Coming Out Gently

Teri Lynn RichardsComing out Gently is an encouraging tale to help all those considering how to tell others about your feminist self. As I have been following the stories on the Internet, I read that some of you have not yet been out in public.  Some who have been out in public would also like to share your feminine side with some friends, not just strangers, but don’t know how to tell them. In hopes that this may help, here is how I “came out” to Sally, my hair stylist, a friend of 15 years.

I had been going to the same hair-­stylist for over 15 years.  Sally is quite conservative and as she got older, she got married, adopted a child, and began to go to church again.  We discussed many things of a religious nature. From our discussions, we each knew that we held very conservative values.  I often wondered what she would think if she knew I was a crossdresser. I never had the nerve to shatter the image she had of me. Sally had a troubled marriage almost from the start, so I thought that any male she confided in shouldn’t disappoint her and I didn’t.

Well, fast-­forward to retirement. I was now able to spend a lot of time as Teri. First, I got a new wig.  That wig gave me the confidence I needed to be able to be seen in public. I started going out several times each week. I was enjoying the feminine life as Teri. I discovered my “true-­self.”

With the continued outings as Teri, I started to get a deep craving to share my feminine side with friends who knew me only as “that conservative ex-­cop.”  I couldn’t restrain my feelings any longer and needed to let someone see Teri. I wanted to get some feedback from someone I knew well as to what they thought of the Teri-­image. Oh yes, strangers in the Mall smiled at me and that gave me  a lot of satisfaction, but there is nothing like hearing from a close friend that you look nice.I needed to be told by a close friend, that as Teri, I look nice. Remember, I didn’t want to shock Sally and shatter her image of me, so I had to think of a gentle way to let her see Teri without going into shock.

I knew that if I didn’t just do it, I would keep “chickening out.”  So, one day when I was nicely dressed as Teri, I drove over to Sally’s hair salon.  I parked out front and called her on the phone. I told her that since retirement, I had taken up doing private surveillance work and that because people might recognize me; I had taken up a disguise. I asked Sally whether I could stop by some time when in my” disguise” to see whether she could recognize me.

Teri lynn richardsSally agreed. I then warned her that my disguise was a bit more than she might expect, so she should not be shocked. I told her that when I stopped by her salon, in disguise, I would just come in and walk up to her and say that I wanted to make a hair-­appointment. I told her that if she recognized me, not to say anything. I wanted to see whether her co-­workers would recognize me. Sally agreed. I then told her that I just happened to be in the area, and in my disguise and asked if I could stop by in a few minutes. Sally said, “Sure, come on over.”

Within about 2 minutes, I entered the salon.  As soon as Sally saw me, she got a big grin on her face. It wasn’t hard to figure out that she recognized me. I walked over to her chair, where she was doing a client’s hair, and she whispered to me, “I’m gonna lose it. I can’t keep from laughing.” I told her to hang on. I think this was her way of expressing her surprise [shock] at what see what seeing.

I calmly said, “I’d like to make an appointment.”  She wrote an appointment date on a card and handed it to me.  I thanked her. Before I left, she looked at my hands and feet and said, “You have very nice nails.” Again I thanked her.  As I left, the co-­worker next to her gave me a very pleasant and sweet (and I felt, knowing and approving) wink of-­the-­eye.

After I left, Sally called me and I asked her what the reaction was from her co-­workers.  Their first comment was that my wig had too much volume. Then they said that I was over-­dressed for what I was supposedly doing (surveillance), but that I did look very nice. And then came the real compliment when they said that they watched me as I walked back to my car and thought that I had a great figure, great legs, and walked with a very feminine walk. Little did they know how much practice I had. (Don’t you just love it when women say that about you?)

teri lynn richardsThat was my first visit to Sally while in Teri-­mode.  Several weeks later I called Sally and said that I had a new outfit and would she mind if I stopped by for her to see it and tell me what she thinks of it. Sally said it would be fine to stop by. Before my return visit, I went to the wig shop and had my wig thinned out.  When I stopped by to see Sally, the girls mentioned that my hair looked better. They all thought I looked nice.

Well, every 2 or 3 weeks, I would stop by with a new outfit.  One day I called back to talk to Sally because I couldn’t talk to her with all the customers in the shop.  Remember, I was still supposedly dressing for surveillance work. After I spoke with Sally, she said that a co-­worker wanted to talk to me.

I spoke with the co-­worker (Laura). Laura immediately asked me whether I dress for work or not.  I wasn’t about to lie to a good Seventh Day Adventist church-­goer, so I replied, No.”Then why do you dress like that?” was her next question.  “Because I enjoy it,” I replied. She asked some more bizarre questions, but I won’t bore you with those.

Now the “cat” was out-­of-­the-­bag. It didn’t take Laura long to tell all the gals in the shop that I was not crossdressing for surveillance work, but that I was a crossdresser.  Now, when I showed up in the salon as Teri, I got different looks.  All the gals, except Laura, gave me that twinkle which signaled, ‘It’s OK if you enjoy looking feminine.’

In fact, the compliments took on a more sincere tone. The gals would pick out something that I was wearing and focus on that on tell me that it looked nice.  Once Sally told me that the lipstick I was wearing was too red for daytime.  On my next visit I wore a more subtle color with matching nail polish.  Sally immediately noticed and mentioned that it looked better. The gals actually were interested in helping me to look my best.

After about a year of Sally seeing me as Teri, I walked in one day with my a different wig.    Wow what compliments I got!  All said it made me look so much sexier, preppy and younger. They really got into it.  That was a big turning-­point in my CD/TG life. I now knew that I could go anywhere in public and not worry about how I looked. If these beauticians told me that I looked like a woman, then I had nothing to worry about. I now go out knowing that I have the proper look.

On one visit, as I was walking out, I heard one gal say to the others, “Did you see her blouse? It’s gorgeous.”  Oooh, I love compliments like that.  (Oh btw, that was my black and white diamond-­patterned blouse seen below.)

teri lynn richards in skirt suitOn another occasion, I wore my 38-­C inserts (until that day, Sally had only seen me with my 38-­B’s) with a sheer white When Sally saw me drive up, she came out to meet me. I was wearing a skirt-­suit. I told Sally that I wanted her opinion on whether I looked better in just the blouse of with the jacket on. To my surprise, Sally said she preferred the blouse-­only look. And I thought that with my larger inserts, she would think I was too large-­chested. It did look very sexy and I love that look, because that is how I feel as a woman.

Teri visiting the hair salon is now routine. I take any opportunity I get to go by when in Teri-­mode. I don’t even make my appointments by phone anymore – I stop by in person -­ Teri-­person, that is. Often, the women may ask where I bought a new blouse, sweater or suit, etc.

Poor Laura, she is the only one who still sort of objects, in her heart, but she does speak to me now and will even compliment me if she particularly likes something I am wearing.  She’s come a long way since our first conversation about crossdressing.

After one particular visit, Sally called me and asked whether she could ask me a personal question. I told her that she could ask me anything. Sally said that her co-­workers were curious, because of my nice figure, whether I use padding for my butt. I said that I do use padding (Veronica 2). I asked whether it improved my figure, and she said that the padding gave me the hips I needed for the right feminine figure.

On another visit,Sally asked how long I had been “dressing” and how often I “dress”. I told her that when possible, I like to dress 2-­3 times per week.  Now in 2016, I “dress” pretty much 24/7.

We’ve had our discussions about the different types of crossdressers (TV’s, TS’s, Drag Queens, etc). Of course, she asked whether my wife knows.  I told her that she did, but wasn’t 100 thrilled with it, but that she accepts it, and to a large degree, she supports me and we often go out as girlfriends.

If you want your friends to really know that you view crossdressing as more than just wearing women’s clothes -­ that crossdressing is an expression of your femininity and that you think of yourself as a woman and truly love looking and feeling feminine and sexy -­ then let them see you in a sheer blouse. No man on a whim would dress that femininely.

Teri lynn richardsOnce, I wore my hot pink sweater to Sally’s salon. When I wore this sweater, I was glad that I was no longer wearing only a 38-­B or C bra. My 38-­D bra looks so much sexier and makes me feel so much more feminine.  Under a sweater, it looks absolutely sexy! (You should see the men lusting when I walk by.) My 38-­D bra gives me a great figure; a very feminine and all the gals in the salon loved it, each making a comment about my additional cleavage.

In summary, if you want to tell your family and/or friends, but can’t just go up and tell them because you’re afraid it may lead to a heart-­ attack, try sugar-­coating it as I did with Sally and her crew. Then when they get used to seeing you in femme-­mode and the time is right, you can tell them “the rest of the story.”

Now, I just have to add one other story. It is the story about telling my neighbor (Miss Nosy Neighbor). The first time she probably heard that I crossdressed was when her husband confronted me at the mailbox one day. I’m sure that he told her about our conversation. He asked me whether it was me he saw one day at the mailbox, dressed as a woman. I know he didn’t see me. I’m betting that it was his wife who saw me. She constantly monitors the passing traffic thru her blinds.

Three times during our conversation, the husband asked whether it was me dressed as a woman and three times, with a straight face, I said, NO.” Finally, the fourth time he asked I said, Yes.”  I told him that I was working undercover, but that if we stood there and discussed it, I wouldn’t be undercover for long.   He agreed and stopped talking about it.

Fast forward. Three years later, his wife sees me walking my dog while I was dressed en-­femme. She did a double-­take as she drove. Several months later, while I was hanging up my Christmas lights, she came over and asked whether she could ask me a personal question. I knew what was on her mind, so I told her it would be fine.  She then asked whether I was dressed as a woman when she saw walking the dog one day.  I replied, “Well, depending on what day it was and what mood I was in, it probably was me.”  She told me that she thought it was me because she knew our dog.     I told her that I was already dressed for my surveillance work, but my dog insisted on going for his daily walk, so I had no choice but to take him. She seemed satisfied with the answer for the moment, but then added, “I just wanted to know whether I have to tell my daughters (6 & 8) that Ted got a sex-­change. I told her that wasn’t the case.  I told her that if they see me out dressed as a woman, to just tell them that it’s Teri and if I’m not dressed, then they already know Ted.

Well, after a few weeks, I decided it was time to let Miss Nosy Neighbor in on my “secret.”           I started to go out for more frequent walks, in femme-­mode.  She and I frequently leave our houses the same time of the day – I to go shopping, etc – she to run errands, take the kids to school or pick them up, etc.   She started seeing me dressed several times per week. Usually, I was dressed conservatively casual for shopping, but she was still under the impression that I was dressing for surveillance work. (If a guy did dress-­up for undercover work, it would be on the mildly feminine side).

One day I walked over to the mailbox and stopped to chat with her. I was wearing a nice sweater, which I thought showed off my 38-­D curves very nicely.  We had a nice chat and I got my mail. This routine continued for several weeks. One day, I chatted with her and told her that I had lost my undercover job. I said, “You didn’t tell me that I needed improvement to pass as a woman. My boss thought that I wasn’t good enough, so I got laid-­off. She replied, “Sorry. I thought you looked fine.”  I added, “What am I going to do now?

teri lynn in white sweater with 38 Ds inserts

Well, I guess now my wife can have the maid that she’s always wanted.” My neighbor just smiled and departed for her errands.

I wanted my neighbor to know that I was really into looking feminine, so I started to dress more feminine than before. I figured that if she knew that I was not dressing for undercover work anymore, perhaps she would figure out that I was “dressing” for other reasons.One day, I wore another fairly sheet blouse.

teri lynn in sheer blouseThe blouse gave me a very sexy, feminine appearance.  My neighbor happened to be on her driveway, so I stopped over to chat with her. She remarked: “Well. don’t you look quite feminine today”. I told her that when I started to dress en-­femme, my wife was fearful that the neighbors would think that I was gay and that we would be getting divorced.  I explained to her that most crossdressers, are not gay.

Since our conversation about crossdressing, I have continued to chat with my neighbor whenever I see her. Sometimes I dress on the sexy side, but usually I wear casual. When the warmer weather arrived I got back into skirts again. Skirts, I think are just so much more feminine than the slacks, which I have been wearing during the winter months.

Once, I was gone for a week, to visit a brother in Oregon. When I finally got out again, I wore a very feminine outfit. I saw my neighbor that day and told her about my trip and being sick.  Then I told her that it was sure good to get back to being Teri and to celebrate I wore a more feminine outfit because it lets me get more in-­touch with my femininity.   She just smiled, then remarked that I looked very nice and quite sexy,and we parted ways.

So you see that, as with Sally, I first had to soft-­sell my crossdressing to my neighbor before I could discuss it with her. We have chatted many times since. Had I just told her from the start that I was a crossdresser, she would probably have thought that I was weird/ crazy.

It seems that if one dresses for a reason, such as Halloween or undercover work rather than just because one wants to look and feel feminine, that the public accepts that; but if they first think that we are crossdressers, they immediately label us as weird.

They have to get to know us first and see that we are normal, harmless, sane people, just like them, and they will accept us even when they later find out that we crossdress simply because we feel feminine and enjoy expressing ourselves in a feminine manner.

teri lynn in nice outfit

I have since told all my neighbors, about 8 total and they all accept me as Teri.Now, whenever my neighbors see me in femme-­mode, they smile at me and wave. That’s not the reaction they would display if they were offended/disgusted by crossdressing.  Again, a little sugar-­coating, before telling the unvarnished truth, helped to prepare my neighbors to accept me in my feminine mode.  Heck, now we often chat as a couple of women when I talk to one of my neighbors.

One day, a neighbor told me that she liked the new slacks I was wearing.  That really made my day! Now that you have some ideas on how to tell your friends that you are a CD/TG, go for it. Tell them.  Don’t hide it any longer.  Life is too short for regrets. Go out and enjoy something soft, silky and sexy. You can do that now, because you prepared them for your feminine début by “Coming out Gently”.

3 thoughts on “Coming Out Gently

  1. Dear Teri
    I know from your many posts that you feel you have done the correct thing by fibbing (or sugar-coating) about who you really are and then gradually get to the truth.
    You also could have risked rejection by discussing cross-dressing with your neighbors/friends and then allowing them in on your secret. I believe it is your projection of how poorly you expect to be treated that most stands in the way of your initially being truthful. I’m not at all convinced that you are correct.

  2. I don’t know what Terri will say, but I suggest very cautiously if at all. You should probably run a trial balloon up by raising the subject of all the talk about transgender people in the news and see what feedback you get. Has she seen the Caitlyn Jenner show I Am Cait? You might also want to join my Yahoo group, The TG Woman. You can get advice from a broad range of gals including some genetic women. Just click the Y button at the bottom of any page. Hugs…..Tasi

  3. I’m not as worried about the general public as I am about what my wife and grandsons will/might think. How would you suggest I approach a militantly judgemental and close-minded wife?

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