Etiquette and Comportment

By Kumiko Yvonne Watanabe, DLV 2000-2008

OK – you’ve got the physical items and have done the basics: clothing, undergarments, hair, cosmetics, shoes, accessories, and for those more advanced, the female voice.

You now have the physical tools and means to look female.

Now one needs the other part, which is to learn how to/or have those intangible tools to BEHAVE as a female, the non-verbal body language that will complete and compliment your M to F conversion.

The goal is to present a complete female overall appearance. This will create doubt in those that try to read you. More the doubt, the more the confusion and difficulty for those that are trying to read you (male or female).

This applies best in stand-alone situations and not as a group, unless everyone in the group are using the same principles. In groups, the rule still stands, guilty by association.

When someone is reading you, they will look at the whole picture. If the image is female, then the behavior, as in body language must also fit the image.

There are many GGs that look like men in women’s clothing. What makes them read as female and NOT a male in womens clothing? For some, it’s the physical curves of the body. BUT many GGs have the body frame just like males, but still, everyone sees and reads them as a female.


It’s how they behave, its the non verbal movements that defines their femininity. So for many of us MtoF transgender, who may have male features that are hard to hide as a female, we must also behave in a female manner.

This is of equal importance as it is to be able to dress and look female.

What you are trying to accomplish is to behave like a female, and produce all kinds of doubt in the person looking and trying to read you, trying to determine if you are a female with male features or a guy in female clothes.

Your answer becomes part of your protection, create the maximum doubt in that person, by behaving like a female and not give away anything that is male.

I’ve had some waitresses literally stare at me for a few minutes, and I can see the doubt in their eyes. What they are looking for is how I behave. Specifically my body language, how I sit, how I eat food, and use the utensils, how I hold the cup that I drink. Of course I was nervous, knowing I’m being judged, but the final outcome, was that she couldn’t tell or wasn’t sure. She couldn’t dwell on it long for she had tables to attend to. What also helped was that I had a male date with me, to give the appearance of being a couple.

The longer the period of doubt means that they haven’t decided or cannot read you, so they must by default consider you as a female, for they see no bit of male. The emphasis is “SEE”.

The key to behaving like a female is observation and practice or copy or mimic the femme movements you have observed.

Like physical sizes, women behave the whole spectrum from very male to very female. The key in this is to pick up the behaviors that will give you the female body language you need, and at the same time, discard the male body language behaviors. This is very similar to observing what GGs of the same size and age wear. You must observe how they behave.

Doing the behavior is easier said than done, for us males, male behavior is automatic. For females, female behavior is automatic. It’s the male doing female behavior, changing the way one does things can be easy to see and say, but very difficult to do. You will have to consciously control you actions until it becomes natural.

For example, lets look at walking.

When enfemme, do you walk like a linebacker on the football field, or like a woman?

One may chose to walk like a fashion model down a runway (this is a over exaggerating walk). This dramatic runway walk will only draw attention to you. The idea of the runway walk is to give hip movement. Give too much hip movement or if it looks unnatural, it will draw attention, and be the catalyst for anyone to question if you are male or female. Some GGs I’ve seen that walk like that are the drink waitresses in casinos, then again, their body language, body form, and 3 inch heels clearly shows they are female.

Though a few every day women walk as if they are on a runway (feet in front of the other), you will observe that most walk with their feet side by side, like men do. Many women don’t have runway type swaying hips, gyrating buttocks, and swinging arms. Try and follow some females walking around in casinos or shopping centers and you will see this for yourself.

You will see many variations. If you follow them, try and mimic or copy their walking style. Some people will notice you, but they will think that it’s a guy walking like a female. Little do they know what the real reason is.

Ask yourself what is about their walk that makes them look female?

The answer is to look at other parts of their body as they walk, also observe how they hold the purse.

Don’t concentrate only on observing just on the hips legs and feet, observe other movements of the whole female body. You will see the arms swing a bit more up and down and faster (depending on the speed of their walk), but not much more than men (men tend not to swing so much). Women’s hands are open and relaxed, so it looks flowing as it moves back and forth. One arm can be holding their purse or purse strap, depending on the type of purse.

Women tend to look forward head upright and looking ahead of where they are walking, looking at others or things around them. Men tend to look down at what’s in front of their feet. Women pick up their legs as a whole walking stride more than men, men tend to drag their feet. Women walk with their backs straight with good posture, even with 3 inch heels; many men slouch down with a curved back, some like gorillas (linebacker walk).

You will have to select the best way to walk like a female, so that its not to over exaggerate, which will draw attention, and at the same time not to walk like a male. It becomes more challenging when wearing heels.

Begin to notice the placement or how they hold a purse, depending on they type and style of the purse. Most popular among women are smaller short handled purses that are worn right on the shoulder and snuggled right under the arm pit, freeing the use of the hand on that side. Other women have larger bags and longer straps, where the bag can be down to their waist or hips or longer. Others still carry the purse by the short handles like a briefcase. The argument amongst women is the ability of the purse to have enough pockets to hold all of their stuff determines the size of their bag. Others go by status and fashion by the brand that’s printed on the bag.

You will have to choose which style of purse matches your femme appearance and behavior-and cost.

So, to begin, watch everything about them. Every fine detail on their physical movements. Then practice it till it becomes second nature.

The key thing here is to ignore the movements that women make that looks male, BUT to copy the movements that’s more femme, and at the same time, not too much where it over exaggerates the movements.

Another example is dining or eating.

I’m not going to go over proper etiquette on table manners. You should already know the proper way one should eat. The emphasis here is to ONLY do the female etiquette, and NOT the male etiquette.

One observation that I am recently noticed is that women do NOT put their bags on the dining table. Doing such is very rude, and for women a flag indicating that this is NOT a female. It will either go on the floor or on their chair, or on their lap. But it will be somewhere close to them so that no one will be able to grab the purse and run. Also when going to the restroom, no women leaves her bag on the table, she always takes it with them. When opening the purse at the table, it’s the only time a bag will go on the table. Most GGs will still use the lap or the bench seat to find something in the purse. A reason why is that the table can get dirty with food. No female will want to get her bag dirty with food-especially if it’s a expensive designer bag from COACH or POLO or ARMANI.

As a side note, I’ve been told to keep one or two tampons in the purse, for when using the women’s restroom, one may be asked for one, for its something a gal keeps in the purse. Now, how you speak with a response, is another problem.

I was at a restaurant in male mode I look at the table across from me, and I initially see two women eating dinner. One in a dress, the other in slacks. The one in slacks has her legs together, good posture, back straight, elbows off the table. She was very delicate and had very femme dining movements with only the fork in the right hand, the left down at her side. She brought the food to her mouth, and her head was back from the table. Very easy to tell it’s a GG.

However, the gal sitting next to her, had her elbows on the table, eating with the knife upright still in her left hand and using her fork to eat in her right, her legs wide and apart under the table. She is hunched with her head over the food, stuffing her face with large portions of food on the fork, talking while chewing the food, with her mouth open. If one looked at a linebacker at a buffet, that’s how she ate. Under the table her legs were wide apart. This behavior brings on closer inspection. THEN BAM!: Instant read for anyone! It’s a guy in a dress.

Basically how she ate and sat gave her away as a guy. She had a perfect female face, makeup, and clothing.

Remember, if you can see legs under another table, so can other tables see you, so you must be aware of how you sit, and how your legs are placed.

If that guy were to have followed how that GG (wife) was eating next to her, there would be no reason for the deeper look. If that guy behaved more femme, people would reason it’s a female that looks like a guy and not a guy in a dress.

People will always look at other people. If a person sees something that is not the norm of what they see day to day, they will focus on it. We must reduce that focus by behaving within the norm, and produce more doubt about what they are seeing. Again, the more the doubt, the less you are read correctly, and more the possibility that you will be read as a female with male features, and NOT a guy in a dress.

Observing people eat can be fun. You will begin to see what movements females use to eat. Pick the ones that are very femme, and copy and practice it. Ignore the females that eat like guys. Believe me, there are many females that eat like guys, but those females still have the physical features that say they are female-we M to F transgender don’t have that physical advantage.

I’ve noticed that many females that eat very femme, eat differently from other females. As you observe how females eat, you will see the subtle differences in how they sit, how they hold and use the utensils, how the food is cut, and how they drink. Its so very different from males.

For instance, many GGs turn and bend their head a bit when they eat. Some of the head movement is to prevent hair from getting onto the food or into their mouths. Some cover the food with their lips before taking the food off the fork. MOST DON’T TALK WHILE CHEWING. Many have small portions on the fork, and chew the food much longer than men. Both men and women hold forks in the same way.

Note: Depending on the country the person comes from, behaviors and etiquette can be very different

Depending on the type of glass, women hold their drinks with their fingers (first three fingers) rather than the whole hand, and also holds the straws (usually two straws for drinks for women) with a first two or three fingers of the other hand, while males just grabs the cup with the whole hand and use their lips on the straw (if they use the straw). Some women hold the cup with both hands, to bring the usually hot drink like tea to their mouth.

Many women use both hands to carry the plates at buffets while most men use one hand. As far as holding plates, some females also hold the plate with one hand.

Observe how females sit and get up.

Women put their legs together and they fall back on their butts onto the seat, in other words, the butt goes first. Males just dive in to sit. The same is true when they get up from sitting. Women will put their feet together and stand straight up using their thighs to lift, and their butt moves up, in a flowing motion. Most men get up with any ole way, elbows, arms, legs.

Holding menus.

Watch also how women hold the menus. Some will hold it straight up from the bottom, some at a angle while holding the bottom, some flat on the table with their arms off the table. Watch how the female looks at the menu, then choose which behavior that is best femme for you.


How a woman points to something, there is femme and male way to point. This I cannot describe in words to well, but a lot has to do with the shape of the hand, (use of a few fingers or the whole hand) and how the arm is positioned.


How a woman stands still is different also from a male. Many women stand feed close together, but males tend to have their legs apart. Similar to sitting, males tend to sit legs apart, women legs together.

Folding arms

Another one is when a woman folds her arms. It is always under the breasts. It actually helps her support her breasts. Even when leaning on the table with the elbows on the table and arms crossed, a female will always have it UNDER her breasts. So, when putting on the falsies, remember to place them so that when you cross your arms, the breasts rests naturally around that area. Some M to F transgender forgets this and cross their arms over and on top of the breasts squishing them; women don’t do this and its a clear indication to them that you are not female.

I can go on and on explaining more of my observations, and I cannot list everything, for this article will be too long. A lot will be learned on your own by your own observations.

Some DLVers that have tried this, are having fun learning, and adapting, while watching GGs, and how they behave. The problem was how NOT to laugh while watching, especially when eating. They are amazed how much GGs act like bad males.

Remember, the more femme you present, and the LESS male you present, the harder it will be for someone to read you as a male. The goal behave like a female, so even you may not look perfectly as a female, your mannerisms and body language will present a female, and the best result will be that you are read as a female with male features, and not get the “That’s a guy” result.