Friday, September 15, 2023


By Tami Knight

Ambiguity – The quality of being open to more than one interpretation; inexactness

The human brain is hardwired to detect ambiguity in so many ways, visually, audibly and even tactilely.

Certainly, passing is overcoming ambiguity. Nothing noticed, all is normal, people nearby have no reason to question. I have a few close girlfriends who have never known me as anything but Tami. I am fortunate that they willingly ignore any small ambiguity in any way and at all times (great stories here!).

Can we expect everyone in our world to overcome the ambiguity they sense? I think not. Will they react with some degree of hostility, disapproval or will they be gracious? This is a serious question in a time where there is much pushback on many things trans. Top of the list, minors and parental rights. Second is an individual (obviously ambiguous) in space restricted to females. If you disagree with this pushback, you are vastly outnumbered and are going to lose the argument. In my opinion, if the trans community fights hard on this, the damage to all things trans will be significant.

The third example is the adult trans person. Most Americans want to live and let live, so this is relatively safe space for those with no or very little ambiguity. Again, no absolutes here.

I had my hair done at my local Ulta yesterday. My stylist and I spent a lot of time chatting about the cut and the color highlights we achieved. I noticed a shopper choosing makeup look my way briefly, and I wondered what she was thinking. 

Fifteen minutes later I was standing in line behind this shopper checking out. She noticed me, turned, smiled and said, “Your hair is beautiful!” I thanked her and said something unimportant.

Ambiguity detected? Maybe. I pass easily, but the human brain is very perceptive at close range. Was any perceived ambiguity important to her? One would guess not. Live and let live.

Some of us are good judges of any ambiguity in our presentation, some of us are not. We all need to tailor our presentation to the appropriate stage we enter to be both safe and yes, understanding and respectful of others.

Source: Reformation
Wearing Reformation

Hanns Lothar
Hanns Lothar femulating in the 1961 film One, Two, Three.


  1. I'm trying to figure out what your position is when you write "If the trans community fights hard on this, the damage to all things trans will be significant,: especially related to trans youth. There are psychological and medical health issues that must be addressed for trans youth when they are young. The meddling government official are suggesting/legislating trans youth must wait until age 18 to obtain care which is entirely too long to wait. What other medical/mental issue would somebody be told to wait until it may be too late? I view this push back as no different than when politicians and their cohorts aimed fire hoses on black men and black women and black youth on southern streets. Don't let anyone keep you down!

    1. One gets more bees with honey than vinegar. In any disagreement, pushing too hard, and in the wrong direction often invites more than an equal and opposite reaction. This post was about our recognizing ambiguity and being smart about it.

  2. Tami, you said - "If you disagree with this pushback, you are vastly outnumbered and are going to lose the argument. In my opinion, if the trans community fights hard on this, the DAMAGE to ALL things trans will be significant. "
    YES , YES , YES , you are so Right Tami !

    1. I have always considered myself to be an ambassador for trans women, and would not think of offending, or fighting with anyone. What was Margaret Thatcher's saying? If you have to tell people you are a lady, you aren't.

  3. Being smart about it may be a cross dresser staying out of the women's rest room or accepting the premise a male body is totally different in development when it comes to sports. Sure, give that up. In Utah the raving "other" side went nuts over the fact there were FOUR trans youth in high school sports. Turns out of the four, three were biological females on boy's team. One out of 80,000 high school athletes. Nobody needs to submit to the masses when it comes to individual health care, nobody.