providing for the personal growth and fulfillment of those whose lives are affected by crossdressing
PLAY SAFE, PLAY SANE
by Dawn, wife of a crossdresser
(originally posted on the Lambda Mu website)
Those of us that were raised female have picked up some "street smarts" to help us avoid trouble when we're out, especially at night. But our beloved crossdresser may not be as savvy. And there are issues that natural women don't face but crossdressers might have to deal with. This is a crash course in playing it safe while out en femme. Share them with everybody!
Going out while dressed or meeting someone in your feminine attire can be a wonderful experience, or it can turn into a nightmare. Remember that when you are out, you are dressed as a woman and subject to all the attacks, leering and problems that come with womanhood.
Many sisters, in their search for acceptance make many mistakes regarding giving out too much information about themselves, arranging meetings without preparing for them and (when out dressed) do things that draw unnecessary and unwanted attention to themselves.
For those who require safety tips for meeting, please read the following lists. Anyone who wishes may add to them. Please e-mail me (email@example.com) and I'll add them. (amended from original)
YOUR FIRST MEETING
- Always let a third person know whom you will be meeting and where.
- Always meet in public until you know the person.
- If the person says that they have experience, or have met with others before, ask for references.
- Beware anyone who wants to meet RIGHT NOW.
- Never give out an address until you've met the person a few times and feel safe.
- Remember that when you call someone and they have caller ID, they now know who you really are and now have your full name and number and can find your address that way.
- Always have them call you if you have caller ID.
- Call them the first time from a pay phone.
- Try to meet in a place where your known.
- Make sure that you say hi to some of these people while the new (friend) is with you even introduce them to your friend.
- If you suspect that someone is following you, by foot or in a car, don't go home (or they will know where you live).
- Go to a trusted neighbor or to a public place to call police, or directly to police station.
- Don't hitchhike.
- Be very careful using outside ATMs at night or in unfamiliar surroundings.
- When on the street, walk facing oncoming traffic. It will be harder for someone to pull you into a car and abduct you.
- Tell someone where you'll be and what time you're supposed to return, or if you will be with someone you don't know well.
- Try to not overload yourself with packages. If you must have your hands full, visualize how you would respond if approached, how you would get your hands free, etc.
- Do not wear music headphones while walking or jogging.
- Do not read while walking or standing on the street.
- If you wear a purse with a shoulder strap, be prepared to let it go if snatched. Otherwise you may be hurt if the mugger knocks you down and drags you. while fleeing with your purse.
- If someone asks you for directions, and if you choose to reply, remain at least two arms lengths away.
- Clogs, high heels, and tight skirts are hard to run and fight in. Capes, scarves, and long necklaces are easy to grab. Modify your fashion style, or wear comfortable clothing when walking alone (change into dress-up clothes later), or think through how you would fight in your dress-up clothes (for example, kicking off your high heels or hiking your skirt up around your hips before starting to run or kick)
- Avoid being on the street alone if you are upset or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or have someone go with you.
- Check the inside and around your car before entering to insure that no one is hiding there.
- Check your surroundings before getting out of your car.
- Don't pick up hitchhikers
- Keep doors locked and windows rolled up so that a hand can't reach in.
- If a group of suspicious people approaches you when you are stopped at a red light at a deserted intersection, run the light if your intuition tells you that the situation could get dangerous.
- Don't let gas indicator fall below 1/4.
- Plan your route and check a map before you start out.
- Park in well-lighted areas if possible.
- Try not to park next to a van, as you can be pulled in through the sliding door.
- Don't leave valuables in plain sight inside your car.
- If you see an accident or stranded motorist, report it from the nearest telephone instead of stopping.
- Carry in your car: flashlight, flares, fix-a-flat, maps, comfortable warm clothing, first aid kit, empty gas can, white cloth to tie to antenna to signal distress, cellular phone.
- Learn basic auto maintenance.
- Be sure you have your vehicle registration and insurance cards in the vehicle. Be sure they are the current ones.
- Also be sure you have your drivers license with you when you go out. Don't leave it in your billfold, put it in your purse. Check that it hasn't expired when you weren't looking too
- A mechanical violation is a valid reason for a police stop in most states. Check your car out well. This means everything. No noisy mufflers, or bald tires. Check your horn & windshield wipers. Be sure to check your lights, ALL of them, the evening before you go out. Be sure the headlights work, low and high beam. Check your parking lights, brake lights and turn signal lights. Also, be sure to check your license plate lights as they are required by most state laws to be operational.
- Clean you car out. Throw away all those old fast food bags and soda cans. Should you be stopped, a trash filled car could be a point of suspicion. (Is there something hidden under all that trash?)
- Obey all posted speed limits and reduce your speed if the weather is poor.
- Don't take a chance on running that yellow light, and come to a complete stop at all stop signs.
- If you are concerned about another driver, don't pull up right to the stop line at an intersection. Instead, pull up so your position in your car is across from the adjacent vehicles back seat window. This way if someone should casually look over, you are somewhat hidden. Most people will not turn way around to see who is stopped next to them.
ON YOUR OWN, ALONE
- Beware overheard conversations. Do not tell anyone on the bus or subway where you are going.
- Stay awake and alert.
- Have exact change ready.
- Try to sit near the driver.
- If you sense someone is following you when you get off, walk toward a populated area. Do not walk directly home.
DEFENSE AGAINST DOGS
- Park in a well lighted area, and lock your doors. Before you get out of your car, take a look around you. For all you know, that guy leaning on the car parked next to yours is looking for an easy purse to snatch.
- Be careful with whom you associate. There are all sorts of people out there, most are good but some are very nasty.
- If you drink, do so in moderation.
- If you are with friends, decide on a designated driver before you enter the club.
- When you drink, know and stick to your limits. There is nothing less ladylike than a drunk in a club. Alcohol affects different people different ways. If you have a tendency to get a bit belligerent, consider alternating every other drink with a non-alcoholic one. If you think you may have a problem, stick with non alcoholic beer, wine, or cocktails.
- When confronted by a threatening dog, our impulse is often to turn and run - the worst response, since movement triggers the chase instinct in dogs.
- Stand very still and try to be calm.
- Don't scream at the dog and run.
- Be aware of where the dog is. Look in its general direction, but don't stare into its eyes. This is considered an aggressive challenge.
- Let the dog sniff you.
- In a low voice say, "No! Go home!"
- Stay still until the dog leaves.
- Back away slowly until it's out of sight.
- If a dog does attack, try to "feed" it your jacket or purse to distract the dog while you back slowly away towards safety.
- If you are knocked down or fall, curl into a ball and keep your hands over your ears, face, and neck. Try not to
- scream or roll around.
- How many drinks have you had? How long ago did you drink them? The answers to these questions are important. A general rule of thumb is that it takes the body one hour to metabolize the alcohol in one drink. Know your state's legal limit, and consult one of the tables to see how little alcohol you need to consume to be considered legally intoxicated.
- Face it, if you are stopped and charged with DUI, you WILL be going to jail. And, you will be going to jail dressed as you are. Searched, photographed, fingerprinted, and booked. Holding cells are not nice places for ladies to end up in. You will need someone to come down and bond you out, so if you are hiding your crossdressing from your family, those days are over.
- By the way, auto club cards do not extend their bonding privileges to DUI charges. I won't even mention the incredible expenses you will be facing next
- If you are stopped, be calm, and pull your car over in a safe area. If you are stopped in a deserted area, many areas will permit you to drive slowly to a well lighted area for your protection.
- Know what laws apply in your area.
- Once you stop, keep your hands at the 10 and 2 position on the steering wheel. The officer is checking your license tag for vehicle information, and is watching what you are doing. If you are rummaging around in your car, the officer may suspect that you are hiding something.
- Remember, they do not know that you are just a sweet gal out for an evening on the town.
- When the officer approaches your car, roll your window down when requested to do so.
- When you are asked to produce your license and registration, tell him where it is and that you are going to get it. Keep your hands visible to the officer at all times.
- When he asks you, and he probably will, why you are dressed as a woman, tell the truth. It may help to have a newsletter or publication that refers to crossdressing or gender dysphoria that you can ask to show to the officer, (you can also get a legal ID card in most states with your feminine picture on it, if your brave enough). Remember, as far as the officer is concerned, the person driving does not look like the photo on the license. This immediately makes the officer suspicious, "Is this person in disguise because they just committed a crime?"
- If you are asked to get out of your car, follow the instructions to the letter. You absolutely won't win an argument with the officer so don't even try.
- Always address the officer as, Sir or Mam, what ever the case may be.
- Do exactly what you are told to do. Answer questions truthfully. Hopefully, your stop will go without incident. Who knows, maybe that officer is a crossdresser also.
Lambda Mu also had some good legal information: Transvestite laws
In addition, some personal considerations that overlap with safety are given
in this article, taken from the July 2005 Issue of La Femme Silhouette, our
Newsletter. Communication checklist
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