A friend from Virginia recently made the following comment in an e-mail to me:
Its important to think safety when out and dressed as a lady. Only realized this recently. At one time would be in places and times when a normal lady would not be. Thought it was nice to walk along the board walk at mid night. Looking back no lady would have done that. Started to do things and go places in the day time, much more safer.
During our anxious moments, longing to go out, but not knowing how to do so or how to gather the courage, we think that simply being “out”, maybe under the cover of darkness or in isolation is the solution. That is not at all safe! Think about it. If you had a wife or daughter, would you want them alone in a dark place? Late at night? Of course not. Why put yourself in that position, especially when vulnerable? You may think you can defend yourself, but trying doing so in heels or a skirt.
If you feel the need to hide, do so in plain sight. Go into a crowded place, where you are not a focal point. Do so in a well lit area, Go somewhere that you are not known. Anonymity is wonderful! Strange looks, rolled eyes, who cares? Safety is the key. Walk down that boardwalk during the day, when it is crowded. I find the more people in the room, the less I am noticed. It’s a simple math equation.
Think it through. Go to a place where you are more likely to be accepted. An art museum, a community theater, an art studio. A restaurant where the waiter or waitress is looking for a nice tip, so will treat you with respect. Go where you are likely to find more open minded and accepting people. Even a library, where it is unlikely that someone would cause a ruckus. Folks that utilize the library generally respect library etiquette.
Walking the boardwalk at midnight might get you harmed simply because you are alone, not necessarily because of your attire. I personally avoid late night group gatherings simply because if some one is out to harm a TG person, they will go to where many are gathered and alcohol is likely to be involved. Not an art museum at noon.
Be smart……think it through. If you want to go out, then do so, but do it safely.