Going out in public may be the biggest crossdressing challenge that we will face. I probably am fearless because I have been out in public from the first time I fully dressed. Perhaps it was the circumstances as I went to a crossdressers makeover service and spent 6 hours being transformed into Tasi, the girl of my dreams. This was followed by an accompanied visit to a local Fashion Bug for an evening of shopping, all of this on a cold November day in Columbus, OH. I checked into my hotel as Tasi and traveled dressed all the next day by car to the Washington DC area. I spent the next 3 days in the DC area on business transforming myself every evening and going to restaurants and malls not knowing anyone, but enjoying the experience. I used the ladies room for the first time in my life, not without trepidation and certainly with caution. The whole experience was exhilarating.
I’ve subsequently learned that my experience was rather unique as most girls are not nearly as daring. Short car trips, walks around the block or dressing only at a support group meetings are more likely first adventures for most crossdressers. Nothing wrong with this but until you venture into public spaces on your own, you can never even imagine the joy of presenting female and being accepted as a woman. A friend called it passing at the 30 foot level.
I loved that fur lined blue leather coat which was great for WV winters, but the wig…well I had a lot to learn. But despite my personal challenges, I never had a bad experience and eventually learned that often you are accepted just for trying.
I ran a poll on Sister House in Spring 2016 asking my readers how often they went out in public. I had 110 respondents. Lucille Sorella ran a similar poll on her blog not long ago with 7570 respondents. Although my sampling was much, much smaller, our results were near identical as you can see below
|How often do you go out in public as a woman?|
|Sister House (110)||Sorella (7570)|
|Full Time (every day)||7%||10%|
My questions were more specific on the number of times so there is likely some blending in the responses
So it raises the question, why do 1/3 of the crossdressers never step outside the house and the answers are multitudinous.
Quora did a long article early this year on what is holding a crossdresser back from wearing women’s clothing in public. The responses ranged from the all too often heard “ït’s a sexual fetish” to the late onset trans woman, and even the “simply won’t pass” excuse. There’s probably as many reasons as there are crossdressers.
Terri Lee Ryan, who is the ex-wife of a crossdresser and a well published author and blogger, did and article for Huffpost (also on Sister House) on The Cross-Dresser’s Challenge for Acceptance. The simple answer is Fear and it comes in many disguises. I myself took my crossdressing away from my home locale for many years (I was too well known in small town WV) but then did dress when I went to El Paso for work. I retired shortly thereafter and it has not been an issue in this city of 1 million where I live now even though a tall expat woman in a Mexican town is certainly noticeable.Teri and I certainly agree that crossdressers need to become more visible, but where MTF transitioning women are largely accepted today, crossdressers, being dual-gendered, are still much misunderstood. It’s a challenge but one which I hope will be accepted.
Some places are easier for crossdressers as you can read in this article on the Best Cities for Crossdressing. The list is not all-inclusive as many crossdressers thrive in smaller cities too. My friend, Judy, in Fargo ND has no problem nor does my friend Patty in Ben Wheeler, TX. I think their secret is simply to accept who they are and make friends. Both have been most successful in this approach.
Maybe the future will be different. Stana of the Femulate blog certainly thinks so in her predictions for Future Dressing. I hope she is right