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Things I Have Learned

It's the extended Thanksgiving week(end). Let's take a look back at one of your favorites (with a few tweaks)!

Here are a few things I have learned since the inception of Kandi in late 2014.

  • People are unbelievably accepting.
  • I never pass and never will. The list of tells is lengthy. Don’t deny their existence. If nothing else, your hands will give you away, sorry it’s a fact. Work with these tells. Mitigate them as best you can and accept the others exist, it’s a fact that they do.
  • Not passing is not an issue. Don’t confuse kindness or compliments for passing. You are probably experiencing that specifically because you do not pass. I believe almost every compliment I have ever received, and there have been many, are specifically because someone appreciated me for being me and doing so very well. Being you, who you are, is so much more awesome than pretending to be something you are not. Own it!
  • My rules work: be smart, appropriate, confident and visible. This is gold, Jerry, gold!
  • Don’t overdo it. Dress like a real woman, not someone trying to wear every conceivable item of women’s clothing all at once. Dress like real women do, most don’t wear giant heels or a dress too tight for them (most). Blending is so rewarding. The significant majority of women do not hyper-feminize. They get comfortable in their own skin and are proudly women.
  • Think it through, where am I going, what am I wearing. Slow it down, I know how exciting it can be, but doing it right makes all the difference in your experience as well as how you are perceived.
  • Dress for what you will be doing. If, for example, you will be doing a lot of walking, take the heel size down a bit.
  • Volunteering is an indisputable means for getting out and being very comfortable and valued in doing so. Trust me, I am Cleveland’s serial volunteer. The love and acceptance I receive is palpable.
  • A smile is the prettiest thing you can wear.
  • Act like a lady if you want to be accepted. Being “in your face” will never work, ever.
  • Always reward kindness.
  • If you love someone, tell them because at some time it will be too late.
  • Style is not that difficult, it’s a simple matter of matching colors and wearing things that fit properly. Google the color wheel, it works.
  • Highlight your strengths, mitigate your weaknesses. Acknowledge that you do indeed, have weaknesses. We all do, especially those of us born as males.
  • Being me, previously someone I wasn’t wild about, is now incredibly joyful.
  • Getting myself in front of as many people as possible has tremendously boosted my confidence and gained me many friendships and friendly acquaintances.
  • The right dress…… words.
  • Hugs from total strangers are absolutely addictive.
  • Put yourself in comfortable situations.
  • When shopping, you are a customer. Your money is as green as any woman’s money. Use that to your advantage. Accept nothing less.
  • Using the ladies room is a nonissue, as we have discussed before, if you do so properly. For God’s sake, stop the ladies room selfies unless in a single toilet situation! It’s a bathroom for goodness sake. Who cares?
  • Happiness is a birth right and not always easy to achieve in this life. Find it, cherish it and hold on to it for dear life.
  • The great majority of the things I have learned have been overwhelmingly positive. However, making actual friendships, real ones are difficult when you are not a real person. By that I mean, if I were actually Kandi (24/7/365), then I would hope connections would sustain themselves. Being a part-time Kandi means connections remain shallow, meaningful (to me), but shallow. They come, but they always go, always. There is no ability for any relationship to grow roots.
  • Pandemics blow! It’s in our rear view mirror now, but it left a mark for sure.

I guess what I have really learned, I am a good person, I am a valued human being and I have every right to do what I wish wearing what I want, as long as I accept that we live in a (generally) civilized society and I simply play by the rules.

Be part of the solution, give of yourself! If you don’t, that is your right, but then don’t complain about “the way things are today”. Life is all give and take.

People, individual people, are wonderful!!

If you never read anything else here again, please at least read tomorrow’s post. It may be the most meaningful thing I have ever written.


30 Responses

  1. Kandi,

    What a fantastic opportunity, you represent our community well. Wish I was there. Look forward to seeing the movie
    Keep us posted

    1. I am generally disappointed when I get really excited about something, so I am approaching this like a job and hope to be pleasantly pleased. It is exciting though! You will, of course, read about it here.

  2. This has always been one of my favorite post.
    You make it seem so simple how you explain it.
    And I’ve told you before you sorta inspired me to be me and get out there.
    I don’t get out often but I’ve embraced these thoughts knowing I don’t pass but knowing I am just me expressing myself as I choose

    And wow what fun a movie extra, be it low budget or not knowing you you will look like a million bucks my dear
    Can’t wait to hear more

    1. Your comment is 100% why I do this. This is why being Kandi is so joyful. I thank you Rach for all of your love and support!

  3. Wait?!? What? No bathroom selfies? I think that might be a deal breaker for me. Two things I’ve learned about the women’s room: 1) cis women take a lot of bathroom selfies and 2) The lighting / mirror arrangement is usually bad and most of the time they turn out terrible. The exception is high end department stores, where it seems like they have put some thought into those two things.

    Good luck with the shoot – that’s one on my bucket list.

    1. I didn’t even know it was a bucket list item myself, it all happened rather quickly! Now my no. 1 bucket list items is a night out with Julie and the ability to actually stay awake at that time and at your breakneck pace!

  4. Kandi, I try to follow as much of this as possible! I’m still a bit of an introvert, so I have to work at the interactions with others. And I’m excited about the movie scene – who wouldn’t want to dress up for a wedding?

  5. you have always shared and done so much for the community….although i do volunteer weekly i seldom share it with any here or otherwise.
    i like being out in public and know i do not pass but believe i blend. i am always in awe of peoples reaction….or non reaction with interactions with me. it was something i was terrified of when i started volunteering there, its retail….general public, no safety net. for me if their is a conversation at the dinner table the day folks meet me its all good….

    ….thank you for this

    1. God bless you sweetheart! Thank you for giving in the way that you do. See, if you follow basic common sense rules, the world is amazing!

  6. Dressing for a movie wedding scene extra. What a great opportunity. I’m jealous and can’t wait to hear the details.

  7. Kanda… I love your lessons learned list. One question … when you do volunteer do you do so as Kanda or your male alter ego?

    1. Claire, almost all of my volunteering was post-pandemic for obviously reasons. I usually did so at least twice a week and have done so with over 25 different organizations. 100% of my volunteering efforts are as Kandi. This is the single best way to get out, dress in many different fashions and be accepted. It gets me tremendous interaction with the general public, the more people, the better!

      Thanks so much for asking!

  8. This is great Kandi . I really wish I had discovered your blog so much sooner but that’s ok because I have discovered it now! Thanks for doing everything you do Kandi , you are amazing and you help all of us feel amazing too . 🙂

  9. Kandi, this is the reason I, and I’m sure many others, keep coming back here day after day. What was fascinating about it was that you didn’t really need to post it at all because every single one of your bullet points comes through loud and clear every time you post.

    Some of your points were so blindingly obvious that we all understand them from the get-go. Others, we need to be told because we would just never think of them ourselves – hugs from strangers being addictive? Who would have thought it?! And some, sadly, we find out the hard way – heel heights in my case!

    But what I really want you to know is that without seeing all of those nuggets of advice demonstrated day after day by you and the others here, I’d be nowhere near where I am today and for that I will be eternally grateful.

    1. I’ve said this before in conversations with many people, I must have been made “this way” for a reason. And after 50+ years of struggle, I now know why.

      Happy Thanksgiving (if you even have that in your country) Mandy!

  10. Kandi,
    I was your first post back in May 29,2021. This post is so very true today as it was then. You have blessed so many lives, thank you for being you. Here is heartfely hug!!!


  11. Lots of wisdom. This in particular stood out for me: “Highlight your strengths, mitigate your weaknesses. Acknowledge that you do indeed, have weaknesses. We all do, especially those of us born as males”.

    I spent far too much of my lifetime sure that my weaknesses were worse than everyone else’s, and spent too much effort tying to hide instead of work around them.

    Happy thanksgiving!

  12. Kandi,
    It’s hard to fault your good advice , being the person you truly wish to be makes that person so much better , maybe that’s the one point I’ve discovered above all others .
    Everyone has their weaknesses irrespective of gender , so I don’t dwell on that too much .

    I had to seriously think about the comment on deep friendships , sadly I have to agree with you but that possibly applies to many non transgender people . All we can do is offer the hand of friendship and see where it takes us , on the whole most people see friendship as being comfortable in your company anything beyond that you can usually count them on one hand for the majority of people .
    Sadly most people now have holes in their lives where people didn’t survive the pandemic , I’m sure most wish they could wind the clock back to pre covid days .

      1. Kandi,
        Xmas in the UK is the big one we celebrate but as usual mine is complicated , I have two invites on the big day , one as Teresa and one as ex-hubby , so do I let heart or head rule my decision ?

        Emily ,
        On two occasions when waiting in line for my COVID jab I’ve been asked by the attendants if I wished to use the same line as my husband . On the first occasion the man in question looked at me and smiled and politely said she’s not with me on the second I looked at the guy and declared he’s not with me !!

        I know the passing question is a hot potato at times , after almost six years of being full time I can honestly say I’ve never had a problem .

  13. points on target. however several websites leave the reader with the impression that passing is impossible. if you meet a stranger and have more than a few words I maintain that you can tell if you have passed . For example-if a cis woman asks you about your husband odds on that she thinks you are a woman.
    yes-for most of us passing is a stretch and hardly any of us pass 100% of the time but let’s not discourage our sisters

  14. As the other most frequent poster here, if you learn nothing else, just read the first three bullet points.

    1. There is no better time to be LGBT than today. People are accepting.
    2. There are a million tells that we are not GG. It doesn’t matter. See #1.

    I was in Las Vegas and in one night out wearing a slinky dress (photos in a couple of weeks) and got SIX compliments from different women. They all knew I wasn’t GG and it didn’t matter in the least.

    3. Follow what I’m going to call Dee’s rule. People are going to know it’s a GUY in a dress, but they don’t know it’s ME in a dress, and I just want to make sure it’s a pretty dress.

    If you want to go out, make it happen. 99% of the time the only obstacle to YOU going out is YOU.

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