Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Feminine Differential - Overt vs Covert

Overt” means “done or shown openly or plainly apparent” in the Oxford English dictionary. This can refer to all sorts of actions which are done in plain sight or with clear manifestations. Overt activities have no other representations other than what they appear to be.

“Covert,” on the other hand, means the exact opposite of overt – not openly acknowledged or displayed. Hidden or displayed unintentionally.

At SCC Convention '97
Photo by Mariette Pathy Allen
Most crossdressers make every effort to be covert and not mistaken for what they are. As Cyrsti's Condo described it:

First there are the clothes and the makeup, then comes the occasional trips to test the public's eye and those turn out to be the simplest part.

For years I hid behind a big wig, long sleeves, and high neck tops in a created, over-the-top, feminine facade.
 Although stylish, I was the caricature of a man who was crossdressing. Women generally did not dress that way; then or now. However in public, I thought I was being covert (no one is noticing) in my efforts to pass. I was thinking I was blending-in. Likely the only place I did blend-in, was at a crossdressing convention. 

I am not describing my actions then as adverse, it was part of a necessary growth process that allowed me to accept the fact, I am transgender. Where are you in the growth process?

It does not take many trips to the mall to fully comprehend that being a feminine person is both complex and simple. Complex attitude - Simple presentation.

Being in the real world - April  2022

I am "ma'am" almost 100% of the time without the over-the-top feminine facade now. (Ma'am- a term of respectful or polite address used for a woman.). I love it.

My hair is shoulder length and on days I don't feel like styling it, I wear a ponytail. My daily uniform, jeans or shorts, t-shirt, and sneakers. All have a subtle feminine differential. This look represents how I feel on the inside not necessarily how I am desiring to be perceived. Acceptance comes from being comfortable and relaxed with ones internal self. 
There is freedom that comes from being overt in one's actions; a wonderful feminine differential. Revelling in the liberation of being who I am.  



  1. Great post, Rhonda, but I have to ask... You wrote, "Although stylish, I was the caricature of a man who was crossdressing." Did anyone ever call you out as a man who was crossdressing?

    1. Good question - not exactly, however i always felt that was what I was doing back then. As I look back I am sure I the best dressed "woman" at the mall, play or museum, creating extra unwanted attention. With all the engineered underpinning, pads, and heavy makeup it was hard to feel natural.

  2. I honestly think that your '97 look is fine. It is an office appropriate look. My wife is an attorney and that is how they dressed then and even now to a certain extent. In a lot of ways it is about "where" you are as it relates to what you are wearing.

    I think it is awesome that you can rock your original hair today!

  3. You are talking about what happens to a person when the light bulb clicks in their head and they finally realize that they are trans. It is much the same progression I went through :)