A friend of mine recently put someone in contact with me to see if I could help her as she was just starting her real life and they felt that talking to someone who had been through it all before might help. The whole ethos behind this blog has been one of education and helping, so the idea of people actually contacting me directly is something I’ve always been happy to do and I’ve spent time chatting and advising a few people who were just starting living as themselves.
In this case the person I spoke to told me they were lacking in confidence and I know this is far from uncommon and while writing my reply, I realised my blog probably needed a ‘refresher’ post. A repost along the lines of something done before but when a blog it well over a year old and contains getting on for 100 posts, I think it’s fair to occasionally re-examine subjects.
In this case it’s my thoughts and advice for any of you who may be going out as your correct gender for the first time. As I am female, it’s from a female perspective, however some of the advice will work with all genders and I know men have their own level of challenges. To that end if any men with GID do want to write a guest blog in a similar vein to this blog entry I’d more than welcome it.
The following represents the advice I gave, rather than edit it I think it works as a ‘reply’ and will hopefully help more people who are finding confidence a problem when starting their journey.
Occasionally you might get ‘read’ and get a disparaging comment “Is that a man?” but in day to day life that’s the worst that’s happened to me and I can’t remember the last time I had that kind of response.
I think the key is understanding how to make co-ordinated outfits, how to do basic make-up (which is simple – a lot of the time I just wear foundation, sometimes with a bit of eyeshadow, unless going out of course) – and trying to judge what to wear when.
If you wear something that stands out it automatically attracts attention, which can cause negative reactions – BUT – it doesn’t mean you have been ‘read’ – Recently in a 1940/50’s group a lady posted about a reaction she got in a supermarket, a couple of ‘chav’s’ spotted her in a beautiful vintage style dress, beautifully dressed and she got a negative comment. The comment shouldn’t have happened, but she sadly got it because she stood out from the crowd.
It’s not ‘just’ a ‘trans’ problem, can happen to anyone, but a lot of transwomen early in their lives make the mistake of trying to ‘dress like a woman’ and make the mistake of over doing it. A woman is most likely to go to a supermarket wearing jeans, t-shirt and flat shoes – not a short skirt and heels!!
If your walking down the street with confidence in a ‘typical’ outfit then honestly your likely to be as safe as any other woman.
Confidence is a huge thing, I have always just walked down the street the same as I always have, with confidence and purpose. Some areas even now I’m a little nervy – loos for instance – but never had an issue in them!! Quite the opposite, especially in night clubs and similar places I’ve just been treated like one of the girls – which is exactly what you want, however it’s by no means guaranteed.
In my experience such fears are unfounded and the truth of the matter is that most people are accepting without issues. Just remember that if you dress in a manner that stands out the chances of someone making a comment go up, but also remember that getting comments may just mean they are treating you like any other woman. It’s a sad, and definitely unwanted, fact that woman do receive cat calls, wolf whistles and other inappropriate calls, and as such don’t assume that anything shouted in your direction is ‘trans related’ – if your dressed in a manner that clearly identifies you as female (which could just be a nice skirt and top) men WILL on occasion act inappropriately around you.
It’s sad, it shouldn’t happen, but I firmly believe that many ‘trans’ women don’t realise so take any calling as transphobic.. often they aren’t. Indeed I remember once walking to a local bar which, unfortunately took me through the red light district, one guy took a fancy to me and crossed the road – it was only when I spoke to tell him I wasn’t interested, that he realised I had GID.. unfortunately that just made things worse as he had a fantasy about going with a ‘transperson’, and it was definitely a hugely uncomfortable experience.. but it was made uncomfortable because I was a woman.. simple as that.
Anyway that’s it for this week, I hope some of you found this weeks blog useful.