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Mailing Letters After Midnight (1992)

Mailing Letters After Midnight (1992)

©1992, 2013 by Dallas Denny

Source: Denny, Dallas. (1992). Mailing letters after midnight. (Unpublished? paper).

I think this article might have been published in The Dixie Belle, the newsletter of the Atlanta-based Sigma Epsilon chapter of The Society for the Second Self.



Mailing Letters After Midnight

By Dallas Denny, M.A.

American Educational Gender Information Service, Inc.


She got started later than planned, and it took the customary two hours to get ready, so by the time Janice reached the mall it was nearly nine o’clock and the stores were all closing. The presence of a security guard made her nervous, so she found her way back to her car and drove home.

It had been Janice’s second time out. Although she was thrilled at having actually driven while dressed, she was feeling a bit unfulfilled because of her late start, and so she fell back on Plan One.

Plan One was what Janice did the first time she went out.

It was after midnight when she let herself out of the apartment and started down the sidewalk. In one hand, she clutched her purse; in the other, a hastily scrawled letter to a friend. Janice was on her way to do something no genetic female would do—she was making a midnight trip through a questionable section of the city, wearing her best clothes, to mail a letter that didn’t require immediate mailing.

The swirl of her skirts around her legs, the click-clack of her heels on the sidewalk, and the occasional whiff of her perfume intoxicated Janice, so she didn’t see the patrol car cruising slowly down the street. The first indication she had that something was amiss was when she found herself in the glare of a spotlight.

Officer Marks thought it a bit odd a nicely-dressed woman would be out on the sidewalks at such a late hour. She scanned the area with the spotlight and then used it to pin the figure in place. “Ma’am, are you okay?” she asked through the loudspeaker.

Janice, yanked from her reverie, squinted and squirmed in the bright light; startled, her anxiety level, already high, went hypercritical. She stood there dumbly, unable to answer, shaking, casting about with darting, scared eyes, looking for all the world as if she were about to run.

Marks, who up to now had been concerned about the woman, began to be suspicious. She took a closer look. Was it really a female? Or was it a male, perhaps even the perpetrator of that convenience store robbery on 8th Avenue two hours earlier? She repeated the question. This time, the suspect—she was now thinking of Janice in different terms—answered, and Marks’ suspicions that this was not a female were confirmed. She called for a backup unit.

“Please stand in place and put your hands behind your head,” she said through the loudspeaker, and, unbuttoning the strap which secured her pistol in its holster, she began to climb out of the car.


Women inhabit different space than men, and one characteristic of their space is they have to protect it from unwelcome intrusions by men. That intrusion can come violently, as rape, and every woman learns a variety of protective strategies. High up on the list, somewhere between “Don’t climb naked on the bar’s pool table unless you want to get 8-balled” and “Have your keys out before you get to the car” is this invective: “Never, ever walk down the street in skirts and high heels to mail a letter after midnight.”

It is, of course, just this sort of dangerous excursion that appeals to the novice crossdresser. After all, anyone might need to get an urgent letter in the mailbox. After all, no one much will be around to stare or harass her. After all, it will be dark and no one will recognize her.

Unfortunately, danger waits in the dark. Not only is the solitary nighttime excursion an invitation to those who would like nothing better than to bash, rob, and/or sexually molest you, it will put your own behavior into unfavorable light, making it look as if you were soliciting or planning a robbery, especially if you are dressed in the provocative clothing and heavy makeup that characterizes so many first-timers.

You’ll be much better off, sweetheart, believe me, if you go to the mall in broad daylight. Better yet, find a support group and visit. You’ll not only get help with your appearance, but you’ll learn techniques for surviving and even enjoying yourself while going out crossdressed.

And if you have to mail that letter, either wait until the morning or find a man (even if it has to be your boyself) to take it to the box for you.