Too Filter or not to Filter that is the question…


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    • #92612
      Miriya Paris

      Ok everyone, I have noticed a recent upsurge in filtered photos online recently, like last few years on the dreaded FB and others.  Some people are opposed to them some love them, some do not care, etc. etc… We all know or all mostly know the reasons why and why not to use them. Professional photographers have been touching up photos for almost a 100 years and in todays age it is all about DIY and stuff, and to make the amateur stuff look as good as the professional, especially so with photos. What are you alls thoughts on the matter? Is it wrong to use them? Is it ok? Does it add to dysphoria or lessen it?



      Me personally I think of them as the “Mirror of Erised” kind of thing, pretty to look at but can be deceiving as to real life. But then again online personalty is a false life altogether.


      with Love all ways,



    • #92620
      DeeAnn Hopings

      I voted “Other”. Specifically, here it’s OK. I don’t have a problem with it. However, if someone was to use that photo for a dating site, for example, that crosses a line for me…

    • #92672

      I identify as a 25 year old petite blond with blue eyes, firm breasts, and a 20″ waist. I could use filters to look like that. But you’re going to be surprised when we meet…

      I hate filtered photos. Just be you.

      • #110452

        The reason I use filtered photos is that I am in the closet and can’t just be me.  I would out myself.  So, filters is the best alternative to …nothing, I think.

    • #92951

      I’m not going lie. I tried the adobe photo shop version that does the whole body. And I’ll tell you this, I wanted blank myself. I found myself so attracted to myself.

      It was done so good that it even fooled my wife and kids.

      On the other hand. It also gave me a false idea that I could really transform my body to that gorgeous creature that was on my computer screen.

      So for the curiously wondering try it out, but don’t your hopes up that you can’t look the same


      This has been Hippie from CD Heaven

      • #95291

        I used a filter and side by side it looks like me with nice makeup, I’m just starting HRT so maybe in a couple years I’ll catch up to this picture. I love the hair color it defaults too, that is going to be my color and I never would have picked it, Auburn with red highlights, I’m a redhead!

    • #93350

      I voted “sometimes”, and I’ll explain. If you use them on a site like this, I don’t care. If you use them on a dating site, that is false advertising.

      I have used several graphics programs over the past couple decades, and made pretty good money doing it. I was manipulating photos of myself before I ever had a cellphone. However, my avatar is of the real me, with no photomanipulation.

    • #93714

      <p style=”text-align: right;”>I agree have fun with filters has there purpose. Glamour shot does it so on. Truly depends on what you want to do with it really. Like DeeAnn said. If you are on a date site I say be yourself. I am new here so I m really don’t think it would be a problem here. Then again I usually don’t take many pictures of myself lol.</p>

    • #93715

      I refuse to use filters. They give a false sense of my looks, and the one time I have seen myself filtered, it was pretty uncomfortable knowing I would never really look like that. Plus, I don’t wanna be 25 again.

      And I disagree that Online Life is fake. I have made several many true friends with very real and down-to-earth people I have only met in text chat.

    • #93911

      Hi girls , We are women , all women are vane , so using a filter is ok i think . I mean to a point , i’m an older woman and i never lie about my age and i use a filter sometimes to remove some back ground or maybe hid some wrinkles , not to much and certainly my own face and body . I know some have posted a young woman on their profiles and i see nothing wrong with it so long as they give their right age and SO status . This is not a dating site , we are here to help each other , to support and console , we want to look pretty , so doll up i say , enjoy , after all isn’t make up a filter of sorts , aren’t we covering up our face ? , making us more fem , more sexy , ha ? Face it girls we’re just as vane as any woman out there . I’m Leslie and i want to look my best and pretty . Please understand , all i’ve written here was not intended to hurt anyone’s feelings or chastise anyone but to support all here . Love you all . Leslie

    • #93968

      I voted yes as it’s not for me to say how people would like to be viewed. I think it’s quite all right while you are exploring your way to self acceptance. For me, I really have struggled with how I want to be perceived and how I really look. In that respect it’s taken much processing to present just the way I am, so I don’t use filters. What I’m seeing is someone who is quite happy with where they are on their journey and that’s genuine. I’ve spent my whole life hiding. Don’t want to do it in front of you all.


    • #94038

      I voted “don’t care.” My profile picture was tweaked with FaceApp. The tweaks were minor. I had my wig and makeup on, the app added a little bit of femininity to my face. I hope to use a real picture soon. As far as filtering, to each her own.

    • #94049
      Cynthia S

      I have no objections to using them privately and none to posting here or elsewhere either WITH ONE CAVEAT- they should clearly indicate that they are “retouched” or filtered”. The reason that is important is tto not give false expectations and/or discouragement to others who may feel depressed if they think they have no hope of looking as good as someone whom they think is their “peer” or at least in the similar position in life. For that reason I only ever post natural and completely un-retouched pics with the exception of chat where I am PRESENT live to make it clear they have filters applied. It’s as the apostle Paul said- It’s not that its forbidden to me but that I don’t want to cause my sisters to stumble on their journey.

    • #94071
      Emily Alt

      I’ve used FaceApp twice when I didn’t have time for makeup.  It did a reasonably good job simulating how I look with makeup.  Both times I clearly indicated it’s use, and would never do otherwise.

      I think it’s okay to use filters.  Maybe it’s fantasy.  Maybe you’re pressed for time.  Maybe you’re looking to improve your makeup skills.  Maybe your situation restricts your ability to express yourself.

      I would offer that in many situations, being our authentic selves makes the best photos!  A smile goes a long way!  Beauty is more than skin deep!  Use filters with moderation.

    • #94529

      I voted no.   When I post a pic I want people to see the real me.   For better or worse.   I also  don’t want to fool myself.     If I can’t look that good in real life why look that good on a pic.

    • #95224

      If anyone wants to google the female FaceApp picture that Joe Rogan’s daughter made of her father, it shows you that the “transformations” created by these apps are not really legit.

      They don’t reflect what is possible with surgery and hormones. Rather they conjure up a person that doesn’t exist from characteristics of the real person whose pic is being used as source material.

      There is also a website called “This Person Does Not Exist” which uses generative adversarial networks to conjure up random fake images of people drawn from huge datasets of real photos.

      As a programmer, I find these apps fascinating, but what is being conjured up is still a fantasy. The question then becomes “is fantasy a bad thing?”.

      Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no.

    • #95289

      Sometimes: On CDH my private photo gallery has a clearly-named folder for FaceApp-modified photos.

      For me, these images lessen dysphoria. Some philosopher said that “memory” and “imagination” are two words for the same thing. I dissent a little: regrets (and more positively, learning) come only from our memories. Plausible images of a fictional young girly me happily alleviate the possible real-world distraction today of a gnawing regret of a lost opportunity.

      Not for Facebook or anything else public. This discussion here reminds me to update my possible photo at LinkedIn.

      I have bought or declined particular clothes and colors after using FaceApp “face swap” to insert my photo into ads.

    • #95429

      I think “Filter” might be a bit too broad of a term. Do I use photo editing to fix lighting and color issues? Yes – photo pros do this all the time. I’ve been known to use a tiny bit of “skin smoothing” as well…

      But that FaceApp business is totally something else. No amount of makeup or traditional filtering in the world would make Joe Rogan look like what you see in that picture his daughter posted. FaceApp is basically virtual plastic surgery. None of my photos have altered my facial dimensions or proportions. The makeup is all mine. (I’m not trying to brag, just trying to make a point).

      So I don’t have a problem with people using these apps, as long as you don’t hold yourself up to these standards. Realize that most of what you see online is not real, and be comfortable with the “real” you.!

      • #100863

        Me too! Amongst other things I do as a freelance designer is a lot of image alterations and photo enhancing. I photograph a lot of different stuff and at times it will not be quite the result you’re aiming for. Hence the image enhancement software… just to get a slightly darker, mood image or to enhance the highlights a wee bitty.
        Faceapp… A big Nope from me! What you see is what you get… about me that is.


    • #95900

      [postquote quote=92612


      I choose, Other.
      Filters are one way of seeing yourself as YOURSELF.
      Kind of post FFS.
      There are services available for pre-FFS that do show what your female self will look like post FFS.

    • #100643

      I think its fine so long as you’re honest with yourself and others.

      My profile pic is with a filter, without it i still look very much like a man and seeing myself how i want to be is nice but im also not kidding myself with it

    • #100940
      Cheryl T

      I agree with the honesty vote.

      It’s fine to use these filters (and I have) to enhance your image and see what you might look like if you were more the “perfect” you. As long as you note that the image is so enhanced when posting it for others to view it’s fine. If you use that modified image to misrepresent yourself online to others then no, it’s not an acceptable practice.


    • #109813
      Sabrina MacTavish

      I actually have an article coming out on the 4th that talks about this issue. I posted it a month ago on CDH.

      I do believe that there is a difference between those who are following a path of transition and those who just beginning to feel as if they are more than just a crossdresser. There is nothing wrong in trying to show how you feel inside, or to modulate some aspects that you currently can’t alter. I think where the line becomes more blurry is when some use programs and then present as the finished product. It’s one thing to say that I used a filter and this isn’t me but what I wish for verses, “Hello! This is me.” No one is happy with their current state, especially those who are trying to live as their true selves. Illusion, fantasy, desire, etc are ok…sometimes that is all we have to keep us going mentally. It becomes more worrisome when we choose to live as our created avatar and not as a reflection of a posted desire.

      To this extent; yes, I believe it’s fine to use a filter, to alter a picture to look more in line with how we feel on the inside or to take care of certain aspects that trouble us. But…I strongly suggest that the need to only exist as an avatar is a reason to seek professional guidance to help find a firm foundation in reality of what we can truly be. None of us are perfect, and neither are the women/men who were born as such. We all struggle with issues of how we look. We come here for acceptance, but the most important acceptance of all is that of ourselves.

    • #110183

      My profile photo is a filter.  I wish I were that pretty, but that isn’t why I use it.  That is why I take the pictures and run them through the filter (I enjoy seeing the images), but not why I use it to post online.

      I am concerned that Google or some other facial recognition software will link an unfiltered photo to me, and I am in the closet.  I don’t want to out myself, as it would disrupt my life considerably.  So, though I have photographs that I like of myself in makeup and whatnot, I am reluctant to post them online.  I THINK (hope) the filter changes my appearance enough to avoid outting me.

      • #110194

        I have no idea how to use filters.  I also don’t want to.  My picture is of me wearing my pink chef’s hat while I was in culinary school.  I guess I look dorky, but I also think I look happy.

        I will go for unfiltered happiness any day!!


        • #110195

          I use FaceApp.  And, you just take a photo of yourself, and then choose “gender”.  This generally results in a female that looks like me to a large degree.  I mean, I take the photo wearing a wig, so the hair is very much the same.  And, my nose, eyes and mouth are the same.  But, somehow the overall impression is that I am prettier.  AND, I look younger.  So, there is an age change button which I also select.  The problem is, the age that makes me look my age also wants to put facial hair on me.  So, I take the photo, do gender, then save.  Then I take the filtered photo and load it back in, and age myself.

          That’s pretty much it.

    • #110222

      It’s a personal choice… it’s nobody’s business how someone else choses to present themselves.

      Makeup ??? Makeup is a ‘Mask’. As LeslieAnne mentioned, makeup is a ‘filter of sorts’. Same as a wig… a wig changes ones apperance.

      TGH/CDH are not dating/hookup sites… so there is no need to display the real you in any photos. I don’t see what all the fuss over digital image trickery is.

      How about our names… 99% of us use a pseudonym for some online activities. If some of us are complaining about the ‘authenticity’ of our photos/images, then why not go ‘all the way’ and use our given ‘birth’ names’. 🤷‍♀️

      I find it a tad hypocritical of those TG/CD +  that object to a bit of digital trickery when ‘they’ want the freedom to present themselves however they desire to the masses and not be ridiculed for it.

      To each her/his own…


      Gen ❤

      • #110223

        That all makes sense to me, and is pretty much how I see it.

        At the same time, I don’t want people to see my filtered image and have unrealistic expectations or jealousy because I (I think the filter is pretty) appear prettier than they can be in real life.  I don’t want to mislead or deceive people.  I am not catfishing.  I just want people to have some idea who I am, without it being facial recognition vulnerable.

        So, I use the filter, but I tell people it’s a filter.

      • #110229


        All your points are well taken.  Everybody should be whatever they want, whenever they want, especially in a program like TGH.  I hope I haven’t come across hypocritical; mostly I do what I want to do, and what I know how to do.

        There is no symbology that truly conveys who we are, to include a picture of our real self’s image or our birth name.  Our fabricated names and imagery only whisper one tiny piece of our essence.   An observer as likely be misdirected by such, or be looking at a hint of the author’s true self.

        Gen, I love your picture; like many of us: “I was just drawn that way”.


      • #114825

        Some of have changed our names legally. And that is what I use

        Lisa Rodriquez

      • #116336

        I agree, thank you❤️


    • #115498

      Filters have created a lot of stress and frustration for my gorgeous 19 year old daughter, the endless comparisons have eroded her self esteem and self worth.

      For someone with a firm sense of themselves I don’t see the harm if used as entertainment and perhaps a goal to work towards )knowing that it will probably always be unattainable)

    • #116293

      I have no problem with girls using filters to look more like their ideal selves so long as they disclose that fact upfront. I’ve used filters, particularly before I had a wig or makeup, but I was always upfront about it.

      • #134329

        Im always upfront so they know what they are getting


    • #116378

      I changed my profile pic to an unfiltered, untouched photo that I took last night right after I finished my makeup. I have no idea why, I have no problem with filters…but I think my picture radiates confidence, acceptance, femininity, sexiness…and most importantly, happiness! I wanted to make sure that I did not filter out any of the joy I was feeling yesterday! Please, if you think I look great unfiltered at 65, please tell me! Every girl wants to here someone tell her that she is beautiful!


      • This reply was modified 2 years ago by Haley Ann.
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