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out and about in the world

Imagine you're in public and you are nervous, fidgety and looking very conspicuously focused on how you are being perceived by others. Would people take notice?

Many beginning crossdressers start out this way. They feel everyone is staring at them and often their worst fears are realized when a gaggle of teen girls do a double take and laugh. Things have just been made worse.

Incidents like that happened to me on occasion but now they are extremely rare. The only difference has been my level of personal confidence and composure as I go about my business.

I would also fret about being recognised but I have run into my own brother on the street and he did not recognize me. I had to literally stop him in his tracks and have him think for a couple of seconds before making the mental connection. A neighbour of mine thinks I am two different people and this was brought home to me when he spoke to me one day when I was in Joanna mode and then 3 days later told me he had not seen me for a long time. The second encounter I was in male mode.

I have stopped worrying about being recognized and about being read.

The other afternoon at a local mall two older ladies approached me. One of them grabbed my arm lightly and whispered: "You are very tall Madame. I like that".

Both ladies were a little shorter than average.

In the past I might have been flustered or stuck for how to respond but not missing a beat I responded:

"Well you are welcome to some of it. I'm too tall as it is"

Both ladies gave me a big smile and went about their way as did I.

Confidence and dignity play a big role so don't worry about passing; instead focus on being comfortable in your skin. The rest will take care of itself. Not everyone passes or blends in well but we only have one life to live. We cannot live that life hiding in the shadows and if you do things safely and with common sense you will be fine out there in the world.

You might just be surprised how little people give a damn. The difference for you however will be nothing short of dramatic.


  1. I have learned exactly this! I focus on being comfortable in my skin, the rest does take care of itself. People will think about me the way THEY want and it matters little what I do to alter their thoughts. I gave up trying long ago!

    Well said, joanna!

  2. I think that you may be several degrees braver than me or perhaps your gender expression urges may be greater than mine. I feel a strong need to get out and about but I need to know that I will be in safe and accepting environments. I typically will go to LGBT events, clubs or bars and I am most comfortable presenting as myself dressed as a woman. I think about getting out and about in civilian society but have trouble pulling that trigger.

    1. Pat, in terms of going out into the world, just start very small and work up from there, baby steps. Go to the cash machine, post a letter... and work up to going into your local supermarket. Good luck!

    2. sounds like excellent advice. Thank you Andrea...

  3. We each have our own level of comfort and we don't need to push an envelope just to prove something. Fear however can block us from really being fully who we want to be.


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