Recently I received this comment on “passing” from the Cyrtsih@yahoo.com email from Tami:
“It seems that many have different views on the importance of passing, and I won’t argue that. To each their own. I put high value on it however. Like many, my initial experiences out in public were guarded. My wig was ok, my makeup just ok, outfit not quite right. Then I matured, the facial hair was 95% removed, and I grew my hair out.
Already small at 5’9″ and 145 lbs at my heaviest. My dermatologist helped with a little botox and fillers to feminize my facial cues. (So supportive too!) I took some voice lessons at U of A in Tucson . It all just came together for me.
I still go to work as male, push my medium length bob back and play it straight.
At a business lunch with a speaker recently, I sat next to a woman at our table of eight women. I invited her to lunch a few days afterwards. She had no clue I was trans and said so, when I mentioned it late into our second meeting. So I don’t need to be ‘stealth’ but if it happens, I let it. I could share a dozen more stories that warm my heart given the intimacy, good humor, and kind words that were shared.
I pass now 99% in any setting, and there isn’t anywhere I won’t go or do confidently. Friends have said I own the room with my confidence. I can (and do sometimes), have a bad ‘voice moment’ and leave someone wondering, but never a discouraging word is heard. Always a compliment! I always want to be the best ambassador for trans people and it works. So the icing on the cake (for me), in passing is the total acceptance from others; the many female friends I have developed long and lasting relationships with. And, sometimes their husbands too. I had once thought that other women might only see me as a novelty, and their interest would fade. It hasn’t. They are remain friends and the circle grows.
So it’s the relationships – normal friends and a social life that makes passing rewarding for me and easy for others to befriend me and stick with me.”
Thanks so much for the comment! I know another local trans girl who is a “natural” and passes easily. Even to the point of being a wonderful karaoke singer (when there was such a thing!) but she still goes to work as her male self.
To each their own!
My own story was a little more complex as I was slightly under six feet tall and weighed over 275 lbs when I started to transition. I then promptly lost fifty pounds. I too though began to rely on my personality and confidence to gain any “passing” privilege I could.