Gestures and behavior
#1 I’ve been publicly feminized at every stage of my adult life, with varying degrees of success at passing for an actual Female. The single most important thing in passing as Female is developing a proper mental attitude, and being able to think like a genuine Woman.
#2 Attempts at developing a Female voice often place too much stress on raising the vocal pitch and too little emphasis on other aspects. To make a male voice sound more feminine, practice speaking with only the upper half of your vocal cords. I said PRACTICE, as in several hours every week for a couple of years. But more importantly, work on Female intonations.
#3 A (convincing) regional or foreign accent will help disguise your male voice patterns and also help remind you to stay in character as a Female. Remember “Tootsie”? Dustin Hoffman had a New York accent but became a good ol’ Southern gal with an accent to match.
#4 It’s sad but true that Women in our society are given less credibility than men. Listen to a typical Woman (not a Domme) speaking, and you’ll notice that She uses rising intonations (as if asking a question) far more often than a man does. Where a man says “I went to the store”, a Woman will often say “I went to the store?” as if seeking approval. It’s unfortunate that our world impels Women to seek male approval, but this is the same world in which you seek to pass as Female … so, observe constantly.
#5 Women don’t use the same words as men or use them differently. Women don’t say “fingernails”, just “nails”. Don’t say “eyelashes”, say “lashes”. One guy in a room full of 99 Women makes the room male terrain, which is why Women in restaurants go to the Ladies’ room together. Women speak to other Women differently than they speak when guys are present. Women are more relaxed when speaking to other Women than when talking to guys. These differences are difficult for guys to study, for obvious reasons. Consult a sympathetic Woman; ask how Her attitude and vocabulary change when no guys are present.
#6 Absolutely don’t spit while en-femme. Do not ever use curse words or even rude words while passing. Real Gals can get away with cussing in public, but if a T-girl talks like a truck driver, well…
#7 Watch how real Women walk on stairs, especially in heels. A Woman in heels typically goes upstairs on the balls of Her feet but downstairs slightly sideways. Watch how a Woman bends to pick up something, especially if She’s in a short skirt. Watch how a skirted Woman will often clench Her skirt with one hand while walking, especially in a breeze.
#8 Practice carrying a purse (and taking things out of it, and putting things into it) as if you do this every day, so you won’t handle it like a stage prop. Keep tissues in your purse for emergencies, with the package already slit open so you won’t be fumbling in a hurry.
#9 Don’t drink booze while passing, but if you want water or soda then use a straw (as Women usually do in public). In luncheonettes, study how real Women handle a straw and how Their facial muscles change while sipping. Guys and Gals suck differently; yes, I’ve studied this. I don’t recommend that you eat anything (except pussy or cock) while made-up in public: this is one more detail real Women can pull off that T-girls can’t. I’ll say more about food later.
#10 Practice developing a Female laugh and a Female sneeze, so that — when you’re passing in public and you suddenly need to do either — you won’t drop out of role. The word is PRACTICE. Also, study real Women to see how they use their hands (and to hear what They say) AFTER they sneeze. Watch how a Lady blows Her nose, and what She does with the tissue afterward, in case you need to blow yours. If you’re present on a rare occasion when a Lady belches or breaks wind in public, observe what She does and says afterward to cover for it. Watch how a long-haired Lady makes subtle head movements to keep Her hair out of Her eyes. You’ll need to know this when you’re passing in a wig.
#11 Study Female gestures and body language. What does a Woman do with Her skirt just before She sits and just after She stands? Genuine Women can get away with the limp-wristed gestures of old-time actress ZaSu Pitts, but T-girls should seek other role models. Imitate the more mannish gals: not outright Butches, but more like Lauren Bacall or Marlene Dietrich. Do NOT copy the mannerisms of drag queens, but do seek tips from experienced transgirls.
#12 When sitting, don’t try to get away with crossing your legs above the knee. Watch real Gals when they cross Their legs BELOW the knee, particularly at the ankle, and copy this.
#13 When you’re standing still in public, don’t keep your feet together: stand with one leg forward, and your foot almost directly in front of the other foot, as if you’re walking on a very narrow balance beam. men never stand this way: genuine Women sometimes do. T-Girls should always stand this way: it makes you look more graceful, and it conceals the fact that your knees bend in the wrong direction.
#14 While passing, don’t speak to the person you’re trying to fool except when S/he’s looking at you until your voice is absolutely passable. If someone hears your guyish voice without the sensory input of your Fem appearance, there’s a “hey, wait a minute”.
#15 I really feel like vomiting when I see some of these shrieking drag queens who go to tremendous lengths to get the hair, nails, make-up exactly right but then ruin the effect by pulling Three Stooges-like facial expressions and body language that no real Woman would ever use.
#16 Avoid elaborate arm gestures; you’re not Mary Tyler Moore. Most people notice that male knees bend outward while Female knees bend inward, but few people are consciously aware that the same gender difference applies to elbows. If you fling your arms out while passing, somebody will notice a subtle discrepancy … if they don’t read you outright.
#17 Plenty of genetic Females are slumping along in brassieres that don’t fit, but a T-girl doesn’t have that option. If you buy your drag clothes at Goodwill, you’ll never pass in public. Your clothes from skin outwards must FIT you — fit the male body you have, not the Female body you want — and not just be large enough for you to get into. It’s difficult to find clothes that fit (not merely cover) a male frame yet present a Female shape. This isn’t easy but it’s possible.
#18 Wear turtlenecks with raglan sleeves to make your shoulders look smaller … and the turtleneck conceals your larynx. In some situations, you can go for the Joan Crawford look in Female clothes with enlarged shoulders if you’ve removed the padding to make room for male shoulders. Donna Karan’s line of clothing leans towards shoulder pads; try Her clothes in larger sizes with the pads removed.
#19 Wear Female clothes in subdued styles, cuts, and colors; let real Women and screaming queens wear the radical stuff. Black is best but absolutely stick with solid colors, earth tones and (if you’re going for the more virginal look) pastels. No patterns, no prints.
#20 Wherever any item of clothing can be unisex, buy a Female-tailored version. I own two black turtlenecks the same size, purchased from the same department store: one in the men’s department, one in the Women’s. The male one for my vanilla life. When I put on the Female turtleneck over my bare chest — same size, same color, same fabric, but tailored for a Female body — I’m amazed at how my shoulders and chest look narrower and more Female WITHOUT foundation garments.
#21 Your bra must FIT the body you’re wearing. Not only will you look more passable, but in public, you can concentrate on your Fem persona instead of thinking “my bra hurts”.
#22 Learn and memorize your Women’s sizes for every Female garment you wear, including shoes. But here’s a problem real Women deal with all the time: unlike male clothes that have standardized sizes, every manufacturer of Female clothing (not shoes) has its own definition of each size. It’s not unusual for a real Woman’s closet to contain a size 10, size 12 and size 14 (from different makers) that are all the same fit. Find a sympathetic real Gal to advise you here, but KNOW your sizes.
#23 PRACTICE walking in heels that FIT, and if you’re a tall guy you might want to avoid wearing heels in public. I’m into wearing stiletto-heeled slut boots so my wardrobe for passing in public is based on what I can get away with, not what I’d like to wear.
#24 Try to be in a corset whether you are en-femme or not. The male waist and Female waist are in different positions. In the region between the hip and shoulder, a Woman’s waist is much higher than a man’s. I absolutely recommend that you shell out the money for a custom-made corset that will fit your male body, making sure the corsetier knows you’ll be wearing this for Femme and you require a waist in the Female position. I own a custom-made man-tailored corset for bondage and private Fem sessions, but for passing in public I have a drag corset: tailored for me but with a higher Female waist. The drag corset is less comfortable and I can’t wear it as long as my session corset, but it makes me more passable.
#25 Hips and buttocks: there are excellent body-padding garments made by Espy Lopez in California specifically for trannies hoping to pass. She makes an item called the Veronica that gives a man Female hips, Female-proportionate to his male shoulders and his actual male hips. I have wide male shoulders, so Espy had to give me VERY wide hips and a big girly butt to look passable. I’d rather look like Posh Spice but I don’t have that option.
#26 If you seriously hope to pass as Female without major surgery, the Female body type you aspire to should be equivalent to the male body type you really are. If you’re a broad-beamed guy, aspire to pass as a BBW rather than a supermodel. Your bra should be a cup-size appropriate to your Female body type, not your Chesty Morgan fantasies.
#27 In public en-Femme, I absolutely stay tucked at all times. Expect to wear diapers (and a waterproof diaper panty) under your skirt. This spares you the problem of needing a public restroom while Female, but it also helps you stay in a Female frame of mind while passing because you won’t need to take Mister Willy in hand. The diapers also help bulk out your hips. If you’re planning to be in public as a Woman long enough to need to pee, then you’ve absolutely got to practice peeing in diapers in public beforehand. There are prosthetic vaginas sold by people who claim that tranny can pee while wearing them, but I’ve tried these and I don’t recommend wearing them while passing. They’re great for private forced-fem sessions but they make a nasty bulge in the front of your panties.
#28 Walk like a non-man: I’ve developed a Feminine walk that’s so accurate, a couple of Ladies have asked me to teach THEM. Do not imitate other trannies. Study genuine vanilla Female gaits (not Marilyn Monroe snake-hip antics), then PRACTICE shifting each hip downward and sideways (to the outer side) as you put your weight on that leg. That’s not how Women walk, but that’s how to make a male body walk femininely. Practice this barefoot or in flats until it feels natural. When you get it right, practice all over again in heels. At home alone, I She-gait to keep in practice.
#29 There’s no gold standard because your make-up — like any real Woman’s make-up — depends on your complexion and your facial shape. I once listened intently while a (Female) professional make-up artist gave a roomful of T-girls detailed descriptions of how each male face shape should best be made over to look Female. I only wrote down the details for my own type, but I recall that make-up tips for one face shape are wrong for another shape. Get a professional beautician’s advice for feminizing the face type you’ve got. Do NOT take make-up tips from tranny friends whose face shapes and complexions don’t match yours unless the tranny is a trained cosmetician who can advise you on your personal look.
#30 Experiment in private with different lipsticks, blushers, eye shadow until you know what works best for you, then stick with it in public. A real Woman can experiment and change Her look, but She can get away with an occasional disaster and go back to a better look the next day. You need to find what works and stick with it.
#31 Buy a very good foundation base and use it generously, then use restraint for the make-up you apply over it. If you have a facial mole, learn how to use make-up to minimize it … instead of that horrible drag-queen cliché of the “beauty mark”.
#32 False eyelashes will spare you the nightmare of mascara wands, but choose REALISTIC false eyelashes to subtly lengthen your short male lashes to Fem-normal standard. Let the drag queens wear the chimney-sweep brushes.
#33 Be VERY careful with perfume or scent; easy does it and apply the spray to your Femme clothes instead of to yourself, so you won’t smell like petunias in your guy job on Monday. Don’t perfume your wig.
#34 The best possible look for a T-girl is a wig with straight bangs (a “fringe” in Britain) cut low across the forehead. There are two reasons for this: bangs are the only Female hairstyle that doesn’t show a hairline — any other Female hairstyle that doesn’t have a hairline screams “WIG!” — but more importantly, the bangs hide the male brow ridge, which is larger than a Woman’s. When those CSI guys dig up a skeleton, guess how they tell if it’s male or Female: pelvis? shoulders? Nope! The brow ridge on the skull! Post-op trannies often pay good money to get their brow ridge sanded down; it’s worth the price. If you’re on a smaller budget, make sure your wig has bangs. Avoid the expensive “lace-front” wigs which are tricky to wear but give you a convincing hairline: these won’t conceal your brow ridge. The eyebrow ridge is the big male bulge that trannies can’t tuck.
#35 Keep a supply of wig caps (in the color nearest your own hair color, not your wig color) and bobby pins (“grips” for Brits). Some chain stores like Ricky’s sell bobby pins in different colors; get the color nearest your wig color. Always wear a wig cap over your entire scalp (even if you look like Kojak) and use bobby pins to secure your wig to the cap. Learn how to fasten the pins as real Gals do, so they’re nearly invisible.
#36 Speaking of eyebrows, here’s something that applies to every part of you: It’s almost impossible for most cross-dressing men to get the fantasy deal where you look completely Female on Saturday night but completely male again Monday morning. Any intensive commitment to feminization will compromise some of your male appearances. Good-looking Women moisturize Their faces every day for years, so you’ll never get that smooth girlish look by slapping on one application of skin softener. Do everything possible to keep your skin soft and your facial and body hair minimal. Your 24/7 male haircut should be short, styled to accommodate a wig and wig cap, unless you go the hippie route and grow your male hair shoulder-length or longer so you won’t need a wig at all.
#37 Guys in forced-feminization stories are always getting their male haircuts styled into “pageboys”. Unless your guycut is long enough to qualify you for membership in the Bee Gees, stick with wigs.
Hands and fingernails
#38 I avoided the whole problem by getting a custom glover to make a pair of Female gloves sized to my male hands, with a long Female fingernail permanently attached inside each fingertip. The index finger of each glove has an extra quarter-inch of prosthetic fingertip because Women’s hands, unlike men’s, have the index finger longer than the ring finger. I have STUDIED this role! For Fem sessions in private, I wear Women’s gloves and to hell with the fingernails.
#39 Make your male hands look smaller by keeping them edge-on to the person you’re trying to fool. I learned this trick (not directly in person) from Julian Eltinge, the great female impersonator of the 1920s. Also, real Women are less likely than men to indicate objects by pointing a finger (or making a head movement) at them … so when you’re passing, it’s not polite to point!
#40 Shave all portions of your body that you can get away with keeping hairless in your male identity — armpits, legs, definitely Mister Willy — even if those body parts won’t show when you’re dressed Fem. This helps you get into a Fem mentality, but also Female clothes will move more smoothly and femininely against your skin if you’re hairless.
#41 Absolutely shower, NOT bathe immediately before dressing to pass. This sets up your Female mental state but it also cleans all the accumulated male sweat out of your pores. Use scented soap that’s marketed for Women. The object here is not to wallow in a girly bubble-bath; it’s a high-pressure shower with HOT water (and scented Female bath products) to open your pores and flush out male essence.
#42 I have thin pale blonde eyebrows that can pass as Female-normal, but if you’ve got Andy Rooney eyebrows there’s a problem. I know a weekends-only T-gal who took the major step of getting his eyebrows plucked and shaped professionally. On weekends he’s very passable. During the week, every moment of his public male life, he wears very convincing custom-made adhesively-applied male eyebrows. When he gets home from work, the first things he takes off are his eyebrows. I go through my vanilla male life with no sideburns at all, which looks weird since every guy has at least a few sideburns. If you’re not willing to make some 24/7 concessions to de-masculinizing your body, you’ll probably never be completely passable as a female.
#43 I’ve learned techniques for enabling Women to pass as men, which help me go in the other direction. I completely depilate my face for a public outing as a gal … then, if I need to be in public as a male the next day, I have a make-up technique for applying passable male beard stubble. Unless you’re an only-on-Halloween tranny, your guy-self should make some full-time concessions to your Gal-self if you hope to be passable for 1/1 out of 24/7.
#44 I’m currently looking into getting a realistic custom-made mustache and sideburns for myself, so I can keep my face depilated and moisturized 24/7 but be in public with convincing facial hair the day after my public Fem appearances.
#45 For at least 48 hours before public Fem, don’t eat any meat at all, NO beer, and eat as if you’re a gal on a diet: cottage cheese, yogurt, salad. This will help feminize your mind, but more importantly, it will help feminize your digestive tract. There’s a reason why Women don’t belch or fart as much as men, and why a She-fart is less apt to clear the room than a guy’s fart. Women eat less meat than men and have fewer gas-producing bacterias in the digestive tract. All my advice about sneezing like a Female applies to belch and farting like a Female: if you prep for passing by eating like a Lady, you’re less likely to break wind in public and more likely not to blow your cover if you do.
#46 Passing as Female in public takes work but it’s worth it. One more tip: don’t leave the seat up!
#47 whether you’re en-femme or not, but the male waist and Female waist are in different positions. In the region between hip and shoulder, a Woman’s waist is much higher than a man’s. I absolutely recommend that you shell out the money for a custom-made corset that will fit your male body, making sure the corsetier knows you’ll be wearing this for Femme and you require a waist in the Female position. I own a custom-made man-tailored corset for bondage and private Fem sessions, but for passing in public I have a drag corset: tailored for me but with a higher Female waist. The drag corset is less comfortable and I can’t wear it as long as my session corset, but it makes me more passable.
#48 There are excellent body-padding garments specifically for trannies hoping to pass. Those give a man Female hips, Female-proportionate to his male shoulders and his actual male hips. I have wide male shoulders, so body padding gives me VERY wide hips and a big girly butt to look passable. I’d rather look like Posh Spice but I don’t have that option.
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