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Thread: What do you really believe "blending" is?

  1. #1
    Stockings and heels girl Linda Stockings's Avatar
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    What do you really believe "blending" is?

    I ask the question with sincerity. I've been out dressed, often clocked, with various reactions. Other times I seem to almost go unnoticed, no stares, no comments that I can hear, no bazaar reactions. Even though I currently live near Washington, DC, a supposedly progressive area, I've found that it's mainly what people learn not to say, and instead learn to speak politically correct verbiage that makes it seem like a live and let live kind of society. When people become too aggressive, for whatever reason, is when I notice their negative (or true?) thoughts and actions emerge.

    So, is blending really blending (I believe it sometimes is) or is it just people ACTING politically correct? I think it's some of each.

    What do you ladies think? I'd also love to hear from some of our GG ladies.

    Thanks,
    Linda
    Last edited by Linda Stockings; 07-03-2022 at 10:36 AM. Reason: Spelling.

  2. #2
    ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ Patience's Avatar
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    To me, blending is fundamentally being able to carry on with my day without my attire being a factor in any of my transactions with other people. Except, of course, for the compliments I would never get in male mode.

    I have not encountered any aggression in my outings, but then again I too live in a so-called progressive area, so sightings of people like us is not uncommon, which means we're not seen so much as a novelty. The fact I'm over 6" may be a factor as well.

    When I am out dressed in an enclosed space like a store, I am always conscious of my surroundings and feeling the vibe of the room. Whenever I hear laughter in my vicinity during an outing, it comes from a woman having a conversation with someone else. It's always a nervous, audible chuckle. Men stay silent.

    Even though I am left well enough alone when going out and feel my fem look is gradually improving, I always think I stand out because of my height, so in my case blending is a combination of not being noticed and being left alone by people who do.
    ...throw off those chains of Reason and your prison disappears...

  3. #3
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    I think "blending" only means "not standing out in the crowd." Basically, flying under the radar. The discussion on this forum always is centered on wearing clothing that is appropriate for the time and place. Don't show up in the grocery store in an evening gown. Don't go to a wedding wearing soccer shorts like my wife's brother-in-law did. Of course, I would attract a second look wearing totally appropriate as I am six foot and 200 pounds. If I was five foot six and 200 pounds I believe I would not attract attention as I see many women of that stature. I've seen young teenage girls wearing prom dresses at the mall stumbling all over in high heels because they never wear them. Mannerisms have to be consistent with the assigned sex. Sit in a chair with your legs spread apart will attract attention. I think you get the picture.

    How people react to not blending, i.e., the assumption you're a man dressing as a woman depends on the observer. Call it political correctness or just not being rude, some observers are just going to be verbally silent. Non verbal communication may another thing. Of course, there are always those who feel it is their mission in life to act like assholes or worse. In my area there have been arrests for harassment of transgender men and women. Free speech does not give a person license to verbally assault a person.

  4. #4
    Aspiring Member MonicaPVD's Avatar
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    We worry a lot about blending or passing, when this is less important every day. 9.5 out of ten times, people will ID us as gender nonconforming people. That hasn't changed and will not change. What has changed are people's reactions. Some are tolerant, others accept us, and others embrace us. Where people land on that spectrum should not bother us because all humans tend to be judgemental in one way or another (if you don't agree with me, just listen to the horror stories told by obese or physically disabled people). As long as I am not being actively harassed or threatened by anyone, I feel like the most beautiful woman in the world.

  5. #5
    Member Deborah G's Avatar
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    I feel there is more tolerance, but not understanding. 10 years ago, I would get looks of bewilderment about my appearance, today it seems, most people either accept or are to in to their own issues to care.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator char GG's Avatar
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    I don't see many CDers so if they are around, they are probably what you would call "blending".

    The ones that I do notice, I would not dream of staring at them, showing a reaction, or saying anything to them. If they want to think that they "blend", so be it. I'm not the CD police so let them feel as good as they want to feel about themselves.

    My thought is, everyone has and/or uses a mirror. All CDers know how they look when leaving the house.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Christie ann's Avatar
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    To me, blending is wearing the uniform of the day. Wearing something that is not incongruous to the time and place. There are always exceptions to these uniforms. Yesterday in a big box, a woman on her way to a wedding as a bridesmaid certainly stood out as not blending. She received lots of looks. If I were wearing the bridesmaid dress, people would certainly notice.

    Let’s be honest, our society has spent the last few centuries objectifying woman’s bodies. If anyone goes into public spaces presenting as a woman they will be looked at. However, I have noticed these past few years, more and more people spend there lives looking at their phone and not the people around them, so blending into the crowd seems easier. Or, maybe they notice but are not being jerks???

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sandi Beech's Avatar
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    In the context of the typical crossdresser, blending seems to mean hiding in plain sight just as a chameleon does.

    Of course I go to clubs where many women are dressed to impress. Blending in that environment is less about hiding in the masses and more about dressing to match the attire of the venue. I have seen plenty of women with over the top Lady Gaga style makeup, so for me it is more about fitting in than blending.

    I love to notice others and to be noticed. The common thread with those I hang out with is this - we are there to have a good time. It is as simple as that, blending or not. I find it easy to make friends with a positive attitude regardless of what I wear.

    Sandi

  9. #9
    Member RoxieChristine's Avatar
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    For me personally, I look at blending vs passing the same way I look at a paint job on a vehicle. I restored an old jeep a few years ago and went for a "15 foot restoration" not a "scratch and sniff" restoration. Looking at it across the street or parking lot it looks good. Up close you can see the imperfections and blemishes. The "15 foot restoration" is blending in. My desire is to BE a girl when I dress. There are lots of "blemishes" that give me away up close or interacting face to face, so I try to minimize that. I prefer self check and kiosk pay over live people when dressed.
    That is my way of looking at it. The thing I'm learning here is we are all individuals with different desires and goals. As such, I think this is very much a personal decision and it can vary alot.

  10. #10
    Gold Member Helen_Highwater's Avatar
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    Blending for me is simple, not being noticed.

    A few years ago as I was leaving a shopping mall a GG was walking near to me heading outside as well. As we reached the door a car alarm was going off and the GG made some comment about they'll have a flat battery soon. I replied with some comment and it was at the moment, when I spoke, that the GG realised I was a CD'er. I saw the moment of surprise in her face.

    So I came to the opinion that my style of dressing, the way I walked etc made me look to the casual observer to be just another GG out shopping. I blended in to the crowd. Face to face, that's a different story but I'm happy to hide in plain site for most of the time.
    Who dares wears Get in, get out without being noticed

  11. #11
    Aspiring Member Fiona_44's Avatar
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    Linda,

    To me, blending is the desire to go out dressed en femme and be seen as just another one of the ladies going about their business. Blending in successfully involves dressing appropriately for the occasion & location, developing a familiarity with necessary female mannerisms and when it comes to make-up learning that less is more. When men & women are out & about, they continually glance at other people around them. It is an ingrained behavior in humans. Blending insures that that casual quick glance quickly moves on to someone else.

    And if you are clocked I don't think political correctness enters the picture too often. Most people don't seem to care and if you've done a good blending job it may still leave them with some level of doubt so they just move on.
    YOLO

  12. #12
    Senior Member Heather76's Avatar
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    I'm in the camp that says a lot of it is people being politically correct. I believe political correctness is prevalent in several areas. Example: When I returned from Vietnam, I learned very quickly not to mention to anyone where I had been and what I had done. Quite honestly, I'm not so certain if I went out fully dressed but without a wig or makeup that I could be treated any worse than some of the vitriol cast in my direction way back when. Now, when someone learns I was in the military all I hear is "Thanks for your service." They have no idea what branch I was in, where I served, or what I did. I was in the military so they believe thanking me for my service is the right thing to do. WHY? Because it is the PC thing to say. Oh, I suspect some people mean it sincerely. But, I also believe some people simply say it because that's what they've learned to do and not because they SINCERELY are thankful.

    That said, the lack of a reaction may have nothing to do with blending or being PC and more with people not really caring one way or the other what some freak (in their mind) is doing.
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  13. #13
    Member Deborah G's Avatar
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    I agree with with RoxieChristine: I will never blend in 100% of the time, but I will make my best effort to always be a girl when out and about.

  14. #14
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    "political correctness' is somewhat of an emotionally charged phrase these days. I really think most people don't comment because they either don't notice or they're being polite ( a somewhat archaic term)

  15. #15
    Aspiring Member MonicaPVD's Avatar
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    Political correctness is a term some people use to describe kindness when it centers around something they might not particularly like. In the 1950s, if you told the average American to stop calling disabled people "crippled" you would have been engaging in political correctness. If around that time you had been in the deep south and told some rural bully to not refer to Black men as "boy," you would have been engaging in political correctness.

    Forcing jerks to be as kind as most people are naturally is a good thing. Especially when we are on the receiving end of that kindness.

  16. #16
    Senior Member TheHiddenMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonicaPVD View Post
    We worry a lot about blending or passing, when this is less important every day. 9.5 out of ten times, people will ID us as gender nonconforming people. That hasn't changed and will not change. What has changed are people's reactions. Some are tolerant, others accept us, and others embrace us. Where people land on that spectrum should not bother us because all humans tend to be judgemental in one way or another (if you don't agree with me, just listen to the horror stories told by obese or physically disabled people). As long as I am not being actively harassed or threatened by anyone, I feel like the most beautiful woman in the world.
    I think this pretty much says it all for me.

    People judge "male or female" based on their instincts in a momentary judgment. We can try to disguise our shape but we give off too many clues that we aren't what we depict ourselves to be.

    People talk about blending like it's some sort of cloak of invisibility; if we have just the exact right set of clothes we will escape detection. Sorry folks, that doesn't exist.

    Which, ironically, should be freeing. If we know we are likely to be detected no matter WHAT we wear, shouldn't that give us greater freedom to wear what we choose to wear? Obviously, wearing a wedding gown to go grocery shopping is probably pushing it a bit.

    Virtually everything I wear was originally marketed for women and bought at women's stores. The manufacturer created the item so they would be appealing to women and sell so the manufacturer would make a profit. 99% of the stuff we buy was meant for women to "blend" into society and the fashion world, from leggings to skirts to dresses to blouses to halter tops--all with the eye to be popular and make money.

    The cute summer dresses I like to wear were marketed for women, who don't have guy shoulders and a guy physique. Yes, wearing a spaghetti strap sundress exposes my male shoulders, but they are cute and a lit cooler to wear on hot summer days. And if people are going to know I'm a guy ANYWAY, why not wear the cute thing that I really want to wear?

    In short, the idea of blending is misleading and overrated, IMO. Wear, within reason, what you what to wear, something that makes you feel confident and happy. Don't let other people live your life for you.
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  17. #17
    Aspiring Member SaraLin's Avatar
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    I wasn't going to respond to this thread, but a couple comments got to me:

    Quote Originally Posted by char GG View Post
    My thought is, everyone has and/or uses a mirror. All CDers know how they look when leaving the house.

    Personally, I think that the person looking in the mirror is probably the worst judge of how they look - be it CD'er or a "muggle."
    Some folks think they're God's gift to the world and that's who they see.
    Some can only see the imperfections and think they look horrible.
    Some look only close enough to see if they've "missed a spot" or if their hair is OK.
    And finally - some (CD'ers?) are focused on some "enhancement" such as forms, wigs, or outfit - and think they look good.

    And this doesn't even mention that what we all see in the mirror is backwards to what the rest of the world sees.


    But for me "blending" is being able to mingle with a (whatever) group of people without drawing any undue notice. If you want to achieve this, you have to work on the whole package. This includes how you dress, walk, talk and even how you act. If you can adjust all these things so that you mirror those around you, you'll have a good chance of "blending."
    (like almost everyone else is saying...)



    And then, I had to smile when I read this:

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHiddenMe View Post
    People talk about blending like it's some sort of cloak of invisibility;
    It CAN be! I have lots of stories from my vanilla existence where I proved I could be invisible, but I'll only bore you with one.

    My wife were in line at an ice cream shop. The cashier took the order of the person in front of us, my wife's order, and skipped to the woman behind me.
    When my wife pointed out to the girl that she'd skipped me, she blushed and stammered out an apology about how she hadn't seen me.
    Having been through this many times, I just turned to my wife and said "See?"

    Dressed, I've never come close to invisibility, but I have managed to blend in on one or two occasions. Most times - no.
    Last edited by SaraLin; 07-04-2022 at 05:50 AM. Reason: formatting

  18. #18
    Senior Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    To me it is the ability to not distract someone who is on autopilot which includes most people most of the time. Unfortunately, for most males that means expressing male and not female. Few males make passable women - there is always a tell somewhere. So the next step down is whether the expression is presentable as a woman. In other words, close enough to tell the public that you are a male who strongly, but probably not totally identifies as "female." To me this comes down to "female-like." People are more likely to not notice female-like when they are on autopilot.

    I really like SaraLin's perspective. And I agree that looking in the mirror is not a good way to tell because what you see in the reflection is highly modified by the interpretation of that image as it passes through the brain. A good way to tell is to look at yourself in a mirror, pay close attention to what you think of your appearance, and then quickly take a picture of yourself and not the reflection and compare the picture to what you thought when you saw in your reflection. Most likely they are not consistent and that is because your mental interpretation is likely never completely consistent with the somewhat more objective interpretation derived from looking at a photograph. They will never match, but the closer they match the more realistic is your self-interpretation of your reflected image.

    We tend to look at reflections as being more realistic when in fact they rarely are. But we can learn to interpret the reflected image by comparing what we looked like to us with the readings of other people's perceptions of us, especially if they are strangers. The more the two match the more we have achieved the ability to look at our reflection more objectively. Nobody ever achieves perfection, but with practice and experience most GG's can get there rather easily. CD's and TG's can do it as well - practice, practice, practice.

  19. #19
    Connie Connie D50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie47 View Post
    I think "blending" only means "not standing out in the crowd." Basically, flying under the radar. The discussion on this forum always is centered on wearing clothing that is appropriate for the time and place. Don't show up in the grocery store in an evening gown. Don't go to a wedding wearing soccer shorts like my wife's brother-in-law did. Of course, I would attract a second look wearing totally appropriate as I am six foot and 200 pounds. If I was five foot six and 200 pounds I believe I would not attract attention as I see many women of that stature. I've seen young teenage girls wearing prom dresses at the mall stumbling all over in high heels because they never wear them. Mannerisms have to be consistent with the assigned sex. Sit in a chair with your legs spread apart will attract attention. I think you get the picture.

    How people react to not blending, i.e., the assumption you're a man dressing as a woman depends on the observer. Call it political correctness or just not being rude, some observers are just going to be verbally silent. Non verbal communication may another thing. Of course, there are always those who feel it is their mission in life to act like assholes or worse. In my area there have been arrests for harassment of transgender men and women. Free speech does not give a person license to verbally assault a person.
    I agree with Stephanie, I also feel that a women who is not dressed inappropriate also gets almost the same reaction.

  20. #20
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    I would submit that blending is exactly what it seems - flying somewhat under most peoples radar in public settings, taking advantage of the fact that people mostly do not notice strangers, and if they do at all, only fleetingly so.

    I would also suggest that some do notice but politely elect to either ignore or perhaps acknowledge us with some sort of recognition. I am fine with either response.

  21. #21
    Member Joanne108's Avatar
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    I don't know! However I try to look as close to how actual women look because it pleases me to do so! If I blend in than that is cool!

  22. #22
    ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ Patience's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaraLin View Post
    My wife were (sic) in line at an ice cream shop. The cashier took the order of the person in front of us, my wife's order, and skipped to the woman behind me.
    When my wife pointed out to the girl that she'd skipped me, she blushed and stammered out an apology about how she hadn't seen me.
    Having been through this many times, I just turned to my wife and said "See?"

    Dressed, I've never come close to invisibility, but I have managed to blend in on one or two occasions. Most times - no.
    ...and you didn't this time either.

    As a member of a gender (and ethnic) minority in America, I am painfully familiar with what we can call "faux innocent discrimination" in the service industry. An example of that is standing in a single line for multiple cashiers and when the next avaiable (usually female) cashier becomes available, they suddenly find the time to do something they were putting off until the moment you showed up, or just simply prevaricate indefinitely, waiting for someone else to call and serve you. When they get called on it, saying they did not "see" you gives them plausible deniability for maliciously ignoring you.

    In your case, you had an ally in your wife, who stood up for you and pointed out the (let's call it what it was) discrimination you were being subjected to. The reason the server blushed and stammered is because she was called out. People who make honest mistakes may blush, but they don't stammer like they were caught in the process of doing something wrong. It's not that she did not see you. She chose not to see you.

    So in this case, not only did you not blend in, you got to experience firsthand what being an unpopular minority in America is like.

    Sucks, doesn't it?
    ...throw off those chains of Reason and your prison disappears...

  23. #23
    Senior Member Maid_Marion's Avatar
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    I get much better service presenting female. Folks acknowledge my presence and I respond appropriately.
    As I'm small and petite it is much easier to find nice clothes from the female side of the binary.

    Interestingly enough, some of my nicest clothes are synthetics. Eddie Bauer ripstop nylon and stretchy polyester golf clothes.
    When I was growing up polyester was associated with cheap clothes.

    Marion

  24. #24
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    First of all, politics has absolutely nothing to do with blending, unless you consider conventional decorum to be "politically correct" and worthy of rejection, in which case you're clearly not interested in anything like blending.
    Blending is, essentially, being indistinguishable, at casual notice, from the cis females in the environment. Humans, like most mammals, are hard wired to assess those we encounter, for threats and, among other things, gender. Blending is the art of avoiding that gender assessment. For most of us who've been through male puberty, the act of speaking almost instantly invites that assessment. To a lesser extent, so will height. Then there are a host of things like gait and mannerisms that will trigger that assessment.
    That's the conventional definition. I'd now like to offer a more nuanced way of looking at "blending". Blending, as defined above, is a fine thing, especially if you're not comfortable with who you are. I have found, however, that once we're read, the observer will (after that inevitable wide-eyed realization) continue to treat me as the person I am. In my case, that's a tall, heavy-set old lady. Yes, my attire is occasionally somewhat "eccentric", but too is who I am, that weird old aunt that scandalizes the rest of the family. My point is that everything that I can control is geared to be consistent with who I am, so that even when I don't "pass", I am perceptibly genuine, just like all the cis people in the environment.
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  25. #25
    Gold Member Lana Mae's Avatar
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    Everybody pay special attention to Aunt Kelly's last paragraph at #24! That hits it pretty close! Hugs Lana Mae
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