Personal Safety for Transgender Folks

Note from Tasi. Teri Lynn Richards is a retired police officer with an unusual sense of what works and what doesn’t work concerning safety issues for those of us in the transgender community. She speaks from the heart and with a lot of knowledge and common sense. I can only confirm the truth to which TeriLynn speaks from the many stories that I’ve read or have been told by others, so read, follow, and Be Safe

Hi Girls, Happy Holidays!

’I’d like to share some information which may help you to make you life safer, enabling you to enjoy your TG (transgender) life to the fullest, while avoiding some of the heartaches many TG’s encounter.

Confidence is a key for personal safety.  Confidence comes from positive experiences.  Thus, it is important to avoid negative experiences, as much as possible.  No, you’re not a failure when you encounter negative experiences.  Use the negative experiences to build towards more positive experiences.  Let me explain this.

I have a transgender friend who has encountered mostly negative experiences since she started living full-time as a woman.  Why?  After many discussions with her (and others), here is what I learned.

About 25 years ago, my friend, who we will call Lynn (not her real name), decided to live full-time as a woman.  And a very nice-looking woman she became.  She was so passable; she worked in large department stores in the Women’s Apparel section, among other jobs.  Things were looking pretty good for her.  However, eventually things went downhill for her – yes, even after several years of successful living and working as a woman.

How did this happen?  Well, Lynn didn’t make a clean break with her old life.  Lynn stayed in the same town, same neighborhood, and with her same friends.  So, what’s wrong with that?  You’ve heard the saying, “What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas.”  Don’t ever believe that!  If you do, I have a real Santa Claus to introduce you to.  He flies down from the North Pole every Christmas………..

OK, you get the point.

Well, what happens when we have friends?  If you have friends long enough, you will have disagreements – maybe even fights.  Sure enough, add a little alcohol and things will get stirred up.  Before she knew it, Lynn’s “friends” called her employer and “outed” her.  And if you believe you can’t get fired for being transgender, I’ll sell you a bridge in Arizona.  The employer will just list the reason for your firing as “not meeting standards of employment.”  That can cover everything from being late once or twice, to misuse of the employer’s equipment (computers/telephones), to being a distraction at work.  Unless you have never made a personal phone call from your employer’s telephone, on his/her time, you are a candidate for firing.  Trust me, there are hundreds of cases of such dismissals and less than a handful of appeals have prevailed against the employers.

Here is another example from Lynn’s life.   Seems she once roomed with two or three other folks.  Two were TG people and the landlord claimed to be “straight”, but TG-friendly, holding a respected position in the community.  That alone should have aroused Lynn’s suspicions.  Why would such a person, who states he is straight, advertise that he was particularly looking for TG roommates?  Don’t fool yourself and think that this person was an enlightened individual and just did not want to discriminate against TG people who may be looking for an apartment to share.  Sorry, there is still no “free lunch” in our society.

We’ll cut this story short by saying that eventually there arose some disagreements among the roommates, ending in a lawsuit.  And as if that were not bad enough, when Lynn was in court, the two TG roommates (who had, sided with the “straight” landlord) appeared in court and “outed” Lynn, calling her unbecoming names in open court – Judge Judy’s Court.  OUCH !   (Never go to one of those Courts if you’re trying to remain in stealth-mode.)  Did she need that?  Do you ever want that to happen to you?  If not, then the following advice may help to keep you from experiencing such negatives experiences.

Please, even if you disagree with these recommendations, remember that this advice is taken from real-life situations, and from my 30 years in law enforcement.  Therefore, I may not paint the rosy picture some would like to believe in, but I think it will keep you from experiences you do not want to endure.

My first advice – if you are a part-time CD (crossdresser), be careful with whom you share your “secret.”   In a heated moment, your best friend may “out” you. Not to forget that there are still those who hate us, for no other reason than that we are crossdressers – and some still enjoy inflicting harm to our kind. If that does not concern you, fine, share with whomever you like, but, remember, the consequences may be more than just public embarrassment (friends, family, & neighbors).  You may lose your job (consequently, your house, etc), your spouse, and family.

My best advice – be very discreet.

If you are a pre-op or post-op TS (transsexual), or a full-time CD, make a new start of your new life, if at all possible.  MOVE – if at all possible!  If moving is not possible, try everything to make it possible.  I see this as the only sure way to start with a clean slate.  It’s the best way to avoid the heartache which Lynn encountered.  More about relocating later.

Keep your past “your past.”  What’s past is past – do not tell others – ever.  If no one knows your past, you have nothing to fear.  If you transitioned on the job, it would still be wise for you to get a new job, or transfer to another job-site with your employer (if they have more than one location).  Just like old friends, co-workers will spill-the-beans, regarding your “secret,” and usually at the worst possible time.  In the worst-case-scenario, we may find your picture in the obituaries.  If you’re lucky, we may only read a complete detail of your life in the local gossip column (or company bulletin-board) – courtesy of a co-worker.  If you want to avoid that, find a new job and a new neighborhood.

The new neighborhood should be far enough from your old one so that there is virtually no chance of meeting people from your past, whom you do not want to meet.  A new city is always the best choice.  Yes, this will inconvenience you a great deal, but that beats winding up as a statistic in the obituaries.  If you truly keep your “secret” a secret, then there won’t be those moments when someone confronts you and says, “I know you’re not really a woman.”

Let’s go back to Lynn’s story.  While still a pre-op TS, out in a bar one night, someone approached her and said that he knows that she is a man – a fagot sissy man, etc, etc.  Well, what to do now?  Not being confident, and unsure of how to react, Lynn thought that the best defense was to launch a counter-attack, so she smacked the guy in the face. Yes, before she knew it, she was in jail for assault and battery.  Naturally, the bully’s friends told the police that Lynn was drunk and hit him for no reason.  So, how did this bully know? You see, Lynn was still in her old neighborhood, running in the same circles as before and during an “alcohol moment” she told someone about her past.

Don’t make the same mistake Lynn made.  Lynn believed that everyone who patronizes a gay bar or gay restaurant is TG-friendly.  Not so!  These bar “patrons” may humor you for a few weeks, even months, and then, suddenly, they will turn on you for being TG.  All it takes is one drink too many, or some stress in their life, for which they need some relief – and suddenly you become their target.  Besides, there are the occasional red-neck/gay-bashers who go to gay bars just to have “fun” by finding TG’s whom they can humiliate, or worse.  Why set yourself up for such an encounter?  If you are totally “passable”, or even reasonably
“passable”, you may be better off in a straight bar or restaurant, because no one there is expecting you (as a TG) to be there, so you will just blend with the other folks in the establishment.   Isn’t that a better-way-to-go?

I notice that when I’m at one of our local transgender-friendly restaurants, people inside the restaurant and people walking by on the sidewalk, often slow down or stop to get a good look at us as CD’s.  Why?  Because this restaurant is in an area of the city known for its TG lifestyle.  They expect, even hope, to see CD’s/TS’s, etc, in these restaurants.  In regular restaurants in other parts of town, I get looks, but not nearly as often and not as long, because no one is actively looking for a CD.  And many of the looks I get, I attribute to men looking at a woman, because that’s what men do.

When you do get “read,” your best defense is a big smile.  It totally disarms people.  In my early days as a CD, my worst fear was to be detected as a CD.  Whenever that happened, I would lower my head and look down and be embarrassed.  It took me a long time, with much encouragement from others, for me not to feel ashamed because I am a CD.  Once I tried the smiling routine, I noticed that people would smile back or look away, rather than look at me and try to figure out what or who I was.  If you don’t act weird – don’t act ashamed – others won’t treat you as a ‘strange’ person/weirdo.

Be proud of who you are, but be proud without flaunting it.  A GG (genetic gender) woman does not flaunt that she is a woman.  Yes, she is proud of it and dresses the part (mostly), but she does not wear such outlandishly feminine clothes that she draws attention to herself as a woman (unless she is a hooker).  Now, that does not mean that women don’t dress nice and don’t like to be noticed.  Oh yes, they wear nice clothes because they want you to see how nice they look.  However, when a woman dresses nice to attract a bit of extra attention, she does not dress to the point of looking outlandish as a woman.  Too often we as CD’s want to look overly feminine/sexy.  We dress in poor taste – so that we do not blend with the average woman around us.  If you want to pass as a woman, blend as a woman.  (If you are a FtM (female-to-male) CD, this also applies to you.  Most men don’t run around looking like Paul Bunyan or Hulk Hogan – so why should you?  Blending is the true key to passing.  Most of us will never look good enough to fool everyone, but we can look presentable/respectable and that will go a long way towards others accepting us.

If society sees that we are attempting to present a respectable image, we will be respected in return.  Look outlandish and you will suffer the consequential sneers.  And one more item of advice for passing – practice.  Practice speaking in a softer, quieter voice.  Nothing is worse, for “outing” yourself than to sit in a restaurant and just about the time that the other patrons have stopped looking your way, you or someone of your group speaks up in a loud, male, bass voice while talking to the waiter or to make an announcement to the group.  No longer do the other patrons have to guess what you are, no matter how well you thought you “passed”.  And if you were unnoticed until that moment, now all eyes are turned your way.  Yes, do your best to develop a feminine voice.  Nothing is a bigger give-away than for a reasonably good-looking woman to be sitting in a restaurant and the people next to her to suddenly hear a loud, deep, voice coming from that short and sexy skirt.

Men have a tendency to want to be heard by all.  Women speak in soft tones, without broadcasting their voice through the entire restaurant. If you want to look like a woman and be accepted as a woman, shouldn’t you act and sound like a woman?  Besides, not attracting undue attention to your CD group, while out-in-public, is just plain common courtesy to the other members of your group.

If you do not think that it is important enough to work on developing as feminine a voice as you can, and as feminine an appearance as possible, then perhaps you are not a true crossdresser; but rather you are just a person with a fetish for women’s clothing.  Yes, there are those who don’t care much about their appearance.  Whether or not they present the image of a female does not matter to them.  They are happy just to be out, wearing women’s clothes in public.  These folks are not too unlike exhibitionists and sometimes they associate with crossdressers so that they can appear in public with some sort of a legitimate cover for being dressed in public, as they are.

From reports I have read, these folks are the ones who are most often harmed by strangers.  My personal advice — if you enjoy a fetish for just wearing women’s clothes, do so in the safety and privacy of your home, or limit your fetish to wearing women’s undergarments, while out-in-public.  Why look deliberately foolish?  Why make yourself a target?

Back to Lynn…  When she told me of her horrible experience in the bar, I suggested that she could have handled it by replying: “Well, I don’t know what made you think that, but I’m shocked. Do I look like a woman to you?”  At that point, your the accuser should apologize and say, “I’m sorry, you certainly do look like a woman.”  If he does not, your best move is to excuse yourself to the restroom and from there duck out of the establishment at the first opportunity.  That will prevent the situation from going down-hill.  Punching a guy is certainly not the answer.  And here is my point – had Lynn moved to a new town, and not told anyone of her past, probably no one would have ever confronted her in this manner.  Is it difficult to give up your old friends?  Yes.  Is it difficult to keep a secret? YES !  However, is it less painful than encountering what Lynn encountered.

Some may ask how to handle a romantic situation.  Those moments don’t come upon you without warning, so you have some time to prepare.  If you are a full-time CD, or a TS, dating/sex are issues you may encounter.  When you are out and encounter someone who has taken an interest in you and begins to talk to you, they usually will say something like: “Hi, how are you?  Or, “My, you look nice.”  Your immediate reply could be the ice-breaker and the key to your safety.  You could answer: “Thank you.  I wished I felt as good as you say I look.” Or you could say, “I’m not doing so well today.”  The natural reply will be, “Why?”  Now you have the opportunity to find out what this “nice” person thinks about TG folks.  Your next reply could be: “Well, my best friend just told me that he/she is a crossdresser (or transsexual) and I don’t know how I should take it.  What would you do if you were in my place?”  Listen carefully – here comes the clue you need in order to know whether this is the person you can confide in and maybe date.

You may ask why you should confide in them about your TG lifestyle.  From the numerous police reports I have researched, most assaults on TG’s occur when someone, who is expecting affection (sex), finds out that he/she has been led to believe that the other person (CD/TS) is something other [gender] than what they expected.  Yes, homicides have resulted from such encounters.  Are you ready for that – for a moment of thrill because you were able to convince someone you were really a woman when you are not?  Oh yes, in your eyes, you are a woman, but not everyone sees what you see.  So, honesty is still the best (and safest) policy.

Let’s talk a bit more about the occasional CD?  Do you need to start life over by moving and dumping all your friends?  No.  I have not done so.  Most CD’s learn to whom they can reveal their “secret”.  You probably know quite well, who, of your friends, would be comfortable with you, knowing that you are a CD.  Most of you know who will accept your TG lifestyle.  You may not have to move, but you should be discreet about where you go while dressed in your “other” gender, especially if you are married and have a family.

You may not care what others think of you (if they know you are a CD), but, how would your spouse or children feel if their father is known as a CD?  If your family and relatives all know and accept you in your “other” gender, then you are miles ahead of many of us and some of these precautions may not apply to you.  But, don’t forget about your employer and co-workers.  What would they think?  Not all of them are as open-minded as you may think.  Many folks are very good at having others think they are enlightened; but when it comes to challenging their feelings about gender, suddenly, just as with politics, you may get a real surprise.

People don’t always tell you the truth about their personal feelings.  For example, with over 70% of registered voters in California claiming to be Democrats, how do we occasionally get a Republican governor?  It’s simple – what people profess to believe or support is not always what’s truly in their hearts.  Honesty sometimes only comes out behind the curtains of the voting booth.  So, don’t be fooled by the smiling faces in the office when a recent TV program about crossdressing is discussed. They may smile at the story in the presence of their friends and you; but, unfortunately, when alone with you, a TG person, they may stab you in the back.

Personally, I had to be very careful not to reveal my after-hours-status to anyone at work.  Although lesbians were welcomed with open arms at work, CD’s are considered weird or sick – sissies, unfit for law enforcement.  Lesbians going into law enforcement are viewed as joining the macho realm and, therefore, are welcomed.  MtF crossdressers, however, are viewed as being weak because they are moving from the macho-role to a “weaker” role as a woman and thus are despised.  In some cases, job security can be compromised and in extreme cases, your life could be in jeopardy.  Unless you’ve been in at least one shootout, which is viewed as a very macho experience (and hopefully you have some scars from it, and better yet, saved a fellow officer’s life while taking a bullet and still surviving), you will not be favorably thought of, once they discover your “secret.”  Apparently, getting shot proves you are super-macho.  So much for the law enforcement crowd.

Upon retirement, I was finally relieved of the stress of the possibility of my employer and co-workers finding out that I am a CD.  I no longer have to worry about someone confronting me about my crossdressing on a Monday morning, after perhaps having seen me out crossdressed during the weekend.  Nor do I have to worry about someone pulling a “Serpico” on me during a raid or search warrant service.

I know that after being in-the-closet for so long, we tend to throw caution to-the-wind and we want to let the whole world see the new “me,” once we get up the nerve to go out in public.  I hope you see now that this may not be the best thing for us to do.  No, I’m not advocating that you continue to hide your “other” gender, but be very careful when and how you reveal it.  I have to add one more incident from Lynn’s life.  Lynn is fairly tall, so she stands out wherever she goes.  She has to do nothing to draw attention to her self.  Well, even though she lived as a pre-op TS for many years – because she remained in the same neighborhood, her “secret” was not a secret.  Some of her neighbors had doubts about the rumors they heard about her, while others believed the rumors and continually heckled her anytime they saw her.    Sometimes Lynn would get into a depressed mood for long periods, so she didn’t take care to look feminine.  While she was doing yard work, her neighbor spotted her in a flannel shirt, hair messed up, not looking particularly feminine.  Yes, she looked more like a man doing the yard-work.  Her neighbor made a comment to her about her appearance, stating that she sure didn’t appear to be a woman (as he had heard and now believed).

That did it – the fight was on.  This encounter smoldered and erupted into flames one day when Lynn said something to her neighbor, who promptly chased Lynn into her house and beat her quite badly.  To add insult-to-injury, Lynn was alone and the neighbor had “witnesses”; so when Lynn called the police to file trespass and assault charges against the neighbor, Lynn was the one carted off to jail – again.  Lynn started this fight because she felt insulted.  I can understand her feelings, but what was she thinking?  Did she think that she could fool all of the people, all of the time?  Besides, Lynn has been on hormones for so long, she no longer has the strength she had before she transitioned.  (If you must fight, make sure you can whip your opponent.)

I should mention again that Lynn is attractive, if she just brushes her hair and wears even half-feminine clothes.  Add some make up and nail polish and she’s a very nice-looking woman. So what causes her these problems?  A careless moment – feeling depressed and not caring about her appearance – and not leaving the neighborhood, where everyone knows her status.

Don’t forget, if you move to a new neighborhood, leave your “secret” behind.  Either appear all-the-time as a female (if you are a full-time MtF CD/TS), or always appear as a male (if you are a full-time FtM CD/TS).  This applies to appearances outside of your house for extended periods, such as yard work, washing the car, or walking your pet.  If you are crossdressed and just jump into your car to leave for a TG meeting or dinner, etc, hopefully you won’t be visible long enough for your neighbors to get a good look.  If questions arise because they did see you, you can always claim that the person they saw was a relative; or you can tell them that it was you and you were on your way to a TG meeting (if they are that open-minded). If they are not open-minded, tell them you were going to a role-reversal party for sensitivity training.  You know your neighbors well enough to decide what answer to give them.  But you should have an answer ready.  Nothing is worse than being questioned and then looking embarrassed as you search your mind for an answer.  Been there – done that.  Now I have my story ready – and it’s my final answer.

One last bit of advice – if you are out “dressed” with your spouse and your spouse says that (s)he  senses that something is wrong (or if you are alone and suddenly sense danger), don’t debate it or ask questions.  Get out of the area and head to a safer, more public place immediately!  You know what they say about women’s intuition?  My wife has probably saved my butt more than once.

I have not discussed the routine items, such as carrying pepper spray or Taser (which I highly recommend), or having a car alarm, a cell phone, etc.  I think these safety tips appear often enough on the local news & Internet and most of you are aware of them.  However, if you are interested in some of these tips, contact me and I can direct you to some good web-sites, or give you my personal recommendations.

So, enjoy your feminine-self.  Don’t be ashamed or hide it, but, when out, don’t push it past reasonable limits.  The life you save may be your own.

Be careful out there – while kicking up you heels and having fun!

 

If you have questions about your safety, feel free to contact me at: terilynn707@yahoo.com

 

Hugs,

Teri Lynn

 

7 thoughts on “Personal Safety for Transgender Folks

  1. Candy, thanks for the Welcome!

    From TG friends I have, I’ve learned that if a TG/CD takes his wife’s lingerie or other clothes, she feels violated; but at the same time, she may “borrow” his stuff. My personal advice – never borrow your spouse’s stuff unless you ask. And, unless your spouse is really comfortable with your TG disposition, never take it to the bedroom.

  2. Some CDs know how to “break through the clouds” without resorting to meth to become spedos of the heart.

    I am sure you must recall how male CDs wearing physical bodies adored Rock Icons of the physical world.

    But I am here to testify that as glorious as they were, they were not about people like us.

    To prove who I am, I will give provide you with a link that should prove to you who people like us are.

  3. I suggest that you list the “Rules” for CDs.

    Isn’t that what you are doing anyway? Aren’t you as a retired cop and current/former CD attempting to write a procedural manual for the non-police-trained CDs who will follow in your footsteps how to handle the situations you have encountered in life? For half the readers of your policeman’s CD manual, it will be about how not to become the victim of “genuine” boys and girls who can’t personally handle the fact that one such as you exists.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-4NFvI5U9w

    The Scots were among the most fearsome warriors the physical level has ever birthed. The Highlanders wielded heavy broadswords as lightly as you or I wield lightweight pens or barely even need to exert any pressure upon the keys of our keyboards.

    Jesus wore a dress, no one can dispute that, can they?

    And when Jesus walked into the Temple of the money-changers, after he walked through their world, it was as though a spiritual hurricane had hit it. Yet, the man who had visited God’s wrath upon man’s ways was wearing his hair and his robe long. His DNA was male, but those of who are alive today would say, “Jesus was a faggot! God’s Son had long hair and he strode through the physical world wearing a dress, and as a man in a dress, he explained to them spiritual truths that had previously been inexplicable to them.”

    So don’t feel bad, Teri, no matter how you worry how it might have been for the men serving on the front lines of the trenches of WWI 100 years ago as they worries about the people they had to leave behind in order to fight for their future in this way.

    Sitting in a WWI trench reading a letter from back home… will we go AWOL and make them happy by showing up back home on their doorstep?

    No, they would not accept us if we retreated. So we must live one day at a time, trying to decide how far into battle we are willing to let our self go.

  4. Teri, do you think it is safer in today’s world for a nonpassable crossdresser to venture out into public? If so, to what degree? Taking the subway would be stupid, right? Taking Uber would depend on the driver.

    I totally get what you are saying. The advice you give in your blog (I have only read this one article written by you) struck me as encouraging for the “passables” and discouraging for the “nonpassables”. Are nonpassable CDs accepted in tranny/gay bars?

    You give such great advice regarding the need to blend in. If someone wants to stare into the mirror and see a drag queen staring back, that works fine in one’s own home, and might work on stage in a tranny bar. (I have never been to one.)

    But a drag queen chooses where to reveal him/herself, right? In other words, they don’t walk to work that way, or shop for clothes looking like that. To do so is asking for trouble. Doing one’s best to try to figure out how to see a female celebrity or slut or whore or “nice girl” looking back at you in your bedroom mirror… it must be terrifying to stare into the mirror of a public bar’s women’s restroom for the first time. It is one thing to make yourself as passable as possible in the privacy (and protection) of one’s own home. It is quite another thing to wake up in the moment and recognize that somehow you have become every crossdressers’ dream girl…

    You are dressed up like a female out in a public place, and while you are getting looks you aren’t sure how to interpret, nobody is making a scene regarding the fact that you are in the restaurant or bar or public space. But how do GGs respond when a CD fixes the makeup on the face that is staring into a public women’s restroom. Let me guess… most GGs never attack CDs who invade their space. Why? Because it would be like Snow White attacking Rhonda Russey in that public bathroom. The GG worries that the CD will clean up the floor with her.

    In the past, a CD who refreshed her makeup in a restaurant women’s restroom mirror probably got beat up by the men who were taking care of the women who fled that bathroom screaming, “There is a male pervert in female clothing using our bathroom!”

    But has society changed now?

    I don’t know, I don’t go out.

    But it seems to me that the social pressure that is now being applied on GGs when they encounter a CD in their bathroom probably doesn’t make them flee the room screaming and shouting for help. They wish you weren’t there, but they see you aren’t hurting anyone, and if they attack you or scream about you to men who will beat you up, it is now the GG who is going to be the one who has proven herself to be intolerant of others.

    I wonder how long your blog post would need to be to explain the sea change in social attitudes you have witnessed since the time you first began venturing out in public dressed as a woman? Most of us never get any further than toward venturing outside than to touch our closed master bedroom door and not open it. Or maybe walk around our own back or front yard in the middle of the night dressed as a woman.

    A CD has to be smart with every move they make, and as a cop you know how to size up a threat and before any threat appears on the horizon, you know to size up whether you even want to be anywhere near that horizon as that sun is about to come up. Wearing a gun and a badge i’m male mode, I’m sure it taught you a lot about how to assume a confident mental attitude when you were feeling vulnerable and outnumbered.

    So you discovered how to project an aura of confidence in daily life as a cop. You learned how as a male cop, you could blend in with the people around you, just being the cop on the beat that nobody ever felt the need to challenge because you weren’t there to make trouble for the people in that neighborhood, you were just mentally broadcasting to everyone in whatever neighborhood you were in, “Move along, there is nothing to see here, I am the same as you and I do not pose a threat to you, even though I may be packing more than most of you do.”

    Your daily life on the job as a cop trained you into the “I am a different breed of cat than all the other cats wandering these streets. I pack more civil and criminal authority and more legal firepower than they possess.” I think it is awesome that you are explaining to CDs that they need to get in touch with that vibration, too.

    What if… and I’m not saying this is true… but what if Genuine Girls have the potential within them to learn how to accept and display (if they feel the need to) their masculine self to the world? And what if Genuine Males could accept that under certain circumstances, they don’t need to always be locked into their brainwashed conception of who they must always be due to the fact that their biological body is male?

    How many violators of physical laws did you watch in amazement fool judges and juries and escape violations of law and endure no punishment… and how did they do that? Wasn’t it because when they committed their crime, they were just doing their thing. They didn’t make up their cover story until it became clear to them after they got arrested that whatever their response back then was, it was the wrong answer. They were going to have to lie any way you look at it, because who they feel they are inside or who they wish they are gives the lie to their DNA.

    So what you are telling CDs to do (as a former cop who knows how life works), is… “Many CDs are kind men who would never hurt a fly, let alone a woman. Many CDs are great husbands and maybe even greater fathers. Sometimes it is up to us to be both the emotional father and the emotional mother for our children even though we would die of shame if our children ever caught us dressing up as a woman.”

    Some of us cannot pass as genuine females, we are stuck living in the space between two worlds, and is that such a bad thing? Whether we are playing around with MTF or FTM, we are not really M or F.

    See, that is what you should celebrate in your life and what I hope you someday appreciate (if you don’t already, and few people do)…

    You took it for granted that you were “supposed” to be able to blend into the world as a male cop and own the authority to pull rank on them or even hold a gun to their head if they gave you any trouble. Why? Most people would say, “Because that cop is a man.”

    But living in the physical body of a male does not give you such authority. The authority comes in part from the mental orientation of the person who can pull off playing a role such as that. And “knowing how to pull off the role” is the key to passing.

    Look at Julia Roberts and sometimes on screen she is “Pretty Woman” and other times she looks like total crap. But nobody ever doubts that she is a real woman because despite all the ways she moves her eyes or facial expressions or body movements, the one role she never abandons as she abandons the actress who is playing that particular role is… her identity as a woman.

    And so, the badge or the gun or the dress or the shoes do not a person make. It is the authority of the PERSONAL WILL WHO IS CHOOSING TO PLAY THE ROLE OF THAT CHARACTER… that is how all those days on the job as a male cop out in public helped you to have the experiences (some frightening, some exciting, others boring) out in public.

    In the past, I knew that there are angry predators out in the world trying to figure out their own sexuality. So they would beat up “fags and trannies”. I know that someday, nobody will care how any else chooses to dress or flirt or desire. Did you watch “The Hunger Games”? Everyone in the capitol city was dressed as a faggot or a whore or a metrosexual. Nobody could tell any more who anyone else instill they took them aside and talked to them.

    Until that day comes, you are right to point out that the people surrounding us who aren’t “There Yet” are going to become a single-person jury of our peers. Maybe they will want to execute us, and if we bow our head in shame, they will attack us because we are “squishy” about which gender “we are”. But if we don’t look down at the ground due to their accusation, and instead rise above them and demand that they tell us whether they have a problem with transgenders… now the shoe is on the other foot.

    I understand this in theory. Is there a safe place where a nonpassable CD can work on this in public?

    And no, I don’t expect any place to be safe.

    I am just wondering what advice will come to you.

  5. Teri Lynn,

    Thank you for your very well thought out and well written article. It has good advice for every member of our community.

    In this modern world where so much information can be obtained about people from so many different sources it is extremely important that we all exercise as much discretion as possible. For me it means that there is virtually no interlap or interplay between my male side and my female presentaions.

    My wife is the only person that knows me as a crossdresser. I do the best that I can when I do dress but she is very fearful whenever I am out of the house and she has not go out with me while dressed.

    Under my present circumstances I do not leave the house except under cover of darkness and then I do my best to get away from my community as quickly as possible. I only go to places where I will not be recognized and where I will be accepted.

    Last week I was traveling on business and as is my custom I took some clothes if the occasion arose. One evening I was back at my hotel without dinner plans. I dressed in a nice print brown dress, wig, hose and makeup and after finding a place on the internet that seemed like it would be acceptable I left my hotel and drove there. When I arrived and parked I did not get a good vibe. I called the place from my car and my bad vibe did not improve. I left and drove back to my hotel. This called for another walk through the parking lot and lobby to the elevator and hall. I went back on the internet and found another possible place. This time I called ahead about their food service and whether it would be a venue that would be open to a visit from a large guy in a nice dress.

    I had a very nice evening and a good meal and had some nice conversations with the bartender, chef and a few of the patrons.
    I am glad that I trusted my sixth sense and aborted the first venue. While it most likely may have worked out well I just felt more at easy going with my instincts about safety and comfort.

    Stay safe and please keep providing your articles. I really like your writing style and what you have to say.

    Pat

  6. Great read Teri Lynn, a lot of common sense advice that sometimes gets lost “in the pink fog!” I also wanted to give you a warm “Welcome” to the site. Having a security minded person in our corner is comforting…and reassuring. I wonder what you might say to the girl who’s wife steals her things because there nicer than the ones she owns? A friend of mind just bought a very pretty robe only to find her wife took it for her own….I told her she should of bought two! *giggle* Anyway….Enjoy the site….and have fun!!!!

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