QUESTION: I am currently 26 years old living in India. I have been a crossdresser all my life. But I only wore female clothing at home alone. Recently I moved to a new town and I am currently living on my own. I have always wanted to crossdress in public though but have been too scared to try it. But recently I have begun wearing a saree at night and walking the deserted streets near my house. I have been very careful to make my appearance as feminine as possible and the few people who I have come across during my nighttime excursions haven't bothered to see me twice. The feeling of walking in a saree in public is exhilarating. Feeling my legs touch each other underneath the skirt of my saree leaves me in a permanent state of arousal. Maybe that might reduce with time.
In the past few weeks though, I have begun wanting to do more. This is partly motivated by my wish to work as a housekeeper at a nearby house. The owner there is an old military guy and I believe I might get away if I disguise myself better. At present I have feminine buttocks and waist to hip ratio as a result of wearing a corset for many years. I also have breast forms that make decent fake breasts. The part that I am worried about is my face. I have long hair and I have undergone electrolysis treatment a few years ago to remove any need to shave, but I still have a male facial bone structure and a voice that is still difficult to accept as female. Do you have any solutions for this? Also can you explain some of the tricks you use to enhance your feminine appearance in public?
I'm sorry I haven't gotten back to you sooner. Due to the nature of this topic my email filter will sometimes move these messages to my junk folder. I didn't realize it was here until I got a reminder from the site this morning.... So again, I'm sorry for being tardy.
I've been cross-dressing in public for about 15 years and I have to say I don't worry so much about "passing" as just having fun while out dressed in fem. As I'm in the United States the culture here very is different compared to India so my experiences are going to be very different from yours. Cross-dressing is not "accepted" as much as you might think here but it is tolerated to a certain extent. From what I understand about India views on cross-dressing can go from one extreme to the other. There is a deity in the Hindu religion that is both male and female. I know there are those that follow those teachings and are usually quite respectful of the transgender community. A good friend of mine was traveling to one of our meetings a few years back and stopped at a local coffee shop. She was dressed in fem at the time. The owners of this particular business were from India and were followers of the Deity I mentioned. They gave her with anything she asked for and said they were honored that she came in to bless their business that day. When she attempted to pay they refused to accept it. That being said, it's also my understanding there are those that see cross-dressing as a perversion and would consider it an honor to kill a transgender person. This is an unfortunate reality in any part of the world.
From what you have told me about the electrolysis and corset training you might be leaning toward a lifestyle change where you live full time as a woman. If you were in the United States, I would encourage you to seek out a psychologist who could work with you to determine where you fit in the transgender spectrum, and prescribe hormones if you needed to go that route. However I don't know what resources you have in India or if this type of healthcare is available. Hormones would over time make your appearance more feminine as your body fat will redistribute to a more feminine shape, meaning hips and breast. Also as women tend to carry fat over their entire bodies where men are more on the waist. This also means on the face. If you look at photos of trans-women before they transition and after their faces seem softer and less rigid even if they have had no facial feminine surgery. This is due to the effects of the hormones softening the skin and building a small layer of fat under the skin of the face which softens the features a bit. For some its enough to prevent having to have facial surgery. For others not so much.
So if you are considering living full time than hormones would be a way for you to appear more feminine however if you want to be able to switch between being a man and a woman your going to have to do tricks with makeup. The most obvious difference between a male and a woman's face is the jaw line specifically where the jaw meets the neck. There is nothing you can do with make up that can make this go away, however you can cover your jaw line with a long wig or as your hair is long, a style that covers the sides of your face. So instead of pulling your hair back, let it hang loose. The use of make up can change your appearance drastically. If your not comfortable with make up techniques for contouring that would be something to look into. There are a number of books on the topic of make up and one of my favorite is a book by Kevyn Acoin called Making Faces. He was a Hollywood make up artist who passed away a few years ago. The techniques he introduced in his books are great for those of us who only live part time and need to hide certain features and accent others. Most of the techniques he demonstrates are on women's faces but he does a few male to female transitions as well as a female to male.
The most important thing you can have when you are out in fem is to be confident. If you are confident in who and what you are you will find it easy to pass. However if you are a bit insecure and shy that will be a give away and people will read you easier. Don't expect to pass all the time. Accept the fact that sooner or later you will get read. What's important is how you deal with it. When I go out, I assume I'm going to get read so I'm prepared if someone makes a comment or ask a me question. Those that do are really just interested in what is going on. I've made some great friends this way. Most of the time when you are out, people won't pay you any attention anyways, unless you do something to call attention to yourself. If you are out in fem and dressed the way most other women are dressed anyone that sees you will think your just another woman, unless they look real close or you do something to point out that your not a genetic woman.
What I would do if I was you would be to search out others like you in your area and find a place where you can meet. I'm involved with an organization here in the U.S. called Tri-Ess. It's for cross-dressers and their wives to come together in respect for and support each other. I don't know if there is anything like that in India, but it would be something to look into. There are safety in numbers and if you plan to go out, being with friends is the best thing you can do.
As far as getting the job working for that gentleman's home, you might want him to know you are not a genetic female if you plan to work for him. As I said, some day some one is going to read you. If he figures it out, how do you think he would react?
Before you start going out and mixing with the general public I would recommend you find other cross-dressers in your area you can meet with, exchange ideas and just enjoy being crossdressers. Read up on make up techniques and experiment with what may and may not work for you. If you really feel it's necessary find a counselor or psychologist that can work with you to help determine the path you need to take.
I hope this helps and if I can do anything else please let me know.
My direct email is email@example.com
And again I'm sorry about the delay.
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QUESTION: I went out for the first time as a woman today. I was out for a stroll just around my house and then gathering courage from nowhere I decided to hail a rickshaw and go to a nearby mall. I was terrified of exposure but nobody seemed to be suspicious about my true gender. I blended easily among the stream of saree clad ladies at the mall and was frequently referred to as 'madam' by the salespeople. I had only worn minimal makeup, just some eyeliner and lipstick but avoided any situation where I had to look at someone or converse. Nobody paid me a second glance and soon I began to enjoy simply moving around in my saree. It was only with some reluctance that I had to to put an end to my first public appearance as a woman.
I am seriously thinking about hormonal treatment. I have no wish now to live as a man. There is one more thing I would like to ask you though. Do you have any idea on how to flatten the front of a dress or in my case a saree? The bulge of my genitals is difficult o hide and I wonder if there is any technique to do it. I have seen many cross dressers wearing a skirt or a dress with perfectly flat and smooth front sides. Also in your previous reply you haven't mentioned any techniques to make a man's voice sound more feminine. I think that is the biggest problem I have at present. My voice still feels like it's coming from a man.
Your asking a bunch of questions and none of them have just one easy answer. So I'm going to highly recommend that you seek out others like yourself in your area. I'm sure there are going to be others like you in your area. You may need to use the internet to reach out to them and contact them directly. They can help you with your immediate needs and point you in the right direction. As I'm half a world away from you all I can do is give you some general advice.
As far as smoothing the front of your saree, there is a garment called a gaff. It was originally designed for male dancers who would often have to wear tights or other garments that would show an obvious bulge. It works great for cross-dressers and other transgender people who need to hide that area. It works by tucking the testicles back into the body cavity and pulling the penis between the legs, however it's not recommend you wear one for to long as keeping your testicles tucked can lead to testicular cancer. Here is a web site that sells them and I've bought a few items from them over the years.
As far as the voice goes this is something that just takes practice. There are a large number of videos on youtube for changing the voice from male to female. A common mistake when "men" try to speak with a female voice is they try to change the octave and create a squeaky tone that just sounds like a cartoon character. The differences between the pitch of a male and a female voice is actually quite small, usually less than half an octave. There are some women who are known for having a very low voice. Cher is one example. However if you listen to Cher's voice, you know immediately she is a woman even though her voice is rather low. Thats because the real difference between a man and a woman's voice is the resonance. A man speaks with much more resonance as a man will speak from his chest. While a woman will speak from her throat or directly from the mouth. So when you try to speak as a woman practice not raising your pitch so much but rather change the focal point from which the sound originiates. Think of it as starting directly behind your teeth instead of inside your chest.
Another difference between a males and females voice is the inflection. A man will speak with a small range of pitches but a large range of volume. When a man wants to make a point or to be aggressive, he will talk louder, but a woman will talk higher, thus using a larger range of pitches. This is why a woman's voice has a bit of a "sing-song" quality about it. If you ever listen to a gay man speak with what is known as the "gay-lilt", what that actually is, is a woman's inflection added to a male voice. But it's not a woman's voice. A gay man still speaks with the resonance of a males voice. If you want your voice to sound feminine, you are going to have to eliminate the resonance and practice. What you can do is use a device that will allow you to record your voice as you practice and then listen back. Find the little things that work and work more and more on those. As I said, there are videos on youtube you can watch from other transgender women that have mastered their voice. Some might still have a voice in the alto range but they would never be mistaken for men if you just ran into them.
If you really feel you need to live as a woman, I would highly encourage you to seek out a psychologist in your area and let him / her know what you want to do. They will ask you some very personal questions, but they will be necessary to get you on the right track. They will also be the ones to put you in touch with other doctors who can get you the hormones you need and monitor your progress.
Good luck and let me know how thing work out.