A disapproving spouse, a reason. Children, a reason. A public profession, a reason. COVID-19, a reason. There is a lengthy list of reasons we chose not to go out in public. All are valid. Even lacking the courage is a completely valid reason. We want to be comfortable when out.
What I want to address are excuses. The biggest is a disapproving public. That is an excuse and an invalid one at that. I do not say this flippantly. I have been out hundreds and hundreds of times, been to thousands of different places, been seen by tens of thousands of people. Have I rolled a few eyes? Almost certainly. But have I ever, and I mean ever, been made to feel uncomfortable? Not one single time, never, ever.
Have I ever passed (as a woman)? Never, ever. Yes, I blend in, but that is 100% due to the effort that I make. It’s about where I go and how I dress. It’s about studying human nature and knowing how people go about their lives. I am by no means petite, by no means attractive, I am tall for a woman and my style probably gets me more noticed (in a positive sense) than not.
Are there disapproving groups and/or organizations? Sure. But people, individual people in circumstances that follow my rules? None that would ever express them in those circumstances.
I wholeheartedly respect any reasons you may have for not going out. I have some myself, we all do. But I will not accept excuses if you truly wish to be out, be free to be yourself. An unaccepting general public is simply an excuse, a myth. Everyone in town knows me. Go to another town. Either find a way or don’t complain because you are choosing not to get out. Again, as a choice, it is a very valid reason. Just acknowledge that.
Now I know there are exceptions, there will be someone who has not had the same experience as I have. You must remember who I am and how I go out. I am a crossdresser (in this context, I am), clearly male to anyone paying any attention. Were I transgendered, full time, my ability to pick my spots would change and then I am sure my experiences would be different, very different. I don’t have to earn a living as a woman. I don’t have to do everything one needs to do in life as a woman. I am not speaking from that perspective, nor would I ever. These are unbelievably brave people. They have had so many more difficulties than I could ever imagine. Just imagine something hanging over you like that, every single minute of every single day of your entire life. Brave doesn’t do it justice, they have my undying respect.
I am simply talking to my CD sisters. There is a way, a way to do this, safely and intelligently. I am not naïve enough to think hate, evil doesn’t exist. The day before I originally wrote this post eleven Jewish worshipers were gunned down at services in Pittsburgh. Sickening! Recently there was a mass murder at a ballroom dance studio. That is our world. We all must continue to live, attempting to mitigate the risks of simply living. Our attire, truly is a nonissue. I’ve now been out somewhere in excess of a thousand times, so I speak from significant personal experience.
Reasons, valid. Excuses, please put then aside and live your life.
14 thoughts on “Reasons vs. Excuses”
A very useful piece for all of us , maybe even forget the distinction between CDers and transgender members as we all have good days and bad .
Personally I would put the family excuse before the public one . Outsiders experienced my dressing before my family , maybe I was testing the waters by underdressing and braving SAs with shopping . We don’t live with outsiders , what they think is a fleeting moment but we are stuck with the upheavals of what wives, partners and children might think , we have to face that situation everyday .
Laws come and go , at the moment the UK is facing a few U turns but they really can’t turn the tide now , there are transgender people right through society , the latest national census statistics prove that .
I totally agree with your experiences with the public , after five years of being fulltime I haven’t experienced a problem BUT I’m still having slight problems inside my family . To them they’ve lost a husband , a father and grandfather , to me I’ve lost no one , as I keep telling them my door is open to them all .
To not make excuses is hard , it comes down to deciding what the dressing truly means . Can you make that decision , what drives the need to find the courage to explain what you are ? And possibly most important can you sustain it ?
Is being trangender and living full time so hard ? I was surprised you made that statement . I agree it’s a different mindset and it’s a trap I fell into at the start . I found we make too much of the differences between men and women , if I had to dirty jobs like using my chainsaw I would do it in male mode but there are women out there doing most jobs so I stopped making excuses . I love skiing , I gained my PADI licence , there are far better female skiers and more qualified divers than me .
On the whole it’s a false fear if you lose friends through dressing , I’ve lost very few and the ones I did weren’t true friends at the same time I’ve gained far more friends through being ME . I admit I much prefer making friends as a woman , there’s an open trust that I never experienced as a man .
I’m so sorry to read your last paragraph , when will these tragerdies end for you in the US ?
Thanks for an amazing addition to my essay!
Someone much smarter than I am might now why we continue killing each other, particularly here in the US.
I had many excuses too for not going out my biggest fear at the time was my spouse.
I was right as she just could not live with someone who preferred me wanting to be the true me.
The problem was the true me would have been a better spouse in my opinion but she chose to move on.
Ok enough of poor pitiful me.
I am who I am and going out en fem is just me, like you I don’t pass and I’ve never had a bad encounter with the general public I too don’t need to live full time but I do come close
I have had and still have “excuses” for not going out fully dressed: public career, kids (and their friends), etc. I finally came to an understanding with myself, I don’t need to wear a dress or a skirt for me to be me. I rarely wear clothes sold as “men’s”, have ME DAYS where I get my nails done (all 20 colored) or something waxed, and always in heels. I shop where I want to and don’t hide that I’m shopping for myself.
Being yourself is a freeing feeling.
Cali, I believe I never called the career or kids and excuse, those are reasons, very different.
Love that you found a way!!
you are 100% correct. people see what they expect to see. in the past decade I have had one drunk make a side comment and that is it.
the only concern I have is if some male wants to make a personal kind of conversation including asking me to dance. THAT makes me nervous and I find some excuse to terminate the discussion. So anyone reading this should compare the positive personal results of getting out there versus a slim chance that in a blue moon someone might call you out
As I’ve said, I’ve been out over a thousand times, never a negative situation and also, never have I been hit on.
I won’t sugarcoat my my own experience. 99% positive. But, I have related here some negative experiences, including one where a husband loudly said to his wife as we passed, “that’s the reason we need a bathroom bill,” or something like it. My reaction? I headed straight for the ladies room. We can’t let the haters win. Same with being hit on. I very politely declined any interest and I always wear a wedding ring now, just to make it clear that I am taken. All in all, the few bad apples out there do not create a good excuse for not enjoying a piece of apple pie!
Thanks for the input LP!
I used to work with a lovely guy who jad some wonderful phrases , when he heard someone make a thoughtless comment he’d say ” Oh dear , he should have selected mind before engaging tongue !” Like you I haven’t had a bad experience .
Being hit on has it’s amusing moments . I was shopping when a couple passed me , the husband took an interest and made his way back to stand next to me , I could see him out the corner of my eye glancing over me . His wife returned and dragged him away , as they turned and looked back I gave them a slight wave . The twist is I’m being hit on occasionally by some women , it’s far more difficult to tell if they’re just being friendly or something more , YES guys are more obvious !
Emily makes a good point about accepting a dance . I love dancing but it took a while to accept dancing with CDers . I usually find at mixed parties that I’m dancing with wives and GFs while the guys prop up the bar . On one occasion I turned round to find three guys dancing round me , I was suddenly very thirsty and retreated to the bar .
I’ll draw from my experiences as a very modest contribution to this conversation. In now more than a dozen years of going out, doing everyday activities, dinner with friends, drinks at nightclubs, live theater, touring museums and driving literally cross country.
I have never had an adverse event. I can’t think of one overt, negative comment. Never any remotely threatening or even concerning behavior.
I love the affirmation we get here, knowing for me, that what I experience is not unusual. Thanks Kim!!