Recently we encountered a cis-female acquaintance whose spouse was scared to death to come out of the closet and also the mother of a trans daughter.
Immediately my heart went out to both, knowing fair well what the feelings are like. In fact, I was pretty sure the first night I came out my best accessory was an oxygen tank.
I had cross dressed off and on sure, but on this special night, I was going to go into a place I had scouted out several times as a guy-and go in as a woman. Order a drink, appetizer, the whole deal by myself.
The evening imprinted me so much that I can still feel the smooth sliding of hose inside my black flats as if it was yesterday. Not 20 years ago. The funny thing that happened was I managed to blend, breathe and not get laughed out of the place.
I am sure the bar tenders knew because soon I became a regular.
These days, I consider it my biggest pleasure to help anyone out of the closet-anyway I can. At the least it's good karma and most certainly I have enough smart and stupid stories to fill part of the evening.
The nice thing is around here at least (Southwestern Ohio) there are several "layers" of groups from cross dressers to transgender women.
Hopefully some night we can meet for coffee! Of course there are always intangibles but if your spouse or parent supports you, the big ones are out of the way!