Several years ago, I found myself facing the same question from three different sources. At the time, I had a girlfriend (now an ex-), became involved in a local cross dressing group, and was seeing a therapist. I became involved in the cross dressing group about the same time I began seriously dating my girlfriend. When I felt I had no choice, I came out to my girlfriend about Kelli and later began therapy sessions about my cross dressing.
I need to add here that I have always been, and still am, in the closet about my TGism. I was originally silent on the subject because of fear, but as I've aged and been around the block a few times, I'm not really interested in the whole world knowing about Kelli. I seem to have no problems with Kelli and other TG friends, and no problems with Kelli and therapists. Kelli and girlfriends/family seem to be another matter.
That leaves my male side (referred to as "Kelly" here) for girlfriends (even when they know Kelli) and family. I was confident that folks I didn't want to introduce to Kelli didn't know anything about her. That confidence was shattered by my TG friends, therapist, and ex-girlfriend. About the same time, the same conversation came up with all three about whether or not they knew anything about Kelli. For example, my ex-girlfriend knew me as "Kelly", but after I introduced her to Kelli she told me that she knew something was up -- that something was different about me. I knew my therapist for several years as a friend before I began seeing him for Kelli. He told me he knew I was "different" and wasn't really surprised to meet Kelli.
That led me to wonder what I had done to tip them off. True I'm not an overly testosteroned, beer-gutted, skirt-chasing, can't hold a conversation without mentioning a favorite sports team, type of guy, but then I am definitely not the "metrosexual" type either. I have a tough time deciding between going fishing and having my nails done.
I worried quite a bit. Although my ex-girlfriend knew, I hadn't told my family about Kelli. My ex-girlfriend was having enough problems about her, and I knew my family would completely freak. I made a mental note to try to act more manly around these folks, but really didn't know what actions, male or female, were giving me away.
Then I had this crazy dream.... In the dream, I had gone to visit my parents. I found myself in my old room, which looked completely normal, but I was now a woman. I had a feminine hairdo, a pretty face, and a figure that I would be willing to kill for if there was ever a chance I could actually get it!!! It's okay... I'm calm... breathe deeply.... Anyway, I was dressed for bed (wearing a babydoll nightie, of all things!) and in bed, reading a book. The door to my closet was open, and it was full of dresses, blouses, and cute shoes. My old desk was now covered in make-up and hair care items. There was a knock on the door and Mom entered my room. She sat on the edge of my bed and said, "Kelly [addressed me as a male], I need to ask you an important and personal question. Are you a cross dresser?" I found myself gasping and sitting upright as I awoke from the dream.
That silly dream made a big impression on me regarding what people think of me. I can't help what other people think of me. I could do my best to act macho for those who don't know Kelli, but then they wouldn't know Kelly either. All they would know was some person trying to imitate someone he/she wasn't. I'm lazy, so I'll keep it simple -- I'll let people love or hate me for who I am. Kelli is a big part of me, and you will see a bit of her in Kelly. Kelly is a big part of me, and you will see a bit of him in Kelli. I'm doing better on combining these two aspects of my life, and I'm feeling much better by doing that.
And on the subject of who knows and who doesn't know about Kelli, at the moment, everyone that I want to know about Kelli knows. For those who think they know, it's up to them whether they want to approach me on the subject or not. Trying to read minds gives me nothing but a headache.