Does passing matter?
“You want them to see you like they see every other girl.”
- Laura Jane Grace
Yes. I do very much. I would love to be seen the same as every other girl, Trans or not. Alas, at present I’m not- partially because I don’t “pass” as a girl. For those reading who don’t know, passing is the concept of being superficially closest to the gender you want to be perceived as. For me, that gender is female- but due to my lack of passing ability I am usually referred to as “sir” or “mister”. This is something I’d like to change at some point soon, however, the question is: does it really matter?
Well, in the grand scheme of the universe, there are bigger problems like the rise of Donald Trump and hunger epidemics in West Africa, but that’s not really what I mean by “matter”. Instead what I mean is this; is passing a necessary process for a non-cisgender person? My answer to this question is: sometimes.
I know, I know, it sounds like a cop-out but hear me out while I explain. “Sometimes” here refers to “different people, different answers”. Some transgender and non-binary people are not affected by dysphoria as severely as others, and for them, passing may not be required or even important in the slightest, whereas some non-cisgender people (like myself) are majorly affected by gender dysphoria, meaning passing may be more necessary to them. On the whole, passing is not a required aspect of transness. In the United Kingdom, regardless of gender perception or expression, people are free to use whichever bathroom is most applicable to their gender identity, and even in the United States of America, unless one lives in the states of North Carolina or Mississippi, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem either. So, in summary, if you want to pass and don’t, feel free to set passing as an ideal goal for you to reach, but, if you don’t want to (or don’t feel the need to) pass, don’t pressure yourself to do so. Your happiness is top priority. Remember that.
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The articles here are written by guest writers or previous TWE members.