLE. ONE LADY IN A BAR CAME UP TO ME AND SAID I LOOK RIDICULOUS AND WAS I FORCED TO DRESS IN GIRL CLOTHES. NOW SHE WAS MY FRIEND. I STILL DRESS AS A GIRL WITH MY FEMALE FRIENDS AT THAT BAR. THE FUN IS TO GO WHERE I NORMALLY SHOP AS A GUY THEN SHOW UP LATER AS A GIRL. THEY KNOW ME SO ALL IS IN FUN.
    CHARLENE LIVES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

  15. By Gabrielle on Jan 25, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks for sharing, Charlene-Ann. :) That certainly is an interesting story about how you came to be friends with someone who thought you looked ridiculous upon first meet. I guess what matters is that you did become good friends in the end, and that you’re respected as a person by those around you.

  16. By CHARLENE-ANN on Jan 28, 2010 | Reply

    Thank you for my replay

    It is important to know how to turn a bad event around to a good event.

    When you go back to that mall take one or two females with you.

    One with you and another walking behind you with a camera.

    Get ready to use it as you change the mind of the people talking to you.

    We had a camera with us and I had three ladies to turn around the bad event.

    Love, Kisses and Hugs Charlene

  17. By just an anonymous guy on Jun 20, 2010 | Reply

    I empathize, although to a comparatively minor extent. For me, the whole crossdressing thing is limited to setting my hair in curlers, donning a miniskirt, and running errands (at night, since I’m too much of a wimp to do it in daylight). Usually, the errands are limited to taking the trash out or going to a soda machine nearby. I’m terrified of the neighbors seeing me en femme, even though I’m also thrilled at the thought of saving money to buy a skirt suit, boots, getting some makeup, having my hair permed, and going out in the early evening. Odd how something can be so unnerving and yet so liberating at the same time.

    I was spotted by a neighbor woman awhile back when I was out in curlers, and the surprised look on her face was followed by her avoiding me for months afterward. I felt very embarrassed by being seen, which was stupid of me considering that I WANTED to be seen.

  18. By Gabrielle on Jun 21, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks for sharing, Anonymous. I think most of us want to be seen when we venture out into public en femme. There is a desire to be seen as we are, and accepted as such by others. The unfortunate reality is that we’re often seen as “freaks” rather than as our true selves. Many people don’t understand and draw the absolute wrong conclusions about our appearance, hence why the woman who saw you tried to avoid contact with you afterward.

    Try not to let that memory bother you too much. If you’ve got your mind set on a nice skirt suit, then go for it! Perhaps in time, you’ll find a suitable place to wear it… and forgive the unintentional pun. :) Just be safe if/when you do.

  19. By Lita Kelley on Sep 8, 2010 | Reply

    Things like this is one of the main reasons I am so afraid of going out in public en femme. It scares me thinking about any of the things bad people might do to me.

  20. By Suzy on Sep 15, 2010 | Reply

    Gabrielle,

    I think you look very passable and pretty in this picture. I do give you much credit for three things: 1. having enough sense to know that despite the fact that you look good you may not always be passing. I think it’s very easy for us to not always get this. 2. I give you much credit for having the courage and conviction to be who you are. You’re lucky to have an understanding wife. 3. I really like what you said about a man choosing a feminine form of self-expression. I believe this expresses my take as well. I can pass on a good day, though it’s usually when people aren’t paying really close attention. I’ve gone out in straight public lately for the first time in my life (I’m in my fifties) and I have been pleasantly surprised at how well I have been received. I go shopping a lot and I know the store clerks must know, but for the most part they treat me with dignity and respect. Hey, our money is as green as anyone’s. I would like to pass, but when I don’t, I’m just happy to be accepted as a transgendered male, or a male engaging in feminine expression. Anyway, I wanted to say how much I liked your post: you’re good-looking, honest, and speak for many of us, I’m sure.

    Suzy

  21. By Gabrielle on Sep 16, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks for the kind words and for sharing, Suzy. :) I’m glad you enjoyed my post and share similar feelings on things. I’m also very happy to hear that your public outings en femme have been positive. Regardless of passing or not, its important that people treat each other with respect and dignity. I hope you’ll continue to express yourself in public and wish you much success in doing so.

  22. By Suzy on Sep 18, 2010 | Reply

    Thank you, Gabrielle. I wanted to give you a little update. I have had some negative experieneces the last couple of weeks (hearing a teenage girl in Macy’s call me “Godzilla” was a bit hurtful), and I’m probably much more sensitive than you are to such things. However, after reading your post, I was motivated to get back up on the horse, and today had a most pleasant public outing. I kept reminding myself, passing isn’t everything, but a positive, feminine self-image certainly IS everything!

    Suzy

  23. By Gabrielle on Sep 18, 2010 | Reply

    Good for you, Suzy, for getting back on that horse! :) You know how teenagers are. Much of their social life is all about making fun of other people to appear cool and witty to their friends. What goes around, comes around. Just have to shrug that garbage off as meaningless bs from a meaningless teenager. When I get laughed at or can tell others are making fun of me, I usually just laugh back. Walk with confidence and a good attitude and most people will respect that, as I’m sure you’re finding.

  24. By Jason on Oct 9, 2010 | Reply

    Hi, just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your post. I am 23 and have always been into crossdressing, first with pantyhose, the panties, nails, etc. I have been telling myself to live my life the way I see fit. Took me about 5 years but I am slowly starting to venture in public. I usually go out with maybe girls shoes or today went with girls jeans on, but I want to really be open and want to got out more even more dressed. I am really happy I can relate to everyone on here in some way. My wife has a hard time with this but she is trying to understand, so at times it is very hard for me. I also love going out wearing what please and have to psych myself up before getting the laughs and ridicules from others but I try to tell myself I’m ok with me so why care what others think? Hearts pounds, nervousness sets in but when you get good compliments maybe from a 1 to 10 ratio it makes want to keeping going for more. I do wish everyone was open minded or at least didn’t care cause the ones that could cause harm to me or my wife is my biggest fear. I really wish I knew a lot more people like me, would make my life easier to cope with. I definitly don’t see this as a problem and I will never change but I think everyone should be treated fairly, crossdressers, gays and lesbians, black, white, yellow, purple. We are all people and who we are should be enough to live your life the way you want. I say screw the ones who can’t accept it for what it is and hopefully karma will be on our side. Soon hopefully I can wear heels or obvious clothing items, would love to try a skirt. Plus I do feel that if you go out with a bunch of girls it’s safer and a lot more fun. Makes me wish I had girlfriends (friends of course, love my wife) to go out shopping or eating with. People will tend to let you be when your rolling deep ;). Thanks for the wonderful post I feel good about myself and sorry this is sooooo long.

    Jason (likes to be Jessica)

  25. By Gabrielle on Oct 9, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks for sharing, Jason. :) I know what you mean about wanting to know more trans folk, but chances are, you already know more than you think. Because of the stigma, most remain in the closet to a high degree. You probably have a few neighbors, coworkers, and even family members who are hiding their feminine side, too. I understand your meaning, though – wanting to know people who are open about it and share thoughts and ideas. It always feels good to interact with someone who understands.

    It sounds like your wife is at least open enough and willing to learn more about this aspect of your life and understand it better. That’s a good sign. If she has concerns, it is understandable. I imagine many of her concerns are rooted in fear of the unknown. So few people really understand this kind of thing and there are so many negative cliches and bs stories about it. Be patient with your wife and explain things as best you can. Maybe even direct her to this site. Even though being trans differs from one to the next, I’m sure many of her concerns would be well addressed in the writing here. It may help settle some of her uncertainties.

    I’m glad you’re courageous enough to be yourself and explore this aspect of your life. Most cities/towns have some kind of trans-oriented social group that meets annually. You might consider looking up some in your area if you want to meet others in a safe environment.

    You’re welcome for the post, and thank you again for sharing. :) I’m so happy to hear that you feel good about yourself. No need to apologize for a long comment. I’m glad you took the time to share.

    Stay safe as you venture out. Just remember – getting laughed at isn’t fun, but it is quite harmless. Just smile and go about your business. Most people tend to laugh at that which they don’t understand, so try not to take it personally. For what it’s worth, you’re in good company. I get laughed at every time I venture out… but so be it. I usually just laugh back. ;) I may not be passable in person, but for the record, I look better than many of the people who laugh at me – seriously! Even my wife agrees on that point.

    Smile, be beautiful, and live a little. :) Society is slowly changing. Help bring about that change by putting forth a positive example for others to see. Whether they laugh or not doesn’t matter too much – so long as they see a happy, well mannered person going about their day. ;)

  26. By Jason on Oct 9, 2010 | Reply

    Thank you Gabrielle, I really do feel more confident after coming across your site. Kind of wish we were neighbors lol. I do understand your point and I really appreciate it, I know it may take my wife time to understand but now I feel like a little kid at Christmas, I want everyone to understand now lol and go shopping. My wardrobe increased significantly once I came to terms with who I am. One day I hope to go full dressed but I take it little by little. I still must be a chicken hehe. Hope I can meet you in person one day, I really love your site. It opens many new doors for me in experiencing this wonderful persona we all share. Keep up the great work, people like make a big difference in our lives, for the good too. Thanks.

    Jason

  27. By Gabrielle on Oct 9, 2010 | Reply

    I know you’re just joking to some extent, but you’re no “chicken”, Jason. You’re *smart* to take your time and take things at your own pace. :) I think “chicken” is a better fit for people who are truly afraid to be themselves or people who are afraid of others for choosing to be themselves. ;) You do not seem to be either.

    About wanting “everyone to understand now”, I can certainly identify with that. It sure would make life a little less complicated, wouldn’t it? Try not to get discouraged if/when you run into people who are less than understanding. Always hold in your mind that people once thought all sorts of crazy things, such as: the world was flat, women shouldn’t be allowed to learn to read or write, some races were treated as second class (or worse) citizens, etc. People still think idiotic things today about certain types of people and will for some time to come. What they think or misunderstand does not change the reality – it only reflects a lack of knowledge, and in some cases, lack of intelligence on their part. You’re smarter than that, though.

    Your “Christmas” will come soon enough… it will for ALL of us who are willing to go after it. ;)

  28. By Suzy on Oct 10, 2010 | Reply

    I wanted to comment, Gabrielle, on something you send toward the end of a previous reply to Jason: that you look better than many of the people who are laughing at you. I’d like to expound a bit on that. I first went out in “straight” public for the first time about 6 months ago, and I only did it because (and I know this may sound cruel to some people), a lot of women don’t look all that great. I was at a conference in St. Louis where there were a lot of very tall women, women with unshaven legs, and who generally had not such a hot sense of style or fashion. I kept thinking to myself, “I can do at least that good,” or even “I’m better looking than that.” I don’t mean this to be cruel, only to be more comfortable with who I am. In fact, I see women everyday who are extremely overweight, poorly dressed, or otherwise unkempt. These women don’t put as much care into their feminine appearance as I do, so why shouldn’t I venture out?

    Tomorrow I’m taking a very big step. I recently bought a new ladies’ suit from Nordstrom (one which I mentioned in another post). I think I look pretty good in it. I’m going to Sephora for a complete makeover (the ladies at our local Sephora store are absolutely fantastic to me! That’s a story in itself). Then I’m going to downtown Chicago to shop and walk around. I’m out of my comfort zone, with no safety net, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    By the way, I love your site. It’s very intelligent and informative.

    Suzy

  29. By Gabrielle on Oct 10, 2010 | Reply

    I didn’t take your comments about the appearance of others as cruel or insensitive, Suzy. I understand the context of the sentiment. If all other elements are removed from the physical appearance of others, the main point is that so many people (female OR male) really do not put much, if any, effort into their personal appearance. I put a lot more effort into my personal appearance than most of the women in my area. Truth be told, the same stands much of the time for when I’m in guy mode (although guy mode requires significantly less time and effort).

    I think its great that you’re expanding on your public travels en femme, Suzy! :D Yes, I do know how it goes. I think the same goes for everyone else, too… only most people (as in non-trans) tend not to draw negative attention for JUST for venturing out in public as they are. ;) Be careful and safe, but most of all – ENJOY yourself! I hope your makeover goes well and that your outing turns out to be am enjoyable and positive experience! :)

  30. By Suzy on Oct 16, 2010 | Reply

    Hi Gabrielle,

    I wanted to tell you that I had a wonderful day of shopping in Chicago on Monday. I had a terrific makeover and so I was brimming with confidence. It was one of those days when I knew within 5 minutes of being in public that everything was going to be good. I was the best dressed girl and best made up girl downtown, if I do say so myself. I don’t think I was even getting read until late in the day when I was getting tired and it was hard to walk in the boots I was wearing (I think body language says a lot).

    Yesterday I went out and it wasn’t quite as good. I was quickly reminded about what a fine line it is between confidence and lack thereof. I did my own makeup, and it wasn’t that I was necessarily getting read a lot (though I know it happened at least twice). It was a case of encountering people who normally treat me well who didn’t do so that much, including the lady who gave me the makeover. I wanted to tell her all about my big day but she rather curtly asked me what I wanted to buy, and when she found it for me quickly walked away. I was kind of crestfallen at that. I started to feel a little silly and now I feel I have to get the mojo back. I wish I could just get to the point of always being confident in who I am, but I guess it’s always going to be a struggle for me.

    Suzy

  31. By Gabrielle on Oct 17, 2010 | Reply

    I’m glad your “makeover” day went so well for you, Suzy! :) And I’m sorry the following outing wasn’t as good. I understand the power of self-confidence, and those times that we *all* face when our “self-confidence has left the building”, so to say.

    I wouldn’t read too much into the behavior of the makeover woman who you felt wasn’t as receptive to you the second time around. Everyone has good days, bad days, and business to take care of – this woman included. There may have been other factors that you were not aware of that played a role in it all. Take that, plus your not feeling as self-confident, and throw in your own mind (potentially) filling in the blanks incorrectly and you’re left with that bummer feeling. So you had a not so great day. It happens. Concentrate on the feeling of those GREAT days and let that guide you. I think you’ll find your “mojo” a bit quicker in understanding that good days are the *norm* and bad days just seem to liner longer in the mind. Try to hold the good-day-feeling in your conscious thought on your next outing, rather than any worries about another bad day. How you *expect* your day to play out plays a significant role in how it ends up turning out. MAKE it a good one, Suzy! :)

  32. By Suzy on Oct 17, 2010 | Reply

    You know, this is why some people have websites and others like me don’t (in addition to not having the talent to make one). Of course you are right on all counts, and I was trying to hide the fact that I was really hurting (or perhaps being a big baby, depending upon one’s point of view). Most of what you said crossed my mind, but sometimes we need to hear it from someone else to believe it. Thank you for your wise words, and I WILL try to concentrate on the GREAT days.

    By the way, on a bright note, I should mention that for the most part, when I shop or get made up at Sephora, I am treated as very mainstream, as though it’s the most natural thing in the world for me to be sitting in that chair. They don’t seem to even understand why I’m beside myself with nervousness as I stand there in a dress and a wig with no makeup on. I barely get a notice from the customers, either. I give this company very high marks for the way they deal with CDs, and I have read others having had the same experience.

  33. By just an anonymous guy on Oct 24, 2010 | Reply

    Hi again,

    I went out tonight not en femme, per se, but since I’m doing my hair I have it up in curlers. I’m still afraid that some of my neighbors would make my life difficult if they saw, but going out beyond these four walls is soooo liberating. Anyway, I wanted to say I really admire your courage and one day maybe I can “put on my big girl panties” and just be who I am. In the meantime, I’m kind of a scared little girl for the moment.

  34. By Gabrielle on Oct 24, 2010 | Reply

    I’m happy to hear you’re working on your personal growth, Anonymous. :) Your fears are understandable but what is important is that you’re aware of your current abilities and have some clear goals that you’re working toward. In time and at your own pace, those goals may be achieved with continued effort. Trans or not, we ALL have a lot of room for personal growth and improvement. :)

  35. By Abby on Nov 13, 2010 | Reply

    I am 43 years old, and been a secret crossdresser as long as I can remember. Since my divorce, I have built a wardrobe, makeup, etc. I’ve been practicing for about a year with makeup and clothing. “I” think I’m passable, but nobody to give advise. I’ve gone to a gas station (in daylight rush hour), with no looks or comments. I still have great fear, but after finding this site, I have alot more confidence. Thanx for all the info. I’m just starting, and it helps to hear everyone is in the same “boat” I am. Thanx again!

  36. By Gabrielle on Nov 14, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks for chiming in, Abby. :) Glad to hear you’ve been working on your personal appearance and starting to get out in public. It’s not easy taking those first steps getting out into public – especially knowing the often less than warm reception people give us. No, you’re not alone. Most of us struggle with this to some extent. Wishing you much luck and success in getting out in the future. If you get read, laughed at, or called names – try not to let it get to you. Just remember, pretty much everyone gets picked on or laughed at sometimes, regardless of being trans or not. Keep your chin up and don’t jerks get to you. :)

  37. By Diane on Nov 15, 2010 | Reply

    Gab.

    Thanks for the post. You are very pretty. You do tend to dress on the cutting edge.
    I am proud of you.

  38. By Gabrielle on Nov 16, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks for the kind words, Diane. :) I’m glad you enjoyed reading my post.

  39. By Suzy on Nov 25, 2010 | Reply

    Happy Thanksgiving, Gabrielle! And tomorrow I go shopping as Suzy on Black Friday, with a former student to whom I just came out! It should be very surreal.

  40. By Gabrielle on Nov 25, 2010 | Reply

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Suzy. :) Enjoy your black Friday shopping en femme! I hope all goes well and most of all – good luck snatching up some amazing deals!

  41. By lowell on Nov 26, 2010 | Reply

    Don’t let anyone get you down. You are an
    individual made by God and you have a right to
    be a free American. I crossdress too, but only in private, for myself. No worries. I admire your bravery in public journeys. You are not a criminal, and you have done nothing wrong.
    You look very nice. Don’t be hard on yourself.
    We all live these 80 years, and that’s it.
    Enjoy yourself while you are here. You are not a criminal. God bless you. Never let the asinine opinion of another laughing bother you. The laugher doesn’t matter. Who is that person anyway, and what makes their opinion important. Who cares?
    You know you are a good person, and that is all that matters.
    Love, a friend.

  42. By Gabrielle on Nov 26, 2010 | Reply

    Thank you for sharing those very thoughtful and caring words of encouragement, Lowell. :) You are so right in what you say. I don’t feel ashamed of who I am in the slightest – those days are long gone. I’m very happy to be who I am and consider being trans to be a gift. A gift that I didn’t used to understand and that much of society still doesn’t understand, hence their laughter.

    It’s no fun being laughed at, but that’s the sad state of things today. People laugh at others for being “different”. Oh well. I can laugh too – right back at them! ;)

    Should you ever decide to go out in public en femme, I hope yours is a good experience, laughter or not. I appreciate you dropping by and offering your kind words! God bless you, Lowell.

  43. By Bailey on Dec 8, 2010 | Reply

    Laughing at another person for any reason is only a reflection of the limited mental and social capacity of the person doing the laughing and has nothing to do with the person being laughed at. In many cases it’s because the person laughing knows that deep down inside they lack the courage to do what the person they are laughing at is doing…..that is to be themselves without fear of waht others think.

  44. By Gabrielle on Dec 8, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks for chiming in, Bailey. :) Well made point.

  45. By Suzy on Dec 24, 2010 | Reply

    I had two wonderful days as Suzy this week. I went to a Sephora store one of the days and had one of my friends there help me. She pointed out that every time I leave the store, I don’t walk out, I strut out! This tells me that succeeding as a tg is all about attitude.
    Went to a tg party at a straight bar…now that is fun!

    I also got a professional makeup consultation at a Nordstrom on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
    One thing I have learned is that the higher class of joint you walk into, the more accepted you are likely to be. For example, at the end of my two wonderful days I stopped at a Kohl’s. I spent lots of money there, and as I was leaving, the male cashier said, “Thank you, sir, uh, er…whatever.” For once, though, I didn’t let it get me down.

    Merry Christmas, Gabrielle! I hope you get lots of cool things in your nylon stocking!

  46. By Gabrielle on Dec 24, 2010 | Reply

    That’s excellent, Suzy! :D I’m so happy to hear you had such a great time out and about. Strut your stuff, girl, and make no apologies! I agree with your assessment of “higher class” establishments being more accepting and open minded. I think it has a lot to do with one’s level of sophistication and culture. There tends to be a greater level of sophistication in the people often encountered in places, establishments, etc. that are generally regarded as higher class. Glad the “sir, uh, er… whatever” guy didn’t get you down. His lack of sophistication and culture shouldn’t be upsetting. Chances are, he may see people in a different light and be more open minded as he grows and matures over time.

    Merry Christmas to you, too, Suzy. :)

  47. By marthaof america on Mar 13, 2011 | Reply

    girl! eff that little punk at the drive through

    i saw you photos…. amazing

    cheers and i love what you wrote up top.

  48. By Gabrielle on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks for the kind words and support, Martha. :)

  49. By Jessica on Mar 23, 2011 | Reply

    It does make me feel better as a newer and younger crossdresser in college to see you folks being much braver. I’m just now entering my twenties, and have been discretely dressing in a feminine way at home, but fear of getting hurt physicly or socially keeps me from taking the next step :c Idealy I’d like to paint my nails, wear womens jeans/shirts/sneakers or high heels, and maybe a stuffed bra if I ever feel brave enough. Up until now I’ve only used panties and painted my toes because those are easily hidden.

    But really stories like these from more experienced people is what inspires me to keep trying ~<3

  50. By Gabrielle on Mar 23, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Jessica. Thank for chiming in. I certainly understand your concerns and fears. Taking that “next step” isn’t so easy in our unforgiving society, especially if you’re all alone (not out to anyone who knows you in person). In time, I’m sure you’ll find a way to take that next step, and the the step after that, etc. It’s part of the growth process we all go through, and everyone kind of takes things at their own pace (which it’s always best to take things at a pace you’re comfortable with rather than rush).

    Getting out in public en femme can be a very liberating and gratifying experience, and somewhat scary. I mean, most people take “getting out” for granted, because most people don’t fall outside those evil “social norms”. If/when you do decide to get out in public en femme, I suggest some caution. It can be dangerous, depending on location and a number of other factors. Plan ahead, go out with a friend, if at all possible (safety in numbers), and make sure you’re not terrified of being outed. One never knows who one might meet out in public. Be smart about it for maximum safety and minimimum potential for danger.

  51. By Eric on Mar 28, 2011 | Reply

    hi,i live in cape town im a mtf-ts-i wear mixed fem fashion im 53-well in my place-its couldnt care less-dont even shave anymore-femjeans-boots-bras,etc-people laugh but hey its life-its full of surprises-nice site

  52. By Suzy on Apr 24, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Gabrielle,

    Just wanted to share with you and your fans my wonderful weekend! I was in San Antonio for 3 days at an academic conference and spent almost the whole time as Suzy, all except for my morning workouts (and even then I had nail polish on) and a paper I presented. I even attended the conference as Suzy, and discussed a book proposal with a publisher as Suzy! A truly wonderful experience. The only downer was that 2 of the three nights for dinner, my male servers insisted on calling me “Sir.” Did I LOOK like I wanted to be called Sir? One I even chided for it. He apologized, and proceeded to do it again! I tipped them appropriately.

  53. By Gabrielle on Apr 25, 2011 | Reply

    That’s an awesome story, Suzy! Thanks for sharing! :) I’m so happy to hear that everything went so well and that your experience was such a positive and rewarding one. It’s a bummer about the waiters, but if that’s the worst of the whole thing, I’d have to say that the overall experience was an outstanding success. I really love to hear about outings like this and I know site visitors do, too, even if many of them remain quiet (which I understand). Keep up the good work, Suzy! :)

  54. By Abby on May 4, 2011 | Reply

    I’m sooo happy I found this site. The posts I’ve read have made me feel more secure and confident! I’ve been “out” several times (gassing my car or ATM), so far, no laughs, no comments. I’ve been called “her” or “she” as a man and I was proud!! Good luck to all of you, I’m doing good so far.

  55. By Gabrielle on May 4, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Abby, thanks for sharing a little bit of your experiences. I’m so happy to you’re confidence has increased and that my writing has helped! :) Keep up the good work on the public front and may all your experiences be enjoyable, safe, positive ones!

  56. By Christi on May 14, 2011 | Reply

    Hi,
    Just wanted to relate a few of my experiences. I have been crossdressing off and on for many years. I have only really started venturing out in public dressed in the last couple of years. Mostly I used to go out dressed at Halloween (the crossdresser’s holiday). I have a really understanding lady friend that used to go with me shopping. I have been out a few times by myself, but I feel more comfortable having someone else with me. But really I have not many issues. I’m used to getting laughed at for Halloween and I just go with it and have fun and laugh too. I did get gawked at by employees inside a restaraunt one time when I went through the drive-thru. My friend was with me and she was like, “What’s their problem?” Another time I went through a drive-thru at Wendy’s and the girl at the window was really pleasent and even complemented me on how pretty I was. So reactions vary, but most people I encounter seem to treat me as female when I am dressed.

  57. By Gabrielle on May 14, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Christi. Thanks for sharing. :) Venuring out in public en femme can be tricky, but rewarding. It sounds like you’ve had mostly positive experiences, with the occasional laughter and stares that I think most of us experience, too. Getting out with a friend or significant other helps a lot. I’m glad you’ve got a good friend to enjoy time with. I enjoy my time out a lot more when I’m in the company of my wife or friends. There’s safety in numbers and also an increased element of “normality” often perceived by others. I don’t like the whole “normal” tag, but in this context, I think the point is understandable.

    It wasn’t clear to me if you’re still actively spending time with your lady friend or not, but I hope you continue to get out and enjoy good experiences when in public. :)

  58. By Mary on May 29, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Gabrielle! I’m so happy I found this website. I’m 51, have been separated for the past 6 months and am now finding my feminine side. I always loved to cross-dress on Halloween and while alone, but now with my family gone, it’s starting to accelerate. I’ve been ordering sexy clothes and boots online, and I’m in the process of body hair removal (all of it…except my eyebrows). The only thing I’m chicken about is to go out in public as “Mary”, unfortunately, everyday is not Halloween. But I’m working on it. Someday, I will be able to go out as “Mary” and not be judged. Thank you.

  59. By Gabrielle on May 30, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Mary, thanks for sharing. :) I’m sorry about your separation, but glad to hear you’ve been able to explore your feminine side more in recent months. Yes, getting out in public is a tricky game in this day and age. Society is, on the whole, starting to gain a greater knowledge of things and becoming more accepting of things that were once not unrstood. Unfortunately, there are no shortage of haters and people who wrongfully mistake crossdressing for all kinds of negative things, so you really do need to be careful when going out in public en femme. I highly recommend going with a friend. There is safety in numbers, and as with most experiences, it’s a lot more enjoyable in good company.

    Congrats on the hair removal and best wishes as you evolve and explore! :)

  60. By Elizabeth Hall on Jun 30, 2011 | Reply

    I have studied everything that you have said and every photo and video. From the neck up, you pass at a most enviable level. You are like the big sister to me :). And you have good body language and shape. Several times over the past couple of years you have mentioned your wife’s comments. You need to listen to her like I listen to you. You are dressing Goth/80′s and you are not blending in. I would bet that if you toned it down to an every day girl look, you would not ever get clocked.

    As to the loser at the drive-thru, consider the source. XOXOXOXOXO Liz

  61. By Gabrielle on Jul 1, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks for the kind words, Elizabeth! :) You’re such a sweetheart.

    I know that I like to dress in an “80′s goth” like way, as you put it. It’s not fashionable, in terms of what girls wear these days, BUT it is very *me*. I’ve never been in sync with modern style or fashion – in guy mode or en femme. I understand the whole blending in thing, though. When you don’t blend, you draw attention, and when people are inspecting things with a closer look, in my case, it becomes a lot easier to read me. I *can* blend a little, like when my wife and I went out shopping (which I wrote about), but I still end up getting read and sometimes laughed at. I can take getting laughed at – I don’t like it, but I understand why people laugh. The major problem with blending in, is that it requires me to dress and look in a way that doesn’t feel very *me*, and the whole point of self expression and being “Gabrielle” is to *be* me. I’m not trying to be like every other girl out there (physical differences aside) or even trying to emulate them – I’m trying to just be me. It’s kind of pointless for me to even mention things like this, though. Anyone who goes against the grain, or chooses to look more unique amongst the sea of cookie cutter (mainstream) fashion and appearances risks being laughed at as the weird-o oddball. Being a t-girl (and as such, a walking, talking social taboo) only complicates things that much more.

    Oh well. No one ever said life is going to be easy or fair, right? I appreciate your input, Liz. :) My beef with sonial norms and mainstream small-mindedness won’t end any time soon. There are times when we must all blend for survival. I have to blend in every day at work, which requires me to look like some boring, professional, male office lackey. If I showed up looking goth, even as a guy, it wouldn’t go over too well. Ok, ’nuff conformity talk for now. I’m just rambling on now. lol

  62. By Suzy on Jul 13, 2011 | Reply

    Good for you, Gabrielle! To thine own self be true! I haven’t been laughed at (to my knowledge) in quite some time. Admittedly I’ve made a couple of compromises (more modest hair, and I haven’t worn ruby red lipstick in some time), but I still wear short skirts and dresses and pantyhose, which so few women do anymore. But it’s also about confidence. At some point recently I crossed a threshhold where I suddenly have confidence I never had before. It’s amazing what a difference it makes! I owe so much to you and your columns! This is where I turned to on those dark days when I felt silly and ridiculous and like the whole world was laughing at me for being Suzy, and you never failed to lift my spirits. I know there will come a day (perhaps many) when I get laughed at again in public, and I hope that the changes I have gone through have better prepared me for those days. But I honestly don’t feel like I’m going to get laughed at. Do people read me? Probably. But I am kind and respectful to people and that seems to be the treatment I get in return. Thank you for what you have done for so many of us who are fans of your site, and don’t ever change. There are goth girls out there too, you know.

  63. By Gabrielle on Jul 13, 2011 | Reply

    Thank you for those kind words, Suzy! :) I’m so happy to hear that my offerings have the power to lift your spirits and brighten up your “dark days”. Thank you for sharing that. Your thoughtful comment has just lifted my spirits, too.

    I’m also happy to hear you don’t get laughed at in public anymore, whether you’re read or not. Being kind and respectful of others usually does have kind of a positive mirror affect, in that those whom you treat with kindness and respect often return the favor.

    Yep, there are goth gals out there, and I see one or two from time to time out in the wild. I can’t lie, they always attract my eye – sometimes because they’re just so different looking, and sometimes just because they’re just so amazingly beautiful. With my slightly gothic fashion choices, I tend to attract attention because goth folk tend to stand out in a crowd of cookie-cutter fashion, anyway (and I’m NOT putting down trendy fashion, just making reference to the fact that it is often un-interesting and blah in my personal opinion). In drawing attention for the not-so-in-style goth look, I quickly also draw attention to the fact that I’m not quite female proportionate in body dimensions, thus being read, and sometimes laughed at as a result. Oh well. I guess if I’m going to be laughed at, though, let them laugh at me for being myself rather than for being some fake idiot who lives life trying to impress the masses through conformity (which is, to some extent, what I do in guy mode I order to blend and make it through another day in the jungle of life).

    You keep up the good work, Suzy – out in public and getting respect from people you meet. It does us all a positive service for each and every person you leave a good impression with! :)

  64. By Billie on Jul 28, 2011 | Reply

    Hi there,

    I am new to this and at 57 I do tend to keep this to myself. My wife does not know and I believe she may be upset if she knew. I have a decent female shape, slim small bum and tall with long legs.

    What I would like to know is if you know of any decent shops in Cape Town that sell things like mini skirts etc for cross dressers. I have no problem going to buy panties and bras at the local shops as they just think I am buying for my wife but when it comes to skirts for my slim waist these items tend to be for the younger generation. Any ideas, Love Billie

  65. By Gabrielle on Jul 28, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Billie.  Thanks for sharing. :)  I’m afraid I don’t know of any stores in Cape Town that might have what you’re looking for (and without getting looked at funny while checking out).  I do know that a growing number of clothing stores are more than happy to cater to people regardless of gender.  In other words, so long as people are spending money at their establishment, they’re happy to have the business.  Whether or not you’re comfortable testing the water is something you’ll need work through.

    You might want to do some Internet searches for clothing you may be interested in.  If you know your specific measurements, you might be able to find nice things that will fit right on one of the many online clothing stores out there.  You might also search for trans-friendly merchants in your area.  It’s worth a shot – some do make a point of advertising that because, again, they just want to make a sale and have a happy customer that will consider returning to do more business.  Good luck with it!

  66. By James on Sep 5, 2011 | Reply

    The general reaction I get when I cross dress out in public is best summed up by an experience I had about 6 months ago. I was walking through a shopping precinct wearing my black jacket, my black leggings and my big platform heel boots, and generally feeling pretty slick, when I see a group of unruly children, who couldn’t have been more than about 7 or 8. A woman was trying to control them and somewhat failing, but when they saw me, they all stopped and the male children started laughing. Not like sniggering, proper, open-mouthed cackling. So me being very British and dignified just kept walking like nothing was happening (they’re only little brats after all). A woman then walks up to me and says “Ignore those little sh*ts love, you look fabulous”.

    That, for me kind of makes the point; for every person that finds the way you dress ridiculous, funny or wrong or whatever, there will be at least 1 other person who is pleased that you’re being how you want to be, or maybe even just like the alternative style you’re exhibiting. And what about these people who do laugh? I can guarantee you one thing that all of them have in common: they’re complete cowards. Let’s take this McDonalds prick that served you at the drive-through. The only reason he felt safe to laugh at you is because he was behind his damn window, and he feels secure behind that barrier. As you pointed out, he didn’t even have the conviction to laugh at you directly, and I doubt that was because of professionalism. The people who laugh at me are usually unwashed cretins who are sitting behind the wheel of a van (there is a stereotype in Britain that van drivers are ignorant morons, and I have to say it holds up quite well). Why should I give people like that a second thought? People I pass on the street never say anything negative. Yeah, they have a good glance at me, but I don’t blame them; I would if I were them. Besides, they could be looking in admiration, or just at my height. I’m 6ft 5 already, so put a pair of 5 inch heels on me and I’m pushing 7ft. Who wouldn’t look at that?

    Besides, there is far too much at stake for me, or anyone who cross dresses, to take any notice of people who laugh at us. I’m only 20 years old and I love the way I look when I’ve got my heels and stuff on. I don’t have a female alter-ego; I’m very happy as James, and I don’t try to make myself look like a woman. For me, I just love pulling on leggings and heels and seeing how I look. I love the freedom it gives me to style myself in a way that I am truly happy with. The simple fact is that I think I look a lot better in leggings, heels and a long feminine top than I do in baggy jeans, ratty trainers and a t-shirt, and girls I know generally agree! So while I’m young and I’ve got this body, and these long legs, I’m going to dress as epically as I like, and I’m going to love every minute of it. No snotty teenager in McDonalds could possibly take that away from me :)

  67. By Gabrielle on Sep 6, 2011 | Reply

    Hi, James, thanks for sharing and that wonderful show of support! I can’t help but smile when I read your take on things – you seem so self-confident and proud (and you should be). I really don’t like being laughed at, but I understand the reaction. It is a very juvinile reaction, very apparent in the young boys you describe and also notable in older “juvinile” boys (and girls) often. I don’t think everyone who laughs is necessarily expressing a cowardly reaction (although many indeed are). I think some people just don’t know how to react, feel uncomfortable in the moment, and (nervous) laughter results. There are no shortage of low-brow types (or van-drivers as you describe), though. Plenty, very plenty in my town. I’ve been treated quite well by others, though. I don’t pass as female in person (wish I could), but there have been some very cool people who respected me a a person and simply dealt with me on that level, knowing full well that I’m genetically male. Thanks again for your show of support, and you’re absolutely right – you have to rock those fashions while you’re young and there’s no reason not to! :)

  68. By arthur lee williams, jr. on Sep 14, 2011 | Reply

    wow… this is so enlightening! a very good friend of mine (now deceased, sadly) used to regale me with stories of HIS experiences as a crossdresser/drag queen. he used foam breasts shaped from chair cushions, makeup, wigs, heels, corsets and smoothly shaved skin to achieve the desired effect. for his efforts, he was constantly propositioned, molested, raped and eventually became a prostitute after age 18… he lived in nyc, germany, orlando, fl, and oklahoma, finally returning home to fl. he was one of the nicest girls you’d ever meet, in spite of his misadventures in life. all he ever wanted was for someone to love him as ‘venus la dolli’ and appreciate him.

  69. By Gabrielle on Sep 14, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Arthur. Thanks for sharing a little about your friend. :) I’m so sorry to hear that such a sweet person was treated so poorly and felt the need to resort to prostitution. It’s terrible how some people end up being treated just for being different than the “norm”. I can certainly identify with being treated poorly for being different, but thankfully nothing even remotely close has ever happened to me or anyone I know personally. At least your friend lives on in favorable memory through you, and hopefully others who also valued her company.

  70. By venus on Dec 22, 2011 | Reply

    well…. i get laughed at public…
    In my country people with small mind and low level of their thinking…and… here is no more cd accept me…. so..i wanna migrate and wanna know that which ENGLISH country will suit me….
    where i can find many crossdressers …i wanna live in cd’s world…….

    and….. i am using chastity belt…
    is it harmful ???

  71. By Gabrielle on Dec 22, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Venus.  I’m sorry to hear about the small-mindedness you’re experiencing in your country.  I’m sorry to say that in America, there’s no shortage of that kind of thing.  I get plenty of it in my town.  The good news is that although I doubt there is an entire *country* that is open-minded and accepting of transgender folk, there are definitely cities and towns that tend to be more welcoming, on the whole, and treat all people with respect without discrimination.  One day, I hope to relocate to such a place myself.

    About that chastity belt… I don’t know if it’s harmful, but it doesn’t sound like a very comfortable item.  Different strokes, right? :)

  72. By Suzy on May 16, 2012 | Reply

    I got laughed at today for the first time in awhile. I might have been asking for it: I wore a pink workout top and a short blue tennis skirt, without pantyhose of course. But you know what? I thought, so what? Everyone else was very nice to me or didn’t seem to notice. And even without nylons, my legs are no uglier than those of most women my age!

  73. By Jenna Olivia Young on Feb 24, 2013 | Reply

    So far I have only ventured in public once. I went for a 20 mile drive and I felt absolutely Fabulous. The nice thing about being in the car is not being able to hear the laughter. I will go shopping (in another town of course) en-femme one day soon yhough. I am getting close!

    One of my friends has a friend who crossdresses. He is a guy monday thru thursday… come friday, he is she through the weekend. He also is very adamant about NOT being called “trans”.. hi is a crossdresser (and georgous!)
    Your thoughts on the differences?

  74. By Gabrielle on Feb 24, 2013 | Reply

    Hi Jenna. Glad to hear your drive en femme was such a fabulous experience for you! :) When you take the plunge and get out shopping en femme, I wish you much success and hope your experience is equally as fabulous. Plan ahead, of course.

    My thoughts on the difference between “crossdresser” and “trans”? In short, they’re just labels, like “pencil” is a label for a piece of graphite encased in wood for the intended purpose of writing or drawing. Personally, I prefer tgirl to crossdresser, despite the name of my site. In terms of definitions, “transgender” is more of a blanket term that covers the wider range of people who are genetically male but in some way identify with and/or express themselves in a way that is generally considered to be feminine (or the other way around for women). Everyone from crossdressers to transsexuals fall within the general category of transgender. Try not to get attached to the words, though. If your gorgeous friend prefers crossdresser over transgender, they are certainly allowed that. A rose by any other name… :)

  75. By Jenna Young on Feb 24, 2013 | Reply

    The pencil analogy gave me quite a chuckle! I prefer cross dresser verses trans also. Too many people in my way too small town can’t put it together that I’m not gay. They still don’t understand what I go through.. Thanks again for the wonderful site and insight!
    (John) Jenna

  76. By Jenna Olivia Young on Mar 7, 2013 | Reply

    so the good news is I get to venture out in public for my first time with some very close friends of mine and the excitement is killing me. I am ready for the laughter and possible ridicule because what doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger. If I can dress in front of my friends I can walk in public not as a stranger but as a member of society. Wish me luck but also wish me confidence.again I cannot thank you enough for your support. Many hugs and an update will be forthcoming.

  77. By Gabrielle on Mar 7, 2013 | Reply

    That’s great, Jenna! :) I’m so happy to hear you’ve got an outting planned with friends. That’s really the best way to go – with friends. It’s safer and a lot more enjoyable, too.

    It’s good to understand that you may be laughed at, or have some people pointing, or whatever, but try not to let that weigh on your mind. You don’t want to go looking for it or anything. Just let whatever *is*, be what it is. Having a good time with friends – that is the focus. Being friendly to any strangers you encounter is also an important point. If you get looked at funny, just take it in stride. The best way to win over hearts and minds is to allow others (strangers) to see (and if possible, get to know) you, interact with you, and leave them with the feeling of how friendly, cool and very *normal* you really are. It’s hard to frown upon any group of people once you have gotten to know one of them in a pleasant and enjoyable context. It’s a great way to bust negative stereotypes and help bring about positive change.

    Have a great time, Jenna! :)

  78. By Jenna Olivia Young on Mar 8, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks Gabi!
    I do believe we are going to do a little shopping at a store that caters to crossdressers and trans folk. If anyone gets a chance and happens to be in the Detroit area…check out Janet’s Closet in Wyandot. Or ckeck it out at Janetscloset.com

    Happy is here! I hope to get some more essentials!
    Updates soon!

  79. By Jenna Olivia Young on Mar 10, 2013 | Reply

    Hi Gabi!

    Just thought I would give you the update. So my friend and I met up and shared dinner. After, all other talking and catching up, we went back to my room and I got ready. I didn’t have a lot of time, so I had to do my make up quickly. I have only done make up a few times before this. I have had no help, so I just wing it. Once set, we went to a trans friendly club. We were greeted warmly at the door. My friend introduced us and explained this was my first outing. The bouncer was lesbian, and she asked me who did my make up. I said i did, what can i improve? She said fantastic job! Wait til you see the train wrecks running around in here! The owner was very friendly (and I found out he participates in a drag show once in a while) and welcomed me to his place. My friend introduced me to two other girls and we quickly became friends. I have their e mails! We didn’t stay out very long, the day was filled before going out. We exchanged hugs and kisses, and they begged me to return.
    This night was the best night in my life! No one cared about the boy underneath the cheap wig. All they cared about was helping me feel comfortable with who I am and to be confident being there. This night out had no one laughing at me, they were laughing with me. My only wish….. someday in my little town, my self and friends can move free, like in the big towns. Chalk one up for a positive experience!
    Hugs!

  80. By Ralph on Aug 19, 2013 | Reply

    A friend pointed me to this site. I see the original topic is several years old, but there have been recent comments so I don’t feel guilty about reviving a dead topic :-)

    If you want to experience real horror, try being a crossdresser who doesn’t want to look or feel female at all. After some years (decades?) of self-examination I realized that I really *like* being a guy, clothing preferences notwithstanding.

    So, yeah: I rarely shave, I don’t wear makeup/wigs/breast forms/bras/painful shoes/nail polish/earrings, I sit like a man (legs flopped in whatever position they happen to land), walk like a man (“power stride”), pick my nose like a man, leave my clothes — including pretty dresses — wadded up on the floor like a man, play violent first-person shooters like a man… only I happen to do all that wearing skirts and dresses. What can I say, I think pants are boring and uncomfortable, and you can’t buy satin blouses in the men’s department.

    I *know* I look pretty weird from anyone’s point of view, because the combination of a neanderthal slob and a floral satin dress is out of the ordinary. So I only dress at home, and my wife loves me enough not to so much as roll her eyes when she sees what I’m wearing.

    There have been a couple of times I risked it. Once, many years ago, we were on vacation on the other side of the country and I went for a walk. I had on my favorite one-piece tank-style women’s swimsuit and some jogging shorts, but it was dark and I figured, nobody here knows who I am or will ever see me again so who cares? All went well until I rounded the corner of the motel we were in and encountered a group of young adults chatting and smoking around the back of someone’s car in the parking lot. As I came into view, all talk ceased… and was soon replaced by laughter. I was actually in fear for my safety before I left the parking lot! I really didn’t think the top of the swimsuit was that noticeable in the dark — it was solid black and could have been a regular tank top muscle shirt if you didn’t get too close.

    More recently I was in the Bahamas and was trying on a nice tropical sundress I had bought when I heard my wife coming to the hotel room door. She’s in a wheelchair so I ran up and held it open for her. As it happens other guests were walking past in the hall and had stopped to make sure she could get in OK, and when one guy saw me standing there in this brightly colored floral dress he just kind of froze and stared.

    Never saw him again after that, but I would have loved to be a fly on the wall listening as he told his family what he just saw…

  81. By emma williams on Oct 16, 2013 | Reply

    You are one amazing cd’er
    the funny thing is I think I look better as a girl but I still worry about being laughed at

  82. By Jim Nasium on Oct 29, 2013 | Reply

    I’ll step onto the “sexism” bandwagon and agree that men look funny because everyone thinks they are lowering themselves by dressing as women. The idea that women are less than men is ingrained into our American society, although few people would dare to say that out loud.
    Second to that there’s the idea that men who dress as women are trying to seduce the straight men around them. I don’t know how many men have told me that they feel perfectly justified in punching a gay man who asks them out, but it’s a lot. Even when I ask them why they don’t simply say “no thanks” they don’t understand. They seem to be so ill-at-ease, that even the idea of saying “no” to the offer is too much for them. They don’t want to be seen even thinking about the question. So naturally, a man in a short skirt immediately strikes them as a gay man trying to sneak in under the wire. They take it as a non-verbal proposal and it elicits the same violent response.
    Just last week here in Phoenix, a 20 year old man was arrested for arson because he walked by a poster of shirtless male dancers put up by a local club. He got so upset at the poster that he lit it on fire and watched it burn up. Of course, the poster set on fire the wall it was attached too and that led to a police investigation and arrest. But the boy stated that the reason he did it was because he didn’t like the picture of shirtless men. He obviously took it as a come-on by the men in the poster, and couldn’t stand the idea of someone seeing him standing next to it.
    My personal opinion is that people laugh because of the sexism. But they get violent because of the homophobia. Boy we have a long, long way to go.

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