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A Little Q & A

Written during the pandemic, brought from the archives of the old blog, this post is still accurate for me.

A friend, whom I greatly respect, recently (when originally written) posed the following questions to me.

What do you believe the first impression strangers have of you? 

Since I have had many, many encounters, I suspect the first impression is either a positive or at least a curious one. Given my disposition, I believe I am seen as a positive person, someone worth speaking with. In these days of COVID, while working at the art museum as a greeter, many people have the option of simply avoiding me or engaging me. Most engage me or at least greet me favorably.

I understand that every single person who sees me for the very first time is making some type of assessment. But that is true of almost everyone we meet. I can truly say that I have never had a negative experience to my face. I certainly believe I have rolled a few eyeballs, I know I have been discussed between couples that have met me, but I firmly believe I have left nothing but generally positive impressions.

I can say that I have not shied away from putting myself out there. I have said here and in other places that tens of thousands of people have seen me. I will use one specific example. The Cleveland Museum of Art (pre-COVID) held a Summer Solstice party. We generally have over five thousand visitors. In 2018, I was the main greeter, directing people to the appropriate line. Just that night alone, I got 5,000 look-sees with many, many positive comments. I was a prominent participant in the monthly museum MIX parties, which regularly hosted (I miss those days…) a few thousand guests.

What do you suppose people think of you after meeting?

I am certain I have been a topic of conversation in many a person’s home!

It would be foolish of me to think I wasn’t discussed. If my wife and I met a “sister” in the wild (obviously I have an interest), we would discuss or at least mention her.

Many, many people that I have met and have been unable to remember (I meet so many, especially when we had the monthly parties at the art museum, I have difficulties remembering everyone), have come up to me and reintroduced themselves. That happened just the other day. That tells me the initial reaction was a positive one. Because I respect the privacy of others, I don’t post too many pictures of me with other people, but I have many, many photos demonstrating how I have been perceived.

PLEASE don’t mistake this for arrogance on my part. Frankly, me, no one would give a damn. Kandi, different story.

How do you explain being a bigender M2F crossdresser to a stranger? 

I guess I would have to understand it myself to explain it. But one thing I always do is encourage questions. I have told many a person to ask whatever they want, telling them I cannot be offended. And I have been asked many different types of questions. One group of woman even asked me, let me phrase this delicately, if I was shaved “down there”. [This happened at a North Coast Men’s Chorus concert, so there, this type of question was not unexpected.] I’ll leave the answer to your imagination…..

My very simple explanation of why I am dressed as I am is that it makes me happy. If we don’t encourage others to try and understand us, how will we change anything?

My mission in my life now is to make a difference. Help a sister. Be a positive example. I have had a lot of great things in my life and I have a lot of struggles. What’s the point of it all if you can’t turn it all around and make a difference?

Thank you, my friend, for sparking me to think a bit.

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11 Responses

  1. I think when most guys see me they think dude in a dress.
    Why? Don’t care.
    I think when a woman sees me she thinks guy in a dress.
    Why? Don’t care but, I love the jacket which goes great with that outfit. She walks great in heels so must have been doing it for a while. Her makeup looks great I wonder if she does it herself.

    From my experience the younger people are the less they care and the oldest ones have accepted that like it or not its not going away.

    Best,

    Micki

  2. Kandi,
    What do strangers think , what are their first impressions ? Perhaps I could pose a second question as a transgender person am I expecting a response or seeking one ?

    When I went fulltime I was expecting a reaction , I often had answers prepared even a little guarded ready to defend myself but it never happened . At first I was prepared to discuss dressing and transgender issues , as time went on I felt less of a need to explain myself , Teresa was becoming stronger and stronger as a person . When we talk about being read my strength as Teresa is what they read in me .

    Bigender , transgender ? Do these labels really matter but I still feel it’s important to know why we cross the gender barrier , we owe it to ourselves because we owe it to those close to us , they deserve an explanation . I’m firmly in the ” nature ” camp , we are born with differences between our physical body and what our brain considers we are . Depending how severe that crossover is dictates the severity of gender dysphoria , it’s also possible we are mentally orientated towards the female side hence the enjoyment of simply looking pretty .

    Unlike Micki I do care deeply now about what people think , I’ve been through so much over the years to achieve what I now have . The final battle this year to finally have a passport as Teresa with the female marker after my formal name change .
    The best compliment you can get is no compliment at all because it means you’ve not been read .

  3. Hi Kandi,
    I went shopping on Wednesday with my girl friend Gwen who you’ve met. This shopping day was a little busier than most with stops at a coffee shop for a couple of hours and then to Costco and then to the mall where I found 2 dresses that were gorgeous and on sale for $16. Unfortunately neither was my size. From there it was off to Home Depot, Walmart and finally the pub for happy hour with one of our Cis girlfriends.
    The reason I brought this up was your post. I have found the same experiences with the women we talk to in the various stores we frequent. We’re always accepted as one of the girls and treated the same as any other women would be. As well as by some of the men we’ve met in the pub. My home town has had a rep for being rather red neckish but honestly that has never yet manifested itself in our outings yet. Which makes me rather proud of our little city. Wishing you and all the girls a happy weekend.

    Trish ❤️🥰

  4. Whenever I have to explain living as a trans woman, I mention that everyone is a mix of male and female characteristics and, with me, the female part is more prominent than the male part. I am more comfortable and much happier expressing my feminine part rather than my masculine part.

  5. Thank you all for your input. That is what makes this place special, we share. And we know this is so very different for each and every one of us. However defined, these feelings and how we manifest them are completely unique to each one of us. I know, for me, they are completely different to me every time I go out, how I feel, how I believe I am perceived, how I interact with the world.

  6. Wow, just thoroughly enjoyed reading this as well as all the insightful comments. My thoughts are I’m still not sure what to think of myself when I’m out dressed as a woman. I love feeling feminine and being dressed up so much but I’m afraid a negative reaction or rude comment might drive my feminine side back into the closet for a while. Like Kandi does, maybe you just need to be visible but presentable to the crowds and no one will say anything, about it in public, but like Theresa try to have an explanation handy if you need to explain it to anyone. In both cases it seems you’re under no obligation to have to explain or defend yourself but the ladylike thing to do is to always be kind and considerate towards others and try to interact in the way a woman would. Of course all of you are much more experienced at that than I am but I feel privelaged to look up to and learn from some of the best!

    1. Lizzy, it’s all about you. Find places where YOU are comfortable. Find things that make YOU happy.

      What I do, what anyone else here does, those are ideas, guides, but do not define you. From what I can tell, you have a big heart, let that show through. Love you girl!

  7. Elizabeth/Lizzie,
    You are so right in saying we have to find ways to interact more as a woman , consideration , kindness , thoughfulness but then no one should be a pushover . I admit the man does surface slightly in those circumstances but I still know women who show more aggression than me now , it is sometimes easier to smile and act a little dumb to get what you want .

    Kandi is right we can only show our way , all we can do is pass on our experiences and leave you to decide what might work for you and possibly learn from our mistakes . The important point is we hopefully give you the confidence and strength to be YOU .

  8. Kandi, you are a wonderful ambassador for our community. I love your confidence and comfort in who you are. I strive for the same things you do, that is to be a positive part of our community. When we get out and interact with people and others see who we are, this can only help in being accepted in public.

    Loved this blog, and how you see yourself.

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