Summer’s here and the time is right for crossdressing in the streets!

| Jun 30, 2008
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TGF Managing Editor Angela GardnerEach summer many crossdressers are faced with a dilemma. We love to dress and act like women — sexy women. That means we really love to shave our legs (and whatever other body parts we possess that may exhibit manly, hirsute tendencies) in order to be more like our female role models. If you look around at the women out and about in the city during the summer you will note that the majority of them are showing a lot of skin. Lithe, tan arms, shoulders and legs are the major fashion accessory for the happenin’ hottie. What’s a poor crossdresser to do when the summer arrives and she is expected to be

“he” at family gatherings and other events where the mode of dress for males is shorts, T-shirts and tank tops? He can’t shave his legs, arms and back to be like the ladies he emulates or someone at the family barbecue is going to say something like, “Hey Jeff, are you shavin’ your legs?”

To avoid sticky questions like that many crossdressers, those who are not out and open about theirElbow length sleeves hobby, will shut down their femme sides for the summer. Starting in June, at the latest, they stop crossdressing and let their body hair sprout in its manly fullness. Then they suffer through the macho summer filled with desperate longing for the month of September and a return to smooth, shaved skin.

It’s ironic that it’s easy to get away with being fully shaved or waxed in the winter when your male clothing can hide the lack of body hair but in the summer time when all the girls are showing their soft, smooth skin some crossdressers can’t because there’s nothing sexy about a little floral print dress on someone with hairy arms and legs. If they get rid of the hair they will look good as girls but as men they might as well wear a sign saying, “Hey! I’m a body hair shavin’ freak.” Therefore, many crossdressers do the summer hibernation thing and miss the fun of wearing spaghetti strap tops, flirty, flouncy skirts and strappy sandals on warm summer nights. What can a part time girl do?

The first suggestion that comes to mind is to out yourself to everyone who matters.

Sure, that may seem like deciding to poke hot spikes into your eyes but in the long run what’s better, hiding your true self from your family and friends for the rest of your life, only dressing up in the clothing you love in the winter months and growing paranoid that someone will find out your deep, dark secret — or just going ahead and telling them? If you tell them there are people who will stop being your friend. Chances are they weren’t such good pals anyway. Your real friends will stick with you. Your relatives may stop talking to you. (In some families this could be a plus.) Chances are that someday they will talk to you again. They may never want to discuss your crossdressing but at least you may get them back in your life at some point in the future.

My mother was the kind of woman who would stop talking to you if you did something she didn’t like. One time she didn’t call me for six months after I did something she considered major. Then one day the phone rang and it was her, acting as if we hadn’t had a six month gap in our relationship. If I had told her about my crossdressing when I was in my twenties I’m sure the gap would have been much, much longer but even if it took six years she would have eventually contacted me again.

The coming-out-to-everyone option is something all young crossdressers should consider. It might be tough for a decade or two but when you’re in your 20s you can afford it. I have known crossdressers in their 70s who were still hibernating in the summer and hiding it from people they have known for years.

Somehow that just seems wrong.

Okay, so you can’t bring yourself to just state the facts to friends and family. (Or they will really, really destroy your life if you come out.) What can you do to enjoy your femininity year ’round if you don’t tell the world that you’re a dress lovin’ man? I was lucky in one respect; I never liked to wear shorts as a man. It may have had something to do with my crossdressing proclivities; To me showing legs was feminine and while I enjoyed being feminine I was a kid in the closet and I refused to wear shorts so that no one would notice how much I enjoyed it. Who knows? I’ll have to work on that with a therapist someday. But, since people rarely ever saw my legs as a male it was easy to finally decide to shave them and keep them that way.

A hard to wear sundress.Before I finally shaved my gams I had started crossdressing publicly using a trick I heard about from drag queens. You wear three pairs of pantyhose or tights to cover every single hair on your legs. This is fine in the winter when you need the layers for warmth but in the summer it became a major pain in the heat and humidity. (It’s good though for leaving an air conditioned home, getting in an air conditioned car and going to an air conditioned club.) After thinking about it I realized that I never ran around in shorts in the summer anyway so I started shaving my legs and got to wear shorts as a girl.

Arm hair and hand hair can be more of a problem. Most guy have hairy knuckles. Not many girls have hairy knuckles. Of course, if you show up at work one day and your hands and arms are hairless people, especially female coworkers, will notice that something has happened. If you trim it back slowly though, over a few weeks or months time, it’s possible to show more arm as a dude and not have the lack of hair noticed. A tan is very helpful for this process since it tends to cover any “arm hair shadow” and make the missing hair less noticeable than if you have pale white skin. (Dark skinned crossdressers have an advantage here.)

The good news for younger crossdressers is that more and more men are getting themselves waxed. Women are starting to tell their boyfriends that hairy backs are gross and the boyfriends are responding by getting the hair ripped out. This has caused an increase in salons that do waxing for men. The irony here is that it really hurts to have your back waxed and you have to be able to take it like a man — in order to be a woman.

Whatever you decide to do about your hairiness try to do something that will let you join the legions of lovely ladies who enjoy the summertime. Remember, girls often wear jeans so even if you can’t shave your legs you may be able to utilize the slowly-trim-off-arm-hair trick and then you can assemble femme outfits built around jeans and short sleeved tops. (Even elbow length sleeves will work.) Make sure the top is thick enough to not show back hair through it the fabric and shave your feet and ankles up to the top of your male socks. That way you’ll have a femme looking foot below the hem of your jeans.

So, be inventive and see what you can do to get out for summer fun. Take a look at what women are wearing. If you can’t shave to wear the outfit see if you can pick outfits that will take a minimal amount of hair removal but are still summer time outfits. (Leggings are in style and can be worn all year long.)

One final, important tip — never, ever go out in the summer heat in a turtle neck with long sleeves. This is equivalent to hanging a sign on yourself that says, “I’m a dude.” A girl might wear a sleeveless mock turtle neck but never one with long sleeves. If she has to go into an office that’s air conditioned to meat locker temperatures she’ll bring a long sleeved sweater to wear indoors. Outdoors — show that skin.

And remember, youre a crossdresser all year — why not enjoy it all year?

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Category: Transgender Fun & Entertainment, Transgender How To


About the Author ()

Angela Gardner is a founding member of The Renaissance Transgender Association, Inc., the former editor of that organization's newsletter and magazine, Transgender Community News. She wrote the Diva of Dish column for TGF in the late 1990s and was the Editor of LadyLike magazine until its untimely demise. She is currently the Editor of TGF. She has appeared in film and television shows portraying TG characters, as well as representing Renaissance on numerous talk shows. In her idle hours she keeps busy producing her monthly TG parties, Angela's Laptop Lounge.

Comments (8)

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  1. says:

    I,ve shaved entirely for a year and no comments at all no one seems to care also am beginning electrology on face and find it slow but rewarding. I would say just do it . Morgan

  2. angela_g angela_g says:

    The reason I suggested the slow trim down on the arm hair was that I had very hairy arms and I wore short sleeves or tank tops during the summer. If it all went away at once I think people would have noticed and at the time I didn’t have the courage to just admit that I shaved. Taking the hand and arm hair off slowly let me ease them into seeing less hair and thereby avoid any questions I wasn’t ready to answer.

  3. says:

    I shave my whole body, 99.99 % of the time no one notces it. There are alot of men witn no hair on there legs , chest and back . They may have a little blond hair on there arms that you can not notice.My frend is like that his hair on his head is brown.If someone askes me if I shave my body I say yes it make me sweat less and it makes my musles look bigger. Or i just say yes some times , they don’t say anythlng back. Alot of woman like men with no hair on there on there chest, like the male modles and the weight lifters and wreslers, swimmers , runners and bike riders all shave there body.Just do it iy’s no big deal to people most don’t notice.


  4. says:

    Thanks for the heads up about the long sleeved turtleneck. I hadn’t considered that and arm hair is one thing I’ve considered with my dressing in the summer heat.

    I do have one comment about the waxing. I have had it done and it is not as horribly painful as everybody claims. Yes, I have a hairy chest and all of it was ripped out. I’m lucky that my back is almost hairless.

    Great article with lots of useful information. Maybe some day I’ll have the courage to just say the hell with it and shave 24/7 regardless of what people think.

    Linda W.

  5. says:

    I keep my eyebrows trimmed all the time, I told everyone the my barber told me it would make me look younger, people agreed. Also I keep my armpits (why can’t they find a better name) shaved and if anyone asks I tell them my doctor said it would help reduce odor, again they accept. Just some little hints. I’m still working on the legs, it’s a hard sell.

  6. ronnierho ronnierho says:

    I can’t tell you how many times someone’s noticed the thin hair on my legs in my summer, even after I let it grow out a bit!

    And you’re right on with the arm hair thing: take it down a bit at a time. No-one will notice small changes. 🙂

  7. lucinda lucinda says:

    I do not own any summer outfits, but maintain smooth hairless legs year round.

    I could be considered one of the lucky ones, in that I was blessed with little arm, leg and body hair, which is also light in color. I had a mustache for many years, but shaving was irritating my neck so I decided to try Electrology, which led to having my beard, mustache and sideburns permanently removed along with my eyebrows styled. I was somewhat concerned what people might think, but no one seemed to notice or if they did they did not make any type of comment. We seem to worry more about what people might think than we do about what makes us happy and whole. Most people are so busy with their own life that the pay little attention to what you may be doing.

    Now all I need to do is gain enough confidence in myself, come out of my closet and get out into the world.

  8. says:

    I like suggestion one, obviously. And yes, I can hear the protestations already. I’m not sayingd you should throw your life down the toilet. I am saying, though, that we build this stuff up in our heads and in the end it’s really just much ado about nothing. If handled with care, most people can learn to deal with having a relative who is a crossdresser.

    (Wives being the possible exception…but you have to tell your wife anyway, because not telling her, regardless of what her reaction might be, is sexist and degrading…but I digress.)

    Interestingly, I didn’t begin shaving my arms and legs in the summertime until I had made the decision to transition. At that point, I was like: “Well, they’re going to figure it out eventually.” Even so, it took months before anyone bothered to ask, an when they did, it was because they assumed I had taken up swimming or something. And this was after I had pierced my ears as well (which no one *ever* bothered to ask about). Peoples’ minds do not automatically make the connections we assume they do.

    I’m pretty sure you could shave your arms and legs and back and if someone did ask, you could just shrug and say “It’s just something I decided to do”, and leave it that. I’m in favor our being out, but on the other hand, you’re not obligated to tell everyone every intimate detail of your life. And it’s really not such a weird thing to do.

    Angela mentions jeans, and here’s a little bit of irony: Now that I am in the midst of transition (and have had most of the hair lasered off my whole body), I could wear skirts or short-shorts or capris or any other skin revealing thing I want to, when ever I want to. And yet I wear jeans almost all the time. I’m a big girl, both tall and broad, and my top (like most natals) is wider than my bottom. I need the long lines and flared cuffs of a good jean to balance me and make not appear quite so top heavy. It’s comfortable and it’s how I look my best, and that’s what everyday wear is all about.

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