How to Cross Dress in Public
The First Time You Leave the House as a Crossdresser
Please keep in mind, not going out isn't the end of the world. I've known people who've ventured out only once in their life and harbor a greater sense of femininity in their daily lives - than girls who hit the bars every weekend. You'll also have to remember I live in Atlanta, GA - a very tg friendly city.
All that being said, I'm a big fan of girls going out en femme. Personally, it's about the only time I dress anymore. I've met people who advocate it's no big deal. However, I've yet to meet a girl who has been out five times or more - and maintained such an opinion. In fact, I've found once people do it, it pretty much changes their whole life as a TG.
Before we start all this…
Here's a few other similar sections you also might want to check out:
Do You Already Know a Crossdresser?
What's Up with all these different labels?
Important Terminology in the Transgender Community
Additional Slangs and Terminology
Problems Associated with Transgender Labels
Telling Your Friends You're Transgender
Crossdressing in Public
Making Transgender Friends
Your Evolution as a Transgender Lady
Finding Happiness in a Dress
Deciding to leave the house dressed for the first time
If you are are worried about the actual details, we'll address that in upcoming sections. You must first decide if you really want to get out, and if it is practical. I feel the only reason you should not - is if you're married - and your spouse would not approve. To lie to your spouse about your transgender activities, is a free ticket to divorce court. You don't get to pass Go in the process. At the very least, you are creating a communication barrier - which is never healthy.
I know this really sucks for those of you who either haven't told her, or waited too long initially. However, it's my feeling you shouldn't do it without her consent. Naturally, the optimal situation is for her to always join you. However, I know that's pretty rare. If you live in a small town, where going out is impractical for reasons of discretion, you'll have to fit it in during your out of town travels.
The Fear of People Recognizing You
A lot of newer girls get concerned they might see someone they know and be recognized. Don't. I know when you look in the mirror, you still see a lot of yourself. Trust me - no one else will. I've been going out for years. I know a lot of other girls who have as well. To date, I've never known anyone to be recognized - unless they wanted to be.
The only time this concern is heightened is if you're out - with your spouse. In this instance, you have given your acquaintance a basis - of which to put two & two together. Most people that fear such an association limit their outings to trips to other cities.
The psychology of actually walking out the door
If you've never tried, the first challenging thing about going out - is actually walking out your front door. The second is starting your car. The third is driving very far from your home. Finally, you have to get out of your four-wheeled sanctuary - and walk into your destination. Sounds simple? For a first-timer, I assure you - it is not! Every one of these steps is exceptionally frightening. I can recall the rush from each of these landmarks, as if it were only yesterday.
Every t-girl remembers her first time out. It's sort of like losing your virginity. The first time I ever went out, was to a TG friendly bar called Backstreet's in Atlanta. I was scared shitless. Being a relative newcomer to walking in high heels, I almost busted my behind twice just getting to the entrance. I finally beached myself in a chair, and dug in my heels - while I tried to catch my composure.
Fortunately for me, Backstreet's is one of those places where I could have worn a banana costume and hardly raised an eyebrow. Of course, I felt the whole world was staring at me. My first drink barely hit my lips, because my hands were shaking so badly. I ended up having a fun night, but that first hour was hell!
Advice: Go out with a trans girlfriend
If I had it to do over again, I would have gone with a tg girlfriend. Her confidence and experience will help you feel more comfortable. Her knowledge of where to go, will help keep you on the right path. Her experience in dealing with others will keep you from doing something you might regret in the AM. Finally - there is strength in numbers - even just with two.
If you don't yet have any TG girlfriends, you can certainly make some on-line. Just don't be too pushy. Many girls will only meet you out (including me) - which is fine. Why? They've simply been stood up by too many times by early stagers who chicken out at the last minute. Although I understand their trepidation, I don't appreciate it cutting into my precious fem time.
Where should you go?
If you are going out with an experienced GF, this little challenge will most likely already be resolved. If you are going solo, you'll have to do a little research first.
I'm at a point where I go just about anywhere as Renee, but that took a lot of time. My suggestion is to first visit your target location en drab (dressed as a guy). Learn the basics - the crowd, the bathrooms, the flow.
Once you arrive en fem: tip the bartenders!. They'll look after a good customer like a hawk. At tg clubs, you are part of what draws other customers - you are part of the show - if you will. The staff tends to look after you in general. The bathrooms are usually unisex - but make certain. Some clubs don't want t-girls in the GG bathroom - some don't care.
I must warn about going to bars not known for being TG Friendly. The bar owners are rarely the problem. Ever seen a guy get pissed after a woman rebukes him? Well, you can usually multiply that anger by about a thousand when one of us do it. Although you might be fully capable of physically defending yourself, do you really want to run the risk of going to jail in a dress and getting locked up with Bubba? I'll pass on that experience.
In time, you'll learn all the best tg haunts. I have this typical desire for food when I'm out all night. Even my late night breakfast spot is known as a TG friendly spot - plus they serve great food. (The "Majestic" on Ponce de Leon). If I'm out clubbing on a weekend, and you stop by about 6:00AM - you'll find me sitting on the back wall to the right. I think they are going to bronze my image in that booth, since I've been going there so many years. ::))
Try to stay on the beaten path of other TG's as you start going out. You'll be better off!
What to wear
Get used to having trouble answering this little question throughout your female life. It's always a bitch! ::))
I'd suggest you start with something you feel feminine in - I assume that's half the reason you're going out - but that you don't feel too revealing in. I'd also recommend a reasonable height of heels to start. I almost killed myself by going too tall initially. I had done the steps in my home, etc.- but after a few drinks, the pot holes in the parking lot, people banging into me, and unusual surroundings - even the the most adept heel walker can be challenged.
I wear some pretty hot outfits when I go out. However, I've been doing it a long time. I know where I can get away with donning such clothing. If I'm traveling, or in a more laid back atmosphere, the red dress you see on the left is my typical attire. It is feminine, yet shows off my only best feature: my legs. On the other hand, if I'm going to a theme bar (like The Chamber in Atlanta) or a more t-friendly club like Backstreet's, I'll sort of push this limit. The pink outfit on the right is one of my typical outfits at those type clubs.
Advice: Pack a friendly attitude
Most of the clubs accepting of t-girls are recognized as gay clubs. Only a few years ago, most gays were convinced we were really homosexual - and were using our dresses as a crutch - to accepting this fact. Recently, I've noticed even the most hard core fags are beginning to acknowledge our unique brand of sexual expression.
However....some are not very friendly to some t-girls - with good reasons! Why? Most newer gals live in fear of their own sense of sexual orientation being identified as gay by others. They might also fear a gay man will be attracted to them if they smile their direction or talk profusely with them. Let me clue you in on something. First, most gay men are attracted to all things masculine - and we represent very little of that. Second, they usually endured a lot of pain in their lives while learning to accept and love themselves for who they are. Sound familiar? Any person who seems prejudiced regarding them being gay - is not looked upon too kindly - particularly in their own back yard.
Having friends in any club makes going there lots more fun. Most of my best friends from the night club scene are gay men. None of these special people have ever grabbed my ass or caused me any grief. In fact, they've saved my physically and emotionally more times than I care to recall.
Try accepting others in the same manner you'd appreciate being received. You'll be amazed how many wonderful new friends you'll make when you remove this veil of prejudice. ((hugs))
If you are lucky enough to live in or near a city with clubs that are accepting of gals like us, you are in for a treat. We now live in a world where you have some great places to go play every weekend en femme - and endure no ridicule or frustration at all.
Many tg's hang out by order of beauty and passability. Is this sounding like high school females, or what? Actually, there are some valid reasons for this "pecking order". Those that have breast augmentation, tend to be with other girls that have the same enhancements. The reason is they typically have more in common. We all tend to be drawn to people we believe understand us.
Just because you are tg, doesn't mean every other girl will be attracted to you, or feel they face the same issues as you do. If you are relatively new to exploring your femininity, you can be certain a girl who has been doing it for years - will likely have a lot of experiences you haven't had. Just be friendly to everyone. You can never go wrong with a smile. ::))
I know basically every club active TS in Atlanta. A few, are dear friends. The rest are sweet and I'm always nice to them, but I can do without the problems that go with their lifestyles. Be careful about getting caught up in this rat race. Even if you win - you'll still only be a rat. ::))
I honestly don't know another t-girl who has a more highly sexed nature than yours truly. However, if I share my desires with a friend I'm attracted to, I first make sure they are interested in receiving my attentions. I hope you'll do the same. ((hugs))
Your Going out checklist
Are you ready to go out? First, don't forget your purse! Inside, I always take the following: plenty of cash, driver's license, vehicle insurance card, a phone card, one credit card, change for a phone call, face powder, lipstick, concealer, mascara, an umbrella (I melt easier than the "Wicked Witch of the West") and a couple of safety pins in case something comes loose. Any larger emergencies than that, and I just call it a night and go home!
If this is your first time out, I'd suggest you take one other item with you: a practiced vocabulary. A lot of newcomers "clam up" on their first night out. They are often so terror stricken, they can't recall how to use their fem voice. This happened to me, it has happened to others - and it could happen to you.
If you've ever done any public speaking you likely already know this trick. It's very important to memorize your opening statement. From there - you can wing it.
If you are going to a nightclub, you will be saying these simple phrases quite often:
"I'm Renee, how are you?"
"Could I get a "Screwdriver" please?"
"Thank you, hon."
"It's nice to meet you."
"What's your name, sweetie?"
Practicing these common questions and responses in your fem voice, will help you get by much better in that first hour.
However...most new girls get far too caught up in perfecting their female voices early on. Why? Because we so much want to pass - and we get convinced our voice is the biggest tell-tale sign - that we're not really women. Honey, I hate to clue you in on this little secret - but almost none of us pass. Guess what else? In a t-friendly nightclub - nobody cares! *Smile* Thus, you'll do much better just speaking clearly and being yourself. Trust me - it works!
And remember - if you ever get pulled over while en femme - don't dare fail to stop or give the officer your proper identification. There is no law against a man driving a car in a dress. However, the law is pretty specific on lying to an officer - you'll likely end up in jail.
Shopping en femme
Once you get comfortable going to tg friendly bars en femme, your next big adventure is often shopping. This is pretty special, because you finally get to try on those damn clothes and pick out what fits - versus the normal buy and return and re-buy - tg routine.
The biggest challenge you face in this area often has less to do with your look - and more to do with your attitude. My dear friend Joanne Bennett recently shared with me her success model with this dilemma. I was impressed with her ideas. After having first visited a mall - and gotten read like a book - Joanne decided to invest an afternoon at the same location and simply watch the shoppers. Her research provided an increased level of confidence regarding her surroundings. She also noted how women real" women handled themselves in this world. For instance, she noted how women often smile at one another when passing - yet do not extend this courtesy to men.
She spent an entire day studying these details and used her findings during her next mall visit - where she didn't get read once. I wish I had followed that idea when I first went shopping publicly.
What about the Dressing Rooms? Department store dressing rooms can be a little tricky. Although most of them now include training for their personnel on working with us, some people just can't keep their opinions - both verbally and non-verbally to themselves. If you have the confidence, you need not worry. If not, you'll do better in specialty shops of an "alternative" nature. They are the much more accepting. Most are owner-operated, and even those run by unaccepting people, are usually just selfish enough to follow their capitalistic instincts over any morality issues. They'll typically go out of their way to help you spend your money in their stores.
What should you wear when you shop? I prefer tube tops because I can change clothes rapidly while trying on different outfits. Also, jeans are comfy, and you won't stick out in them. ::))
Dressing while traveling
If you live in a small town, the only time it might be practical for you to get out en femme, is when you travel. I'd suggest you first get to know some friends on-line, (discussed in Dealing with it) to give you pointers on where to socialize in your target city. I tend to dress pretty wild when I'm out and about in Atlanta, because I know my turf - where I'm safe. When traveling, I tend to be a lot more conservative in my attire. It's not quite as fun, but it's much smarter.
I keep a travel packing list, so I don't forget anything - and a separate suitcase for Renee - so nothing gets confused. Of course, I include my favorite wig, my outfit of choice, and all the trimmings. Be sure and get a hotel room situated where you will feel comfy coming in and out en fem.
The realities of passing
Time for a reality check. I'm pretty good at looking like a woman. In general, I can cruise through any mall without a second glance from anyone. How? First, I have the confidence to pull it off. Second, I have the experience to be good at it.
However, the reality is that only about .01% of tv's can pass 100% of the time. (And I'm NOT in this category) If a person knows anything about t-girls, or is highly observant - you are going to get clocked. There are simply too many things working against us - the size of our hands and feet, the Adam's apple, our voice, etc, etc., etc. I have no desire to list it all - gets me in a bad mood. ::))
The key to going out is to emotionally accept the fact you'll get clocked now and then. It's like most things in life: you can't necessarily control what happens to you - but you can control how you react to it. Think through what you are going to do about it in advance. I try to say something humorous when it happens. A smile takes most anyone off the offensive.
Finally, be careful not to put yourself in any danger - or break any laws. As men, we tend to be less observant about people following us, where the security station is located, or parking in a safe place. As a girl - all this changes in a hurry. Another danger is making certain you don't break any laws. This includes using the women's bathroom in public places. Go light on the liquids, when you are headed out to "non friendly" spots. Plan what you will do if 'ya gotta go. Either locate a single stall type restroom at a nearby gas station, or ask mall management to assist you.
Enhancing your skills
Another reason I feel going out is so important? It really motivates you to enhance your skills. The way you walk, the way you poke out your behind when standing, the way you move your hips, the way you move your arms when you walk, the way you hold your arms when standing, the way you cross your legs, the way you sit or stand, the way you hold your wrists and fingers - all these things mean little in the confines of your home. However, they make a big difference in front of strangers.
Once you get adept at these skills, one challenge you'll face is remembering to drop these habits when you come out of your fem role. This is easier said than done. I take a moment when I'm coming out of fem, to speak clearly as a man, etc. You'll be surprised at the number of mannerisms you'll retain, if you are not conscious of what you are doing.
The final, and perhaps most important area of fem development - is acquiring the right female attitude. This is a very individual thing. Remember: A little bit of bitch is okay. ::)) Hold your head up with pride! Be confident. Be yourself. Be a woman!!::))
The final analysis
I've seen too many people hesitate to go out - or get discouraged - because they didn't feel they looked fem enough. I think this is ridiculous. Compared to today, I looked like a real mutt, when I first started going out. You know what? Who cares? My experiences with Renee are just that - my experiences. They are for my personal pleasure - and should be for yours as well. Regardless of how fem I look, I'll still only be a guy in a dress. Know what else? I like it!!
I personally think going out is a very important experience in your fem development. It will motivate you too look better, and it will force you to improve all your fem traits. It will also be one of the most liberating days of your life!
I hope to see you out in Atlanta sometime…you might find me at one of the TG friendly nightclubs in our area - or at some mall - wasting my hard earned money on Renee.
Good Luck, 'sis!! ((hugs))