I have never been assaulted or even verbally abused. Yes, I have been given some dirty looks on rare occasions. I find that large public places like shopping centres are very safe.
Most of the advice below is about going out at night.
How can I remain safe going out at night dressed as a woman?
- Try to organise to go out with other people, so that you are not on your own.
- Try to travel directly to and from the venue, either in your own car or in a taxi.
- Avoid known "hot spots". Avoid places or situations that could put you in a compromising position.
- Try not to dress in a sexually suggestive or inappropriate manner.
- Do not drink to excess and avoid other drugs. By staying alert and having a clear mind, your judgment should help you to stay safe.
- Take your mobile phone with you.
- Simply be careful and be streetwise.
What can I do if I am confronted by someone?
This can happen very ocassionally, but luckily, not very often. Remember that every time you go out, it is unlikely that too many people will notice you. Most people are going about their business; paying bills, remembering shopping lists, going to appointments etc. Most of them are too involved with themselves to notice you. You may get the occasional knowing stare, but rarely more than that.
Sometimes you will get approached by another person whilst you are cross-dressed. Most people who muster up the courage to approach, are simply curious. Just act as though you were in male mode and were approached by someone. Be pleasant and talk as naturally as you can. They are probably just as nervous as you, they would not know what your reaction could be.
If, however, you are approached in an aggressive manner, this calls for a slightly different response. Do not react with aggression, this only inflames the situation. Smile, shrug it off, walk away from the scene. Move away from the person and towards other people. You should find that this will defuse the situation and the aggressor (not willing to appear foolish or threatening in public) will move on.
A previous Seahorse member told me that she was assaulted in Oxford St. An aggressive, intoxicated woman made an abusive comment towards her, so she told this woman to "f*** off", which provoked a punch in the face. Yes, she should not have been spoken to like that, but she should have ignored the drunk and just walked away. Remember that women can be just as aggressive as men when intoxicated.