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There’s a Thrill in Going Out Without Being ‘Out’

| Jun 29, 2015
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At one time we had been close friends, probably the closest friend to each other that either of us had in the TG world.  However, circumstances change and we hadn’t seen each other in several years. So when I knew I was going to be in Mary’s city I just had to contact her to see if we could get together. I was truly looking forward to seeing Mary and of course I was hoping against hope that she could provide me with some juicy material for my TGForum column. Very long time readers may remember a two part series called ‘Mary’s Secret Career’ where I told of a friend with an otherwise lucrative 9 to 5, Monday to Friday career, a loving wife and family and a good healthy lifestyle who nevertheless from time to time would take to the streets of Toronto or Montreal or perhaps some other city and, as they say in the trade, ‘turn tricks.’ Mary put herself right out there in harm’s way as a street hooker. Some may object to the use of the harm’s way term that is commonly used now to describe a soldier going in to combat but that was what she was doing in the most dangerous and considered the lowest form of the ‘world’s oldest profession.’

I should note that for all the potential danger from clients at the time of Mary’s involvement there was very little chance of a Canadian street hooker being arrested. The Canadian Courts had struck down our laws against prostitution because they were considered lopsidedly discriminatory against women and therefore against our Charter of Rights which held that all men and women should be considered equal before the law. The politicians had yet to get around to writing new and equal laws.

But I digress. The laws have changed and so has Mary. She no longer works the streets but she tells me she occasionally puts herself out on an Internet dating site.

I was happy that Mary agreed to meet with me. We were going to get together for drinks and then dinner at one of the best hotels in town. I arrived in the small cocktail lounge and there she was, looking radiant, chic and very much blending in, A.K.A. ‘passable.’

“Hi Mary, I’m glad you were able to come out,” I started.

“Out but not outed,” she completed a greeting we had been sharing with each other for about two decades. You see we are two of what seems to be a dying breed in the crossdressing community. When we are out en femme we are Mary and Linda. We know each other as Mary and Linda and so do the friends we meet. Those friends and other acquaintances have no choice but to call us Mary and Linda as they do not know the other side of our personalities, our 9 to 5 male identities and that is the way we each like it. Other than the fact that she is married, has several children, a grandchild and now I know she is a retired community college teacher I know virtually nothing else about Mary’s other life. She knows scant little more about mine.

“You know, I think we are a dying breed,” I repeated out loud to Mary reflecting a thought that had been on my mind all day.

“How so?”

“Have you noticed how many crossdressers are giving accounts of how they are telling about their TG side to family, to friends and even at work? They reveal themselves and they are then happy to report how great the exposure went, that many of their family and friends think of the revelation as a non-event.”

“Yah, how sad is that?’ replied Mary.

“What do you mean? I don’t think it is sad. I feel great for them. Remember the days when exposure would usually lead to divorce, ridicule, and financial ruin? Now it is not only those heading to gender reassignment that are revealing their new identities like Caitlyn Jenner but a lot of us temporary girls are finding it freeing to tell all about themselves. It could be great: no more sneaking out of the house, no more living in fear of being outed and no more worry that your storage locker may be looted.”

“Maybe she should be called ‘Caitlyn Trans-Jenner’,” Mary quipped. I quickly learned that Mary was one of the cynical ones when it came to Bruce/Caitlyn.

I changed the subject. “But you must agree it could be freeing to be able to leave your home one day your neighbor is saying, ‘Have a good day, Joe’ and the next ‘Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, Mary’?”

“Yes, it might be freeing but for me and I suspect for you something greater would be lost.”

“Lost? What would be lost?”

“Come on. Tell me you don’t get a thrill, a bit of excitement, every time you have to go out as Linda and have to go by your neighbors? Tell me that it isn’t a bit exciting to be walking through a hotel lobby as Linda when a little while earlier you had checked in a John Doe?”

“Well, I’ve never checked in as John Doe or John Smith, either, but now that you mention it there is a certain thrill in avoiding exposure.”

“Have you ever had any close calls?” asked Mary.

“Oh yes. Have you?”

We then proceeded to tell each other about some of the close calls we had had when people were close to the chance to match our femme identity with our male one. There was the time in full femme attire I was backing out of my driveway when a neighbor from across the street tried to wave me down. I just waved back and kept on going. He told me the next day about trying to talk to me about a neighborhood issue or dance or something but realizing too late it was someone else driving my car. ‘That was my sister,’ I’d replied.

“Heck, I can top that,” countered Mary, “I rarely went out here in town in daylight hours but we had a day off for professional development. I decided to skip the session, bring Mary out of the closet and head to the mall across town. I was having a great time trying on dresses in different stores when suddenly while exiting one of the boutiques I came nearly face-to-face with one of the assistants in our department and her friend. They gave me a bit of a look but kept going. I was lucky it seems the ladies in our area are more interested in looking at what the other ladies are wearing than at their faces. If she had recognized me I could have faced double-jeopardy: outed as a CD and exposed for skipping a compulsory professional day.”

“Well, I think I can top that. One time I was in Toronto and just walking out of the Royal York Hotel when who should be coming my way but two married people I knew very well and had worked with in the past. As passable as I thought I was there was still the chance they might recognize my walk or my bone structure. If they said hello would they recognize my voice?” I paused.


“They paid no attention to me. You see they were married but not to each other. That day they only had eyes for each other. They walked by holding hands and in to the hotel with no glance my way. You can be sure I kept their secret forever.”

“Thanks to you they got away with it?”

“Not for me to get in Cupid’s way especially when I had a bigger secret to keep than they did. Besides a few months later they had left their respective mates and moved in together. As far as I know they are still together living happily ever after.”

“Did you ever have a close call with your family, your kids?” Mary asked.

“Not really. I saved my dressing at home for when my step-daughters were visiting their dad. But there was one time when I had been out shopping en femme and I got running a little late. I decided to take my outfit and makeup off at a secluded spot I knew before going home, just in case.  That was a good idea. When I walked in the girls were there in the kitchen. I had the clothes in a small gym bag so that wasn’t unusual but the 14 year old was sharp as a tack. ‘What’s with your eyes’, she asked ‘you look like you have eyeliner on.’ ‘Do I?’  I went in to the small bathroom, looked in the mirror and said, ‘so I do. I wonder what that is.’ And that was the end of it. I went upstairs to take a shower as usual and scrubbed my eyelids as well as I could while using my wife’s eye makeup remover. I guess it was too far beyond the girls’ comprehension that their step-dad could be a makeup wearing crossdresser.”

“Either that or they just didn’t care or their mother had told them and said never to mention it to you,” hypothesized Mary.

We went on to talk about a number of other close calls, getting a laugh about some of them, like how we used to care so much about what the hotel staffs thought about our comings and goings. “Heck, they’d seen it all and besides now they get sensitivity training to make sure they are not offending a customer and in the process opening themselves up to a lawsuit,” opinioned Mary.

I don’t know if it was the second or third glass of wine but I got a bit reflective, “Why, if it is not so important to keep our secrets, why do we continue to do it?”

“I have a theory,” shot back Mary.

“Let me have it,” I almost regretted asking because she had a way of making a short story long.

“Do you remember how you felt whenever you had a close call?”

“Pretty scared, I guess.”

“Yes, but how did you feel inside? How did your body feel? Did your heart rate go up?” she hinted.

“Yes, usually it did. I can remember sometimes like the time I encountered that couple in Toronto I saw them, they passed by and then a few seconds later my heart started racing.”

“Was it like when you would be driving and you almost have an accident but it doesn’t happen and then your heart is racing?”

“Yes, exactly!”

“That is caused by a rush of adrenalin. That’s a hormone that is secreted in the body to help you respond to emergencies and other exciting situations. It helps your heart beat faster and your muscles to contract more strongly than normal.

“It is not just emergency or dangerous situations that can bring on an adrenalin rush. You can find yourself elevating your adrenalin secretions just by thinking you may be in a dangerous situation. So being in the closet, as they say, and being out thinking that you may be exposed at any moment can give you an adrenalin rush.  Usually is not a dangerous feeling; it is a different feeling. It is sort of like taking a stimulant drug. You and I: we are junkies, adrenalin junkies. To out ourselves to the world would take away that sense of danger that gives us the rush. What difference would it make to you or to your neighbor if he knew about Linda and he were to encounter you en femme? Probably no difference but you would lose the thrill of anticipating that at any moment you may be exposed and outed.”

Mary concluded, “Don’t get me wrong. I have all the admiration in the world for the girls who are leading the way out of the closet, who are staffing the tables at gay pride events, who are speaking to the press and who are most importantly letting their neighbors know that crossdressers are not monsters. However, selfish as it may be I still enjoy living for that occasional adrenalin rush and I think so do you. So I don’t see either of us about to hold press interviews to declare our inner selves to the world.”

“I guess you may be right. I do get a thrill when I go out in the straight world, thinking that at any moment there may be someone wanting to make an issue of my presence. Even when I approach a store clerk or sit here in the lounge there is an odd anticipation of the danger in thinking that someone may call me sir or ask me to leave or to call me by my male name.  Thanks for giving me the idea for my next TGForum column. Let’s go eat.” As we left the lounge I saw Mary smile toward a couple of men sitting at the bar who had been looking our way. Some girls never change; but that is another story.

I’ll leave it there for now Mary proved to be in a very provocative and radical mood that evening. During dinner she shared with me her controversial view about the crossdresser/transgender debate. Angela willing, I’ll try to share that with you in a few weeks.

What do you think? Will crossdressers being “out” and accepted by society cut down on the pleasure a CD gets from dressing in public? Leave a comment in the comment area below.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul, Transgender Fun & Entertainment, Transgender Opinion

Linda Jensen

About the Author ()

Canadian writer Linda Jensen is a long time contributor to TGForum. Before the days of the Internet Linda started her writing with the Transvestian newspaper. Her writing ranges from factual accounts of her adventures to fiction although frankly sometimes her real life adventures are stranger than the fiction. Linda is married to a loving partner who upon learning about Linda said, "she was part of you before I met you. Although I didn't know it she was part of the package I fell in love with. I don't want to mess up that package." "Does it get any better than that?" asks Linda.

Comments (2)

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  1. sallees56 sallees56 says:

    Great article, It answered the question of why I don’t want to be out. I admit I am an adrenalin junkie When dressed I enjoy passing and fooling people about my gender and I have passed by people that know me without being recognized, What a Thrill I find that to be.
    The article really says it well although I enjoy the rush I have no desire to put my self in dangerous situations like Mary did.

  2. tasidevil tasidevil says:

    Good point, Linda. I have to admit to the adrenalin rush too but it’s not just the possibility of meeting someone I know, but also in just talking to other women and being accepted for who I am. It’s why we hate to take the clothes off again.

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