Indeed. It’s just that first time. For the past few years, since my wife’s passing, I’ve dressed almost every day, every evening after my shower for sure, but I never left the property. I have a relatively private place where people can meet so always had guests come here. But on a CD meeting site a man just 30 miles north of here kept contacting me for a date, said he wanted to take me out to eat. Fear held me back for months, I wanted to, after all, what was I really practicing putting on makeup and dressing nice for anyway, but all those fears, anxiety from a lifetime of social programming, kept holding me back. I don’t think I’m ugly, but I don’t consider myself passable either. Then one day I accepted, dressed conservatively but nicely, did my best with my makeup, and actually left the house. Actually drove there, in the daylight, and know what, nothing happened. Nobody noticed, or if they did they didn’t care. When I got there we went out to a Mexican restaurant, I was so scared I couldn’t get out of the car, but he came around, opened the door like I was a lady, took my hand, and led me inside. At first the greeter looked a little surprised but was courteous, treated me like I was a woman, led us to a table, but in the middle of the room. I was so nervous, I just knew everyone had to be staring, but they weren’t, they just went on having their dinner, like everything was normal, the fears were all in my own head. It was a little strange, it seemed everyone had to come talk, the waiter, the chef, the manager, asking if everything was all right, meal good, all the normal stuff, but I think they just wanted to see also. But it was pleasant, I was careful to behave as feminine as I could, sit properly, it all began to feel so normal. We chatted, got to know each other some, ate, I almost forgot I was dressed, (but always had to keep in mind I did have a skirt on and had to sit lady like), my first date, my first time out. When we left and got back into the car, I can’t explain the feeling. Giddy might be a good work. Relieved, ecstatic, happy, shocked, such emotions, maybe they were actually feminine emotions, like nothing I had felt before. I slid over and sat right next to him, holding his hand all the way back. I guess, I hope anyway, I’ll always remember my first time. It’s exactly like you say, present yourself as a confident woman, act like a real woman, not like some made up bimbo clown acting out some male fantasy, and no one cares, people will treat you no worse, maybe even a little better, than they treat anyone else. We’re slaves to our own fears, shackled by the social programming we were brought up under, living in fear of people discovering who we really are inside, and it’s a damn shame. It’s just finally forcing ourselves to get out, overcoming the fear is truly liberating, and for me anyway, a major step in accepting myself as Jennifer.