Someone nice whom I’m mentoring is about to come out. My strategic input has been welcomed. So, here’s some.
What worked well for me psychologically was to have a style that was as feminine as I wanted: 6″ stilettos, stripper dresses with just a thin thong underneath, sexy make up, gorgeous long blonde (but fake) hair. It felt SO good, like I was finally being me. It gave me confidence and joy: precious commodities for a just-out t-girl.
Problem is, I’d dress like that without much social savvy, like to Walgreens and around downtown Reno at 4pm on a summer weekday. Not socially savvy at all. But, I was so happy with being able to be me finally and openly, that I didn’t care.
In retrospect I should have been more cautious because I ran into a lot of animosity. Yes, I had every right to dress like that. But what I have the right to do vs. people being willing to play nice with me, those are two very different things. I don’t have a right to universal acceptance. I can’t go demand it. For me to get social acceptance, I have to get it voluntarily, one mind at a time. And weirding people out doesn’t exactly help as to that.
Here’s a picture of me as I looked out and about, late in 2011.
Granted, that puts a lot of control into others’ hands. But they have that control anyway. They can decide whom they like, and why, and whether to be nice or mean. And even if they’re mean for all the wrong reasons, what am I going to for? Argue with every one and convince them I’m actually just fine and they might wanna mellow out and like me? No. That’s why choosing a culture that is open-minded enough is SO important – and then GO there.
That’s why I wanted to move to Las Vegas. I live in a small town near Reno, NV and I didn’t think in a thousand years that the people in this little town would generally be even remotely civil to me. I mean, it’s a very rednecky town. I just decided to come out anyway, and when the situation became as intolerable as I suspected would soon happen, then fine, and goodbye, off to Vegas, which is A LOT more forgiving socially. I mean, A LOT. So, t-girls of the US can, worst case, still move to Vegas. And although Vegas has casinos and shows it also has much less-glamorous work that needs to be done. So whether a t-girl packs and ships a box in the back room or a macho dude does, the box gets shipped either way. Many Vegas employers think like that. So if you’re honest and have a good work ethic, you’re already likely to get employment even as a t-girl though it might be low-paying work and you’ll be eating beans daily, not steak and lobster.
So for me, it was like a fail-safe mode. If everything turns to crap, there would always be Las Vegas. I even started moving some of my stuff to Vegas preemptively. Meanwhile, I lived as who I am, a t-girl. Even in this small rural, redneck Nevada town.
But, I’m now a smarter girl. I realize that I dress as I love to celebrate who I am. It’s a mentally private thing for me. And yes, to look resplendent and yet be stuck inside 4 walls isn’t as great as being out and about. But other people aren’t part of my psychology as such. Their presence or reactions as to how I look aren’t essential. I’m feminine for my own benefit.
So, I could look hot and walk around when nobody else is around and it’d be just as good — and better. So I did. I’d wait until 4 am and then I’d dress up and look gorgeous, and go walk around in my hot stripper dress, thin black thong, 6″ stilettos, and long fake blonde hair — just enjoying being me.
I walked around quiet, nice neighborhoods, to be safe. I planned things so if a car came, I could see it from far away and duck behind a tree or shrub. Yet, I was out and learning how to walk, move, and look like the hot girl I am inside. Perfect.
In broad daylight, I wore androgynous clothing and shoes and makeup that was, ideally, never more feminized than my own natural femininity. For example, in the beginning, I always wore jeans and some androgynous female tops that I found at Sears. I felt safe wearing them; they were female clothes but barely so.
As to the townspeople, most of them were totally nice to me. I was amazed. So I still haven’t moved to Vegas.
As time went by, I wore more tight-fitting jeans, and eventually more-feminine tops, and slightly more accentuated makeup. To everyone who mattered, I explained I’m a t-girl and I had prepped for any followup Q&A. So I was fearless, culturally. I always had better answers than people had questions.
And, I looked androgynous, not ultra feminine — while still having short-ish real hair, a figure liek a tree trunk, and too-male facial features, and basically male facial expressions – and a male voice, grrrr.
Why does a long-married couple look so alike? Similar facial expressions. So, after more than two years of being “out” 24×7, I have female facial expressions. It’s all integrated. Also, how I move is just naturally feminine. That’s not something I paint on or put on. It’s part of me now.
Recently I was at a junkyard where hardly anyone expects to find a female working on old, dead cars, and I had a nondescript hat on and my hair tied back, and totally unfeminine clothing, and the only makeup I had on was hidden underneath my sunglasses, and yes I have large-ish fake boobs but their shape was obscured under a huge baggy sweatshirt. And my chin and jaw are just as male as ever. And then a young guy approached me mostly from behind, and without being able to see much or maybe any of my face, boobs, etc. he guessed correctly that I’m female and he said “excuse me, ma’am …” and then asked me a question.” Wow. How did he know I’m a girl?
Because I’ve learned to exude femininity in so many ways, even little nuances of how I hold my head, move, etc. And I wasn’t on a runway or at a club where you might expect a girl. I was taking an old BMW apart in a dirty junkyard. Even there I radiated femininity so much that the guy overcame the premise that almost everyone there is male, and he figured me for a girl accurately. Wow. I’ve come a long way.
So as a t-girl synthesizes that capability to exude femininity, it makes sense to wear more make-up and more feminizds clothing. But the make-up and clothing should always follow, not lead, as to how feminine you are.
There’s nothing wrong with being a transvestite a.k.a. cross-dresser. In fact, I can say many good things about such folks. But an unfortunate stereotype for that is the cross-dresser in the Rocky Horror Picture show, with totally male features and style but heavy make-up, fishnet stockings, sexy shoes, etc. In a way it’s visually jarring, to me anyway. So when I wonder if I’m overdoing it I think of that, and then tone it down until my innate femininity is more than the femininity in my make-up, clothing, shoes, jewelry, etc.
Nowadays I exude femininity so much that I naturally wears skirts almost every day and I get many compliments as to these. And I look nice enough and feel SO happy about how my femininity integrates with my choice of style.
It’s sort of like that Mambo scene in Dirty Dancing where the blonde dancing lady’s wonderful grace and style so overpowers the mechanics of the dance steps that it’s hard to even recognize what dance that is. She inspired me so much, I bought a Mambo dance video but even though my clumsy feet at the time were the same essentially as her steps, her integration made it seem like she’s airborne, floating, magical whereas I felt and looked clumsy and plodding. So it is with femininity. Eventually it becomes integrated but in the beginning it’s difficult.
Almost every teenage girl begins by being lanky and awkward and clumsy and not as feminine as she wants to be, but as time passes, she learns more and more. A just-out t-girl is basically like a young teenage girl just getting started.
So for someone just coming out, I advise telling people who matter that you’re a t-girl but as far as the dynamic with them is concerned it, that aspect should not really matter much or at all, and life will hopefully just goes on. And then as to style and looks, gradually, proceed with slow feminization in public — and in private, whether indoors or out at 4 a.m. then be wild as feminized as you psychologically need to be.