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Thread: Restaurant chronicles

  1. #1
    Aspiring Member MonicaPVD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    New England

    Restaurant chronicles

    Earlier this week, I did an unusual thing. I accepted an invitation to have dinner with a male friend after work at a restaurant that is 15 minutes or so from my home.

    This is unusual in that I usually don't have the opportunity to dress after work and usually have avoided going out dressed to popular destinations near my home base. However, since the pandemic, my dressing opportunities have dried up significantly and this was an offer I could not refuse.

    I arrived at the restaurant around 6, and my male friend was already there. He was sitting at the otherwise empty bar, with two or three tables occupied in the dining room. It was surprisingly slow at this popular spot. My friend asked me if I wanted to sit at a table but I decided the bar was just fine. This way I could watch TV in case the conversation went south. We ordered drinks and food, and started catching up. The food arrived and we were busy eating and chatting when I suddenly saw two women walk into the near empty restaurant and pause near the bar. My heart nearly stopped.

    One of the women is a close coworker at my company who I have been a colleague of for years. She's also very catty and consumed with appearance and always dressing to the nines. My coworker scanned the room, locked in on me and stared at me for a good ten to fifteen seconds - which can seem like a half hour under the circumstances. I made an effort not to look at her directly but could feel her eyes burning into me. My friend and dinner companion, who had no idea who she was, leaned over and asked me quietly, do you know these women? I smiled and said, oh yes. Very well.

    Mind you, I'm sitting with one other person at an empty bar in a mostly empty restaurant. There was nowhere to hide or no way to try to blend into the background. I took a deep breath and thought, the day has finally arrived. Busted.

    Yet, nothing happened. After giving me a decidedly catty scan, my coworker and her companion spotted some friends at a table in the back of the room and they headed in that direction. They sat down and immediately became enthralled in a conversation. Whew!

    My friend and I finished our meal within 20 minutes and I decided that I wasn't going to hang around to see if my coworker had actually recognized me or not. We left and went to a nearby bar to continue our conversation.

    The next morning, I got to work and ran into my coworker. We engaged in our typical coffee banter and I asked her if she had done anything fun lately. She explained that she went out to eat with some friends and had a few too many mojitos, but otherwise had a great time.

    I post this experience because it was quite exciting to me and also because it further reinforces my belief that people will not randomly recognize or clock you while dressed in most circumstances.

    I am sure that my coworker immediately identified me as a gender bender, which is why she stared me down for more than an instant. Yet she clearly did not recognize me as her long time coworker. I am certain of this because she is so catty that she would have marched right up to me and called me out, and then she would have told every single person at work. With enthusiasm.

    Take away: Don't fret over being recognized by people. Sure, most observant people may recognize you as a trans individual, but someone who knows you won't easily make the connection to your drab self unless you actively engage them. Simply because you don't live rent-free in their head all the time. They are busy living in their own little universe. Period.

  2. #2
    Reality Check Krisi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    It really depends on how well you disguise yourself, where you are and who you are with. And your physical characteristics.

    I think it would be unlikely that anyone who knows me would recognize me if I walked by on the street as Krisi, but if the saw me walking out of my house and getting into my vehicle, they would most likely figure it out. Same thing if I was out on the town with my wife and they also knew her.

    Each of us has to decide how well we disguise ourselves, how well we pass and what risks we are willing to take. One way of reducing the risk, of course is to travel to another town or city where you are less likely to come in contact with anyone you know.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Angela1954's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    I have become more outgoing regarding my feminine appearance over the past few months. I began wearing my denim jeggings to work and am growing my nails. I went to my gym wearing pink leggings and matching nails. Going out fully en femme, which I do regularly, is a different matter. I am always cautious. Although I have not been recognized yet i’m sure that day will come. I would prefer that it not, but when and if it happens I will have to deal with it in an honest and straightforward manner. I won’t deny my femininity to those who would judge my worth as a person strictly on my appearance.

  4. #4
    Weirdest woman ever! docrobbysherry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Orange County, Calif.
    Speak for yourself, Monica. I have very distinct, sharp, masculine features.

    Anyone who knows Robert and saw me in your situation that nite would make me!
    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!

  5. #5
    Sallee Sallee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    San Diego
    I have run into people that I know and would second your take on being recognized. It didn't happen I ignore them and moved on.

    I have also announced my self, the male me to people that Sallee knew and they had to ask my female name and still were unsure. Even at support groups I ran into people I knew from my business world, other CDs, and the didn't make me until I said who I was.
    So "don't worry be happy" you probably won't be recognized unless you want to be.

  6. #6
    Aspiring Member MonicaPVD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    New England

    I agree with you regarding context. Obviously if she saw me getting out of my car or leaving my house dressed, or if she saw me in the company of someone that she associates with my male persona, that would be game over for Monica. Beyond that, I think it would take some kind of engagement, a conversation for example, for the person to click.

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

    Doc, many of us have very distinct male features. The issue is not with being recognized as a gender bender. That's a given. The idea is to not be recognized as me.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Almost the Great White North
    I am sure that most of us look different enough when en femme that in neutral ground, we may be recognized as trangender, without being recognized by an acquaintance. I cannot say this based on personal experience, however. So far as I know, I have never had such a close encounter with a friend or co-worker

  8. #8
    Member KymG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Basingstoke, Uk
    This is an interesting read. I take your point and will keep it in mind.
    Thanks for posting.

  9. #9
    Gold Member Crissy 107's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Maryland, USA
    Monica, Excellent read and you make a very good point on being out and about. I could feel your angst when she looked you over.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sandi Beech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Southeast US

    Wow that had to have caused you a few missed heartbeats. Perhaps if she had been really close or heard your voice, you might have been identified, but fortunately not so.

    I rarely go out near home myself, and one thing that kind of freaks me out is that I never wear my glasses while dressed, so I am at a disadvantage of not being about to recognize others at distance. The good thing is that lack of glasses is just another visual change making recognition more difficult for others. I was at a local drag show in the front row and had the spot light pointed at me one time while the announcer asked my name. I thought good grief, I hope no one is here I know, because the room had 100+ people in it, and just like you, I had no repercussions.

    Last edited by Sandi Beech; 08-19-2021 at 09:05 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Geena75's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    I allow for a couple of things. First, if my acquaintance has no idea that I cross dress, they would not have cause to suspect it were me, without other clues as mentioned before. Second, just a brief look at the boy vs. girl mode in the picture gallery points out the radical difference in appearance in the two modes. Just looking in the mirror, wearing a mask, I wouldn't recognize myself. Shy of some tell-tale clues in the way I walk or move, I'm pretty sure no one would recognize me.

  12. #12
    Life is more fun in heels Genifer Teal's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    One time on a Friday night I was going out to meet up with Friends by myself. As I'm walking through a large open area I see the big boss where I work right in front of me. The only way to avoid being seen was take three more steps towards them then I'd be able to turn left and continue on my way. As I did that we never made eye contact. Situation avoided?
    Monday morning I happen to be up at the front of the office at work, something I rarely do. As I'm there with the receptionist someone walks in and asks for the second-in-charge who was newly hired. He wasn't in but hearing this the person almost ran into on Friday comes out of the office. now it's the four of us. This person looking for the second-in-charge (the newly hired one) says I know him from his previous job. ask him to show you the picture of himself in a dress.
    Apparently it was some kind of undercover operation. I'm skipping the details on purpose. Regardless, here it is the first time I'm seeing the person I almost ran into Friday night, and coincidentally someone brings up a man in a dress. I just couldn't imagine the randomness of the situation happening like that. Nothing was ever mentioned even if I was seen on Friday night.

  13. #13
    Aspiring Member kimmy p's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    I admit that I only go out in October (Halloween excuses if busted, makes the wife feel safer), but I have noticed that most other people are far to absorbed with their own happenings to notice you unless you are calling attention to yourself.

  14. #14
    Princess Candice candykowal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Arlington Heights, Illinois
    Nice and interesting experience Monica and even nicer you have a accepting male friend who is cool about it all.
    I had the same experience and I love the feeling of being "Incognito!"
    Usually my guy side friends are asking me for favors as I was in the entertainment industry.
    Signed autographs, concert tickets and back stage passes...there are people who also know me in the general public that I don't know!
    So when I can go incognito, it is like, freedom from my male persona.
    I often wonder if that "Dude looks like a Lady" was inspired by his own incognito look when escaping his fans?!?!
    Candice Coleen Kowal ....all my friends call me Candy!

  15. #15
    Aspiring Member Joyce Swindell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Orlando, Fl
    I believe you are 100% correct. People who know us generally have to have more info to realize who we are. If she would have heard you speak might have been enough, seen a manerism that she has only seen you do or came in by herself and been able to focus on you. None of which was likely from across the room. So many variables. Obviously wasn't in your destiny that night.

  16. #16
    Member Brynna M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    I don't go out but I often wondered if someone saw on of my photos here if it would click...
    I'm content being a once in a while girl.

  17. #17
    Platinum Member Beverley Sims's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Lowestoft UK. Beverley was here.
    As for recognition my experience has been that a well known person requires a lot of prompting before they recognise you.

    Maybe I am fortunate to pass? reasonably well. :-)

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

    I have found that being recognised by someone well known to you requires a lot of prompting, even when I establish my identity they still disbelieve it for a moment.

    When they do, it usually makes for a humorous situation.
    Work on your elegance,
    and beauty will follow.

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