Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Passing Confidence

 Recently I received this comment on "passing" from the email from Tami:

"It seems that many have different views on the importance of passing, and I won't argue that.  To each their own.  I put high value on it however.  Like many, my initial experiences out in public were guarded. My wig was ok, my makeup just ok, outfit not quite right.  Then I matured, the facial hair was 95% removed, and I grew my hair out.  Already small at 5'9" and 145 lbs at my heaviest.  My dermatologist helped with a little botox and fillers to feminize my facial cues.  (So supportive too!) I took some voice lessons at U of A in Tucson .  It all just came together for me.

I still go to work as male, push my medium length bob back and play it straight.

At a business lunch with a speaker recently, I sat next to a woman at our table of eight women.  I invited her to lunch a few days afterwards.  She had no clue I was trans and said so, when I mentioned it late into our second meeting.  So I don't need to be 'stealth' but if it happens, I let it.  I could share a dozen more stories that warm my heart given the intimacy, good humor, and kind words that were shared. 

I pass now 99% in any setting, and there isn't anywhere I won't go or do confidently.  Friends have said I own the room with my confidence.  I can (and do sometimes), have a bad 'voice moment' and leave someone wondering, but never a discouraging word is heard.  Always a compliment!   I always want to be the best ambassador for trans people and it works.  So the icing on the cake (for me), in passing is the total acceptance from others; the many female friends I have developed long and lasting relationships with.  And, sometimes their husbands too.  I had once thought that other women might only see me as a novelty, and their interest would fade.  It hasn't.  They are remain friends and the circle grows.

So it's the relationships - normal friends and a social life that makes passing rewarding for me and easy for others to befriend me and stick with me."

Thanks so much for the comment! I know another local trans girl who is a "natural" and passes easily. Even to the point of being a wonderful karaoke singer (when there was such a thing!) but she still goes to work as her male self. 

To each their own! 

My own story was a little more complex as I was slightly under six feet tall and weighed over 275 lbs  when I started to transition. I then promptly lost fifty pounds. I too though began to rely on my personality and confidence to gain any "passing" privilege I could.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if I pass or not, I know others see us differently to how we see ourselves. I suspect that how we carry ourselves, how confident we are of our presentation, and how comfortable we feel in our skin is more important than how well or badly we are dressed (Just look at the number of appallingly dressed cis women). I do know that in every social or business situation I go into I am now treated as a woman.

    As a trustee of our local Pride I enormously enjoyed sowing confusion a while back at one meeting by proudly proclaiming that "I am straight" with several questions about how could a straight woman head up an LGBT+ organisation.