Primarily it’s about self confidence but my ability to feel confident when out in public has been bolstered by dressing, speaking and moving more effectively like a woman. If there have been double takes lately, I have not seen them so I know I am definitely going in the right direction.
But passable really should mean blending in. Some of us pass very well and some of us don’t and much of that is linked to genetics anyway. I look younger than my age but part of that is due to the fact that my features are slightly feminine for a man which, when supplemented with makeup, allows me to pass relatively well.
I had nothing to do with the genetics but I like to think that it was God’s way of allowing me to deal with this condition with more flexibility; even if I did not take advantage of it for the longest time until I got wrapped my brain correctly around this issue.
Regardless how well you present, the barriers are just not there anymore and I have been struck by the public’s lack of attention towards people who push the envelope in other ways. All you need to do is walk downtown in any large North American city to see all kinds of sartorial misfits and yet most people scarcely give them a second look. It’s unfortunate then that our preconditioning as guilt ridden cross gender expressers sometimes limits our confidence and resolve to get out there.
My message then is to not worry too much about being perfect but just about being YOU. If you are dressed for the occasion, place and in an age appropriate manner you should not expect to have any trouble. But even if you get read, most people have better things to worry about than whether you like to wear dresses or not.
Most evenings I get home from work and change into Joanna mode to go out. My immediate neighbours know and don’t care and the others likely don’t pay much attention or at most find me a curiosity.
It’s a far cry from the time when I thought my world would end if I were to be read as a male.
Last time checked, my world was still there and spinning on its axis.