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Why Passing Matters

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Posts: 98
(@middleground)
Estimable Member     United States of America, Ohio, Ashland
Joined: 3 years ago

Lexi,
You don't know how much I agree with you!
I remember the first time I basically said, "the hell with this, this is stupid." No, I wasn't referring to my attempting to be a girl. I said this to myself as I was holed up in my hotel room trying on my women's clothing, putting on my makeup, and trying to attempt feminine vocalization by listening and singing with female recording artists.
My meaning in what I said to myself expressed my desire to get real with my desire to be myself. Just minutes after I said those words to myself, I stepped out on the landing of my second floor hotel room and didn't care who saw me! Soon after, I took my first foray to the local Wal-Mart to look for some cheap jewelry, and yes, in female mode. This was 7 years ago. No masks at the time. Was I concerned I might get called out? Yes, but my urge to let myself be free was so overwhelming I just didn't care. Now, in regard to passing - my desire is to pass. I've been perhaps lucky, I think, and when I'm in obvious female mode, no one has verbally called me out. I've made numerous cis women friends and I've taken to asking if they would like to go out for lunch, and we have quite a few times. I have two dates scheduled for the near future, too. Yes, looking feminine and passing is important to me, too, and yet I also believe it shouldn't matter how anyone dresses, male, female, or nonbinary. Perhaps if I had been born into a different era where it wouldn't matter what one wears, it would be different. Who really knows, but I'm living now and I wish to integrate seamlessly into life and society as a woman. I'd like to get to the point in which I question whether I ever was a man!

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(@alexismoongirl)
Joined: 3 years ago

Trusted Member     United States of America, Illinois
Posts: 58

The hotel room? Been there, done that! That urge to get out in the world and just be who you are is something that is impossible for cis folks to understand. If it was just a fetish, then yeah - stay behind the locked doors and do your thing...but when you are going through all this effort so that you can be you, you want the world to know.

But 100% agree that people should be able to dress how they want. I'm so exhausted with the fact that a men wearing something feminine is cause for scorn or ridicule. This isn't the '80s anymore!

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Member
(@middleground)
Joined: 3 years ago

Estimable Member     United States of America, Ohio, Ashland
Posts: 98

Alexis,
Thanks for commenting. As you have experienced, that urge to let go was overwhelming. I'm at times so close to the overwhelming phase on announcing who I really am to all my wife's and my own mutual friends. I know it needs to be done, but my wife's insistence I not do it mitigates the overwhelming urge. Oh, one day!
Oh, and in regard to dressing as one wishes, male female, or other - as I said earlier, we are still kowtowing to societal norms. Would it be better we were born in a more accepting age, or are we all here now for the purpose to help get to that accepting age?

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Posts: 1
Member
(@katieanntaylor)
New Member     United States of America, Texas, Houston
Joined: 3 years ago

Beautifully said Alexis.

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Posts: 137
(@alexl)
Estimable Member     United Kingdom, Wiltshire, Marlborough
Joined: 3 years ago

Yes it does Alexis. Partly because a persons perception of reality is dependent on the interaction between the viewer and the viewed. You are as you are perceived to be by others. Won't go into the psychology of the 'self' and reality but it's in there. The notion of being yourself whatever others think isn't possible. Human beings don't function that way. The balance lies between how many see you as how you see yourself and those who don't is the point.
I'm always Alex, out and about or in any situation...I don't think about it anymore. I ignore misgenders...even though they feel like a dagger in your heart. Sometimes I don't believe I am Alex? Natural after a lifetime of being seen as male I guess. I went to the garage to pick up my car and thought about acting/dressing 'male' so I wouldn't get treated as a gullible woman haha. Tells me how I see myself I think.
You have a great figure and looks...I can't believe you get misgendered often.
Some people just can't tell men from women anyway, especially from very different cultures. I got misgendered as a woman often before I even started transition. Just long hair does it for some.
There's always a few nice comebacks if you feel you are being insulted. One aspect of my psych I have retained lol.
Great article.

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Posts: 17
(@patriciamarie)
Active Member     United States of America, Oregon, Hillsboro
Joined: 6 years ago

Passing is a losing game. However, a big part of passing is inside you. Not in the outfit your wearing, not in the hairstyle you're sporting nor in the immaculate make up you have applied. It's in the ability to look and feel like you belong where ever you are.

In the last house I rented before I bought the one I'm in now, I used to go to the same grocery store in drab and en femme. I never gave it any thought as to whether any of the checkers realized the my drab presentation and my en femme were the same person or not. Nor did I care. If my wife needed me to pick up something for dinner that night I'd stop by and get it wearing my company uniform (I was a truck driver). But one day, I got home and as I was changing into a dress she told me that she meant to call me to have me pick up something. I'd been to the store many a times in a dress or skirt and blouse, so I grabbed my purse and went. As I was checking out, the assistant manager was my checker. She asked me if I'd had the day off. When I told her no, she said that she was curious because she'd never seen me at that time of day out of my uniform.

She obviously knew who I was no mater how I was dressed but had never said anything before. And she obviously didn't care.

Then again, one day while I was at work where the only outer wear that was woman's were some plain grey jeans my socks and tennis shoes. I should mention that I always wore my hair in a high ponytail. I was helping load pallets he was buying from us on a Hispanic man's truck when he asked me my name. I told him "Pat" and he asked "Patricia?" I said, "Patrick". He smile and gave me a wink as if to say "Yeah suuure you are," and went back to work.

So he saw the feminine in me while I was in drab.

It's all in how you present yourself, not in how you look. If you act like you belong where ever you are when out en femme, everyone else will too. That includes fitting rooms and restrooms.

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Posts: 8
Member
(@sassycassie)
Active Member     United Kingdom, Lancashire, Blackpool
Joined: 2 years ago

Hey
I read your article with great interest.
I am 8 months into my transitioning and really struggling with the whole 'passing' issue.
In turn its made my anxiety really bad, to the stage I have an eating disorder and hardly leave the house.
I KNOW I am female but all I see is a male face in the mirror. I literally live behind my covid mask. Even if someone comes to my house I won't open the door without putting my mask on. Here in the UK you still have to wear masks in public but that's soon going to be coming to an end and I am dreading it.

I want to live my new life, I don't want to hide away but I just hate my male face and so scared everyone will stare, especially being 6'1 with size 12 feet, even though I am very skinny.
It doesn't help that I have no female friends (cis or trans) that can help or advise me with make-up and clothes.
Especially make-up, as I have heard contouring can really feminise a face. I have tried YouTube vids but because of my autism I struggle to learn from a video, I need someone in person to teach me.
At the moment it's an issue I just can't ever see me getting past πŸ™

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Posts: 1
Member
(@matti24)
New Member     Iran, gorgan, gorgan
Joined: 2 years ago

hi bb

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Posts: 86
Silver
(@misstranslation)
Trusted Member     United States of America, California, Granada Hills
Joined: 2 years ago

Hi Alexis (and all)! I have been transitioning for all of three months now. Living 24/7 as Dana. On blockers presently, have dropped 20 pounds, orchi tentatively in the works for early next year, name/gender change petition filed in court and effective (barring catastrophe) on Oct. 7. Safe to say that I am in this thing for the long haul, and NOT simply as a crossdresser or some other "feminine male" type.

"Passing"? Yeah, it's important, if one assumes that "not passing" means all sorts of unpleasant things coming your way. That likelihood probably varies from place to place.The gold standard, of course, is to always be taken by others to be a natural born woman. Some of us can meet that standard; others of us, sadly, will find that difficult, if not impossible. I myself live with a little looser definition of "passing." Yes, I TRY to be as convincing a woman as I can be when in public. I'm pretty sure I sometimes succeed in that. But I realize that many will possibly recognize me as a transgendered person. In my definition of "passing," if the person(s) you're dealing with "reads" you, but nevertheless presses ahead still treating you as a woman, you have "passed" in every necessary sense.

I have by now dealt with numerous doctors, nurses, clerks, cashiers, waiters, waitresses, fellow customers/patrons, etc., and only ONCE have I been referred to as "sir." Yeah, as Alexis said, that stung a bit. But only for a little while (it was late at night, a cashier at a fast food drive-thru, not anyone who mattered a tinkers damn to me). Now, I live in Southern California, where folks may be a tad more accepting of trans-folk than in, say, ______ [fill in the blank]. If so, that's my good fortune. But we have our share of bigots and wise-asses here, too. Either they are being well-mannered, or else I really haven't run into them yet. Whatever, so far I have found my personal definition of "passing" to be all I need to get "Dana" out the door, ready to face the world.

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