TinaCortina's Blog

Musings of a Tgirl

Honesty hurts!

We all love pics, and I am more guilty than most.  I spend so much time taking pictures of myself.  I love it, the whole shamoozle (new word?). I take thousands of photos of myself, maybe a dozen or so every time I dress, well ok not every time, but most.   We put on our best outfits, we spend twice the time any woman would on our make-up, we brush our hair (wig), we pose, we take a big breath in, one foot forward, one foot back, or sit showing just the tiniest bit of leg, we put on a big smile and yes………

If we take enough photos, it is possible that we can select one that makes us look a little bit feminine. One that, we think would be sufficient for our mothers not to recognise us, for a stranger to think that we might me a real woman.

We aspire to ‘pass’ in the real world.  But how many of us manage to attain that?

Most guys are too tall, too broad-shouldered, very often too slim around the hips.  At the end of the day, we have fun with what we are doing, but do we pass?   Well I’ve posted two pics today and even I know that the 2nd one is not at all flattering!!


I like to go out into the real world.  I shop, often alone.  I go out and about into London, Brighton, Manchester wherever.  But do I pass?  Honesty hurts, but no, I can’t think so.

We often like to define how we look in public by the number of times someone reacts to us, be it a look, a second look, a comment (‘that’s a man in a dress’), or a quiet murmuring between two people who might have spotted you.  If we are allowed to go about our normal business when out, a bit of shopping, going for a meal or to the theatre, we say we have ‘passed’ if no-one causes a scene.

I have done this many times and feel that I could go to most places in England, to a pub on my own, I can even order drinks, buy clothes or food or magazines in shops.  I go in and out.  For the most part totally unmolested.  For that I am thankful.  England is a largely inclusive society, and many amongst us do not like to cause a scene, even if we see or hear something untoward.

As an example, how many Brits actually complain in restaurants?  By comparison, how any American citizens would put up with the same meal? I wonder sometimes if this is indicative of the relative tolerance that we trannies or the wider transgendered spectrum enjoy in this country.  Someone said to me recently that they thought tgirls (not their word) were more widely accepted in Britain by comparison with the USA.  I replied that I thought it a city v country(side) argument.  That in New York and San Francisco, tgirls would have the same ability to be themselves without incident as in London or Manchester.  That the mid-west or Delaware were perhaps akin to what we might call ‘the sticks’ in Britain eg Yorkshire, or rural Wales, or Border counties.  But is that so?  Are we Brits really more tolerant of the transgendered community.

Well I guess I have two several arguments running here.  Are we more tolerant?  Do we notice less?  Do we comment or complain less?  Is this a good thing?  And then the other side to the whole argument is how often when we are out, do we notice what people are saying (or at the very least thinking) behind our backs?

When I am out and about 50% see a frontal view.  50% see a rear view.  A few of the first 50% may turn around and see a rear view. And those viewing from behind, what do they see? The pic on the right!!

Well I have posted up one of my less uplifting photos.  A rear view taken in my kitchen…… and how many kitchen pics have I taken?  But even I can see that while the person I can see has long hair, the person I see in the photo is a broad-shouldered guy, with narrow waist,  in some crazy looking black outfit.  (Actually leggings, boots, jumper and a nice necklace that I broke last night, but you can’t see that).

Yes, I have posted lots of photos on my Flickr site.  And generally head off any blog that I write with a photo.  And it’s nice if someone says I look pretty or feminine, christ I have even been called hot.  After all we all try our best and enjoy a compliment.  But how many of us pick out our bad photos?  The ones that show us as we really are, a masculine chin, hint of sideboard or maybe beard showing through, where the smile went wrong.

Yes, I know that anybody including our genuinely female friends, will also only show their best photos, but I have had lots of comments to photos over the years that say I ‘pass well’,  but of course they are only based upon the photos they have seen.  And those photos are from frontal aspect only……..

Well rear view is quite useful to check on your hair, to see how an outfit looks and I have taken a few photos in recent months with this in mind.  But seriously, it is a bit depressing;  it has cemented in my mind that I am what I am and I know what I am.

I’ve a lovely evening coming up on Saturday, off to London and we will have a bloody good time……  but at the end of the day, anybody even taking half a look from behind, would know what I am.

I am not downhearted or depressed, I’m not sure this is me being anything but rational…………….  but excuse me while I go and down a bottle of SC.

Love & Hugs

Tina x

February 3, 2011 - Posted by | musings of a tgirl | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Yes you are right, no one wants to post bad pictures, and yes you look lovely. As for passing yes you are right, if someone gets a good look at you they will be able to tell. Men and women are built different and there is nothing we can do. For me though I look at it this way. If I can go out and interact with others and be treated the same as everyone else then that is passing to me. The key is to blend in the best you can by dressing the same as other woman, doing your makeup as they would and of course acting like any other woman would. If you can do this then maybe they won’t take that closer longer look. Most people are busy with their lives and that is where their attention is till something else distracts them. So I try never to be a distraction.
    One last tip is to be confident, if you come across with the attitude there is nothing wrong and how you are dress is totally normal most will treat you that way. If you act scared or like you are doing something wrong then they will watch you to see why and may challenge you on how you are dressed. Also a smile always helps.

    Comment by susanmiller64 | February 3, 2011 | Reply

  2. Well I still think you look gorgeous. Doesn’t seem fair to me to judge t-girls by the same criteria than you would genetic females because we’re not. And I think we can be beautiful in our way.
    I think Belgium has the same mentality. They generally don’t give a shit unless you look really silly.

    Comment by Felicity | February 3, 2011 | Reply

    • Hi Fe

      Yes you are right… and your comment made me smile. We can’t be judged against genetic girls because we are not……. but we can have a damn good try at it.

      Hugs Tina x

      Comment by TinaCortina | February 3, 2011 | Reply

  3. I pick up on something felicity just wrote in that she mentions how unfair it is for people to make comparisons between gendered and Tgirls using the same criteria. The thing is this, Do you wish to be ‘judged’ as a Tgirl and simply be proud of that fact or is it more important to yourself that you pss as a genetic female, after all that is what you do by the simple fact that you cross-dress? Unless you start off as being completely feminine in looks and behaviour or change your appearance to emulate this then you are always only going to pass to those who are less discerning. You can only be as good as you can be. I think that if you go out into the world with the dire feelings that someone is going to clock you then you will have a miserable time. Be as good as you can make yourself look and concentrate on what you are doing, shopping, dining out or whatever and take no notice of those around you. Should you catch someone’s eye, smile then look away. Prolonged eye contact can be a dead give-away. You will find that most people are too busy doing their own thing. It is only the more curious, the nosey-parkers of this world who might notice.
    Getting back to the photos. Do you not think that taking all those photos is indicative of somebody who is obsessed with how she looks to others? You will notice that my site is glaringly short on photos of myself. This is for three reasons, one, I don’t consider myself to be photogenic (although others have told me differently), two, I look better in the flesh and three, well I simply cannot be a***d taking picturs for others to ogle at.

    Shirley Anne xxx

    Comment by Shirley Anne | February 3, 2011 | Reply

    • Hi Shirley Anne

      Great comment and I deserve the bit about being obsessed. But I am not sure it is about how I look to others, beyond the fact that I do want to improve my look. If you only dress two, three or four times a month rather than every day then I like the photos to help me make my clothes selection the next time. GG’s have had years to get their look right. Oh and I also like the memories of them.

      My look is important to me and I prefer to be judged as a female, but if I’m clocked despite my best efforts (and everyone’s tips) I am happy to be judged as a tgirl that is just trying hard to look her best.

      Your site doesn’t need photos, Shirley Anne…. you have a daily blog, sometimes more frequent, your poetry, so much there and of course you choose the clothes you wear each day.

      And while for the most part (apart from my rear view)I try to post my best pics, I can’t imagine many people want to ogle someone of my age and shape, lol!

      Hugs Tina x

      Comment by TinaCortina | February 3, 2011 | Reply

      • Oh I am sure there will be plenty of people who want to ogle your photos Tina, they are lovely photos.

        Shirley Anne xxx

        Comment by Shirley Anne | February 3, 2011

    • Congratiulations, you are the only trans-person who is not obsessed with him/herself : D.

      Comment by Felicity | February 3, 2011 | Reply

      • …and just to clarify, lol, that comment must apply to Shirley Anne and not to me!!!

        Comment by TinaCortina | February 3, 2011

      • Actually Felicity, I am obsessed with how I look, really! I like to think that I am at my best when out, even to work. I want my public to appreciate me…LOL

        Shirley Anne xxx

        Comment by Shirley Anne | February 3, 2011

  4. I have similar problems to you, Tina, in that my shoulders are quite broad and my bum is too small. Also I’m large-bodied and short-legged, which can accentuate the difference. The one thing going for me is that I’m a shade under 5ft-8in tall, so I don’t stand out in a crowd if I avoid high heels.

    I agree with Susan that confidence is very important, but there are also things we can do to compensate for our shape. For instance, the leggings you’re wearing accentuate your lack of rump, whereas a flared or a-line skirt would do the opposite. I suspect that even your little denim skirt (photo 6~061208~TinaatBNO) makes you look more feminine.

    As for photos, I probably don’t take as many as you, but I do enjoy posting them as the good ones help to build my confidence and the poor ones teach me the clothes and looks to avoid.

    Angie x

    Comment by Angela Davis | February 3, 2011 | Reply

    • Hi Angie
      Lol, with my legs (33-34″) then, you’d be 6ft or more!

      Very good point about the leggings. I wanted some for a while and actually the photos above were the first chance I’ve had to try them. They would certainly not be a first choice with that top, but I may have some smock dresses I can try them with.

      It’s so nice to get tips from others out there, which is part of the appeal of posting photos.

      Now that denim skirt, I seem to recall my wife thinking too short, lol!

      Hugs Tina x

      Comment by TinaCortina | February 3, 2011 | Reply

    • I think taking pictures is a very important part as most t-girls don’t dress as much and so they want to be able to look back and remember and also use it to help improve their look. There have been times I have gotten all ready and gone out thinking I looked really good but looking at pictures of me out in different lighting I notice things. For me there I need to make adjustments depending on whether I will be inside someplace under lights or out in the sunshine. Even a couple of my lipsticks I love in normal light but under florescent lights they look totally different. Pictures help you pick up on these things as we do not have the years of experience most GG’s have. Even me, I dress twice a week 100 times a year now. If you ad all my dressing up it would probably be less than 2 years on a daily basis. Plus I think I look better in pictures when I am Susan.

      Comment by susanmiller64 | February 5, 2011 | Reply

      • Hi Susan, Yes, you have to learn from you mistakes, but first you have to know when you have made one. Luckily I do have someone to keep me from some of the worst mistakes. x

        Comment by TinaCortina | February 7, 2011

  5. I can identify completely with your dilemma. My personal epiphany was at a wedding for a young man who had been a friend and neighbour for many years. I was in a funk because I hadn’t been able to dress for weeks. I spent a lot of time looking at the women in the room and how they were dressed, what they had chosen, how they accessorized it, how it fit, hung etc.
    And it dawned on me; aspiring to “pass” as beautiful and being admired is an unachievable goal. I could potentially hold my own with some of my female contemporaries if I worked at it. I could, with effort, maybe, fight my way up to slightly less than an average looking female. Gorgous isn’t in the cards unless I’m drinking or the observer is already drunk.
    I think, you are setting yourself up for failure by being too critical. Be the best you can be with what you’ve got and be at peace with that…

    Comment by Sarah Michelle | February 3, 2011 | Reply

    • Hi Sarah,

      Yes one reason why I can happily comply with my wife’s wishes that I don’t seek out wedding dresses is that you would be seeking to attain the unattainable and my aims are simply not that unrealistic.

      My back view may not be my best, but at least I generally only get to see the front in mirrors as well as photos)so I won’t worry to much about it.

      Then again, there are some things I might consider now (see Angie’s comment)that the leggings really didn’t help and maybe a scarf or something that draped the back may have taken away some of the attention from the shoulders.

      Thanks for stopping by Hugs Tina x .

      Comment by TinaCortina | February 3, 2011 | Reply

  6. Hi Tina,

    I don’t understand why ‘putting only your best photos’ on the net is an issue or an argument for the prosecution. Why would any one not want to put there best images on the net?.

    Being able to pass? It is important for a lot of girls, but I’ve always imagined that only MTFs and aspiring MTFs would find it an issue. I am a girl in my head, but my body is rubbish; legs too short, so only 5-7; no bum at all; hands and nails yucky, even keeping them waxed doesn’t make them look feminine; shoulders? not sure about them. Actually, shoulders are my turn on, I find GGs with wider athletic shoulders are very fancy-able.

    I’ve noticed in the media, that there are some post op girls, who are still very masculine, but they don’t care. Just being female is good enough.

    You girls who are out and about seem to have a whale of a time; you get chatting to GGs; do a superb job as ambassadoresses for our social group, and a lot of you are pretty. If you are having a great time, and are being accepted, or ignored possibly, by the general public, then what’s the problem?

    In the 9 years since I’ve know I was gender-dysphoric, I’ve been on the look out for TGs/CDs etc, but I’ve only seen one person who I thought was a T-Girl. I’m not sure if that means that there must be T-girls I’ve been near, who have passed very well.

    When you look at the Angels Flickr site, there are some very pretty girls, and some look pretty even though they have some masculine overtones. But as long as they are happy with who and what they are, then that’s beautiful.

    Oh bother, I’ve forgotten where I was going with this discussion – LoL. That probably means I’ve said enough anyway.

    Be happy with who and what you are – and keep having fun.

    Hugs Anna x

    Comment by Anna Arendt | February 3, 2011 | Reply

    • Spotting transgender people can be hard. Most of us are caught up in our lives and what we have going on and are simply too busy to notice other people with the exception when we are people watching. If I am out doing something that has my mind tied up I really don’t notice other people around me unless something really jumps out at me. A really gorgeous woman or a man in a dress with a beard. The rest are just background pictures as I go about what I am doing. Now there are times when I am out I am really looking at woman to see how they dress, styles, color, jewelry and makeup now on these time I will notice all the little things and have spotted T-girls. I think most people are this way, unless there is something that jumps out at them they go with what they see, dress female, makeup female. The key is to blend the best you can as to not give them a reason to look at you a second time and really scrutinize your that is when they will know. Just my thought.

      Comment by susanmiller64 | February 5, 2011 | Reply

      • Hi Susan, I think you must be right. I like people watching too, but some times I’m out, and ‘on a mission’, and miss out on the people watching.

        Your reasons for people not noticing us, are additional ones for it not to be so important to being a hundred percent feminine – it gives me hope – I wish! LoL.

        Hugs Anna x

        Comment by Anna Arendt | February 6, 2011

  7. I’d just like to say that as a ‘genetic woman’ there are many ‘real women’ who could take a leaf out of a tgirls book and take time and effort to look their best when going out, because so many don’t! I suspect that inner confidence is the main attribute in ‘passing’ as nothing can be done if someone is broad shouldered or above average height :)xx

    Comment by karry ann | February 6, 2011 | Reply

    • Hi Karry, yes male, female or inbetweeny, you can only look your best! At least as Tina, I enjoy trying xx

      Comment by TinaCortina | February 7, 2011 | Reply

  8. All I can say on this – so glad the kitchen was so clean! Oh and you look lovely I often see you from behind! I am prob the one that tries to sort your hair and other things from that perspecitve, hopefully making you look your best x

    Comment by AM | February 6, 2011 | Reply

  9. […] blog to reads, ad some interesting topics. Tina’s ‘Honesty Hurts’ (Read it here ) threw up a lot of interesting comments, and all those adorable sights on the right of this blog […]

    Pingback by Lips and Nails « Anna Arendt's Blog | February 7, 2011 | Reply

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