Last week, I mentioned that I was wondering whether the new casual girl at Tree of Life in Charlestown Square would recognise me in boy mode. Well, the answer was yes. Unlike the manager, Sharon, the young woman (whose name I'm embarrassed to admit I still can't remember in spite of being told it about 10 times so far) did a double take the first time she looked at me when I went there in boy mode, and I thought that I saw a hint of amusement. When I spoke to her she confirmed that she had recognised me instantly.
Going from a blonde wig to male is about the biggest contrast in appearance that I do. If I had been there with my own hair in girl mode or with an auburn wig, recognition would not have surprised me so much.
Sharon, like my sister-in-law's mother, knew me in boy mode first and didn't recognise me in girl mode. If someone knows me but doesn't know about my crossdressing, there's a much larger mental leap to make to recognise me in girl mode. I suspect that seeing me in girl mode first (and probably reading me) makes it much easier to recognise me as a guy.