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Thread: A surprising meeting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2020

    A surprising meeting

    As I often preface my posts I am fully out in the world, have been for a number of years, and I accept that the UK is different from the US so, in replying to this thread we can take that as read. I'm more interested in the real experiences of those of us here who go out into the real world. I'm not so interested as to what people think might happen, but what does happen.

    Something that we're quite used to seeing here is the reactions that we might get from the public and particularly SAs in shops and waitresses in cafes, bar and restaurants. These commonly seem to follow the line that they, the staff we interact with, only tolerate us becuaes it's their job and they need the pay check at the end of the shift. These posts are more or less always negative and I think come from a fear of what might happen if we shifted our boundaries rather than any real experience.

    Indeed, one of the things here which has always surprised me is just how negative as a group and generally we seem to be.

    It's often about the bogey man at the bottom of the garden. It's often about, no matter the experience, the SAs only treat us with respect when they have to and they all have a big laugh as soon as they leave the shop floor. If only we knew the truth of it, they all hate and despise us really.

    The thing is, that my experience in the real world, doesn't come close to bearing this out. Indeed, my experience is the complete opposite.

    Take yesterday. Me and the SO went out for lunch yesterday and we went to a cafe in a town about 30 miles from the city. We looked at the menus and the waitress came over to take our order. It was a busy place, there were plenty of staff. The one who served us could easily have left it to a colleague.

    The thing is and this was a bit of a surprise, she greeted me by name. I'm not good with faces and, yes, she was vaguely familiar, but I didn't recognise her. She then said that she was Lisa and she used to work on a make-up counter in the department store in the city, about 40 miles away. The other thing is that I hadn't seen her, or even been to the city since we'll before the pandemic, so we're talking at least 3 years. When I was first coming out in the real world, I used to go to the make-up counter to learn what to do and to buy cosmetics. Lisa was one of the people who had helped me along the way.

    But, she remembered me, she wanted to serve me, to interact and talk with me. It seems that she's recently moved from the make-up counter to the cafe as she thinks it's a better bet what with the economic turn down and it also has the benefit of being much closer to where she lives with her 4 year old.

    So, maybe we'd all be a bit better off if we were a bit less negative and just realised that far more people in the real world embrace us than posts here might suggest.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kris Burton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    New Jersey
    I am relatively new to this, and have just begun to take my first fores into the community. I certainly hope what you say is true. Having said that, Ii have not gotten a feeling of negativity from most in the forum here. In fact, it is the positive experiences that have been described here from most that has given me the confidence to proceed and bring my persona publicly.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    A bit south of the 49th!
    My experiences in real life have been overwhelmingly positive.

  4. #4
    Senior Member GretchenM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Denver, Colorado
    Interesting observation and interpretation and I think you are fundamentally correct. People are different and they react to things that are outside their comfort range differently. I have seen some very bad behavior from employees after a CD or TG is out of sight, but I have more often seen and overheard the other reactions and maybe a respectful discussion.

    The point is, you never know unless you can figure out a way to leave your shadow behind with instructions to report to you later what occurred when it catches up. As there is no technology to allow you to do that, yet, the best policy is to go through life realizing that some will react negatively, especially those who are locked into the gender binary style of thinking and think there is nothing other than that which is real. People's minds are changing and I suspect you folks in Europe have made the most progress. Hard not to with the population density in Europe. But it is happening everywhere to some extent. So, yes I think your perspective is generally correct.

  5. #5
    Aspiring Member Bea_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    I can see that there can seem to be a negative slant in things written here on the forum, but most of the negativity seems to come from acceptance issues within the family rather than from dealing with the outside world. For me, I am not out in the real world. But, the biggest obstacle is the negative reaction from my wife as well as the potential negative social fallout that she might endure. It does seem that those who are past that hurdle seem to do relatively well or better in the real world.

    That being said. I love the story of the waitress. I'm sure that encounter would make anyone's day.

  6. #6
    Aspiring Member ShelbyDawn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Austin, TX
    I can understand the perception of negativity. Personally, I'm a prisoner of my own fears and doubts.
    I'm terrified of what would happen if I came out of the closet even though my own reality speaks a different story.
    I have zero confidence in my ability to pass and for some reason have convinced myself that it is a requirement. I'm working on that with my therapist.

    For some reason I just can't let all the positive encounters win, the sales clerks that have gone out of their way to help me find something cute, that have reveled in a shared joy of discovery, the woman that complimented me when her daughter called me out for wearing a dress, 'Yes he is, but isn't it a pretty dress.'

    I come here mostly to read the success stories so that one day I can manifest those victories in my life.

    Sure, there could be a negative vein here, but mostly this is a place of love and acceptance and positive encouragement, and I'm glad it's here..
    I am Me and Me is OK!


  7. #7
    Gold Member bridget thronton's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Michigan USA
    Nice post and it seems you have a friend

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Western Washington
    Quote Originally Posted by Bea_ View Post
    For me, I am not out in the real world. But, the biggest obstacle is the negative reaction from my wife as well as the potential negative social fallout that she might endure.
    This is the heart of the matter. I've often said on this forum "Tolerance does not mean acceptance." If a wife, who presumably loves her husband and knows his inner self better than anyone else, rejects her husband's _____ (Fill it in yourself), how can there be confidence that there will be genuine acceptance with others? Will your neighbors extend an invitation to the neighborhood BBQ with the encouragement to wear a pretty dress? I like reading about positive encounters, but, are they anything more than what is described? Mankind seems to have the habit of banding together with "their own" to the exclusion of others, whether it is cross dressers or transgender men and women or other groups.

    I do not view my reasoning as negativity, but, reality.

  9. #9
    Member RoxieChristine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2022
    Dallas area
    I'll admit that I am fairly new as a crossdresser and am questioning myself still trying to figure things out about myself. I will say that I. On the older end of the spectrum no matter how much I wish that wasn't the case. I personally have had mostly good reactions going out dressed. I do believe there are 2 things to consider here. First I do my best to treat and view people as individuals, they are. Not everyone is that stereotypical person, but stereotypes are there for a reason. Secondly, because of my age and the attitudes I grew up with, being negative in a perception of my being dressed is understandable. That is how a vast majority used to react. So there is an internal struggle for me between being negative and positive as to how others will react. Once again, we are all individuals and I think we have a mix of negative and positive views here. Not having been through each person's experiences, I reserve judgement on their attitude.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2022
    Houston, Texas
    I really appreciated your post on this subject. I can say that I have only had one adventure into the public dressed and it was a positive experience for me overall. In your situation, I found hope in other people. No matter how I am dressed, I have experienced both sides and feel that if you put out positive vibes, the world notices and you will receive them in return. That this person remembered you after so long and even recognized you in a different setting is amazing. You must have made quite the impression the first time and there is your positivity coming back at you. The world is smaller than we think.

  11. #11
    Silver Member Natalie5004's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    I go out a few times a week and am a proponent that people really do not care what you look like.

    That being said, as a strong person myself, I will not give anybody I do not personally know to cast a judgement on me. I do not give them permission to make me feel bad, upset, or sad. They have no power over me.

    I suggest that we as a group start thinking like this. It is totally freeing.
    Last edited by Natalie5004; 09-18-2022 at 05:24 PM.

  12. #12
    Female Illusionist! docrobbysherry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Orange County, Calif.
    Suranne, I don't see the negativity u describe either here on, or when I've been out dressed.

    In fact, I've read countless, excited post here explaining how an SA or server called a member, "Ma'am", or another female pronoun!

    Personally, I have a mirror. I know I'm a MIAD. So, I could care less what gender my waitress or SA calls me. As long as service or assistance is helpful!

    However, I do agree with u that anyone who thinks the staff laffs at u after you've left is paranoid! When you're gone, you're forgotten. That an SA, now server, remembered u is pretty amazing!
    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!

  13. #13
    Platinum Member alwayshave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Washington, DC
    Suranne, my experiences out dressed are not that negative. Sure I have been laughed at by middle age guys. Other than that, pretty positive.
    Please call me Jamie, I always_have crossdressed, I always will, "alwayshave".

  14. #14
    Exploring NEPA now Cheryl T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Northeast Pa near NJ and NY
    It's how people react, not how a group reacts.
    When I was in a support group before retiring and moving we would go to a diner after the meeting. Sometimes 3 or 4, sometimes a whole group of us. We were treated like royalty by the owner and the staff. There were times when someone would make a comment uncalled for and they always defended us.
    At times some of the staff would actually join us and just have coffee and chat if they were just off duty.
    People are people. Some don't care, some are intrigued and some, well then there are some.
    I don't wear women's clothes, I wear MY clothes !

  15. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2022
    New York
    I know this is stupid
    I am more afraid of the neighbors finding out. Being the topic of the neighborhood. ? Did you see what Jack ..O. Jackie was wearing. He / she / it /look stupid.
    I try to get out fast finish dressing somewhere. And do go out miles from home. If you would run into someone you know you hope they don?t put two and two together. Or they are in a place they should be in.
    I just want to look feel good and enjoy myself

  16. #16
    Sallee Sallee's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    San Diego
    I totally agree. At worst people just don't care and most likely don't notice and if they do they find it amusing if anything at all. If they are serving you they may be just curious and you're making their day.

  17. #17
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Your experience is much the same as mine. I have never received any negative feedback while dressed in public. Allow me to repeat:
    Early on, I realized I had a choice in my presentation: Ugliest Woman Ever, or Man in a Dress. I chose the latter, and I have never regretted it. Female sales people in dress shops are happy to see me when I shop, where I have been called "an original" and "the bravest person I know". They ENJOY, not merely tolerate, helping me and seeing me in that fabulous new dress. Outside the store, perfect strangers stop me to compliment my appearance. How often does that happen to anyone?.

    At the same time, I remember how long it took me to gather the courage to go into that dress shop that one magical day and say, "Yes you can help me. I'm looking for a dress in size 20". It took a lot to confront all the fears that had been built up and constantly reinforced over the previous fifty odd years.

    I sympathize with all the fine people in this forum who are still paralyzed in their closets, or who think the only way to be "safe" is to completely "pass" as a woman. They are still trying to hide, just not inside the closet. It IS hard to come out as your authentic self, so when I read here about anyone who does manage to get out into the world and discover there are no monsters under the bed, I want to celebrate them.

    There are no monsters under the bed. And the world has nothing to fear from us. The more of us that get out, the more both of those statements become true and make it easier for the rest of us to get out as well.
    Last edited by suzanne; 09-19-2022 at 11:45 PM.

  18. #18
    Gold Member Helen_Highwater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Midlands UK
    I have spent many hours, not as many as I'd like, out and about fully enfemme and about the nastiest things that have happened is I've been deliberately mis-gendered as "Mate" and "Buddy".

    The positive and genuine interactions I've had far far outweigh those.

    I always try to be engaging, friendly and smile when talking to others not of our community.

    I've said it before, we do have to be aware of our surroundings but so do women in general. There are places I wouldn't go as a male even if accompanied by a squad of fully armed special forces. If dressed you walk into a pub full of drunked football supporters who's team have just lost then expect trouble.

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