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Thread: Okay, so I think I'm finally ready to leave the house, but...

  1. #1
    Member KatrinaK's Avatar
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    Okay, so I think I'm finally ready to leave the house, but...

    I'm a little lost as to where to start. It's been a long journey to this point, but over the past two years of building confidence and acceptance of myself, I'm emotionally ready. Frankly I need it! Been all dressed up with nowhere to go too many times.

    Here's what I've done to get ready:

    1) Practice, practice, practice makeup, etc.
    2) Learn to not dress like a hooker. LOL. Been purchasing reasonable, age-appropriate clothing, makeup, etc. I'm 38, not 18.
    3) Taking short trips out, walking around the block, etc. (that was in LA, been in OC for 6 months and that aint happening here)
    4) Get a counselor who specializes in the challenges I face, starting that soon
    5) Become fully honest and open with my wife. I told her before we got married, but it's been a roller-coaster ride.
    6) Join communities like this
    7) Make outreach to people I find like-minded.
    8) Desexualize it. This was a big one. As I learned to accept my real self, it kind of desexualized itself.

    So, for all the above reasons, I'm feeling ready. Problem is that I have nowhere to go.

    I've made attempts at several phases of my life to make outreach to the community. The first time was HORRIFIC. I was living in a different city then, but I braved going down to what was described as a crossdressing shop with a safe dressing and communal space built around a community of like-minded people. I went down in drab about 10 years ago and told the stranger there everything. She was the most judgmental, unwelcoming person I've ever met and it cause a FULL PURGE. I recoiled in horror from anything to do with Katrina for a few years.

    Second time went better - it was online. Tried to make friends, but nobody was really interested. I wasn't at the right phase of my life and self-acceptance that I am now, but it still didn't work out.

    Now I'm ready. My wife and I are going to have a girls night in the immediate future, and that will build more confidence because NOBODY has ever seen Katrina. That'll be a big first step, and I don't care if it goes well because even if it doesn't, then my wife and I will be one step closer to figuring out the boundaries. She's fine with me, and fine with me going out, but she's not sure if she wants to be a part of it, and I COMPLETELY accept that.

    Anyhow, now I'm looking to try and kindle some friendships as don't think I can do this without someone more experienced. I work hard at trying to pass. I'm sure I don't yet (and likely will never properly - I'm too tall) but if there's anyone out there that my story resonates with that, I promise I'm fun, smart, discreet! Looking only for friendship. I'd love to meet people of all ages, but I'm specifically interested in meeting people around my age who can give me tips on working with what I've currently got.

    Also, I'd like my first time to be in LA County, not OC.

    So! There's my outreach to meet new people. I feel like I kinda need a "big sister" for the next phase of my journey.

    Thanks for listening!

    XO,
    Kat

    [SIZE=1]- - - Updated - - -[/SIZE]

    PS. I’ve changed my profile pic to a piece I’m calling All Dressed Up With Nowhere to Go

  2. #2
    Banned Spammer
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    Well all I can say is go out with your wife and enjoy being out among the public.
    Your wife is the best person to go out with on your first time because she can coach you a little.
    Find a support group in your area and try that for meeting like minded people.
    Don't say I already did that because sometimes it takes 2 or 3 groups to find the one that fits you.

  3. #3
    Member KatrinaK's Avatar
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    First time with the wife will be at home. There may not be a second time, and I’m okay with that. Support groups are a great idea. Any recommendations in SoCal are welcome.

  4. #4
    Gold Member Lana Mae's Avatar
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    Katrina, go out with your wife like a girl's night out! Find that support group like Tracii says! Own it and it will be yours! You probably won't "pass" few of us do but we are out there living our lives! Be confident as you can do it! Hugs Lana Mae
    Life is worth living!
    "Foxy lady! You look so good!!" Jimi Hendrix

  5. #5
    Platinum Member Beverley Sims's Avatar
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    Be like a fledgling bird, stand on the esgeof the nest, look over the edge, and throw yourself into it.

    You will feel free as a bird after a few outings. :-)
    Work on your elegance,
    and beauty will follow.

  6. #6
    Member KatrinaK's Avatar
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    So, just to make very clear, my wife is not a reliable partner in this. She wants me on my own journey that she may or may not join in on in the future.

  7. #7
    Style Icon Sara Jessica's Avatar
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    I like how you are approaching this, an ounce of dream with a pound of reality. You will do well.

    Support groups are pretty much non-existent in OC & LA these days. What you will find are social groups if you know where to look.
    Like a corpse deep in the earth I'm so alone, restless thoughts torment my soul, as fears they lay confirmed, but my life has always been this way - Virginia Astley, "Some Small Hope" (1986)
    Sunlight falls, my wings open wide. There's a beauty here I cannot deny - David Sylvian, "Orpheus" (1987)

  8. #8
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    No support groups in LA I find that hard to believe.
    Not sure what the difference is in OC but if you can't get out enfemme move to a free state LOL

  9. #9
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    I think those eight things you listed are a really good foundation for your journey. As for developing friendships with people nearby, I suppose when you "get a counselor who specializes in the challenges I face, starting that soon" you can ask where and what are the communities that'll most welcome you.

  10. #10
    Gold Member Helen_Highwater's Avatar
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    Katrina,

    I'm going to suggest an alternative strategy that's been well road tested by many here. Namely you get dressed and go out in the car. Drive around until you feel comfortable. If your SO will go with you it'll give her time to see the mobs ain't out there and hopefully she'll feel calmer about the whole thing.

    If you drive to somewhere you feel safe, you can get out of the car while your SO either goes with you or sits and observes. Again to see the absence of ropes and pitchforks.

    Easing your SO into things may make it easier for her to adjust. We always say baby steps.

    Beyond that if you can find a social group that will be your best option. First time go alone to scope things out. If you've been and make acquaintance with others there it makes it easier for your SO if you can introduce to those you assess as being those most likely to win your SO's mark of approval.
    Last edited by Helen_Highwater; 04-04-2018 at 09:15 AM.

  11. #11
    Yendis Sidney's Avatar
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    Your wife seems accepting to this point. Go easy with her and like has been said, take baby steps. Good luck on your journey.

  12. #12
    Gold Member NicoleScott's Avatar
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    Katrina wants to be open and honest with the wife, who is Ok with Katrina's dressing and going out, but understands that participation may not be in the cards and is OK with that.
    Sorry, but Helen's strategy to pull the wife in may backfire. If she doesn't want to participate, let it go. Go out in confidence, make friends with like-minded people, have fun, and be safe.

  13. #13
    Seasoned Member Rhonda Darling's Avatar
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    Go to Meetup.com and search for social groups in your area(s). Use the appropriate search terms and you should find something that looks good. Here in the Washington, DC area we have a group of almost 1000 members and have periodic events, including dinner and follow-on soirees at local hotels. We're always out in public spaces and interact with any of the muggles who come across us. They usually enjoy talking to us, and usually go away enlightened to our cause.

    You don't have to pass perfectly, you just need confidence and an outgoint positive attitude.

    Hope your first, and every, time out is enjoyable and enriching.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Be all the woman that you can be!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    . . . and now, On With The Show!

  14. #14
    Reality Check Krisi's Avatar
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    The major problem with going out of the house is getting out of the house (and back into the house) without your neighbors seeing you. This is a concern for many of us but if it's not a concern for you and your wife, that's great. I go out underdressed and finish dressing in the car away from the neighborhood. Not ideal of course but it works for me.

    The major problem with going out with your wife is, while people may not recognize you when you're all dolled up, they will recognize your wife and then wonder or ask who you are. Your disguise may be good enough for you by yourself but not with your wife by your side. Again, some may not care but many will. Going to a city a couple hours away will minimize the chance of being recognized.

    And remember, your wife may not get the same thrill from doing this as you will. It's a bit like her dragging you along to her knitting club.
    Krisi

  15. #15
    Aspiring Member Joni T's Avatar
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    One of my favorite places to go in OC is Fashion Island in Newport. Totally safe and no one will give you a second thought. Been going there for years.
    Joni

  16. #16
    Senior Member Jennifer in CO's Avatar
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    Katrina - may I suggest a different tact? DON"T go all out on your first time out. Go to the movies or a drive - in jeans or shorts and a top. Go somewhere/dressed somehow you won't be noticed at all. Build your confidence. If its all or nothin, then as others have said go for a drive. But don't go the speed limit - go with what ever traffic is doing. Again...blend in. Your just another girl on her way to or from somewhere. The only difference at that point is if your out for a drive you are going somewhere as opposed to going no where....

  17. #17
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    Katrina,
    You have thought this all through very well so good luck with your expeditions. Understand what you are implying about Orange County but then there is OC and OC. Such a variety of communities and not all conservative and intolerant.

    Best wishes

  18. #18
    Transgender Person Pat's Avatar
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    My suggestion is that the first time you go out it's 'way better if you don't go out alone. But if you're going to do it, pick something that's not much of a challenge -- go to Starbuck's, bring a book, get a cup of coffee and sit down and read a chapter. That will put you in a supportive environment, lets you interact with a sales person, gives you a chance to control public interaction and occasionally look around for people showing up with torches and rakes (there won't be any) and for extra credit you could use the ladies room (Starbucks around here all seem to have single-occupancy restrooms, so no fear of interaction.) You could do essentially the same thing at any food/beverage place. Or, as suggested above, go to a movie. Personally, I loved going to bookstores when I was first going out.

    I think the best experience comes if you find something that will give you a task to accomplish because then you can pay attention to the task and not obsess over being dressed.
    I am not a woman; I don't want to be a woman; I don't want to be mistaken for a woman.
    I am not a man; I don't want to be a man; I don't want to be mistaken for a man.
    I am a transgender person. And I'm still figuring out what that means.

  19. #19
    Just do it already! DaisyLawrence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    I think the best experience comes if you find something that will give you a task to accomplish because then you can pay attention to the task and not obsess over being dressed.
    Best advise here. If you are busy with your task you will be more normal and relaxed looking and will not be noticed, if you are at a loose end, looking to see if you have been noticed then you will stand out and get yourself noticed. Just try to forget there is anything different to your normal presentation and go about whatever it is you want to do.

  20. #20
    Weirdest woman ever! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    I live in the OC, also and have 2 suggestions for u, Katrina. Hamburger Mary's in Long Beach has a once a month Trans nite there. It's the 1st Sat. of every month. Which happens to be this Sat! That was my first place out dressed locally maybe 5 years ago? I was encouraged to come by a number of girls here. Most of whom r no longer on here because their trans lives r so full socializing with others in the LA/OC area. There's a group of us, maybe 30 or so, that hang out regularly. Very few SO's go to their events. But, r welcomed when they do. I'll be there this Sat. If u decide to go, let me know!

    These Mary's girls like to dress pretty, party, and socialize. U won't find them out dressed at Walmart or Denny's. For that, there's a small group of T's that meet regularly at the LGBT center in Santa Ana. I can give their organizer's FB link.

    And, if you'd like to go to dinner with a T in the OC? Contact Jenny22 here!

    I have a very full T social life. Yet, don't go out dressed to local or vanilla venues. I'm am basically a secret, closet dresser. Yet, I'm heading to both DLV and WildSide T weeks in Vegas in April and May. DLV is very SO friendly. I believe about 30 SO's r signed up to attend this year!

    Hope this helps u get out!
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

    Challenge yourself and pursue your passions! When your life clock runs out, you'll have few or NO REGRETS!

  21. #21
    formerly: aBoyNamedSue IamWren's Avatar
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    Hi Katrina....

    Well, I applaud your determination to get out while dressed. I know how unnerving it can be. I have been out only a handful of times (maybe or six or seven? in three years) but I can tell the most rewarding times were when I was with others. I am SO VERY fortunate to have (as you said) some "big sisters". (Shout out to my sisters here in H-town!)

    Anyway, if you can find a social group in your area, I think it could help immensely. Of course, that's if your personality jives with at least a few them. The other thing that helped me are doing things like what you listed in your OP, especially the "practice, practice, practice." If I can recommend something that might help and give you more confidence.... video yourself walking and practicing your mannerisms. It's like athletes who watch game-tape! It can be horrifying to be honest but if you can look at it objectively and make corrections it can boost your confidence tremendously.

    And THIS... you HAVE to have a game plan for the actual logistics of getting out of your house. Unless of course you adopt an "I-don't-give-a-crap" attitude about being seen by neighbors, friends, coworkers, family, et al then disregard this important piece of advice. One thing that stands out about what Krisi says below is, "... will MINIMIZE the chance of being recognized." I remember reading once a member said she was a couple of hours away and ran into a neighbor, friend, somebody she knew.

    Quote Originally Posted by Krisi View Post
    The major problem with going out of the house is getting out of the house (and back into the house) without your neighbors seeing you. This is a concern for many of us but if it's not a concern for you and your wife, that's great. I go out underdressed and finish dressing in the car away from the neighborhood. Not ideal of course but it works for me.

    The major problem with going out with your wife is, while people may not recognize you when you're all dolled up, they will recognize your wife and then wonder or ask who you are. Your disguise may be good enough for you by yourself but not with your wife by your side. Again, some may not care but many will. Going to a city a couple hours away will minimize the chance of being recognized.

    And remember, your wife may not get the same thrill from doing this as you will. It's a bit like her dragging you along to her knitting club.
    I am not a woman nor am I am man... I am an enby. Hi, my name is Wren.
    http://IamWren.net

  22. #22
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    As Sue says, have a plan. That getting out of and back into the house is a thing. Consider carefully. Her suggestion to find a group to help out is also big. It can make a huge difference.

    I don't advocate "just driving around". Yes, it's a step in the right direction, but where you appear to be headed can only be reached when you decide that you are going to interact with people. Pat's suggestions are great. Pick something that involves at least some interaction and from which you can easily extricate yourself if you feel the need.

    Good luck.

    Hugs,


    Kelly

  23. #23
    leggings junkie ellbee's Avatar
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    Already some great suggestions.


    I think it really depends on what you're comfortable enough with & what your life is like. So many variables, honestly.


    If you're just looking to wear a few femmy things while still presenting as a guy, which might be a bit of an ice-breaker for you, then head on down to the post office, grocery store, ATM, whatever. Just running an errand or three. Basically dipping your toes in the water, so you become more accustomed to the fact of wearing some women's stuff out in public.


    Or, if you're looking to go the full kit & kaboodle, all dolled-up head to toe, maybe go through a drive-thru & get a coffee or something. Quick, easy, limited interaction with a stranger in a professional service setting. If you aren't particularly good at a female voice, do *not* use a Mickey Mouse voice... Just use your male voice, but try to soften it up a bit, perhaps.

    Maybe a social thing is more your style? The first time I was all dolled-up around *others* who were also dolled-up, I was like, "Oh, I'm not the only one... I'm among kindred spirit! " Definitely takes some pressure & focus off yourself. Though at the same time, in a sense it was a bit "weird" at first to see in-person others who were also presenting as female... But you quickly get over that, and start finding it more interesting, than anything.


    Halloween is a while away, but that's also a good first one. Instead of waiting around for that, maybe hit either a drag club, or just a "drag night" at a gay bar. Yeah, I know, I know... A gay bar. Perpetuating the myth/stereotype that if a guy dresses as a woman, then he must be gay. But honestly, what other venue has that sort of thing on a regular basis? Google is your friend. Maybe even scope it out ahead of time during the day, in guy-mode, just so you know how to get there, what the parking is like, where the entrance is, etc. And yes, "regular CD'ers" do go to drag night! You don't have to be a drag queen, ya know?

    And back to the gay thing... Do you have any trusted gay (or trans) friends/acquaintances, neighbors, co-workers, relatives, etc.? If so, there's a decent chance they know your local CD/drag social scene. Going with somebody you know can definitely help. Though going alone, if you must, is also doable, as well.

    Finally, don't discount GG's. Again, trusted friends/acquaintances, neighbors, co-workers, relatives, etc. Believe it or not, quite a few GG's dig the drag scene for a girls' night out! While someone's wife or SO might not be into it, perhaps because it hits "too close to home," that doesn't mean a GG-*friend* necessarily feels that way about it! Not only do they like the feminized atmosphere, and feel like they're supporting something good -- but they also like to get all dolled-up a bit, too, and this is a perfect opportunity for them.


    Anyway, I'm already running late.

    But just a few thoughts for now. Hope it helps!

  24. #24
    Reality Check Krisi's Avatar
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    Another thing comes to mind: You said something about practicing makeup. Here's my suggestion - Practice being a woman. What I mean by this is, get a lot of "woman time" around the house. Get to where having long hair boobs and hips and a butt feel normal to you. Get used to wearing a skirt and heels if that's your choice. You don't want to be bumping into door frames and missing the chair when you sit.
    Krisi

  25. #25
    Member XemmaX's Avatar
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    When you go out, go out and do something! dont go for a wonder with nowhere to go, just act almost as if you are in drab as in act as normal as possible. It will attract less attention as you wont be acting really weird! lol. You will get looks and double takes but dont worry about those people, after your first few times your butterflies will go away and you can just enjoy yourself without loads of adrenaline running through your veins. Good luck and tell us how it went!!

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