From the time we have our first intoxicating taste of sliding (or squeezing) into feminine clothes, most of us have to see how we look. Of course the only point of reference we have comes from how we have viewed other girls or women. Examples would be pretty Easter dresses or beautiful prom gowns.
Depending how we identify, some of us want to journey into the world to really learn what this "woman stuff" is all about. A big mistake I made when I opened my closet door was presenting to the wrong audience. I was dressing for men, not women-as they say "a tough crowd". As a side comment, I believe I've read humans decide within two seconds if they are viewing a male or female. Wow! Two very intense seconds indeed, with tons on the line for a cross dresser or a transgender woman stepping out into the light of day. Here's a look on how my "two seconds" have worked for me over the years:
1.- NO Perception. Even though genetic women view the world in a more complex light than men, these women are wrapped up in theirs and don't notice me at all. Cell phones alone have changed this dynamic greatly in recent years. Women have family, work and spouses to deal with, so why would they bother with me.
2.- I'M Transparent. I like this look, we briefly make eye contact. She stares right through me and moves on. My assumption is she see's nothing worth noting in my gender presentation.
3.- Lingering Stare. She is not certain of what she is seeing and is processing. I have found it highly useful to return her stare. Normally she is satisfied and moves on. I'm to the point, I don't really care what she comes up with. The look could simply stem from her thinking my hair is way too long for a woman my age.
4.-The Little Smile. I had to learn to be careful with this one. Unlike men, women are known to smile at each other as they make their way through the world. The look does not have to have negative undertones. Plus, if it is, I'm finding these days if another woman does read me as transgender, the experience can be far from unpleasant.
5.-The Smirk. I don't see this look so much these days but we all know what it means...I know you are a guy and why are you dressed like that?
6.-Shock and Awe. The woman looking at you is doing her best impression of a person who is about to scream..."Hey, that's a guy in a dress." Soon she is scurrying around to point you out to anyone she can. She is the ultimate in bad dreams to all of us and a real ego crusher. Haven't ran into one of these in years but certainly paid my dues with them in my "formative" years.
So there you go, I'm sure most of you can expand on this highly simplified list. Plus, on the positive side, the world in my little corner of the world is changing. The more of us who are out, the easier life becomes!