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Be…

My mantra! My masterpiece!

…Smart

If you want to go out, just put some thought into it. Listen, we live in a world of mass shootings, so danger doesn’t necessarily lurk just because you are trans or a CD. I have used this analogy frequently, you may well think you will be more comfortable at a gay or LGBT bar. You may think going out under the cover of darkness will make you more comfortable. I am not here to preach, but I will point out, that if I want to harm trans people, I will go to a gay or LGBT bar. Me, I am sitting at the Olive Garden at noon, having a glass of wine. My odds of having an issue are miniscule.

Two concepts are at work here. One, hiding in plain sight is real. Two, sunlight is your best defense!

If you would be uncomfortable doing something as a male, why in the hell would you do that dressed as a woman? Do things women do. They park under a streetlight. They walk to their cars together. Put on that skirt, take the precautions any woman would. I cringe when I read about someone who went out dressed for the first time, did so in the wee hours of the morning, just to walk about. That is lunacy! No woman would do that, would they?

…Appropriate

I understand you have this hyper-feminine fantasy of yourself. You want those giant stilettos, that skin-tight dress, you get the point. All good. However, if you desire to be a woman in the real world. you need to consider appropriateness.

One, dress appropriately for your age. Does this mean you cannot wear something short, or revealing, or low cut? No, it does not. You see me doing that here all the time. Many of our dear Contributors do so as well. But the more you do not dress for your age, the more likely will will be “read”. Being “read” is not a bad thing (it’s almost inevitable), but it can be if you stand out in a negative way.

Dress for your body type. Be honest with yourself. If you have a belly, factor that into your outfit selection. There are tall woman, there are big woman, there is every single body type out there. But they are genetic woman, that gives them the benefit of the doubt. If you want to blend in, go with the flow.

I initially feared sleeveless tops or dresses. Now, do it all the time! But I do so smartly, appropriately. You see Sun-Dee all the time, doing things wisely.

Finally, dress for where you are. I have worn lovely gowns, just not to the grocery store. It’s the old, don’t wear a ballgown to the bowling alley. You can wear a dress to the grocery store, but do so knowing you will stand out. I have done this and have stood out positively because I may have looked like a working woman on her way home, picking up a few things for dinner.

…Confident

Of course, confidence bodes well in anything in life. But it is crucial if you want to go out and be you. If you see anyone looking nervous out in public, I am guessing you may be uncomfortable around that person. They may simply make you uneasy or they may be contemplating something horrendous. Be confident in your presentation, it’s your right to be you.

When you smile, people that encounter you drop preconceived notions. They relax. They smile back. Happiness breeds happiness. Confidence breeds comfort. Take a big deep breathe, walk out that door, own it, smile, take it all in. Be that fabulous you that you are!

…Visible

Nothing changes if we are not out and about. I can tell you from significant personal experience, being seen, having conversations, representing my sisters well, has broken down stereotypes one mind at a time. Change is glacial. Racism still exists for example. Is it better than say, in 1960? Absolutely. Is it perfect? Is it gone? Of course not. Human beings are drawn to other human beings like themselves. “Like” could be anything: race, community, where they live, who the root for, the school their children attend, etc…

Being out normalizes who we are. Make every encounter count, I know I do.

Tells

Now, it’s time to be brutally honest. I cannot be clear enough about this: WE NEVER PASS! Never. Yes, some biological males can go out not being detected as male. But they are what we call unicorns, few and very far between.

Most of us have numerous tells. The absolute most obvious, we ALL have man hands. Hormones, plastic surgery, whatever, cannot change the size of your mitts. Go to Keystone or any gathering and look at the hands. That, in and of itself, will ground you in reality.

Adam’s apples, our voices, shoulders, male facial features, hair, beard shadow, poor makeup skills, on and on and on….

Comport yourself as a woman would. Cross your legs as a woman would. Keep yourself small. Women want a smaller silhouette. Men spread out. I have been at group gatherings, just shaking my head as a sister is walking around like a linebacker seeking to make a tackle.

If you accept reality, then you can go about being the woman you wish to bee (pardon the pun).

Ladies, I do not wish to pee in your Cheerios, I wish to paint a realistic picture of what reality is out there. I fool exactly no one. Not one human being. But I have been out over a thousand times, in tens of thousands of places and situations, in front of hundreds of thousand of people, in very public situations and not one single time did I have an uncomfortable moment. So far, never, ever. Beecause I am smart about what I do and where I go; I dress appropriately for my age, body type and the situation; my smile clears the way for me as my confidence is on overload; and I am out all the time, visible, seen by the general public in very public situations.

Now take this information and get out there! Bee you!

Regarding yesterday’s post, I went with the dress on the right, the white polka dot dress. The waist on the blue dress was impossibly small and the red dress was not very easy to get on and off. The white one zipped up the back easily!

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26 Responses

  1. Kandi,

    I said the left one due to the front button, but like you I really liked the white polka dot one!

    That being said loved your column today. You are so right in everything you said…..

    Davina

  2. Dear me, Kandi – you’re on fire this week – that was another gem of a post and advice that we ignore at our peril.

    I particularly liked the ‘Tells’ section. Too many of us spend too much time fretting about this, particularly as ‘passing’ in the eyes of many is understood not only to be indistinguishable from a genetic woman, but also to be indistinguishable from a facially attractive one (although I have to say that the giant stilettos and skin tight dress can work wonders!!!!). Far better to accept reality and then get on with enjoying life.

  3. You have posted this same message often, even a video I think, but it is so very relevant and important to repeat it often. We sometimes get so caught up in striving to be the ideal woman in our minds that we sometimes need to be reminded toj ust BEE ourselves.

    Good choice on the dresses. I liked the look of the white dress but went with the blue since it was sleeveless.. If a dress or top is tight on me it’s usually in the shoulders.

    1. Thanks Clair! I never know when someone is venturing into the blog for the first time, trying to figure herself out, so I do like to drive home certain realities. Those dresses were 70 year old, so it was all so different then…….

  4. Hi Kandi:
    I remember seeing this in video from a while back, when I was just beginning to contemplate going out and about. I was inspired by it then, and continue to be words to live by now. It’s great seeing it in written form now, and I think all of us should have a copy of it on our refrigerator and refer to it often!
    Thank You,
    Kris

  5. Kandi,
    It’s so good to see you passing on the experiences of being Kandi in public , ( this is what Kandi’s Land is all about ) I can’t fault any of your advice . It’s possibly common sense to us but totally new ground for the girls stepping out the door for the first time , I admit we learn by our ( stupid) mistakes , the important point being staying safe while we find ourselves . Social groups are great for learning the basics while enjoying the company of other transgender people in a safe environment .
    Living with the ” Tells” . The first step is do plenty of people watching , I was concerned about the size of my hands until I noticed a woman while sitting in my dentist waiting room , she had bigger hands than me . Age can be cruel and kind at the same time , skin becomes saggier so I don’t have too much a problem with my Adam’s apple . My voice is tricky because I have a problem with my throat , all I can do is speak slightly higher and softer but the other problem is poor hearing . I don’t know what my voice actually sounds like without my hearing aids and they tend to give a false impression with them in . Hair is a pain in the butt ! Like most men as we grow older it grows less on our heads and sprouts everywhere else in compensation , my friends tell me hormones MIGHT change that , so for now I live with it .

    So the one comment I have to question is the thorny one of passing , I’ve never considered myself a unicorn but I also don’t feel I’m going out to fool anyone . All I can say is if we appear more as a woman and not a man in a dress and behave enough to tip the balance on the female side we will be passable with our presentation . The one point I will stress is we must be consistent if you want to achieve that level of acceptance , I will also add it doesn’t happen overnight , I’ve been fulltime now for six years . If I hadn’t achieved that level I’m not sure what I would have done , very few people know me in male mode so I could never revert to that lifestyle .

    As you say the key words are , confidence and wear a smile .

  6. Hi Kandi,
    What a well written and totally accurate article! You hit the nail on the head with this one girl. For me, the most important advice in your article and what I tell all the girls I try to help is SMILE …a lot. There’s nothing we can do to make people accept us and feel more comfortable around us than that. I’ve had women look at me with a bit of a is she or isn’t she question in their eyes and most of the time that disappears the minute I give them a big smile. The best part is, there’s nothing that make us prettier than a big welcoming smile and nothing that removes someone’s concerns quicker. Hope you’re having a great day my friend,.

    Trish 💖

    1. One day I walked into a gym I used to frequent and they always had some words of wisdom. One I have never forgotten: a smile is the prettiest thing you can wear!

  7. I wish every crossdresser contemplating going out in public en femme for the first time could read your words of wisdom. What I believe and emphasize to newbies is this – makeup skills are important, a good clothing sense is important and learning female mannerisms is important but the single most important factor in determining how comfortable and successful you will be out in public is confidence. Being confident can help overcome any deficiencies you may have in the other three areas and will definitely help make people you meet more comfortable in their dealings with you.

  8. “nobody passes” -this is a discouraging statement. prefer to say that people see what they expect to see so if you take the excellent advise contained above people will just accept you as a woman as part of the background. “nobody passes” is discouraging and implies that we will be called out.
    also worth mentioning are self defense steps to take in case the worst happens. be prepared.

    1. Emily,
      Try not to be discouraged by the statement , as I metioned it takes time , I found confidence and a belief in yourself and as Kandi mentions dress appropriately are the important basics . I must admit we can be on the defensive , worrying about what might happen but in six years it’s never happened to me . I discovered people are very much on your side they want you to succeed , it’s a very small minority that go out to cause trouble .

    2. Just because one doesn’t “pass” does not mean anything negative will happen. At least that is my VERY significant experience! Thanks Em!

  9. Thanks for sharing this wonderful advice that’s BEEn heard before but has new meaning since I’ve BEEn out and about for the first time since the video was posted. I feel like every time I do it I’m able to improve somewhere or add some little feminine trait that was lacking before while still keeping in mind caution and and clear head. Yet as you say certain features are just impossible to hide. You have a whole hive of wonderful wisdom to share with newbies like myself which has lead to facing my own fears and finding out there is really not much to fear as long as you’re using just a little common sense. Of course to go out looking clownish with the makeup and dressing overly feminine is like begging to be noticed. I hope I’m over that phase now!

    1. Elizabeth,
      I admit it took me a while to feel totally at ease , just doing ordinary jobs like going to the supermarket I sometimes felt I’d overlooked something , usually I hadn’t but then I realised women often make the same mistakes at times . I still smile when returning home from such a trip to find I’d worn my denim skirt back to front but sometimes it’s hard to decide where the front , side or back should be , I have a skirt where I know it’s a side zip but find it doesn’t hang right so twist it to the back .
      Most fears are ill-founded but be ready for the little things that can happen , I’ve been followed more than once while shopping in the supermarket , on one occasion the guy’s wife had to drag him away I could see all the fun out of the corner of my eye .
      A second thought on passing , we must appreciate some guys only look for telltales to make a questionable judgement , if they see blond hair and boobs that’s usually enough to gain his interest . I ve’ experienced this a couple of times even when wearing old jeans and a sloppy Tshirt after working in my garden .

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