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Belle

Why passing is important to me

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Belle

A lot of people in our community scoff at the idea of passing or feeling the need to pass. While I don't feel like all on its own passing is important, it can be important in certain contexts.

 

The reason it is important to me is that (1) I want the world to treat me as a woman. And (2) I don't want to anyone to have to deal with cognitive dissonance just to be in my presence. In other words, I don't believe the world should be forced to conform to my perspective. Changes in society will come in time due to all of those who are fighting for our existence, but I don't want to enter the battle. Maybe some day but certainly not soon.

 

Also, (3) aesthetics are important to me because. For the same reason a nice painting is hung in a hallway, I want to see beauty every time I walk past the mirror.

 

Again, I don't think everyone should feel this way, I just don't think it's illegitimate or bad to want/need to pass.

 

Belle ❤

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A. Dillon

My mom tells me all the time that I shouldn't try to pass for other people, but recently I realized that I am doing it for me. I don't really care whether or not that one person walking down the street saw me as a guy, while that is certainly nice and huge boost. I care that I can see myself in the mirror, and be confident with who I am. Like when I look down and see curves, it is just another thing that reminds me of the suffering I can often be going through. If I don't pass, I don't leave the house (or even my room really) because that is just not how my mind sees me as who I should be, and it kinda freaks me out.

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Suzanne1
1 hour ago, Belle said:

A lot of people in our community scoff at the idea of passing or feeling the need to pass. While I don't feel like all on its own passing is important, it can be important in certain contexts.

 

The reason it is important to me is that (1) I want the world to treat me as a woman. And (2) I don't want to anyone to have to deal with cognitive dissonance just to be in my presence. In other words, I don't believe the world should be forced to conform to my perspective. Changes in society will come in time due to all of those who are fighting for our existence, but I don't want to enter the battle. Maybe some day but certainly not soon.

 

Also, (3) aesthetics are important to me because. For the same reason a nice painting is hung in a hallway, I want to see beauty every time I walk past the mirror.

 

Again, I don't think everyone should feel this way, I just don't think it's illegitimate or bad to want/need to pass.

 

Belle ❤

Every person must have the liberty to make such decisions for himself/herself, as well as the freedom to change their mind at a later date.  I'm shocked at the thought that some individuals or groups would, based on their ideological predilections, attempt to impose their perspectives on others.  Do such individuals/groups truly exist?  If so, I would be suspicious of said persons'/groups' agendas.

 

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VickySGV

Whatever you do, and whatever you feel you need to do in terms of body alignment are your choices alone to make.  The only problem that can come though is when you feel you need to do something, do it, and you do not get the satisfaction from it you feel that you should have, and become bitter about it.  An example I have right at hand is a friend who had facial surgery 12 months ago, and to the rest of us is nicely recovered and looks attractive, but she can look at her new face and she still sees her old male face $35K later.  The positive changes were too subtle for her to register and she is a mess psychologically right  now.  She and actually the rest of us in our group are seen as women when we are in Cis settings and none of us has problems being accepted.  It is when you can accept yourself that others will most certainly see you as your best self. 

 

My GCS seven years ago did not do any miracles and no one other than my medical care team has much interest in the fact I did it. (boo hoo) it was still a step I knew I had to take whether or not it mattered to others.  My face as you can see in my gallery is gender neutral and when I feel like it, a bit of makeup tips the balance so FFS was not on my path.  I did get necessary dental work done -- do pay attention to that!!   I have not even needed beard removal since my face hair has always been light and fine, to me that is not important or needed for acceptance.   I will admit that the passage of time living as ME has been a big think, Passing does go away when people know you and have forgotten the old tired person. .  https://www.transgenderpulse.com/forums/gallery/image/13260-transniteatlapridejpg/

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MaryMary

It's an interesting topic and I've thought a lot about it in the last year. I understand why it's important to you.

I think I've come to a conclusion for me. Like you said in your post, Belle, I will precise that it's only a conclusion for me. lol

 

I feel like the reality for me is that I have a lot of dysphoria for a lot of thing. I'm scared that if I chase passing too much I will never stop and be caught in endless dysphoria circle. I have a diploma in litterature so I will use a good old litterary reference here : I feel that if I'm trying too hard to pass in my daily routine I'm 'tilting at windmills' (https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/tilting-at-windmills.html)

 

I did made a decision in the end. I did decide to not do any other surgical stuff (beyond GRS) and I bought a car instead to be able to make more activities with my 2 childrens. We already went to a national parc and walk in the forest. It was really really cool and my car is really really cool also. I kinda put my chips in the corner of being openly trans and trying to be happy with what I have now in terms of physical appearances.

 

When I read your post what I'm thinking is that as long as it makes you happy it's really cool. In my mind the most important thing is your well being and happyness so if the goal is reached then it's great :D And btw you do look very pretty on your profile picture ;)

 

the forest :

86346600_815340725601518_932433405642014720_o.jpg

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Alex C

Belle. I was NEVER a big fan of the word PASSING. I think it make me feel like a phoning, like I am try to fool people. That said. You make a compelling argument. In that, your not thinking of the word in the pass tense but in the present tense...Kinda  interesting perspective...Ty for that.  

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Belle
6 hours ago, Alex C said:

Belle. I was NEVER a big fan of the word PASSING. I think it make me feel like a phoning, like I am try to fool people. That said. You make a compelling argument. In that, your not thinking of the word in the pass tense but in the present tense...Kinda  interesting perspective...Ty for that.  

Interesting... LOL I never thought of it in the past tense. For those who aren't following, here is the difference (I think this is what Alex means):

 

Present Tense - to pass a test. This occurs every time someone looks at you or interacts wirh you.

Past Tense - to pass a threshold, such as a finish line. This happens once.

 

Is that how you were thinking of it Alex?

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ShawnaLeigh

I fully agree.  To a point.  I say this from what Vicky had pointed out that “passing” is mostly a mental aspect and if your physical self does not match the mental image then your always going to be trying.  Another wise thing I have read previously from Vicky as well is we are always going to be our own worst critics.  Couple those two mental components it’s a very small margin we give ourselves to “pass” in.  
However I am a goal oriented person and always live life on a check list.  While this helps me organize and complete things I have had to learn I can not view my transition as a check list.  I’m not a patient person either so my struggles to say it takes time does not make me feel any better. I had to change that.  
In other words I set far lower expectations of my appearance.  Yes I struggle with this.  I have my demons and dysphoric times where I do not “see it” but that takes time too.  
At first I doubted I’d ever look feminine enough at all and now I feel like a beautiful women in my person my heart and on the outside too.   
That is all a mental process.  
I have always had a “not cared what others think” type of personality so this transfers nicely for me on what others may see.  
Again to quote Vicky.  Most people will not even see you no less judge your gender.  Face to face interaction included.  
It boils down to confidence.  
And great hair and make up.  Lol  

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Jackie C.

Great hair and makeup are both confidence boosters. 

 

Personally, my only goal is to be accepted as female and treated accordingly. I look in the mirror and see a happy, confident woman. Saying good morning to her is part of my morning routine. 

 

In my daily life, I present female. I probably get clocked now and then. I still put my best self forward. I don't correct people. Honestly I find it hilarious when someone is bouncing back and forth between pronouns. I let them figure it out and it's not something I can get angry about. I know who I am and I like her. 

 

I don't think more surgery is in my future. GCS was a need. Everything else is a want. If I want bigger breasts, I know how to stuff. Though I'm still hoping the girls will get inspired in the next eighteen months, I find myself pretty content with who I've become. 

 

Hugs!

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SaraAW

Not really sure where I stand on this at the moment. I’m still closeted, so not trying at all to present any way other than cis male normative.

 

What I really just want is to be able to just be and be treated as a human with respect and dignity, regardless of how I look or present. Then maybe I’d feel safe and comfortable enough to present how I want to in the moment. 
 

Hugs!

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KathyLauren

I dislike the word "passing" because, to me, it implies role-playing, or pretending to be something one is not. 

 

However, @Belle, I agree totally with your reasons:

16 hours ago, Belle said:

(1) I want the world to treat me as a woman.

(2) I don't want to anyone to have to deal with cognitive dissonance just to be in my presence.

(3) aesthetics are important to me because. For the same reason a nice painting is hung in a hallway, I want to see beauty every time I walk past the mirror.

 

Those are the same reason that I try to have a good female presentation.  And yet, despite #2, it doesn't matter to me if someone guesses or knows that I am trans, as long as they treat me as a woman, they don't voice any cognitive dissonance, and I like what I see in the mirror.

 

I passed moderately well when I was presenting as a man.  I don't need to pass as a woman, because I am one.

 

Regards,

Kathy

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SaraAW

Great way to look at it Kathy! I too passed moderately as a man. 

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DianaB

I dream of being passable once I reach my goal (and hopefully earlier too). I do not want people's first reaction to be "Oh, a man in a dress," or something similar, being forced to accept me as a woman because of society standards. Instead I want to simply present so female that there is no doubt in their mind, unless I tell them.

 

I'd want this for me (because I am a woman, so of course I should be accepted as a woman instantly, not have people forcing themselves to adjust their perception), but also because I believe it would give me a greater chance of having an ordinary life and keep an ordinary work. Because while society might move towards a greater degree of acceptance, I still think there is way to go.

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Belle

Absolutely @DianaB! Those are true for me too!

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Donnie_1961

"I am a rock that wishes to be a tree.

I realize that I shall never truly be a tree.

What I can be is the best representation of what I believe a tree should be.

I can live with that."

 

Every time I doubt myself I think of those words.

The reality might be difficult to swallow at first.

Reality can be a bummer. But it's mentally health to except ones limitations.

Change only those things that you feel comfortable changing about yourself. (Lest you lose yourself in the process.)

Except that which you can not, or should not, change. (Lest you regret it later.)

And have the wisdom to know the difference. (That's the hard one.)

 

Worry most about not only passing but  being a good person. They are so out of supply in this world.

Everything else, all of our other mundane concerns shall take care of themselves over time.

 

Be safe. Be Smart.

 

 

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Alex C

Although, I disagree with everyone expect Kathy. I can c yr points. Once again,,to me the word "PASSING" is a negative connotation on transgender life Whether your MF or FM. Its a genetic word created bye the straight world...I don't need to be Passable to know I am a woman whether I look like one or not

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Belle
45 minutes ago, Alex C said:

Although, I disagree with everyone expect Kathy. I can c yr points. Once again,,to me the word "PASSING" is a negative connotation on transgender life Whether your MF or FM. Its a genetic word created bye the straight world...I don't need to be Passable to know I am a woman whether I look like one or not

I'm glad you are comfortable with yourself regardless, as that is by far the most important thing!

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Alex C

Amem,,Althought I have miles to go before I rest...ty for the support

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Donnie_1961

That's right. The word "Passing" refers to how other people perceive you. A person that passes as their perceived gender is rewarded by an external affirmation by others. A chair pulled out. A door held open. They get their desired high from the experience. Endorphins are produced in the brain. They have a sense of well being and belonging.  I remember that feeling. It can be intoxicating.

But you are right, Alex C. It's a false high. It doesn't last long. It leaves us wanting another fix. We're hooked. It's all we think or worry about. It becomes an obsession.

It is far better to pass as ourselves. No one will see you for who you are unless you see yourself  first.

 

Be safe. Be Smart.

It's 10:44 pm I'm logging out.

Good night.

 

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Astrid

As a non-binary person, I have a little different perspective on passing, which I wrote a poem about here some months ago:

 

 

Astrid

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ShawnaLeigh

To me "passing" is just an extension of your desire to be accepted for who you are.  It is a term coined by the CIS community in a way but it is a minor or major goal for a trans person to be accepted in our society which is comprised of way more CIS folks then LBGTQ+++ combined.  Its nothing more then a term.  I don't get to worked up over it and admit I too strive to be accepted without comment or regard for being anything but who I am in the society we have.  

It is always a fight you will be in even if its in your own mind.  

The day you can get passed that your are truly passing to yourself.  Which is the only important thing really.

JMO

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Firenze
On 2/21/2020 at 4:05 PM, Belle said:

A lot of people in our community scoff at the idea of passing or feeling the need to pass. While I don't feel like all on its own passing is important, it can be important in certain contexts.

 

The reason it is important to me is that (1) I want the world to treat me as a woman. And (2) I don't want to anyone to have to deal with cognitive dissonance just to be in my presence. In other words, I don't believe the world should be forced to conform to my perspective. Changes in society will come in time due to all of those who are fighting for our existence, but I don't want to enter the battle. Maybe some day but certainly not soon.

 

Also, (3) aesthetics are important to me because. For the same reason a nice painting is hung in a hallway, I want to see beauty every time I walk past the mirror.

 

Again, I don't think everyone should feel this way, I just don't think it's illegitimate or bad to want/need to pass.

 

Belle ❤

 

I agree with your points on passing. I “pass” because I am a man, and this is how I feel most comfortable, I pass, according to society, for no one but myself. Just because how I feel most comfortable aligns with society, I shouldn’t be ashamed or less than other trans people because I can ‘blend in’ with ‘cis society’. 

 

The other reason I think passing is important is to feel safe in your own country/state/province. There are still many homophobes and transphobes that being “outed” could be a life or death situation to some people. 

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DianaB
On 2/24/2020 at 7:23 PM, Liam E. said:

The other reason I think passing is important is to feel safe in your own country/state/province. There are still many homophobes and transphobes that being “outed” could be a life or death situation to some people. 

 

This is also a huge part of it for me. While my country is generally quite liberal, it is a fact that there's still hate crimes. I'm not assertive enough to ever become a flagbearer for the movement, so instead I'd prefer simply just blending in with the rest of the world, not being the one that stands out.

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Dinaki

For me it is important I pass like a lady and I want to believe that I have succeeding it very well.

I went though a lot in my life to be what I am now.

 

The only time that I revealed my past to my husband is when he proposed to marry him. He wasn't shocked but I got surprised with his answer when he told me" I have no problem with that Dina, do you?"

Remember that he was an American officer in the Air Force (now he is retired) and things should had to remain secrets between us.

 

The only bad times were when we were ready to leave Greece and come here to US ,when the American Embassy found out all my passed and I had to show them all my papers, before and after with the Greek courts  documents tell them that she is now fully woman!

I had to endure so much I recall, difficult years back then, wow!

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MaybeImHigh

I feel like the idea that you shouldn't care about passing is kind of paradoxical, in that if you care too much about passing then you end up trying too hard and not passing. If you take a cis person, they don't really think about what gender they look like and they just act like themselves. If you try too hard to pass then you look fake and people think "what's up with them" and they start clocking you. But if you just do you and don't specifically try to pass then you seem a lot more natural and people don't really ask as many questions. So ironically the less you try to pass the better you actually pass, and that's why people tell you to not care about passing. On the other hand, passing is important for mental health and wellbeing (humans are social creatures so if people accept you as a cis person of your target gender then you will feel more confident about your identity through sheer social osmosis).

 

Just my $0.02

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