Monday, May 30, 2016

Trying The Door (Repost)

Navy Silk Dress - Adrianna Papell
Jacket - Kasper ASL

Navy Pumps - NINA

I really enjoy reading blogs about traveling transgender.  Kimberly Huddle has a wonderful site “Traveling Transgender”  where she details her adventures.  I love her stories.  Nadine Spirit likewise just chronicled her traveling adventures in “Unordinary Style”.  Likewise during the last few years I have "Traveled Pretty" as Kimberly likes to describe it many times.    

At first it takes an extra sense of adventure to leave the comfort of home, restaurant and shopping and give all control over to others - Literally confined in a small space among strangers, not knowing how they will react or what will happen.  Any of my sisters who have flown to a convention, vacation or for business have earned their wings. 

Back in 1989 flying was different.  How different?  First, we did dress differently.  Sure, there was those who went for the comfort factor that only jeans and sweats offer but most saw flying then as an upscale experience "out of the ordinary".  We dressed a step above every day attire.  There was less security and scrutiny, although ID’s and baggage was screened and checked.  These duties fell to the airlines and not a government agency.  Plus, as a passenger and customer the airlines treated you with respect.  Good meals were provided and flight attendants and gate personal provide a level of customer service not at all seen today.  

My common sense did take a back seat to an adventure back in 1989 when I decide to fly as Rhonda – Florida to California.   Not everything went according to plan but the bumpy flight had nothing to do with my altered state/appearance.  It is a good story that challenges us all to live life and have stories.  Be forewarned it is long, so I will break it up over several days - like a mini-series.  Stick with me to the end. There is a theme. 

Some of you may have already read the original story for it was published in my friend Joann Roberts magazine “Lady Like” sometime in the early 2000’s.  What a “classy outspoken person” and ambassador she was.  I still miss her.  The photo above is the travel outfit I wore that day – Don’t laugh – people did dress up to fly. 

So enjoy - Live your adventures and please do comment.  Tomorrow I will start with part one.  


  1. Rhonda,
    I had a similar experience about 5 years ago. I was to go from New York to Denver via Detroit leaving at 11 AM and arriving at 4 PM. Of course, I was dressed. The one difference was that I was carrying some male clothes with me but ...

    Fog came in and we were delayed. I was put on a flight to Atlanta about 3 hours later. There was a two hour delay there also. My problem was that my daughter lives in Atlanta and doesn't know about my feminine side. If I got stuck there and I told my wife, I would have had to stay with my daughter - or at least visit with her.
    Well, as it turned out, we did take off at about 9 PM for Denver. Uneventful flight but very late. When I got to Denver, my bags were nowhere to be found. When I went to baggage claim, I had to show my ID. When the lady offered me the standard night bag for those that lost their luggage, she paused and then handed me a woman's kit. All seemed OK. I got my rental - the biggest SUV known to womankind - and I was in a skirt - quite a challenge getting in without flashing. It was now after midnight Denver time.

    I checked into the hotel and got an odd look but who cared at that point? When I went to change, I didn't have any nail polish remover! It was in my checked bags and I had an 8 AM meeting. So I got back in the SUV and I found a 24 hour Walmart and strolled through it at 1 AM in a skirt - not your normal Wally world customer. It was now about 16 hours since I had shaved so I was surely a sight. I came back to the hotel, cleaned up and tried to get some sleep. When my bag arrived at 6 AM, I went down to get my bag and the guy that checked me in had my bag. Some more odd looks. As it turned out, some of my coworkers were also delayed and I only missed them by about 30 minutes! No one saw me and the meetings went well.

    If you are curious, I did travel back pretty.


  2. Rhonda, really enjoyed reading your account of flying pretty. And absolutely LOVE, LOVE your suit! I have a number of KASPER ASL skirt suits and love them. It is hard to believe ladies dressed like that for flying when you look how they dress today. You look gorgeous in that smart outfit. It brought a tear to my eye when that attendant took good care of you. How wonderful.

    - Christina Cross