(for some reason my reply got posted as "Guest" so I went back and reposted it properly under my name and will delete the other "Guest" copy.)
Hi and Welcome
I'm glad that you got up the nerve to post.
It can be invaluable sometimes just to talk to someone who you know does understand, even if it's only a bit of text with some anonymous person on the internet
I have questions! :-p ....... you'll get better and more relevant interaction if I know just a little very generalised info about you.
* First.....clarify which direction you are headed, M to F or F to M
* Your approximate age ? (I am guessing that you are quite young )
* Are you a blue-collar or a white collar worker?
* When you say you are Out ...... how do you mean? Are you living full-time in role, part time, occasionally, just within your own home or what?
* When you say you want to go clothes shopping ...... just clarify whether you do mean in-role?
*It's difficult to assess oneself, but at a guess....how well do you Pass?
* are single or in some sort of relationship?
* Have you talked to a Gender Identity Clinic yet, or even a GP?These questions....... the outlook and therefore the slant of any advice is different for a 16, 35 and 55 year old ..... a trans person on a building site is dealing with a different scenario than if they were a lawyer ....... someone who people mostly walk past without a second glance is facing a different thing than one who is 6'5 and has an extremely masculine face etc
re your questions -
Coming out again....... I'm not being pedantic here, but you can't come-out AGAIN ...... once people know, they know. They don't forget either.
So I think you are asking how do you tell someone that an issue that they thought was in the past is in fact still ongoing?
How did they get the impression that "it was over" ? Was there a discussion, did you formally declare it yourself? Or did it just slide quietly away? I'm not clear on the circumstances - were you dressing in front of them?
My thoughts are that they probably wonder whether you are dressing etc now that you are on your own. They already Know ....... so my guess is that they will have wondered and your news will not be a total surprise.
re "their previous reaction" .....Think about the situation ..... even people who will ultimately be supportive or at least accepting are quite likely to be initially hostile. Let's face it, no-one is going to dance with joy when they find out their child or even friend is trans.
A good parent will be concerned about your happiness and your future prospects - life is a difficult business and you will definitely be making some aspects of life harder. They are very likely to try and dissuade you just for the simple reason that Life is a lot easier if you just fit in, are "Normal", don't rock the boat etc
Telling them is not like originally coming out, where the news can be like a bolt out of the blue, if they had no prior inkling.
Since they do already know ....... rather than making some sort of formal discussion you could just drop it into general conversation. Just say something like you're delighted to be in your own place where you can wear a frock when you want to without disturbing anyone else. Whatever, something along those lines. - If they want to have a rant about it, then they have to sort of make the first move, like with "Oh..... I thought you'd given all that nonsense up!" or something.
Whereas if you sort of call a meeting or make an announcement, you are sort of raising a point for comment and discussion.
You are YOU! YOU know who you are - anyone else is simply guessing, making assumptions and responding to what you have told them, how you generally behave etc
If you are certain in yourself then you do it. You have an entire rest-of-your-life to live ....... that outweighs the (mere) Opinion of someone else about who you are, or who they thought you were, or who you SHOULD be (.....that one seems to be a favourite line) or whether they will be embarrassed by it or whatever.
...... you should also realise that what you are doing is essentially bereaving them. Their child, the person they have known an loved will be gone and never seen again - although I sometimes feel or wonder if all the people who knew me try to look straight through my make-up etc and still see the me they knew. But from that aspect, it is hard for even the most agreeable parent. It is common wisdom with trans organisations etc that what most parents need includes a bit of actual bereavement counselling.
Clothes shopping - Whether you are in role or not, confidence is the most helpful thing. If you are not in role then they assume that you are buying for a partner. If you are in-role, then carrying yourself with confidence is a big help.
There is, in some cases, SOME truth to the saying that victims invite aggression.
People are more likely to make an unwelcome comment or take on an attitude if you seem nervous, so do try to act calm and confident - which is what any other "normal" customer would do. I have worked in shops - it's surprising how much people stand out if they look furtive, or if they keep repeatedly sort of walking past things and never stopping. - if you're going to buy a bra, march into the lingerie section and pick one up as if you have every right to do so - which of course you do!
(That was regarding MtF ...... for an FtM, shopping in the men's section never raises an eyebrow. Women shop for boyfriends etc all the time. Or do you mean that you are going in-role and want to try stuff on? Even so, it's much easier for born-women, it's acceptable. Rather less so for males who want to try on a skirt)
Only you know how your anxiety works so if a friend would help you keep calm, then take one - ideally of the sex that you are shopping for.
Personally, ( as an MtF) I felt overwhelming joy to be able to just walk up in-role to the stuff I wanted and just......shop. To be able to use the testers on the make-up counter, to be able to hold a skirt up to my waist and assess the length and the waistband size was wonderful!
I was very lucky - I had an extremely supportive female friend, someone who I'd met just after transition who had never known the old me. She was 100% supportive and went or took me "everywhere".
Working with your step-dad ? What sort of step-dad? - did you ever live with him etc? How long has he known you? Will you be dressing? (...sorry, I am not quite clear on things, on your general situation)
re Gender Clinic's etc.
If you are going to do this, then get on the waiting list immediately because the list is LONG. It could take you a couple of years to actually get to an gender clinic, so get on the list NOW. You can always drop out if you do change your mind.....no-one will care.
- but if you see a DOCTOR who SPECIALISES in gender issues and he says that you ARE transsexual then that is quite a powerful point in your favour - people can no longer dismiss you with "it's just a phase" etc.