Stimulating question, Lauren. I had to stop and think about this one before responding.
What I wish is to be out and unconcerned about it. What I do is be out, with some some concerns about it. Similar to Jasmine, I consider my safety in as much as where I choose to go. I believe that I have been okay and accepted for who I am in my daily life. At the same time, I believe that I am usually clocked as a transwoman: I do have an exceptionally feminine body or face. My personal experience shows me that almost everybody takes me as is without fuss. Whether I am talked about, or laughed at behind my back doesn’t concern or hurt me as I am not aware of it.
In this sense, being out serves as a public awareness activity. At the same time, I do not initiate conversations about transgender awareness when I’m out. I happily answer any questions and have conversations when someone brings it up. The topic doesn’t come up very often am all.
I think that just being me is a public awareness function as it is, and a passive invitation to talk about it, but I’m not going to go out there with the intent to educate the world or be a “poster child” for us. I think my presence is enough to let others know that I’m a confident, valid and important human being. And judging by public reactions I’ve received, I am successful at it.