This is probably the biggest issue most transitioning encounter when attempting to start dressing in public or shopping for anything in opposite gender section. The reason for the picture is that there is a strange sense of being visually judged. I am not sure to call it a paradox or whatever but the fact is from what we have to go through makes us tough cookies…but only for vocal defense for me (I do not speak for all). If someone in public were to say something negative to me, I would have no issue in defending myself with something in return. Issue is, I have a deep fear of being stared at or judged visually.

Being stared at hurts more than being name called. I have zero issues and would not be hurt if anyone said something from a person I didn’t know. It only affects me from people I care about. This has hindered me from shopping for things I would like to obtain. In example if I simply wanted to walk around the women’s section in Target, I would feel as if the female customer’s and staff are staring at me to get out of the section. It takes a lot of courage to even step foot on that side of the store by yourself, with gender issues, and anxiety of being stared at.

Some reason I KNOW from experience that 90%+ of customers and staff would not pay any attention to me and they go about their business. I can’t believe I KNOW this fact from being both a customer and working at Target/retail. I personally have sold many items to people that wasn’t for their gender and didn’t think twice of it. So does most of the employees. This thinking is hard to break alone. The moment I step in that section its as if I set off the alarm at the door like I stole something *beep beep beep*.

I try to tell myself why do I put myself in this inner battle when I have the right to buy anything I want because I have money while in there. No store is going to refuse my sale nor anyone else’s. Target for that matter can take all the sales it can get. Reason’s I refer to Target is that its less busy for less anxiety and their line up is better than Wal-Mart. What I do like about Wal-Mart is that they have the self check out. Even with that I was embarrassed one time when I was buying some clothes and it didn’t scan. The lady had to help me and it made a line of people behind me that watched the whole thing haha.

This also occurred in Target once where I had bought a large amount of clothes and my card didn’t work. They staff had to cancel the transaction and I had to call the bank. Then bank was doing a security check and i had to vocally authorize the large transaction. That part was easy but then the manager wanted to personally re-scan all of the cloths. Oh my goodness I was sweating bullets has he un-bagged all of the items and tried to make small talk while scanning. This manager was very professional and didn’t have no issue with what I was buying as it was a 200 dollar total. I was just making it hard for myself.

I believe in my therapy sessions and with the support of key individuals I will do some practice and exercises to get over this strange anxiety of thinking I am being judged when in fact no one really cares much (where I live of course). What is different from being afraid to shop for opposite gender items is simply walking around in public. I had tried this one time with a best friend and that went ok. This specific issue is when I am alone. I cannot always be with someone in public. Therefore this is the second item I need to eliminate.

When I pulled up to the Chase ATM there was a card left in the slot by a previous customer. At the time I was semi-dressed on my way to therapy. It wasn’t like I was in a dress or anything, but to me it felt like I was wearing a sign that said: HEY LOOK AT ME I STARTED TO CROSS-DRESS LOL. Well not the lol part but you get the point. I was superbly afraid to step foot in the bank to return the card someone left to an employee. I have great integrity to do the right things but I chickened out because of said public anxiety. I was afraid I would be visually judged by the employees. Even tho I know that they maintain professionalism no matter what customers look like.

It’s the oddest thing to in your mind know the situations before hand but once you finally, actually make that fantasy into a fact; everything I did know goes out the window. I have to stop letting fear control me when indeed its all in my head. When I say its all in my head this is another one of my thinking patterns I am working on.