Part of the reason why I missed my train home on Friday was that the battery on my internet tablet is playing up, and it decided that it was flat, leaving me without a clock or train timetable. I turned it on again later and it indicated that the battery still had about 4 hours of charge left.
Not knowing when I needed to get to the station, or that there would be over an hour between trains, I stopped to look at an op shop that I was walking past anyway. The shop is a small privately run place, and I had read a positive review of it on a crossdressing forum, where another member said that they had been there in boy mode and had tried on and bought a couple of dresses with help from the friendly, accepting staff.
While I was browsing, there was a young woman working in the shop who appeared to be one of the staff mentioned in the review. She asked if I needed help, and whether I was looking for something for my partner, because it's all ladies here. I replied that no, I didn't need help and I was just looking. That response satisfied her, and she turned her attention elsewhere.
So, in spite of the very obvious freshly tinted lashes, the fairly obvious long hair, pierced ears, long painted nails, etc, she either didn't make the connection or chose to pretend not to. So, like the staff at my local Subway, it's hard to know whether she noticed and just didn't say anything or whether she simply didn't notice. Either way, it doesn't actually matter.
That got me thinking. I know of crossdressers who have beards and a profusion of body hair because they are so fearful that just the lack of that hair will cause people to realise that they are crossdressers. They live most of their life in hiding, hiding who and what they are as much as they possibly can and often struggling with depression as well. I find that quite sad, since it actually seems to take a lot of effort to tip people off to the fact that you're a crossdresser, and even when you do, it doesn't usually actually matter.
So, if you want to grow your hair long, get rid of facial and body hair, get your ears pierced, get your lashes tinted, etc, just do it. Most people won't even notice, and those who do will probably think that it's an improvement without ever even considering the possibility that you're a crossdresser.
Painting your nails, growing them long and having acrylic overlays like I do might be too much of a hint for most people but even that's not guaranteed. :)