Monday, July 29, 2013

Making Purchases

When I first started going out dressed as a girl, I avoided paying for anything.  I really just did not want to interact that much with the public.  I thought they would ridicule me.  Which I have since discovered to be just plain wrong.

The easiest way to make purchases while dressed as someone other than your ID, is to not have to use your ID and to pay cash.  Ah, good old cash.  Trust me, merchants want your money regardless of how you are dressed.  I have never had anyone refuse to take my cash.  It would be quite stupid of anyone to refuse to take my cash simply because of how I am dressed.  And no one ever has.  Not too surprising.  If you have any reservations about it, go with cash.  Cash rules the world.

Now a little more tricky, sometimes, is trying to use your credit/debit cards.  In using those options most merchants will check your ID.  I picked up a tip from some other place about this process.  The tip was, to hand them you ID, and say something witty like, "Yes I know, my hair is a little shorter in that photo."  I used that all of the time.  People would smile, and say "Yeah, it's okay."  And then they would run my card and give me my purchases.

It occurred to me at some point though that I no longer wanted to have to say that to people.  I think this was about the time that I realized I wasn't fooling anyone.  Everyone knows that I am a man dressed as a woman, and the thing that I began to see is, they know and they don't care.  Which nicely does away with worries about passing.  With this knowledge I just began handing people my ID and letting them do whatever they wanted to.

For the past five to ten years, people mostly just took my stuff and ran the card through the machine, without much of anything.  Occasionally they will hold up the ID and compare my ID picture to me.  They generally see the resemblance, as well as my big smile, and then they run the card.

Twice though, some other things have occurred.  Once was at Costco.  The lady ran my purchases, I handed her my ID, and she said "so... who do these cards belong to?"  I told her that it was me and smiled.  She hesitated for a little bit, and I repeated that it was mine and smiled bigger.  She studied the cards for awhile and then it clicked.  She ran my cards through the machine and then suggested that I go over to guest services and get a new ID with a new picture on it to match my new gender.  I thought it was polite of her, and testament to my increasing ability.  I did not go get a new ID though as I don't always go to Costco dressed as a girl.  I wish they would let me have two cards, come to think of it, I should go ask them about that. Hmmm...

My largest issue with purchasing items came yesterday at Walmart.  Maybe it is my new wig, though I doubt that.  I handed the cashier my ID and she said "You can't use this card because this is not you."  I smiled and said, yeah it is.  She looked at me, back at the card, back at me,, back at the card, and said "nope, you can't use this as this is not you."  I smiled again, and said, "Yeah, trust me, that is me."  She said that she had to call a manager.  The manager came over and said, "You can't use this card, as this is not you."  I smiled bigger and said "Yeah that is me."  I then said my little line about my hair being shorter in that picture.  She said nope.  I said yeah, and again smiled.  (Niceness will get you everywhere people.)  She studied the card for awhile and me for even longer.  I smiled.  She said "okay," and allowed me to make the purchase.  I thanked her for being understanding.

That experience was truly an anomaly.  I just returned recently from a five day trip all around California, all by myself, dressed as a girl the entire time.  I went shopping at numerous locations and paid with my credit card the entire time.  I stayed at hotels and gave them my male ID.  I made lots and lots of very expensive purchases throughout the whole time and never once was ever questioned.  Even though I did have my new wig on.  Nobody questioned it at all.  This one, $12 purchase at Walmart though stumped the poor cashier.  I stood my ground though and was polite and eventually they relented.

So... my bottom line advice to you is: don't be afraid, merchants want your money.  They are in the business of selling things and taking your money.  If there ever is a question, just be polite, smile big, and stand your ground.  I have never walked out of a store without what I wanted to buy.  Some occasional questioning I can deal with because I do not take it as a personal attack on me.

If you have not done it yet, go for it.

Oh on a slightly related note, while dressed as a girl once, I happened to unfortunately had to hand my ID to a police officer.  I was sure there would be problems.  Nope, not a single one.  He accepted it and said nothing to me.  Actually police are terrified of us accusing them of discrimination and suing them.  This guy was totally cool about it, though I was flipping out inside, I tried to appear cool and collected.  The cop had no issues with it at all.

Love ya, hope my experiences help to make you feel more relaxed about it all.



  1. Great post! I am so glad you shared your experiences to help others see how much of a non-issue this is.
    Good job handling the Walmart situation! I think that is quite a testament to how great you look while dressed as a girl. Clearly those people had a hard time seeing the man behind the clothes.

  2. I will never forget the day that I was buying groceries and my debit card didn't work, so I had to write a check. Of course, this meant giving the cashier my ID. She looked at it, then at me, then asked if I had my husband's permission to write the check! I leaned in really close, and in my deepest voice whispered, "That's me." You would not believe the look on her face!


  3. ahhh here in NJ when i went to renew my male drivers license i did ask about getting a second ID only with my Diana photo and they said very nicely " sorry we can't issue 2 forms of ID ether we take the Drivers license and issue you an ID that is not a drivers license or you keep you drivers license as a form of picture ID. oh well ...

    on another note after an incident at a local gas station where the worker reached in the car and got fresh with me last year i went 45 mins later ( thought about it decided what if he did it to a genetic woman or worse) to the local police station at filed a report. i explained to the offcers that i am transgendered not transitioning and i was still wearing the same outfit a Conservative v neck sweater and nice wool skirt and leather blazer. the officer looked at my male drivers license and without batting an eye said " that gas station attendant had no right to reach in the car and put a hand on anybody "

    as far as the credit card situation years ago one USED to be able to get one just using your first initial but no more now it requires your social security number and full name. when i have been asked i usually say " i have my husbands permission or that is my brother" but lately like you i just say "that's my other self!"

    in your case when i first saw your photo i really thought you were a GG.
    thanks for shareing

    1. OMG the audacity of some people. I can't believe that somebody reached into your car! That is shockingly atrocious behavior. But good for you for going to the police. I have thought about what my response would be if somebody did something like that to me and I think that you handled it excellently! Again good for you!

      And thanks for the GG comment. Sometimes I am surprised that many people do just take me for whatever gender I am presenting as. It kind of takes me off guard as I just think everyone has to know my little "secret." :)

    2. Nadine i tooo think that every one needs to know my secret. there are times that after i have explained -outed myself only to have the person say "what? i really didn't know" or more interesting like a new worker at a local beauty supply who even after i showed my drivers license photo she said "who is that" LOL so you see even then she still refused to believe i wasn't a genetic female ( even though her co workers had already seen me another time as my male self)

  4. Good for you girl! .. I mean, Nadine. Sage advice and all that, kudos to you.

    Your handling of the situation at Wal-Mart is a great example for the rest of us. It's also a testament of how well you present as a female!

    It's a fact, merchants want your money and niceness does, and always will, get you everywhere.

    1. Thanks Billie.

      And yes, niceness will get you everywhere. Which is something that has taken me many years to discover. :)

    2. i have found that a smile can be verrry disarming. but it is true suddenly you are no longer an unknown threat to them but rather a new acquaintance.
      i usually say that a stranger is just someone i haven't met yet.... :-)

  5. Nadine,

    It is a testament to how convincing you present as a female that people put up a mental block that you could simply be a man in a dress.

    I think that we are seeing somewhat of an evolution of people who are becoming more and more comfortable being out and about as a guy in a dress, blending in with the surroundings. It is also true that society at large is becoming more and more aware that we are out and about and that as a rule people are becoming more aware that we are entitled to be treated like anyone else...especially if we are a patron in a store, movie or restaurant.

    I have not been out and about that much. In the first instance at my height and weight I would be instantly clocked. I must also be concerned with the wishes of my wife that 'my secret' remain between the two of us. When I do go out I am fine with being clocked as a guy in a dress. I just do my best to look my best and blend in. If some people think I am a woman that is OK but it is no longer the 'holy grail' for this CD.

    I know the feeling of being stopped by the police. A few years ago I had gone out for a few drinks at a primarily LGBT bar. On my way home I was stopped and pulled over. I had on a stylish light red/strawberry blond wig, a coral lace dress, heels and hose. I thought I looked pretty good but certainly not at all like the photo on my driver's license.

    I was polite and cordial but I was really ticked when I was given a ticket for doing 41 MPH in a 30 MPH zone. In over 45 years of driving I have had my share of tickets but I really thought it was embarassing to get a speeding ticket at 41 mph. On the other hand I was grateful that when I told him that I had two drinks that he did not press me for DWI and did not make me get out of the car and 'walk the line' in my pumps.


    1. Heya Pat! I hope that everything you have been dealing with lately is going more smoothly than the last time we communicated; I've been thinking of you and wishing you good thoughts!

      I do agree that society seems to be more aware and more accepting of us. Which is nice. I think in this information age we live in people are less able to remain as ignorant of others as they once were.

      Wow, yeah, I would say that getting off with only a speeding ticket was a good thing. My general rule of thumb is no more than 10 mph over the limit. So I generally set the cruise control at 9 mph over the limit. So far, so good!

      Recently on one of my longer ventures out and about I was startled to see a highway patrol tailgating me. I quickly got over, he pulled up alongside of me. I didn't look at him. He then pulled in behind me. I did nothing. He then pulled over to the right side of my car. This was getting weird, so I looked over at him. He motioned to the front of my car and did a flashing sign with his hands. I had forgotten to turn on my headlights. I quickly turned them on and waved thanks. He then sped off in some other direction. Whew!!!