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I Was Called Beautiful

July 9, 2021


I have not been able to do much crossdressing for months. It has been too inconvenient for me to go far from home and wear pretty things where acquaintances will not see me. I have squeezed in a run for milk or wearing some invisible pantyhose to the gym. I have been itching for an opportunity to go out in public while crossdressed.

I have offered to my wife to do our grocery shopping for some time now. It just has not happened for two reasons. 1) My wife is hesitant to have me out in public in womenswear. 2) Our family is quite busy (our kids are to that age where they are doing things out of the house and we help them).

Today was a national holiday and I was off of work. My wife offered to take the kids to their events, and she let me do the grocery shopping. I had the house to myself that morning. I bleached my leg hair, showered and shaved my face, got dressed, packed some men’s clothes for afterward. I got dressed in a black top, a black and beige printed skirt that I bought at a yard sale, and my black wedge heels. I walked out to my car in the garage while dressed pretty and left my house. I went to four different places as a man in a skirt. I had an excellent experience!

Office Supply Store

I went to an office supply store to purchase some surprisingly expensive Post-It Notes and an SD card for my camera. I was not very nervous as I walked across the parking lot. I entered the store. No one was nearby. I started shopping. I found the Post-It Notes area. A male employee, who was working in that area, was in my way. I spoke and he moved to let me shop. He awkwardly tried to make conversation. He was friendly, but he profoundly stumbled over words. I just did what I needed to do and moved on.

I could not find the SD cards. When I asked the cashier for help, instead of pointing, she took me to them. I think that she did not have an opportunity to see my outfit until she came around the counter and started walking with me. We walked side-by-side in the store. She never looked at my clothing as far as I know. When we got to the right place, I thanked her and she left me there.

I found what I needed and returned to the front to pay. On my way, I crossed paths with a roughly-dressed man. He had a couple of face tattoos, including a tear drop. I wondered if this interaction would be unusual. He looked at me in a, kind-of-normal way. Nothing unusual. I walked up to the cashier. It seemed like she was avoiding looking at my outfit in order to be polite. While I was putting away the change from the transaction, I said, “I do not get to dress pretty very often. Today is a special day!” She said, “Well, you look very pretty.”

I walked out of the store and discovered another man waiting outside. There were a couple words tattooed onto his face. I assume he was waiting on the other tattoo man. There was also a man and woman walking together. The man and woman paid more attention to me than the face-tattoo-man. They gave the look that I interpret as surprise-and-disapproval.

Panera Bread

I went to Panera Bread for lunch. I chose Panera Bread because it is a friendly, progressive kind of place. A place where people might compliment me and not feel awkward that I am crossdressing. The most significant thing is: I went at lunch time. Normally, I avoid being at a restaurant when they are at their busiest.

At the entrance, people were coming out as I was going in. We held the door for each other. I walked in and noticed a ~10 year old girl in dining area. I try to avoid children when I am crossdressed. I do not want to give them the idea to try this. I also do not want to force parents to have conversations with their kids earlier than they would like to. In spite of my intents, this girl saw me.

At the front of the line, there was a man and his daughter. She looked as young as the first girl. I stayed back, behind a self-serve kiosk, so that she would not see my outfit. I heard someone behind me. I looked. The first girl walked to where she could look at me. Eventually, she came up front to join the man and other girl. She pulled the other aside, and they went back into the dining area. Later, they came up from behind me again and joined their father. They finished at the front and moved on.

The next couple placed their order. They were taking a long time to order. While I was waiting, another couple got in line behind me.

Panera Bread has a window where the workers will place your food and call out your name. After I ordered my food, I went to the area near the food window. Two women were at a table to my left. The couple, who were behind me in line, sat at the large table near me. They never made eye contact with me.

I sat sideways in my seat waiting for the food to come. It also took an unusually long time. While waiting, I discovered that I have not gone out crossdressing in so long, that my hip muscles have tightened up. I could not cross my legs as easily as I normally can.

The two little girls walked around the restaurant while they were waiting. Since I was seated sideways in my seat, I was very visible. The girls were where they could see me at least twice. I assumed that this was because they were wanting to get another look at me. The first time, they were over toward my right. I did not look over to them. The second time, they crossed in front of me where I could see them. They never even looked my way.

Eventually, the worker called out my name. Now, you can call me cheap, …because I am. I received a cup of soup that is roughly 1/3 of the volume of a can of store-bought soup. It came with piece of a baguette. That seemed insufficient for $6 (USD). I went to Panera Bread, knowing it would be pricy, because I wanted to be in that environment. I returned to my seat and ate. I finished my small lunch quickly.

I walked over to the dish return area. It was in the main dining area. I walked from there to the exit, straight through the dining area. This is the path I would take if I were in menswear. I would have gone the less populated route on previous outings. I was remarkably comfortable being dressed pretty in public. I passed the table where the man and the two girls were eating. I looked over. A girl made eye contact with me, waved, and smiled.

I held the door for three different people on their way in. There was a woman in a pretty dress in the parking lot. I got in my car and left.

Big Box Hardware Store

In the United States, most small hardware stores have been destroyed by “Big Box” hardware stores. (Several years ago, I ventured into a hardware store for the first time as a personal challenge.) These stores are “manly” places. Apparently, I have a default rule in my head that says I should avoid places where my feminine clothing is too out-of-sync with the macho-ness of the environment. That first time going into the hardware store, breaking that rule, was scary and tough. I have gone back to a big-box hardware store at least once since then. This time, it was easy.

This time, I was wearing a more feminine skirt than I usually wear. This skirt was flowy. I walked right in and started shopping. I saw some kids on the front main aisle, so I went to the big aisle that cuts through the middle of the store. I could not find what I was looking for. I noticed one woman look at me and smirk as she walked past me. It did not hurt. I have become so hardened and confident! She was the only person that I noticed who acted like it was unusual for someone to wear a skirt to the hardware store — male or female. I walked past men and women searching. It was not a big deal for me! I got to the end of the store and I had not seen an employee or anything similar to what I shopping for. I said out loud, “I can’t find it.” A ~70 year old man, slowly pushing a shopping cart, said, “Join the club,” and kept walking without looking back.

I turned back and passed the smirking woman a second time. This time, she was not smirking. Apparently, we were both pacing the store in search of products. I eventually went back to the front aisle and found an employee. I was directed to the power tools area. I asked a man on a ladder where I could find what I was looking for. He came down, searched the aisle with me, and then searched on a computer. He searched for at least five minutes. Another man, a customer, approached and waited on the employee to finish with me.

They did not have what I was looking for, so I left.

But, I did it! I went back to the big box hardware store, and I was brave!

Grocery Store

The grocery store was busy. I parked and walked to the entrance with a long list in hand. I selected a shopping cart. Inside, for the first fifteen minutes, I was never more than two meters away from someone else. It was OK. No one cared. I even had short conversations with other customers, like normal. There were a couple of women in dresses. One woman wore wedge sandals with slacks. I was happy to not be the only one in heels.

At one point, I heard some laughing. I looked and saw two young teenage girls. They walking in the other direction. I perceived that they saw me and were laughing about it. Later, I saw them again in my area. One had a phone out. She answered it and started talking into it. The other one smiled about it. I assume that the girl had taken a picture of me and was feigning to be on a call. Very shortly, she stopped talking and they turned around. Our paths were crossing. I saw on the screen of the phone that it was in camera mode. I said, “Don’t take my picture.” (I wish that I had said, “Please”.) She looked at me and said, “Oh, I’m not.” I looked her in the eye and glanced to the phone and back. It was still obviously in camera mode. Hopefully, she will not share it. (That would be bullying.)

Later when I was shopping, I saw a man on my aisle. Something was different about him. I took a longer look and observed that it was a trans-man (a woman who has transitioned to living as a man). He selected something off of the top shelf and walked toward me. We made eye contact. I said, “Hey there.” We smiled. He said, “Hey,” and continued on.

I continued shopping for two hours. It was a long list. My cart was full to the top when I was done. Along the way, one woman spoke to me several times. She said she should have me do her shopping because of how organized my cart was. There were lots of people there, but it normally seemed like they did not notice me. There were a few people with children. I never saw the kids even look at me. I should add that I was not looking at people to see if they were reacting. I was just doing my shopping.

At one point, I placed my camera on a shelf in time-lapse mode in order to get a picture of me.

When I was done shopping, I got in line. A woman got in line behind me. She was wearing a brightly colored top. I smiled and said, “Wow, you are bright today.” Another checkout lane opened and the brightly colored woman went there. Eventually, I started unloading my cart. I realized that I should be concerned about how ungracefully I was unloading my cart. I was in a flowy skirt that easily passes the sit-down and bend-over tests (without exposing me). However, I was moving like a man in big, quick motions. I was self-conscious that it might have looked unseemly.

The cashier remembered me. I did not remember her. She chatted with me. I wondered if she was thinking of some other guy in a skirt. She thought I was a nurse. We finished up and I moved on to bagging my groceries.

As soon as I started bagging my groceries, the brightly-colored woman, who was to my left, came over and handed me a note. It read, “You are beautiful” with a smiley face. She said, “You are just beautiful. Just beautiful!” Then she walked away, took her cart and left the store. I welled up with emotion.

Another woman took her spot. I spoke to her briefly. Then, I asked her if she would take my picture.

I took this picture while showing her how to use my camera.

I finished up and said good-bye to my photographer. She smiled and said good-bye to me. My cashier saw me preparing to leave and told me good-bye as well.

I went out and loaded my car. I returned the cart to the store and gave it to a couple who were just arriving. He offered to give me a coin to replace the one that I had used to unlock the cart. I waved my hand and said, “Don’t worry about it.” He awkwardly fumbled his words as I walked away. I think my appearance had taken away his ability to form sentences. Perhaps he was overwhelmed by how “beautiful” I was. HA!

It is unusual for me to talk to a man when I am out crossdressed. So, I do not know what to think of having two men become unable to make sensible conversation. My only other example of that was the guy who thought I was a priest.


That woman’s kind words to me have filled my heart. I am not over it. I do not care about being beautiful. I just do not want to look pathetic… That woman loved me with those words. Feeling love is life-changing! I guess, deep down, I do not feel lovable because of my weird fashion interests. It is amazing how much impact she has had on me.

I need to love people, just like that.

From → True Stories

  1. Hi Joey – what a lovely story, thanks! I think the reason you generally get so little reaction when you go out is that you look so natural, so ‘normal’ if I can use that word! Your style is very easy-going and suits you well. I think many crossdressing guys stand out in part because they choose their wardrobe poorly – perhaps not age-appropriate for example. You’d probably get more stares if you went out in a full James Bond-like tuxedo!

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