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Sunday Morning at Church!

September 26, 2019

9/22/2019

I had a Sunday morning to myself and I visited a small, conservative, Evangelical, country church similar to the church I attended for about half of my life.  I drove over an hour to where this church was located.  I wore my new khaki skirt, a red top, and my black and gray striped cardigan with my black wedge heels.  I felt pretty.  However, I was nervous…

khaki_skirt_red_top_gray_and_black_striped_cardigan_black_wedges

Rest Area

I left the house in menswear.  I stopped at a rest area and changed into my pretty clothes.  I walked out of the stall, washed my hands, and walked out of the men’s room without being noticed.  In the foyer at the rest area, there was a cleaning person.  He looked at me.  I said, “Good morning,” and proceeded toward the exit.  He responded.

I passed a couple other men as I walked down the sidewalk.  One avoided eye contact until I said, “Good morning,” to him.  He looked up and responded.  The other man made eye contact and we both nodded, “Hello.”

Church Parking Lot

I found the church.  I got out of my car and walked across the parking lot toward the entrance.  There were a few people in the parking lot.  One was the pastor, who had just arrived.  I held my head up and stayed on course.  I did not know whether I would be welcomed or if I would be asked politely to leave.  The pastor was an elderly man.  He stood there and looked at me for a moment, and then he nodded “Hello,” to me.

Before the Service

I arrived at the church in time for Sunday School, but I found out that they were not having Sunday School that day.  It was a special Sunday and their worship service was starting early.  I sat in the auditorium with only a few other people.  I was one of the earliest people to arrive.  People were starting to arrive frequently, however.  A couple of people greeted me.  One man brought me a visitor’s gift.  I am not sure how many of those people saw my outfit.  The people on stage when I walked in may have seen my skirt if they even looked at me.

The choir loft filled up and the choir began practicing.  People started filling the pews.  I saw some people’s eyes when they realized was dressed differently.  The pastor came into the room and started visiting with people in the room.  He approached me and shook my hand and welcomed me.  It was a short conversation.  I think he wanted to be kind, but was unsure of what to do.

Some people sat in front of me.  Some sat behind me.  I spoke to both groups and they were both friendly.  A family sat across the aisle from me.  I saw her notice my shoes.

I will estimate that eight people greeted me by shaking my hand and speaking to me.

During the Church Service

Around the time the service began, the room had about 100 people in it.  A couple came in and sat on the pew with me.  The woman sat closer to me than her husband.  She saw all of me there, yet she greeted me just the same.  Then, as the service began, she asked me, “Do you have a program?”  I had one because the woman in front of me had given one to me.

I started to relax.  This was going to be a pleasant experience.

The music began.  They sang songs that I grew up singing, as well as songs that are new.

Fellowship Time

In the middle of the service, they had a “fellowship time” where everyone could greet the other people in the room.  Much like my home church, they greeted for a long time, possibly ten minutes.  Several people spoke to me and shook my hand, including the woman from the family across the aisle.  Several people came onto the aisle I was on to greet an older woman in the row in front of my row.  Many of those people did not greet me.  I think their lack of greeting was not intentional.  They were visiting the woman who had been out for a while.  (It was her daughter who gave me the program (“bulletin”).)

One of the people who greeted me was a smiley woman from the choir.  She said, “I saw you smile at me earlier, but I did not get a chance to meet you until now.”

During the fellowship time, the pastor also visited me and greeted me a second time.  He was more verbal this time, but he did not talk to me a lot.  I really think he was trying to be nice, but was unsure how to behave when talking to a crossdressed man.

UPDATE: Here is a video of me during the fellowship time.

Sermon

The service continued.  I found out that they were going to have a meal after the service.  The pastor preached a good message.  I believe he is a good man.

After the final prayer, he said to the congregation, “Don’t leave without eating with us.”  The woman in front of me invited me to eat with them as well.  Then the smiley lady from the choir came up to me and invited me to stay and eat.

So, I ate with them.

In Line for the Church Social (Meal)

I got into the slow moving flow of people as we traveled out the door toward the fellowship hall.  I stuck with the woman who gave me the bulletin.  We talked along the way.  She introduced me to several people.  A line formed in a hallway that led to the food.  The line wrapped around and went back down the same hallway.  I was in the second half of that line briefly and was greeted by several people in the front half of the line.  When the line wrapped for me, I was greeted by some of the back half of the line.  I was definitely not able to hide!

I was introduced to the pastor’s wife while meeting the second half of the line.  She was friendly and polite.  The pastor was with her and he gave a brief greeting.  It was normal.

A woman joined the lady who gave me the bulletin.  She was her sister.  I will call this sister Sheila.  Sheila started talking to me occasionally.  She was very friendly (and was wearing a pretty dress).  While we were going through the food line, the man across the serving table spoke with us.  He was her husband.  I said to Sheila before potentially parting ways, “Thank you for being so friendly to me.  I was not sure if I would be accepted here today or if I would be asked to leave.”  I cannot recall what she said, but it was not significant.

As we walked out of the room with our food in hand, Sheila said, “Would you like to sit with my family?”  Now, THAT was significant.  I felt so welcome at that moment.

Crowded Room

We had to walk through the crowded dining room to get to the drink table.  I got some water.  I had to stand in that room and wait for Sheila to lead the way to where she wanted to eat.  She was talking to someone at the drink station.  While I waited, I looked around the room.  Almost no one was paying any attention to me.  I saw the woman who had sat on the same row as me during the church service.  She was taking notice of me.  I think she would have asked me to join her family if I had not been sticking with Sheila.

Smaller, Cozy Room to Eat

The main room was too full, so Sheila took me to another room where some of her family already was.  Her sister, husband, adult daughter, and teenage son were sitting at the table in the room.  There was another woman who was attached to their family.  She was there with her daughter.  It turns out that the row of people who were sitting in front of me during the church service was Sheila’s family.  Later, the pastor and his wife came in and joined us at the conference table.

We all sat together and talked just like we were old friends.  It was very nice!  Sheila’s husband did not seem at all uncomfortable sitting by and talking to a man in a skirt.  Her family all liked each other and talked to each other about their recent experiences.  They did not focus on me any more or less than they would have if I was an old friend.  Likewise, I felt just as comfortable and familiar with them.

When the pastor entered the room, he and his wife sat at the far end of the table where there were open seats.  They were too far away to converse with.  When I got up to leave, I walked past them and said good-bye and they responded.

Sheila was heading toward the dessert line.  We said our good-byes.  I went back into the crowded room.  The trash can was near the drink station.  I had to go through the room to get to it.  I discarded my plate.  I was even more comfortable this trip through the room.  A woman standing near the trash can talked to me briefly.  On my way out of the room, and elderly woman at one table was looking at me intently.  When I passed by her table, she stopped me and asked me if I was the pastor’s son.  I told her no and the woman beside her also cleared it up.  When that conversation ended, I wished them farewell and thanked them for including me in their meal.  They politely responded.

Picture

I realized on my way out that I never got a picture while I was at the church.  I turned back to see if Sheila could take a picture with me.  She was in the dessert line, so I did not bother her.  I went outside.  A couple of people were talking in the parking lot.  I asked one of them if she would take my picture.  She happily agreed.  I thanked her and told her that I was not sure how I would be accepted, but that I felt very welcome.  She said, “Yes, we welcome everyone here.”  That was the only statement the whole day that in any way acknowledged that I was different.

Summary

I visited a conservative, Evangelical church and had a good time.  The music was good.  The sermon was good.  They had a meal afterward and the food and company was good.  I also happened to be dressed in women’s clothes.

Conclusion

For some time, I have wondered what it would be like to go to a church like the one I grew up in while crossdressed.  I figured I would go to one and then never return to it.  This church was so friendly and so familiar, I kind of want to go back a few times.  Maybe dressed in pants one time, just so show that I am not one-dimensional.

I believe that I can safely say that no man who likes to wear women’s clothes should ever ask, “Why can’t men wear …” because I see no evidence that we cannot wear any reasonable outfit anywhere we choose (except for when we are around our spouses).

Epilogue

On my drive home from church, I stopped for gasoline.  I paid at the pump and had no interactions with people.

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I stopped at a grocery store and got some milk and a candy bar.  Everyone was so busy, I think very few people even noticed me in the busy store.  The cashier may not have noticed my outfit due to the counter.  The customer in front of me in line was friendly and even talkative.

I went to a clothing store and shopped for tops.  There was a customer of whom I asked a style question.  She ended up talking to me a good bit.  She was fun.  The employee was very helpful.  I asked her if she gets a lot of guys in her store and she said that she does.  “Yes, several.  Most of them come in later in the evening, though.”  She said.

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From → True Stories

5 Comments
  1. Pat permalink

    It really seems like this was a perfect day. Great weather, great people in all regards.

    I do agree with you that it is getting easier, and more acceptable for people like us to be out and about and mixing with the civilian populations…as long as we do not have our wives with us. You did not mention if you were wearing pantyhose in your post but it seems to be the case in the photos. You never seem to mention if you have a purse with you on your ventures. You obviously have money and your cell phone and likely your license and other IDs with you.

    This post reminded me of several years ago. I had repeated business dealings in a city that was about a 5 hour drive away. I would often leave my house dressed in hose, heels and a casual denim skirt and top. I would have a wig and wear light makeup. When I needed gas or to stop at a rest area for relief I would change to flats and go to the men’s room without a wig.

    At this out of town city I would dress and go out almost every night that I was there. One night I noted in the local ad/paper that there was a Mass at a Catholic Church. I wore my wig and light makeup, a white and brown print dress, nude hose and beige flats. I was welcomed by all that I encountered and while there was no after service event that I stayed for I did feel at home in a Catholic Church and my memories of that Mass have stayed with me.

    After church I went to a coffee house and stayed for a while and then went to a bar for a drink. It is just so nice to be out while dressed pretty.

    Take care.
    Pat

    • I do not use a purse. I have a little money pouch that can hold my ID, a credit card, and some cash/coins. I put a stretchy spiral key chain on it so that I can wear it on my wrist. I have my car key on it as well. You can see a little of it in some of my pictures. I try to hide it.

      I met a woman once who was selling purses that were basically fabric rectangles. They were about the size of a standard preteen fiction novel. The straps were long so that it rested on one’s hip. I have considered getting one of those because it is not very feminine. However, I have not done it yet, because there is a mental hurdle for me keeping me from crossing that line.

      Yes, I was wearing pantyhose. I never go on outings without them. For some reason, I never consider not wearing them. I have just decided not to mention them as much as I used to mention them.

      I am from a tradition that, in general, considers alcohol a “no-no”. So it is funny to hear you say, “After church I went … to a bar…” 🙂 I must add that we would also not say, “I crossdressed to church.”

      This outing was a rather major event for me. I confronted the question of whether I would be welcomed in the foundational part of my life if my crossdressing was not a secret. The answer is, “Yes. It is like everywhere else.”

  2. Pat permalink

    Our styles are similar but different. When I get a chance to go out I do wear a wig and some makeup and since I need to carry some makeup with me in addition to ID, credit card and cash and my cell phone I find having a purse a necessity.
    Like you I can not fathom going out without wearing pantyhose. Pantyhose, to me are quite definitional.
    I also agree that all of us are welcome at church. Our Judeo/Christian culture preaches love and tolerance. Even the most rigid will be accepting and tolerant, even if their best approach is “Hate the sin…love the sinner”.
    On my outings I have yet to encounter anything but acceptance. The strongest deterrent is between my ears. Every outing, however, makes the next one easier.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Very Social Outing | joeypress
  2. Fellowship Time at Church | joeypress

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