Tag Archives: shopping

I’m Trans, I Don’t Pass, and Christmas Shopping at the Mall is a Breeze

Gabrielle in car 2012-12-20Almost daily, I hear accounts of transgender people having a difficult time in public, often being disparaged, laughed at, or otherwise treated poorly/different just for being trans. It used to be that way with me, too. It wasn’t long ago that I also experienced being laughed at and disparaged. Today however, it’s a pretty rare occurrence.

Christmas shopping is a pretty common activity. Most people do it, and their biggest complaint is finding a parking space. I’m happy to say that on this particular day, I had little trouble finding a good parking space at a local mall, packed as it was.

The reason I’m posting this is to draw attention to the very positive experiences I have out in public, and why I believe no one gives me a hard time anymore.

Passing isn’t everything
Within the very diverse transgender community, there is some debate as to whether or not it’s important, or even desirable to pass (ie: to look like a cisgender person; to not look trans). Some feel it is very important to pass, others don’t care, some don’t want to, and there are even those who look down upon trans people who do, want to, or go out of their way to pass.

Personally, I do want to pass. I want to look like an attractive cisgender woman to the rest of the world. There is no shame in being transgender. I’m rather proud to be trans and plan to continue speaking publicly to educate about trans realities. For me it’s a vanity thing, and I don’t care what anyone thinks of my desire to pass – good or bad.
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Being a Successful Trans Woman in Public without Passing

Gabrielle Walking 2 2014-07-06

Passing without passing
The photo above shows me walking through a local mall carrying my bag of goods. That’s how I look to most people – just another random woman shopping in the mall. Until, that is, someone looks directly at me from 20 meters or closer. Contrary to the carefully chosen photos I post publicly, I don’t pass – not in person. Most people read me as trans without missing a beat. More importantly, most people treat me very well.

The right attitude goes a long way
Years ago, when venturing out into public I’d get laughed at every time. Getting laughed at, disparaged, and called names by homophobic/transphobic cowards made me self-conscious and fearful of going out. In retrospect, I understand the difficulties I used to experience.

Other trans women frequently told me, “It’s more about attitude than passing.” How can attitude affect how one is viewed by others? It took me a few years to figure out. Having the right attitude in public can be the difference between having an amazingly positive and enjoyable experience, or not. It’s a little like a magic trick, but it’s not magic. There’s something more powerful at work, and it’s not just attitude, either.
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Out Shopping En Femme With My Wife

It’s been a while since I’ve had an opportunity to get out in public as Gabrielle. My wife, the fabulous Mrs. H., recently took me shopping at one of the local malls. It marked the first time we ventured out in public together, while I was en femme (not including drives we’ve taken in which I did not exit the car).

My public outings have had mixed results in the past. To increase the potential for a more successful outing, I took some drastic measures this time, or at least drastic for me.
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T-Mobile Employees Call T-Girl “F*ggot”

T-Mobile kiosk in mall

While browsing a local mall (en femme) and minding my own business, I noticed male employees of a T-Mobile kiosk up ahead staring me down with a rather unpleasant look on their faces. There was what appeared to be a customer being assisted at the time, but their focus was on me. From several meters away, I very clearly heard one of them say “There goes a faggot.” It was spoken louder than the rest of the conversation, indicative of his intent for me to hear it.

I would expect this kind of lowbrow behavior from immature kids and street thugs, but not from on-duty employees and representatives of any business, regardless if their own misguided personal views.

As mentioned in my previous account of browsing the mall en femme, I did not allow their bully tactics to ruin my day. They rattled me and gave me a good scare – good for them. I’m sure they’re very proud of themselves for their juvenile display of aggressive behavior toward a completely harmless person. Nothing has changed though. I’m still me, very happy to be who I am, and a little wiser for the experience.

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En Femme at the Mall, Turbulence & Triumph

Gabrielle in mall

After a productive outing to see my therapist as Gabrielle, I wasn’t quite ready to call it a day. I decided to take a stroll through a local mall. I’d driven to this mall a few times en femme, only to remain in the car out of fear of being harmed.

This is part of my personal growth process. I need to become more comfortable being Gabrielle in public and interacting with others as such. My primary objective for this mission (it’s more fun to think of it as a mission *grin*) was to make at least one purchase before leaving the mall. My secondary objective was to walk the entire mall before leaving, but it’s a rather large mall and I wasn’t sure about the feasibility of that in my high-heel boots.

Before my mall-trek was over, I received a rather unsettling reminder of the very real potential for danger in public crossdressing.
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Nothing Ever Seems to Fit

clothes returned

Yesterday my latest package of mail-order clothing arrived. After arriving home from a long day at work, I quickly got out of my man-clothes and tried everything on. One garment at a time, my disappointment grew as I discovered nothing fit me. My lovely wife, on the other hand, ended up with a new elegant yet sexy little black dress and attractive bell sleeve top. She looks mighty fine in them, too, I must say. Finding female clothing items in my style and in my size often seems like a cruel exercise in futility.
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Humorous Moments in Crossdressing 2

Hot Tipic skirt

I offer you another humorous moment in the crossdressing life of yours truly. This was probably more embarrassing than humorous, at least for me. Life is full of moments like this. It’s just a lot more interesting when crossdressing is involved… or maybe just that much more humorous. I’m cool with it though. I hope this humorous (and embarrassing) moment in my life offers you a good laugh or two.
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