Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Passing By: CiCi Kitten

Every so often I get a comment from someone about one of my photos. Now, believe me, I love getting comments. Especially compliments. Who doesn’t! I mean, that’s why we post pix, right?

But lately I’ve gotten a few comments like this, “I love your look. You’re so passable.” Or “I wish I was passable like you.” Now, of course, I’m flattered. I know how important “passing” is to some girls. So I take it as an enormous compliment. But here’s the thing, I’m not passable. In fact, I’m not even close.

Over the past few years, I’ve been out many times. I’ve been to clubs and events in L.A., San Francisco, Atlanta, and Las Vegas. I’ve been to alt clubs, fetish clubs, straight clubs, tgirl clubs and gay bars. I’ve pumped gas, shopped in convenience stores, eaten in fast food joints, and strolled through crowded casinos. I’ve literally come into contact with thousands of people from all walks of life. And I’ve never once been mistaken for a woman. Not once. Not even for a moment.

And it doesn’t surprise me a bit. I’m too tall. I’m too thick. My facial features are far from delicate. And, let’s face it, my crossdressing clothes are not like the typical woman. I mean, when was the last time you saw a chick dressed in head-to-toe latex at your local Koo Koo Roo Chicken? So I know I’m not fooling anyone. And the thing is, I don’t really try.

When I’m out, I try to present myself as the hottest, most attractive, and most stylish person I can be. And I think most of us have similar goals – although what we each consider hot, pretty, or stylish probably varies greatly. But I never expect to look like a woman. Or to be mistaken for a woman. I’m not on hormones for men. I’ve never had cosmetic surgery. So I just try to be the best tgirl I can be!

But for some girls this isn’t enough. They want to look feminine. They want others to see them as a woman. They may even want to become women. These kinds of girls are obviously coming at this from a much more serious perspective. (And all that I’m saying probably seems quite superficial to them.) But for most of us, passing isn’t possible. Nor should it even be a concern. Why spend a lot of time and energy fretting about something that is virtually impossible, when you could be enjoying yourself and having fun?

Now don’t get me wrong. I go to great lengths to look like a woman. From the crossdressing wigs, heels and falsies (both eyelashes and boobs!) to the hours spent in front of my mirror, perfecting my makeup, trying different hair styles, or attempting to feminize my gestures and walking. Make no mistake about it, I do all of that. Because I want to look feminine. I really do. And, what’s more, I enjoy feeling feminine when I’m dressed – whether I’m just hanging out at home or hitting the clubs of L.A.

I guess the difference just comes with expectations. For most of us, if you expect to pass, you’re going to be constantly disappointed in your look, and uncomfortable while you’re out. And what fun is that? I’m sure there are girls out there right now who are saying to themselves, “I’m not going out until I’m passable.” OMG, that’s such the wrong approach. Because, not only is going out fun, it also helps you become more girlie. Let’s face it, it’s relatively easy to take a few photos, touch them up a little, post the best of them online, and appear fairly feminine to others. It’s much harder to pull that off in person. When you’re out and among other people, you quickly learn how much work you still have to do on your voice, your walk, your gestures, your style. It’s a learning experience. I’ve been going out for several years and I still learn something new with every foray into the real world -- things that I could never learn sitting home at my computer. The irony is, if you wait until you’re “passable” before you go out, the only thing “passing” will be your life… and it will be passing you by.

Embrace what you are. You’re not a woman. You’re a tgirl. And let me tell you, a tgirl is a pretty incredible thing to be! I wish all of you could experience a trip to a tourist location like Hollywood Boulevard or the Strip in Las Vegas. It’s amazing. (Always best to go with a group of friends, btw!) Be prepared to get some attention. Tourists will actually stop you and ask to take pictures with you. You literally become a part of the attraction! Elderly couples, young singles, foreign exchange students, wedding parties! They’ve all asked me to pose in pix with them. Not because I passed. Quite the opposite. I was asked to pose because I stood out.

There’s something very special about being a tgirl. I’m not sure what it is – that’s a topic for another day -- but it fascinates people. And believe me, I know being out and dressed can also bring unwanted comments, stares, and even harassment. Sadly, that still comes with the territory these days. But for the most part, I’ve found people – total strangers -- to be friendly, good natured, curious, and quite intrigued by my dressing as a woman in public. They’ve also given me plenty of compliments. A couple of times, I’ve even been told that I look better than a woman! (Gotta love that!), but no one has ever said I looked like a woman.

When I interviewed pin-up star, Tara Emory, for this blog last year, she said she liked being thought of as mythical creature – like a mermaid or a unicorn. And I know exactly what she means. I too like being something different. Not male. Not female. Not really both. But something other. And that other-ness attracts attention – both positive and negative. And I like attention! (Big surprise there. LOL.)

Of course, not all of you crave attention like I do. And not all of you like being seen as something “other.” You want to be seen as a woman… a feminine being… and I totally respect that. I wish you well on your journey and admire the courage it will take each step of the way as you attempt to accomplish that.

But for all of you for whom this is just a hobby. For all of you who do this “just for fun,” I say… don’t worry about passing! Worry about enjoying yourself. Worry about feeling comfortable in your own skin. Worry about perfecting your look, be it classy or brassy, sexy or sophisticated, glamorous or girl-next-door.

But passing? That’s for footballs. Looking good, having fun, and turning heads… now that’s tgirl territory!

Take care out there!

Be safe. Be smart. Be sexy!




Anonymous said...

fantastic point of view,
you are absolutly right,
we are always tring to "pass" instead of projecting a new, fresh, femenine image, we can as new selfs, is it much better to be what we are, tgirls,
thanks for the blog, you are a great inspiration.

CiCi said...

hi anonymous!
thanks for the comment. that is the key, isn't it? projecting a new fresh fem image! (at least that's the key for me!)
thanks so much for taking the time to respond! i really appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

I look at passing a couple different ways depending where I am and why I'm there.

In malls or museums or theaters, I work to look quietly passable in part because I don't like to be pointed at by groups of teenage girls. I try for the suburban housewife look. Happily I am rarely "read" from a distance (or people don't care which I think happens a lot nowadays). When I interact with people up close and personal - shop associates, wait staff - I find it more difficult to sustain the illusion and don't really expect to pass but then they want to sell me something so they don't care.

However I view clubs quite differently. For many years I was a frequent visitor at the Queen Mary in LA and at various other clubs there. (Possibly we met in LA at the QM?) I have also been a greeter at a club in Connecticut - so I can be decorative. Then I just go for hot and stylish and big hair since I am not planning to fool anyone anyway. (It's a lot easier than going to the mall.)

Either way, I agree with you, it's a kick to be out and dressed and I feel fortunate I can manage to do it.

Have appreciated your comments and thoughts.


ps I've been out and about for 15-20 years - came out at the Queen Mary with Jim Bridges' help.

pps Anyway to communicate without having to sign up for a Google account?

Fiona Jones said...

Hi Cici, my name is Fiona, and I'm a CD, from Long Beach, California I have been on sever dates, and I've been known to be passable by some guys, and non passable by others, but it's not what other people think, it only matters what you think, I think you are very passable, and so beautiful, I wish I could look as passable as you, I'm trying to work on it, but need to wait until I can afford more of the make up, clothing, and hormones I need to get there.

CiCi said...

Thanks for your comment. And yes, i did go to the Queen Mary. Once! I had a great time, intended to go back, and then next thing I knew I heard it had closed. Fortunately, there are now several nitelife options for tgirls in LA! sounds like you're having fun in CT... and that's all that really matters.

thanks for your comment as well. whatever look it is you're trying to achieve, i hope you get there! but be sure to enjoy the journey!

CiCi said...

i think you can just check off Name/URL... type in a name and then type your message. that's what i do when i come here to respond.

(the hard part for me is the word verification. i always get those wrong!) :(

Jamie Ann said...

I completely agree with your basic point: that we should enjoy being who and what we are, not fret about who and what we’re not. I started going out in public in 2002, having chickened out for two or three years because I thought I didn’t pass well enough as a woman. Slowly but surely I came to realize that acceptance is more important than passing. If we are well-groomed, appropriately dressed, and friendly, we will enjoy a goodly amount of acceptance. “Appropriately dressed,” of course, differs between an upscale, state-of-the-art gay club and a family restaurant, but perfecting one’s various presentations is part of what makes crossdressing so much fun! I enjoyed your post!

debbi said...

When I'm in LA now I go to the Ox.

CiCi said...

Jamie Ann...
Thanx so much for your post! Mind if i quote you? "Slowly but surely I came to realize that acceptance is more important than passing."
And yes... variety of clubs, events, and outfits is def part of the fun!

CiCi said...

i luv the Ox... haven't been in a while, but i go there pretty often. please say hi if you happen to see me, and i'll do the same!

Anonymous said...

CiCi, I agree with your point of view but for those of us who don't live in LA or SF, passing as a girl can be a matter of "survival". In the heart of the "Bible belt", you risk physical harm and possible arrest if you get "read". Another thing that makes it hard to pass is that most GGs down here seem to prefer to dress like boy slobs getting ready to work on their truck so dressing pretty draws attention.

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