As a somewhat experienced cross-dresser, I have heard my share of stories from the general public
about cross-dressers. Is it a fetish or are they just confused?
I want to make it clear that I don’t claim to be 100, 90, or even 80% “passable.” I’ve always said that the key to “passing” is to present yourself in a respectable appearance and to blend with those around you. When we go shopping at the Mall, we shouldn’t dress as a teenager and when we got out to dinner or a movie, we shouldn’t look like a hooker.
My first rule for going “public” is that we must ensure that we look presentable. To me, that means that my hair and make-up looks as flawless as possible. I don’t need to attract undue attention because people are looking at the terrible make-up smeared on my face, making me look like a Halloween caricature, rather than the woman I want to portray.
How do you get to the point so that your make-up looks presentable? Practice, practice, practice – after getting some professional advice, either from a GG (genetic girl) or your spouse, on which colors suit your skin-tone and advice on how to apply make-up, you need to practice until the application looks professional.
My second rule for going “public” is that we need to get quality clothing and a quality wig (unless our
natural hair can be shaped into an attractive feminine style). Wearing tattered, torn or dirty clothes at
home may work for you, but out-in-public, that’s just not acceptable – unless escaping from a fire, tornado, earthquake or flood! A good hair design (natural or wig) is extremely important. You may have on million-dollar-clothes and make-up, but it will all be in vain if your hair looks bad. A quality wig (if you need a wig), professionally fitted for your face, is the best investment you can make.
Nice, age-appropriate clothes and a cute hairstyle are critical if you want people to take you seriously when you are trying to portray yourself as a woman. If you look like you took 3 minutes to throw on your make-up, wig and get dressed, people will assume that you are just out for a thrill or to shock or surprise the public with your looks. Many, if not most of us, need all the help we can get to look passable/presentable/respectable as a woman. I know that I do. Don’t skimp on your preparation time!
To do less than our best, in preparing for that feminine image, is to cheat ourselves of the reward of being accepted; not to mention that if we appear as an obvious cross-dresser, we are doing very little, if anything, to get the public to be more tolerant/acceptable of our TG lifestyle. In fact, we may actually be turning them against it. May I illustrate this with an example? Have you ever watched the evening news containing a story about the legalization of Marijuana as a medicine? What have you noticed? I can tell you what I’ve noticed – 95% of the demonstrators on the street-corner look like homeless folks. They are dressed in out-of-style or dirty/sloppy clothes, long unkempt hair, looking like they are from the 60’s Haight-Ashbury drug-era.
I’m certain that if the demonstrators looked liked professional business-type people, with business attire or suits, they would be taken seriously and get the proper attention of the public and their legislators and succeed in their attempts. Human nature just doesn’t give as much credibility to someone who looks like they are from the bottom of the social-strata. If you want to be taken seriously, look your best!
As cross-dressers, we don’t want to attract undue attention. We don’t want folks looking at us because we look like we just crawled out of a dumpster. Two reasons for this – first, if we expect the public to accept us, we need to look acceptable, not repulsive. We want to look normal – not like perverts or the mentally-deranged.
Second, if we notice that we are getting undue attention, or looks of disapproval/distain/ridicule, it will dump our confidence into the gutter and that will most likely cause us to enter into depression, or at least go back into the “closet”, afraid to let the public see us. Now, is that our goal? Of course not! Our goal – my goal – is to be able to go out in public, daytime or evening and be accepted as a woman. When that happens, I feel fulfilled, happy, contented and yes, femininely sexy and that boosts my
Keep in mind that being “accepted” does not mean that everyone who sees me approves of what I am doing. However, if someone checking me out does “read” me, I want them to say to the friend next to them, “Hey, Susan, did you see that cross-dresser? She was pretty convincing as a woman – looked better than many women.” I don’t want the comment to be, “Hey Susan, did you see that man trying to look like a woman? He looks awful! Does he think that anyone thinks he is a woman? He looked like a guy-in-a-dress – not at all like a woman.”
Remember – this is all about PR. You are trying to sell a product – make that product (your feminine
persona) look as attractive as possible to the buyer. It’s a hard-sell even when your “package” is
Now some words-of-caution. Recently I talked with a CD friend with whom I sometimes go shopping. She was out with a CD/TG friend. Unfortunately, that friend did not present a good image as a woman. Her hair was long, stringy and looked unkempt. Her make-up was a disaster – lipstick that didn’t match her skin-tone/hair-color or her clothes, etc, etc. One of my friends at a department store make-up counter labeled her as “disgusting.” In spite of her appearance, this CD made the following comment to her friend as they were walking through the Mall: “Hey, we must be “passing” because no one is looking at us.”
Sorry dear, but you were being looked at from a distance. Several of the SA’s (sales agents) told me that customers commented to them about this CD’s appearance. They told the SA’s that when they spotted this CD from a distance and saw how terrible she looked, they had to look away, when they got closer, so that they would not break out in laughter. How sad! If this CD only knew how others perceived her, she would not have felt so (falsely) confident.
Here is my point – if you look like doo-doo and no one seems to be looking at you, don’t be fooled by that. Everyone in a Mall gets looked at. Women are always checking out other women to see how they are dressed – it’s just a feminine thing. Of course, the men are always checking out the women because men are geared to physical attraction.
For about a year or two, after I first started going shopping during the daytime, I would walk through the Mall with me head down, avoiding direct eye-contact with anyone. Why? I was afraid that I was being checked out because folks were “reading” me. I thought that everyone was looking at me. When I discussed this with one of my SA friends at a make-up counter, she (Sharon) told me that the way I dressed and the way I did my make-up, most folks could not tell that I was a CD.
Sharon explained that it is normal for others (especially women) to look at me because that’s what they do to everyone. That explanation gave me the confidence to try looking at people when they passed me. I would look directly at them and smile. Most of them returned the smile. Did that mean that they did not “read” me? No. I think that it meant that, even if they knew I was a CD, they felt that I was presenting a respectable and believable image as a woman – and being accepted is far more important than just “passing.”
When out at the Mall, after you have done your best to prepare for the feminine image you wish to portray, you may get almost no looks because you appear, to the public, as a woman. Or, almost everyone may look at you with admiration for how nice you look as a woman. In either scenario, being a CD may have nothing to do with how much or how little you get looked at. How fortunate you are! Maybe you should consider “transitioning” (SRS), or at least living as a woman 24/7.
There is a slight downside to “passing” 100% – not for you but for us, because if you “pass” so well that no one can tell that you are a CD, then you have not caused anyone to think about you as a TG and therefore, you have done nothing to advance our cause. Now, not being “read” as a CD is not a bad thing, but probably only 10% of all CD’s fall into that category – the rest of us (at least me) need all the help we can get to present a feminine image.
If you go to the Mall and you have done your best to prepare for the feminine image you wish to portray and you get a lot of looks, don’t make the mistake of thinking that they are “reading” you. It may simply mean that you “pass” and folks are looking at you because they are admiring how nice you look. In that situation, it matters not whether or not they think that you could be a CD instead of a woman. They can’t be sure, so they are not going to react negatively when they see you.
Let’s face it – not all women look like Faith Hill. Yes, there are women who don’t look gorgeous. Is the public going to question all the homely women and ask if they are cross-dressers? I think not! So remember, if you present a feminine image (in looks and deportment), the looks you’re getting may be looks of admiration and/or acceptance. Return those looks with a BIG smile!
There is another occasion when most, perhaps all, of the people appear not to be looking at you. Don’t
automatically think it is because you “pass”. You could be dead wrong. If you think that people are not looking at you, it could mean that, as with the incident of the badly dressed CD, you don’t look
presentable/respectable – not even close to “passing.”
Yes, there are some folks who look at no one – we don’t have to be concerned with those folks. However, if 99% of the people passing you are looking the other way as they get close to you, you can be 99% certain that it’s because they don’t want to embarrass you by their looks of disgust/distain. Don’t do that to yourself if you are a true cross-dresser.
Being rejected by the public will do nothing to fulfill your feminine desires. It will destroy your confidence. If you just can’t seem to get your feminine look so that it is accepted by the public, please find another avenue of release for your desires. There are CD clubs (Tri-Ess, etc.) in many States. In the privacy of a club-setting, you can find acceptance despite how poorly you “pass”. Best-of-all, at a cross-dressing club, you can get the help you need to improve your feminine appearance. They can help you prepare for your public appearance as a woman. Then you can go public with confidence and pride.
I believe that among the dozen or so reasons for cross-dressing, there are two basic reasons for
cross-dressing in public.
One reason is that the person “dressing up” has a fetish for some piece of feminine attire. They have secretly worn this feminine item for so long that doing so at home no longer satisfies their needs – they need a new experience. They now need to be seen by others to be satisfied. These folks – – fetish-cross-dressers, as I call them, devote very little time to prepare for their trip to the Mall. They don’t really care whether they “pass” or not.
Their goal is to satisfy their fantasies. If, for example, someone has a fetish for panties, they obviously can’t go out in public wearing only panties. To heighten their excitement, these folks carelessly just throw on some feminine clothes. They may or may not slap on some make-up and/or lipstick and head out to the Mall for a personal thrill. That thrill comes from knowing that as a man, they are out in public wearing panties – nothing else matters to them. Sorry, but I think that these folks harm our cause to be accepted as CD’s/TG’s.
The second reason for cross-dressing is that the person has inner feelings of femininity and desires to express those feelings so that they can find fulfillment. I call these CD’s the “true cross-dressers”. These are the folks who take extreme care to ensure that they immolate femininity, rather than mock it. They enjoy wearing everything feminine that a GG (genetic girl) wears. They want to feel totally feminine. They want to look totally feminine. They will do their best to act totally feminine. The true cross-dresser will have that classy feminine look which commands respect, if not approval. Whether they get “read” or not, the true cross-dresser helps to promote the TG cause.
The question that you have to ask yourself is this – Are you under the delusion that you are “passing” because no one is looking at you; or are you confused by everyone looking at you, thinking that they all know you’re a CD?
Are you interested in only fulfilling a fetish-fantasy, or are you seeking to feel fulfilled as a woman? If you are seeking to portray yourself as a woman, how well have you prepared yourself to that end? Your effort can prevent both delusion and confusion.
Enjoy your feminine moments and, if ready, be proud to let the world see you as the woman you wish to be.