A Funny Thing Happened at the Theatre

As you may know, Priscilla’s Services went to the theatre in May this year. We went to see Priscilla Queen of the Desert and had a blast. If you are interested, you can read about it on the Priscilla’s page. However, I have wanted to tell you all about one funny incident. The fact that it has taken me nearly five months to do so is a testament to how busy I have been lately.

At the interval for Priscilla Queen of the Desert, my spouse, one of her clients and I needed to go to the toilet. It was quite nice that when we arrived at the facility, the usher on duty directed all three of us to the ladies’ room. Passing for the win!

After making use of the facilities we went to go and get a drink. I was not thirsty so I declined the offer and waited for the other two in the foyer a short distance away from the bar area (all open plan). I was catching up on some messages on my mobile phone, when I felt that I was being observed. I looked up and noticed that I was being watched by a couple (male and female) a few metres away. They saw me see them and emboldened they came up to me and started talking.

The male half of the couple was very interested. I had been ‘read’, ‘clocked’ and generally seen. Not passing… Not for the win! In truth, whilst it is always disappointing when someone figures you out because it suggests you have done something that has let your overall presentation down, I am not going to let this get me down. I am simply who I am and all I can do is be my authentic self. I am not trying to ‘trap’ anyone. I am not trying to fool anyone. All I do is try to get my outer shell to reflect my inner self and look as good as I can, whilst doing so, not for any external reason, but because I want to reflect how I feel on the inside. Therefore, I do not adjust my voice (much), I am just myself…

Anyway, this person was very interested in why I was out dressed, how I managed to walk in shoes and he did compliment me on my appearance. I still don’t know what gave me away, I never asked. I explained why we were there and at that point my spouse and her (en femme) client came up. He ‘read’ our client and we had a bit of a chat.

He then turned to my (cisgender) spouse and asked her, ‘so, how long have you been dressing?’ I couldn’t resist laughing and explained that no, she was not a transgender person, no she was not a crossdresser… She was in fact born with a vagina, has had two children etc. This led to a little embarrassment all round, but we laughed it off and fortunately my spouse was not insulted at all. She is special that way! I still have no idea how this person could have mistaken her for a transgender person, she is a very feminine woman, but maybe that is a testament to her makeup skills on her client and our overall presentation. We must have created ‘reasonable doubt’ in his mind, and that was enough to confuse him.

Priscilla’s Services for all your crossdressing requirements: storage, makeup, personal shopper and accommodation/a place to dress. https://priscillasservices.wordpress.com/

Now yes, this is all rather amusing but there is a reason (beyond hopefully bringing a smile to your faces) for me recounting this story. So many of us (whether we are crossdressers who venture out en femme, or transgender people in the midst of transitioning) worry about ‘passing’. We look at people to see how they are reacting to us. We obsessively check ourselves in every reflective surface we pass. ‘Are we passing?’ We continually ask. We worry about how we walk, we obsess over our gestures, do we bend down ‘correctly’ and is our ‘tuck’ working. This sometimes, ironically, impedes our ability to pass. We may overcompensate, or worry so much about not having any ‘tells’ that our normal social interactions are impeded. Of course, when it comes to speaking to people we also worry so much that we may even forego normal communication, ironically, possibly arousing even more suspicions. These concerns are all wrapped up in our sometimes fragile body image and self image. We suffer from gender dysphoria and desperately want our inner gender to more accurately be reflected in our bodies.

This little episode showed me that it is all immaterial! If a cisgender, feminine woman can be read as transgender, then we should all just relax. Be ourselves. Nobody passes! We all get read. Getting read has nothing to do with us, the observed, and everything to do with the observer. What they think of us will always say more about them than it says about us and we should just live our lives, authentically and stop worrying about who thinks what of us. We owe nobody anything. We owe ourselves everything. So, let’s simply be ourselves in the world and be happy with who we are. I know some transgender people say they do not aim to pass, but to blend. In other words they simply hope to not be noticed. This is perfectly fine, but we must also realise that even ‘blending’ has its limits.

So just be you. Nobody can be anything else. Nobody can be a better ‘you’ than you. Nobody can be happy unless they are being their true self, so let’s do that. Finally, I suppose, if nobody passes, then in a strange way, we all pass.

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Add yours →

  1. Hello Daniella,
    My name is Roxanne and I love this little snippet/article! I have faved your site and I did want to tell you/make a small comment. I have come to the conclusion that when you (me, or any one of us) dress to match your/the gender inside then you are not “crossdressing”. I have come up with/coined the term (and I have been using it a lot) “matchdressing” as we are truly and simply matching our genders when we clothe ourselves reflective of our inner souls/beings. I would love to start seeing more of us use this term as I believe that it is more correct and technically I have been “crossdressing” my entire life until I finally came out* in honesty and truth to and for myself (on April 1rst, 2017). I think it would be cool (not that you’d have too) if in one of your articles you do use the term “matchdress/ing” lol but either way I’m going to continue to use this term. I loved your article and page thank you for it! – Miss Roxanne Evelynn Caramello

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What is passing? Is it ever an attainable archetype for any humanoid? Everyone judges your persona somewhere on some scale. Myself, I prefer to “present”. What a person has between their legs should never be a determination of the uniform or wardrobe that they must wear. Cis women threw that concept out a long time ago. Well except that as and in a group dynamic they still get on each other, but at least their choices are much greater (avoided the word broader). In honesty, I actually believe we are ALL transgender, even cis folk, so this label stuff except for figuring out who and what we are and how we want to be, needs to be left in the antique trunk in the back of the closet. Your style of presentation should be your own personal expression of your self image. Gender uniforms might be the norm, but they shouldn’t be the rule. And more important to the future of it all; I know that it’s common practice to call/label someone who can’t always present in a socially constructed opposite gender style, as a “crossdresser” but, you’d specifically excluded them from the transgender umbrella. Almost reinforcing it as a pejorative. Even those who say it’s just a hobbie would benifit and probably have a more enjoyable life if they didn’t have to be secretive about some feminine qualities of themselves that could be present in most manners of life. I imagine they hide it away from the rest of the world because they fear not rever being called one and having to deal with the misinterpretations it evokes by those not informed. Thank you.


    • Roxanne Caramello September 19, 2017 — 3:35 am

      I’m not quite sure what I’m reading but it sounds like the gist of it is throwing out labels. This would be fine in a different world and setting however, we don’t live in that world. We live in a world where we “do” want to be classified/labeled as women regardless of physiological sex at birth or men for the flip side. The craziness is how every human being born had both male and female yet the originating code places every human being female first. Anyway, lots of people need and want to have these labels otherwise what is truly the point of “dressing the part/gender”? If we are all the same then none of us are different. Yet if there are no differences then there really is no need to change.


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