Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Need To "Pass"

I want to start here with a brief explanation on the use of the term "pass" in the trans community. Trans people use this term often as a way of describing the ability to blend in and go unnoticed while presenting as their identified sex. While this is exactly what many of us want to do, and I have in the past used this term, I want to say that as time has gone on I have developed a problem with what I think the word itself implies. The word "pass" in this instance implies that we are trying to emulate something without arousing suspicion. I for one do not want to "pass" for a woman and I take offense to the implication that I am simply trying to emulating anything. The truth is I just want to be accepted as myself plan and simple. I dress the way I do because it is an expression of who I am, not what others expect me to be.

Knowing this I also appreciate that some trans people (myself included) do make attempts to alter the way they look to achieve a more feminine appearance. I think it is important to realize that many cissexual women do this as well. After all, this fact is exactly why it is so easy to find breast enhancers and butt pads. These products are all targeted towards, and made for, cissexual women.

It is all of this that reinforces my belief that we should not attempt to enhance out physical appearance in order to "pass", so much as to make ourselves comfortable. This is the reason we take hormones and have surgery, and there should be no difference in our motivations to how we dress or how we behave. I think this is why despite the fact that I had no where near enough breast development to fill even a AA cup, once my breast did start to develop because of hormones I stopped using my breast forms. I had real ones and no longer needed fake ones...

I will say however that there are a great deal of products for any woman to help shape their body in a more desirable way... Take Spanx for instance. These body shapers are by far the best thing I have found to help keep things in control. They help shape your bottom and for people who have not had surgery yet, they provide much needed support to keep the "boys" in place if you know what I mean... Check them out, you can get them at Amazon.

Again, I understand others feel differently and I also know that when I started my transition my opinion on "passing" was vastly different then it is now. This is exactly why I am writing this post. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.


Anonymous said...

I think what you have described above is a great help to me and how i feel so early in my transition.

I am 19 years old and have begun HRT, although quite feminine for a male (in regards to muscle development and hair growth) i still often am harrassed or laughed at because clearly i am an obvious trans female.

To be honest it hurts my feelings to a pretty high degree but i am working on not worrying as much since i am who i am and it should never bother me, but i am a sensitive person so it does.

Anyway the point is my feelings on needing to pass may change but right now, if i could afford it i would be getting my nose feminised and profile fixed a breast aug and a weave ahaha... but hey the hormones have barely started and i am young so things may change.

The fact of the matter is i am happier in the long run and i have a rocky but exciting journey ahead.

Katherine said...

I am glad you found my article helpful =) I just wanted to stress that at 19 you definitly have time, in fact you should have very good results from hormones as you are much closer to puberty then many of us are when we start. Hell, you may end up will fully developed breasts! (no promises). Definitely hold off on face surgery though. I am 33 and my face changed A LOT in the last 3 years of taking estrogen and it was one of the first things to change on me. That and my skin. Just give it time and keep things in perceptive. Nothing happens over night no matter how bad we want it to.

Good luck! Hope to hear about your progress!