Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Going Out: The Safest Place I Know

I sent this to a couple of local t-groups.  I know most of you are from points far away (in addition to English-speaking countries, friends from Netherlands and Germany, among others), but there are probably comparable groups where you are (although without our own Kim).


I know some of the girls here like to get out and about, but only to safe places ~ t-meetings, t-friendly clubs, another girl's house.

A few years ago, on meetup, I expressed interest in as many "trans" keywords as I could think of, plus a few other topics.  One was "clothing swaps."

Then I forgot about it.

I think it was in early 2009 when I got an e-mail from Kim, telling me that she's starting a clothing swap and she was looking for ladies who were interested in getting together to pass on their old treasures for new-to-you ones.

I thought about it.  I was barely going out at that point.  I was looking for someplace that might be safe ~ and for me, especially back then ~ "safe" meant avoiding teens and especially men.

I thought some more.  I was pretty careful to stay in the closet ~ maybe poking a toe or a leg out but that was it.  I was careful about where I went, how I purchased clothing when in drab, and was terrified of being spotted by the neighbors on those rare occasions when I went out.

I thought some more.  I read the invite and the group home page.  Kim had some pretty inclusive language ~ everyone was welcome, and she kind of implied even girls like me were, although I thought I was reading more into what she wrote than she intended.  My inner optimist was peeking out.

I thought some more.  Then I wrote to Kim and laid my cards on the table.  I wrote something like "I'm not sure I'm the kind of woman you're expecting.  I'm a crossdresser."

Her response was "so?"  I paraphrase.

She explained that I was not reading too much into what she wrote: she meant everyone, including t-girls, when she said "inclusive."

We had a little back-and-forth, she assured me that I would be welcome and accepted (as if she could know that!) no matter how I dressed.  I wasn't sure if I would go in drab or dressed at that time.

It turned out it was on a day I was home alone and I went dressed to her first swap.  I was scared to death, but I walked into that room full of women and I was greeted by Kim and she had someone doing makeup and other little attractions and I was treated just like every other woman there.

Since then, I've been to several swaps ~ ten or more, I'd guess.  I was in drab once, dressed every other time.  I saw a few of my trans-sisters there, I chatted with many women and it was wonderful.

It's a total immersion experience, like being tossed into the deep end of a pool filled with estrogen.  I've NEVER spoken to a woman and had her reject me, or walk away, or even ignore me.  I've had women come up to me to chat.  I've complimented women on their clothes, envied their new treasures, and had the same returned.  I felt accepted and, dare I say it, normal.

Kim does several swaps a year.  Her next swap is just a couple of weeks away and it's a plus size swap ~ size 14+.  There is still room, if anyone wants to go.  The next swap is in April and it filled up literally within hours of being announced.  Then she found a larger location and opened it to more women.

Kim's co-host, Dianna, always shows up and (wo)mans the potluck table with her wife.  Dianna is one of us.

Whether you're going out-out for the first time, or just looking for a new experience, consider going.  You'll be accepted and have a good time.  I promise.

You can find some of my swap stories on my blog here, here, and here.

ps, I found out (not from Kim) that once someone wrote expressing concern about having guys in drag there.  She dumped her from the group.


  1. I met Meg and Kim at a private event at a GG's home. It was one of the first swaps, and half of those in attendance were TG. They made us all feel welcome. I have not attended one since, but I finally decided to attend the April swap. There are women everywhere like Kim. We are fortunate that times are changing.

  2. i think you might enjoy this blog about:
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  3. If you don't mind, I'll be linking to this, and sharing it with my local TG group. Well done, Meg, as always.

  4. What a great suggestion. Now, I guess I'll have to build up a big enough wardrobe to justify getting rid of some of them at a swap meet. :)


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