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Good and not-so-good advice about gender.

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Passing as a woman help? [Mar. 10th, 2010|11:39 am]
Good and not-so-good advice about gender.

trans_advice

[stitches4veins]
Hey there. I'm kind of new to this community but figured I'd ask.

So I am male-bodied but want to "pass" as female more often. I'm not on hormones, and no surgery. When I want to be "female" I wear "girl's" clothes (but not any skirts or dresses, not really my thing), put on some make-up, and pull my hair back. I'm happy with how I look like that, but in public everyone still refers to me as a guy, or sir, or he. What else can I do to convince them as otherwise? I know this shouldn't be a big deal, it only really matters who I feel about everything, but then things get complicated if I want to go into a bathroom. You know?

Also what are some general "cross"-dressing tips? Like how can I make my waist smaller? I bought a bra earlier today and it fits and everything but I don't really like how it looks on me. I don't know.

Would just love to hear some suggestions. Thanks.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: tryin2evolve
2010-03-10 07:39 pm (UTC)
fwiw: i saw your user id pic and thought you were a cute lesbian =;-)
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[User Picture]From: tornir
2010-03-10 10:40 pm (UTC)
You could try taking up cycling.
While this won't necessarily make your waist smaller, it will develop your hip, ass, and calf muscles, giving a more shapely leg. After a few years, the muscle development will give the appearance of a relatively narrower waist, and if/when you start HRT, the fat redistribution will have something to build on.
I used to cycle to work every day when pre-everything and I ended up quite curvy because of it.
It doesn't need to be strenuous, just a leisurely 3-4 miles a day should be enough. If you don't fancy going out in all weathers/traffic, I've heard an exercise bike in front of the TV works well.
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[User Picture]From: tsubasa_kurenai
2010-03-11 02:53 am (UTC)
Here's the three biggie's that really helped me:

-Just shaping your eyebrows can really do a lot. It's a bit painful but not very hard to do. Just google around if you're unsure (that's how I learned)

-Wearing women's clothing is a good start. In addition, look at what women your own age are wearing and use that as a guide for what to wear. It definitely doesn't need to be 'girly girl' sorts of stuff for you to pass (in fact you most likely don't want to stand out). In addition, try to find what colors and styles suit your body (otherwise you look out of place in the clothes). This of course takes trial and error. It helps to have a friend whose opinion you trust go with you to pick them out.

-Finally, develop a good female voice. This is, in my opinion, the easiest way to pass. when people 'sir' me and I then talk in my girly voice they often fall all over themselves apologizing for making such a mistake. A decent female voice can really do wonders. This one takes a lot of practice but is definitely worth it. Google for resources on this one.

I hope this helps.
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[User Picture]From: hundun
2010-03-11 07:26 am (UTC)
Not sure if it's your thing, but I find it *much* easier to pass if I dress like an androgynous lesbian than if I present as a feminine woman. *Much* easier. And you could make a cute butch.

You could also pad your hips.

As mentioned above, eyebrows help a lot.

Wear clothes that make your shoulders look narrow.

Bell-shaped shirts are good.

Shirts with a neckline that's wider or deeper than a "man's" shirt, but still way smaller than "low cut" are good.

Get androgynous clothes from the women's section.

And the voice. Get the voice down and people who call you "he" will look embarassed and apologize.

What about a sports bra?
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[User Picture]From: stitches4veins
2010-03-11 05:45 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't mind passing as a "lesbian"; I know that that is more of "style"/identity than excessive femininity. Still no luck with passing though, even in the gay community I'm labeled as a gay male.

Although I'll definitely do the eyebrow thing. I already get "androgynous" clothes more or less because that's what I like.

Not sure how I feel about the voice since I don't specifically identify as "trans" in any other definition than transgender... I'm more genderqueer than anything else. It just frustrates me that everyone keep thinking of me as male, when I want to challenge those notions, you know? I think my voice is already high/"gay" enough, but I might look up some resources on that later.

Thanks for the suggestions! :)
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[User Picture]From: kaleidescope
2012-07-31 05:24 am (UTC)
Lipstick. Am I wrong? Or eyeshadow; not both. Even lip gloss works as a more subtle gender signifier, I think. I am a female-born genderqueer who took T for 10 years to get to a point where I could pass as either with a little work, and I find that putting on lipstick is super-helpful - at least to my own perception of my gender!

I think Kate Bornstein is the one who writes somewhere about how many gender signifiers it takes before somebody reads you as that gender... I forget how many it is, but ime people tend to look at the face for them, more than anything else!
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[User Picture]From: kaleidescope
2012-07-31 05:26 am (UTC)
I know you already said you put on makeup.... just thinking of specific ways that you can use that. As opposed to, say, foundation, which is more of a designifier?

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[User Picture]From: rosebranch
2010-05-17 01:37 am (UTC)
"Wear clothes that make your shoulders look narrow."

Any further tips on this? I have a crossdressing manfriend with broad enough shoulders that it's hard for him to find clothes that are sufficiently feminizing.
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[User Picture]From: hundun
2010-05-17 02:47 am (UTC)
I'm not sure exactly what does it, but I find that some women's clothing is designed to de-emphasize the shoulders. Look for feminine sleeves that aren't tight.

I often buy women's jackets with shoulder pads - when remove the pads, I find they fit my androgenized frame well.
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[User Picture]From: the_zoe_trope
2010-03-11 10:41 pm (UTC)
Hi,

Fellow male-bodied genderqueer person here...

Some things you might try:
- Use a lot of foundation and powder to cover any hint of beard shadow.
- Pluck your eyebrows.
- To make your waist smaller, try a waist cincher or a bustier with boning (the latter will also create the appearance of breasts unless you're super-skinny). It's not the most comfortable thing in the world but it'll definitely make your figure look more female.
- I don't know if you currently have the hair in your user pic, but you might grow it longer. Do a Google image search for "lesbian hair" for styling suggestions. :)
- Wear clothes that work with the shape of your body. For example, if you have broad shoulders, go for longer sleeves, or wear a jacket with a feminine cut over something with shorter or no sleeves.
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