Things I Have Learned

Let's look back at this Kandi's Land classic!

I stole this idea from a CD website I have mentioned in the past. Someone posed the question and started it off with some silly answers, so I thought I would take a more serious or at least thoughtful spin at this. So, 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 complements for passing. You are probably experiencing that specifically because you do not pass. I believe almost every complement I have ever received, and there have been many, are specifically because someone appreciated me for being me and doing so very well.
  • My rules work: be smart, appropriate, accepting and visible.
  • 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).
  • 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 (or at least it used to be).
  • 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.
  • Highlight your strengths, mitigate your weaknesses. Acknowledge that you do indeed, have weaknesses.
  • 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 can be addictive (or at least they used to be).
  • 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!
  • 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!

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.

People, individual people, are wonderful!!


On the web site I mentioned in my “It’s Hopeless” post, I read an ad this past Monday for extras in a wedding scene being filmed for a movie. They requested a photo. So I sent two of them, my more expressive work and hoped for the best. The next day, I was in! That scene (a low budget local movie, but what should be a wonderful experience) is being filmed tomorrow and it is no more than 10 minutes from home. All I have to do is dress as if I were going to a wedding. No pay, but we get fed. Hmmmmmmm, dress for a wedding, free food, I’m good. Details coming to your favorite blog very soon!


17 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 . 🙂

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