When I first gave in to my urge to express my feminine side, like most transgender women, I wanted to be a really beautiful woman. But I knew that this was unrealistic, so I started with the small goal of not looking like Milton Berle in Drag. My standards were set low with little expectation of being seen as anything but a guy in a dress. I went to dark clubs inhabited by other transgender people.
If I had occasion to be seen in the light of day, it would always cause a bit of a ripple in the social order. No one tried to stone or torch me, but I always got quite a few disapproving looks.
A great deal of my problem was just poor choices in my apparel and heavy handed makeup. My wife has, from the start, suggested I rethink these choices and I finally started to listen to her. This along with some months of HRT have made some improvements in my appearance.
When I look at myself, I see few differences, and my guy mode garners no discernible changes. But with my hair fixed, a light touch of makeup and simple everyday casual feminine clothes, I have become un-recognizable from how I used to look.
I had a followup visit to my GP after my last physical. Only the Doctor knew I was transgender, and I had always gone to appointments in guy mode. The followup was done as Jess, and the receptionist, who has known me for years, did not recognize me until she noticed my daughter who was accompanying me.
Today shopping for critical cat food and wine, I went as Jess. I shopped PetSmart, Trader Joes and finally Starbucks without a single glance. The checkout clerks looked me in the eye without a hint of knowing that I was trans.
I've arrived at the enviable position of that woman you don't notice. Go me!