Last week I had a thing at work that involved mingling and smalltalk in a roomful of around 200 people. Not my forte. Long story short, it was a tough night for me and I stayed just long enough so the higher-ups knew I was there, and I bolted as soon as I could. I tried to be confident and friendly and all that, but it's not easy being the open transsexual in a roomful of co-workers.

Today I get this invitation in the mail. My company is having an evening out at the annex of the Air and Space Museum. Cocktails, appetizers, and dinner, I think. Myself and a guest are invited. Cocktail attire required. I looked at my calendar and it's not a kids' weekend. Crap. I told HR that once I transitioned that I thought I'd be more visible and happier at work. That's been true and I've been doing great at it, but I need to keep the petal to the metal, so to speak; I feel that now more than ever, I'm expected to be at these sorts of things. They do a formal one like this twice a year. I have been with the company for about 3 1/2 and this would be my first one.

I don't own any "cocktail attire." I don't have a guest to bring.

The thing is, events like these are part of the reason my company is a great one to work for. And I am scared to go to them. If I go buy a dress, go to this thing, and panic again, wandering around, trying to find someone to talk to, that won't be good. Yet, I need to try and force myself to go... suck it up, face your fears, get a positive attitude and perhaps if I do that, it will be OK. Dimes to dollars I end up going. I have until May 11th to decide.

I have no idea why I am even writing this year. Maybe in the hopes that I'll get a date. :(



You are a very attractive young woman. Buy a dress, go, and enjoy yourself.


I agree with Liz.

Go shopping for a Little Black Dress! You probably know the kinds of necklines and styles that are flattering on you, and black is always chic. Black dress, some jewellery and accessories, nice heels (don't have to be sky high), and you will feel awesome about yourself.

I know it takes time, but it also takes practice. And practice forgetting that you're "the open transsexual in a roomful of co-workers." You're just you. They won't think about it either.

I understand that it's more fun to go to these things with a date. Do you have a friend who might like to go?


You are a VERY attractive woman... So go have fun and shop your heart out for the perfect little black dress! It takes time to find the right one, but so worth it when you do as you will be stunning! And don't be afraid of low cut or sexy either dear! You have the body for it and thats the way they are suppose to be!

Now about that other part... Getting that nasty iscky voice out of your head! That's a toughie! But you can do it! and the best way I know is to beat it back with success! So send in your RSVP, go, hold your head up high and just be "Faline" Faline, the amazing, wonderful witty and charming woman that we all know and love!


Oh, and cocktails do help!
Only way that I Faline

I agree with the others... GO! This is your life now, so enjoy it, and let yourself shine!

Early in transition, I also had to do things that to be blunt, I found a little scary. But that was because they were new experiences. Afterward, I was left wondering what I was so scared of... and glad that I did those things.

Just push all of that "transsexual" stuff out of your head... you are simply Faline, an attractive young woman and an important part of that company. :)

I agree with all of the above. DO find a date....The bigger the hunkier the better. (Eat your heart out girls!).

Secondly, I would go extremely easy on the cocktails. Discretion IS the greater part of valor.

And three....Be sure to HAVE A BLAST!!!

Umm... Can I be the lone voice of dissent here?

Yes, by all means go. But don't force yourself into a date with someone just for appearances. You won't be the only single person there.

And for gosh-sake don't try to pretend you're a 20-something hotbody by dressing in something slinky and/or short & leggy. If your company is anything like mine, there will be women your own age there and they won't dress like that.

These are people you work with. Project the image you want them to remember. If that doesn't involve a dress, there are plenty of suitable pants outfits for professional women that still suit cocktail attire.

It sounds like a downer, but I have to remind you: Don't fall into the trap of assuming that you're not under extra scrutiny. You are. And you can handle it it you trust yourself.

@Liz... I read your comment, and felt better. Perhaps it doesn't need to be any more complicated than that.

@Ariel... I'm sure I could find a friend but I almost feel that it'd be better for me if I went alone to prove to myself that it's OK to go alone.

@A Sister... I think that if I were to wear something low-cut or sexy, at this early point, it might reinforce stereotypes that people have of trans people. In a group of people who don't know... sure... I'd do it then. All that said, I will get the voice out of my head and events like this and experience will help.

@Angel... yes, every time I fret about something, after I've done it, it turned out it wasn't the huge thing I was making it out to be. You'd think I'd have learned that lesson by now, no?

@Anne... I would love to find a date. If I had the slightest clue how to go about that, I would. :)

@Diana... Going with a date would ensure that I wasn't standing by myself without someone to talk to. It's definitely not about appearances. I can handle the extra scrutiny myself, as you suggest. I have to remind myself that I've been doing it for months. It's just a different situation.

@Liz again... hmm, I say that "Perhaps it doesn't need to be any more complicated than that" and then proceed to write a couple hundred more words. But, you see, that's what I do. I over-complicate things. It's my curse. :)

You don't have to be transitioning, to feel uncomfortable at contrived parties like that. Extroverts do fine in those situations, but introverts have a hard time with them. I have always been uncomfortable trying to make small talk with people in such situations. It just feels unnatural. Having a trusted colleague/friend close by to talk to can help you feel relaxed, but you really do need to bring someone with you, so they don't feel like you are clinging to them the whole night. The whole purpose of a party is to have an enjoyable time, and if you can't why bother? If it was me, and I couldn't arrange to bring a trusted friend along, I'd invent an excuse to stay home. But that's just me.

Melissa XX

Actually, on the date front, if you were to go alone I really doubt you're be the only one. Singularity is fairly common. I've gone to things like this alone, but then I'm an extrovert. :)

I agree that "hawtness" is not what you should go for here. Chic. Together. Classy!

The thing is, Melissa, that I just can't, no, I just won't spend the rest of my life sitting home out of fear. I've been making those sorts of excuses to myself for years, and I need to stop. And usually the point of a party is to enjoy yourself, but in some cases, especially when it business-related, there's a second point... the higher-ups want everyone they. And they notice who isn't.

In lieu of "Mr. Hunk" you can always go with a good and trusted ally from work, as Melissa suggested. Then you are free to mingle at will with a "safe haven" if/when needed.

I know i don't know you but i'm so glad you've given me the opportunity to be a friend.I know how being the only trans woman can be.I thought all was well at work but it was only cause a new person was being trained for my job.I think being nervous is natural at an event requiring a specific attire.I have a few cocktail dresses i bought,a black Calvin Klein i so want to wear but no where to wear it :( Anyway,ya look awesome so get what ya need and Rock the event and thanks again for accepting my friend request.Best wishes,Keri Rose Green

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