Wednesday, July 8, 2009


This morning, I read a message thread on a trans message board which touched upon the subject of passing. One writer opined that trans people put too much emphasis on passing... that passing is not important... that acceptance is more important than passing... yadda yadda yadda.

I'm sure you have heard these arguments before (and I know I touched upon them here in the past).

Note: I am now putting on devil's advocate hat.

I think that some trans people use the argument (that passing is not important) as a cop-out because for whatever reason, they do not pass.

In addition to being an excuse, it is also a put-down of trans people who do pass, i.e, yes, they pass, but what they are doing is not important, so they are just wasting their time.

I resent that!

I take a lot of pride in my presentation and I admit that it takes some time and effort to get the results I want, but I feel that it is worth it because:

* I pass some of the time, which is a wonderful affirmation of my hard work.

* When I don't pass, at least I don't look like a caricature of a woman. Rather, I look like I am trying my best to emulate a woman and I believe that fosters acceptance.


  1. AnonymousJuly 08, 2009

    I agree and accept the points that you have made. They were well stated. Allow me to add some context.
    I believe that in whatever we do we should strive to do it well. We should take pride in all that we do and keep our hand on the moral rudder. I am reminded of the judge who sentenced a 65 year old man to 75 years in prison. When the defendant complained that at his age he would never see the light of day the Judge told him "Just do the best you can.

    My concern with some who 'flame' about what others do is that we are falling into a culture of excessive political correctness with government and society intruding on our liberties. Live and love and let others do the same.

    The thought that comes to mind is Lincoln's statement,

    "You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    You cannot strenthen the week by weakening the strong.
    You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
    You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred.
    You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
    You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
    You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's initiative and independence.
    You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for theselves."

    Passing or almost passing acceptance are both good for the individual and for our community.

  2. AnonymousJuly 08, 2009

    I would kill to be able to pass

  3. AnonymousJuly 08, 2009

    I think these old canards of "political correctness" and blaming the government are getting old. There are groups in society who criticize, discriminate, and are intolerant and/or oppressive, who are not the government.
    Lets' watch out for THEM.

  4. When I got really serious about exploring my gender identity, my wife was very vocal about me not having a clue what it was like to be a woman, that crossdressers were the most vain people on earth. Why is passing so important?

    I explained it to her thusly: We have to pass before we can be treated as women. Otherwise we are being treated as men in dresses, whether we are being ridiculed as delusional or humored as harmlessly odd. Our appearance has to precede our acceptance by society. All else follows, at least to my way of thinking.

  5. I read something once that said, "If you go out "dressed", it's not necessary that you pass......but it's oh so much nicer if you do."

  6. Staci,
    As usual you have stepped up on the soapbox with an elegant and well stated opinion; and the comments from our peers are very appropriate also. I thought about this during the night, and my feeling is that both are very important and very desirable, but which argument is merits a higher priority depends upon the person, their perspective, and the situation and/or they find themselves in at any given moment. Everyone's path, and shoes, are different!


  7. As a new girl on the block, I have to say that I feel that passing is important. I need to pass to myself and be confident in myself first. When this is accomplished I can enter the world with my head held high, make-up done to the best of my ability, dress looking & fitting its best and walking high in my heels. At that piont in time I AM PASSING! People that meet and see me can approve or disaprove but it is still my parade and I AM NOT going to let anyone rain on it and spoil it.

    Compliments make me walk a little lighter in my heels, negative comments are just that, comments/ opinions............theirs and they are intitled to them. If I am going to worry about negative comments I put on a slicker/ rain coat. How else to you find out how the rain feels on your face as a woman?

    We need to worry about passing while in our houses. Once we exit that secutity we should stop being our own worst critic and enjoy the time. We need to remember that we are not women even if we want to be in the wosrt way. Accept it and go for it.

  8. AnonymousJuly 09, 2009

    I agree Staci -- we can best support and value women by trying to emulate them in the best way possible.... we need to do it in a higher valued way.... this will earn respect and support of our TG nature and ways...