Sunday, December 5, 2021

A Good Question


Recently I wrote a post concerning the term "passing" and it's relevance to transgender women and/or cross dressers today.  Georgette wrote in with this response:

"I'm not sure the idea of "passing" will ever go away. I see so many on-line posts of Trans People still asking/worrying about it.  And it is not just transgender women, many younger trans men are asking the same.  The ones that give up and say they will never pass  say that's OK as I will own being a transgender woman. But I wonder if they could pass would they still own being a trans woman."

First of all, thanks for the comment. In my experience, most all of the transgender women I knew who readily passed, all went stealth and were never heard from again. Of course, my disclaimer is my examples came from "back in the day" when going stealth was the only way to go. In other words, stealth meant being invisible to the public than being anything other than a cis woman. 

I have two specific examples of trans women who closely followed each other in their transitions. In fact, I think their genital realignment surgeries came in the same year. Both of them had an advantage in that they had natural feminine tendencies and passed very easily. Yes, I was quite envious as I struggled to work with the qualities I did have to get by  Through it all, as I tried to come to grips with my gender identity, I was able to essentially "carve" out my own little niche. 

These days, I find myself  struggling with going stealth myself. In fact if the truth be known, I am an estimated  ninety per cent in the world as a cis woman. When I refer to this, I need to explain for the most part it has little to do with appearance and more to do with confidence. Much of my confidence comes from having Liz by myside. She has my back when/if anyone miss-pronouns me. Ironically, I think we get more public push back from those thinking we are lesbians. 

In addition, I have pulled back from most of my participation in the transgender - cross dresser support group I used to be fairly active in. I just don't feel a part of it anymore. Being a full time participant in a feminine world has eliminated the need to get all dolled up to be with other like minded individuals.  If I truly thought I had anything to add, I would go. Many of the other attendee's are much younger so there is an age gap to consider also.

Still,  I do think I carry the stigma with me of wanting to "pass" as a cis woman. Too much time , effort and worry went into during my gender transitional years. I can't forget also how much the femininization affects of hormone replacement therapy helped me align my inner and outer selves. Finally I  learned none of it still matters totally. An example was the Thanksgiving debacle I went through with my daughter's in laws. My excuse for their miss-gendering was how well I imprinted my maleness on them earlier in my life.

It's a good question.


  1. Makes a lot of sense. I don't perceive myself to be cis passing, though I will easily go in public with no special considerations and attract no attention. As I have progressed in my transition, I find myself less concerned about that sort of thing anyways and I suspect that's a very large part of the reason why. I suppose it's a function of just being me and being happy with that.

    Nevertheless, for a lot of us, cis passing can be a safety function. I am fortunate to live in the most accepting city, Toronto, of what I believe to be the most accepting country, Canada, in the world. So, maybe that cushions my situation and leaves me less in need to pass. For other places, though, the sad truth is that it can keep our trans siblings safe.

    I also find that I too have pulled away from the crossdresser community. I never really fit with it anyways, to be honest, as I often found the process more dysphoria inducing than helpful back in the day. So, now? I guess I'm more interested in comfort and casual. I don't need to touch my feminine side, I live it.

  2. I have to think that nobody could pass 100% of the time. I say that because each of us can never really forget our past lives. As such, we cannot really pass to ourselves. Sure, we may become so comfortable and engrossed in our present lives that we don't notice it so much, but, sans a diagnosis of amnesia, the past will be remembered from time to time.

    For me, the less I became concerned with passing to myself, the better the chances were that I would pass to others. This does not mean, however, that I have settled for owning a transgender identity. I, absolutely, have to believe I am a woman - even if others may label me as trans. In doing so, I am not buying into a delusion, nor am I expecting others to buy into an illusion. I am comfortable in being me, and I can only hope that others would be comfortable with me, as well.

    For health reasons, I have been unable to alter my hormones or have any surgeries to alter my appearance. Having allowed my dysphoria to disrupt my ability to achieve any substantial financial gain, I am now, at 70, left with no real resource for any alterations, anyway. All I can say is, "what ya see is what ya get." If that ain't good enough for someone, well....we can just take a pass on it altogether.

    1. So, just after I wrote the comment above, I went out to grocery shop and get my booster vaccine. I was quite presentable in my hair, dress and makeup, and was feeling even a little pretty. At the grocery checkout, though, there was a discrepancy in the total, and it took three employees to figure it out. During their discussion, among themselves, I was referred to as "he" twice. I guess that answers any question as to my passing. It had been over two years (maybe three) since I was last mis-gendered, but the sting still hurts and kinda messes up my day. The employee who mis-gendered me had always been so friendly and accommodating in the numerous encounters we'd had in the past.

      The one thing that is common among cis people is that they don't very often give their gender much thought at all. I have been getting myself to that point, as well, but it's taken many years so far. As confident as I have become with myself, though, I guess I've not attained everything I've worked to achieve.
      The only positive here is that the hurt does not last as long as it used to. Big girl panties may not be enough; at my age, I should probably be in granny panties.

      I did get some redemption when the immunization coordinator at the drug store did not hesitate to check the female gender box on the form. The only bad thing about the experience there is that I ended up having a bad reaction to the booster, and I've been awfully sick for the past two days. Or, maybe it was the first experience at the grocery store that made me sick? :-(

  3. The whole question of passing will never go away. Not even just in the trans world, I hear my gay friends talking about passing as straight, and friends with Asian heritage as passing as white. Does this mean it's about claiming inherent privilege we are not entitled to?

    On a personal level I am quite sure that I never pass, especially as soon as I open my mouth! Having said that the vast majority of the time I am not noticed, these days I have a self confidence I have NEVER had before, now I just go about my business as me and nobody notices. I fear it is when we try too hard that we get noticed and give ourselves away. It is only when I glam up that people notice, that I start to get the comment like "You've got great legs" with the unspoken "for a man".

    I suspect that the situation may be different here in the UK with very many staying with support groups long after their own transition, It is a sorrow to me that I will be missing two meetings in a row due to other, work commitments.

  4. came upon your writings through Femulate. Really appreciate your acknowledgement that some of us pass most or all of the time.Some sites claim that is impossible which causes a turn-off for newbies. It also indicates a lack of self confidence on the part of the author and/or laziness to do the work.
    Some of your other writings discuss friendships with women --I have found that most come around very quickly. Most men remain turned off