I am excited to post an article in the series “Your Story”.
Today we have Sophie sharing her experience from her first time out en femme. I hope you enjoy it.
I’m a recent transplant to the Twin Cities area, having only lived here for only about a year at this point. I’ve been dressing up privately at home since I was a teenager, but since moving here I’ve started to want to actually get out of the house and be more open. It’s exciting and kind of scary, but when it struck me that I was ready I knew there was no way I was going to change my mind. I thought sharing this experience might be something worth sharing with others.
Last summer my wife and I went to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival for the first time. We had a lot of fun, especially with putting together costumes. I was a pirate and she was a witch. Going to the Festival in garb is infinitely better than going in normal clothes. I really feel like you’re missing out if you don’t dress up for it. Anyway, on the drive home we were happy and laughing about the day and just generally basking in the afterglow of it all. And all of a sudden it was as if someone had flipped a switch in my brain. I said to my wife, “We should go back again in a couple weeks. And I want to dress up as a wench next time.”
I haven’t taken any time to self-examine that decision point since, and I don’t think I want to. I just knew I was ready to let Sophie out in a way that I hadn’t before. My wife asked if I was sure, and I said yes. She asked me again a couple days later, and I answered yes again. So we bought tickets. Then I spent the next week hastily assembling a costume from whatever pieces I could find on Amazon that I knew would be delivered in time!
For my outfit I had a long off-white underdress with puffed sleeves, a dark wine colored skirt, a brown lace up bustier, a black belt, and brown ankle booties. I also wore fishnets because I couldn’t help myself. I did my own makeup and it came out… okay. I was and still am a novice with makeup. But I’m getting better! I also bought a new lace front wig to wear.
So, straight up, I didn’t fool anyone. No one mistook me for someone with ovaries. The person at the front gate who checked my purse as I entered called me “sir” but quickly corrected themselves. And that’s okay. I didn’t expect anything else. But to my surprise, no one else reacted at all. Not a single person (that I noticed) gave me a second glance, or a question, or any indication of surprise or recognition or anything else. It may have been the biggest “no big deal” moment of my whole life.
We walked around the Festival. We shopped for jewelry. We bought some pottery. We watched the joust and the belly dancers and a very cringey comedy show. We also drank more mead than planned. And in general we just enjoyed being in such a warm, cheerful place for the day.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I understood that this was very likely going to be a pretty safe crowd anyway. People who go to Ren Fests in my experience are very kind, friendly people. Many of them feel like social outcasts in their own ways, which means they try really hard not to make anyone else ever feel anything but welcomed and appreciated. They, we, see each other in those ways. Plus, this was an event where people are encouraged to go in costume. So that was another layer of safety and comfort. But later, when I went out the second time in a less “costumey” environment, I had a very similar experience.
I’m excited to go back to the Renaissance Festival again this summer. I’ve had a year to plan for a new and better costume, so that’s going to be fun. I’ve gotten better with makeup as well. And I definitely have better boots to wear this time too. Because last year… ouch.
Thank you so much, Hannah!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Do you have a perspective or an experience that you would like to share? Please email me with the subject line “Your Story”.
7 thoughts on “Your Story… by Sophie”
That was a great story, thank you for sharing I love and have been to the Renaissance festival many times. It has always been a great experience.
Welcome to Minnesota. It truly is a great and fascinating place to live.
I look forward to hearing about your future adventures.
When a modern lady takes her time shaving her legs and totally primps and puts on her cute skirt and high heels to go out , there is a feeling , we Know Exactly how wonderful she feels because we have and love our T-Girl gift .
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First times out are very special indeed
My real first time in such a public place was where else but Vegas.
To me that was a great place to be me and it convinced me I could go out anywhere
Yes like your festival Vegas is very trans friendly but it defiantly gave me the confidence I have today
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Great story, Sophie. I’m so glad you had a good positive experience. I’ve lived in the Twin cities for 35 years and I’ve always been happy with the level of acceptance we have here.
I also went to the Ren Fest in an “alternative” outfit some 25 years ago. I wore a sarong and a Kurta I bought in India. It felt good to break out of the shorts and T-shirt look, but it still wasn’t the floral print smocked ruffled tiered sundress I always wanted to wear in the summer when I was a kid. Seven years ago, I stopped being afraid of what others might think and I left the house in a graceful maxi skirt. Then three years ago, I fulfilled my dream, and I spent the day in a pretty summer dress running all my errands in feminine splendor! I try to get out once a month dressed beautifully — full femme in the fall and winter, and genderqueer in the late spring and summer.
Hi I would really love to know the rest of the story, like the conversation in the car on the way home? Were you able to continue on the new pathway?
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Hiya! Thanks so much to everyone for being so encouraging! There isn’t a lot more to tell from the day after that. My wife asked me if I felt good about how it went, and I definitely did. Obviously. We agreed to go out again sometime. The next opportunity that felt right was going out for New Years Eve, which was fun too. It was a similar, “no big deal” feeling. No one around us gave me a second look. But that’s a less interesting story than this one, since it was my first time. And yes, I’m still on the pathway. Though it’s been a little slow. But I’m excited to get out for Pride this year!
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You can’t tell a story like that without sharing a piccie or two!
Congratulations on this lovely story. I hope you have many more wonderful times.