I’m going to vent a bit here. Why do others in our community (I am specifically addressing the CD community) think that telling some one that they “pass” or are “passable” is a complement? I do recognize they are trying to be kind and/or supportive, which is obviously admirable. But when you tell someone in a headless photo shot they are passable, you kind of lose credibility. In my most humble opinion, the best complement is a complement that one woman would give another. What a lovely dress! I love your makeup! Passing………not part of that lexicon.

Pass what? Is this a test? Life is not pass/fail. If passing were the sole criterion, Kandi would get an F. But being who she is, she gets an A (still working on that extra credit).

Understand, pictures lie. They all do. They don’t always show relative height, body frame, thickness, hand size (in my opinion, the easiest tell we all have), musculature, body movement, mannerisms and of course, the voice. The face is full of tells. I can take picture after picture that do in fact look like I am a woman. My significant catalog of hugs and complements is evidence that I do not pass. These were received because I am proudly me, proudly out, proudly trying to fool no one, owning it. Yes, I am stylish, yes, I comport myself in a feminine manner, but we all have an endless list of tells. That cannot be denied, and I understand that outliers do exist. If you think you do not (excepting those actively changing their bodies with HRT or plastic surgery) you are fooling yourself. Go to a group gathering and just look at the man hands. Those cannot be altered in any way. That was what struck me most at Keystone, the meat hooks I saw.

The ultimate complement for me is to be told I am pretty, stylish, beautiful, look great in that dress, any complement one would give a woman. The sooner you accept you will never pass, the sooner you can begin crafting a life doing this well and with general public acceptance. Honesty and self awareness go a long way in this regard. Knowing I don’t pass doesn’t preclude me from striving to make the best possible feminine presentation, it just keeps me grounded in reality.

My favorite complement (which I laugh at) is a picture of a number of us and someone says you all look so passable. Regardless of how completely attractive we may be, put a bunch of us together and the sheer body sizes give us away. Yes, woman can be tall or thick. But outside of the WNBA, tall and thick women generally don’t necessarily congregate together.

I thank those of you that think I pass. What I do is take a very good picture imitating a woman and then walk out the door and enjoy all the goodness life has to give. Tom Brady passes, I enjoy my life in the real world.

12 thoughts on “Passing

  1. When I first started going out this was my goal, I didn’t want to stand out. I wanted to be fully accepted in the RW. Guess what ? I was but then I had to come back to reality and realize like you say. In my head I passed but when I figured out there are still tells no matter how good I did on my presentation I prob fooled just a few but most prob figured it out.

    Now I don’t think about I just go and I try and be me.
    But yes Kandi you pass, you pass as a wonderful example of who we are and show others that we are just people kind and caring as they come


  2. Passing, no. Acceptance, yes. We may want to look and act like women, but it is more important to be accepted as a woman than to “pass”. If I am treated like any other woman, spoken to and complimented as another woman, then I am happy.


  3. Hey Kandi, no truer words could be said. Only 5% are lucky to possess the physical traits to look female to someone who’s really checking you out. I am lucky to not gather stares and whispers most of the time, but those paying attention will pick off the tells I still have.
    For those who don’t know me, I am transgender. I have had laser treatments to remove my beard, I’ve been on HRT for over 4 years and taken courses on deportment and for my voice. Things will still give me away.
    You got to have a top notch wig or that will give you away. How you stand, how you walk, how you sit down. And I’m just getting started on the list of give aways.
    Confidence is your best friend. You look scared or out of place, the jungle out there will eat you up. Learn how to stay calm and show those around you that you belong. Take courses in how to apply makeup. A lot of time, less is more. Learn how to coordinate your wardrobe. Things that don’t go together due to color, cloth, cut or purpose will get you looked at if your a cisgender female or a cross dresser. Which then puts attentive eyes on you. The last thing you want.

    One of my favorite things to do when I’m with a group of cross dressers, is to hang back and look at the reactions of the average public. I try to see what is the first thing it is that tips them off. Kandi’s points of muscles, size and “meathooks” usually are it. Plus there are those of us not blessed with a feminine face that can’t get any help short of surgery. Another thing is if they figure out one, they scrutinize the group and just like that, you’re all busted.
    This is all self observation. I work on my presentation every minute. I am trying to live life as the woman I am.
    What I need is to get some one to follow me around sometime and observe what I’m “doing wrong” so I can improve myself. All I can say is we may think we look like a ladies, but ……..


  4. If I didn’t feel I passed I wouldn’t walk out the door, but that’s just me. And I enjoy it. If I have to talk very much I get clocked for sure, but otherwise I blend in pretty well. For me it’s about blending in, not standing out. And that’s what I find enjoyable. It’s different for you, and that’s OK.
    Another thing that gives me confidence and helps with passing is my hair. Right now I am growing it out to donate (in honor of my sister who has breast cancer), and it gives me much more confidence than when I went out with a hair piece or with it too short for comfort. Full wigs never looked good on me and did not give me confidence. Maybe a super expensive lace-front one that looked natural would be fine, but I don’t have that kind of money . . .


  5. Hi Kandi
    Passing is not something I worry about, when out I stick my chest out and hold my head high and think this is me while always as you do wearing appropriate attire for the occasion
    Just had breakfast in a hotel with a very large group of teenagers on a sports break, not even one comment did I hear just acceptance
    Years ago I worried about where I was, now I am just smiling whilst being myself and at last enjoying life


  6. Kandi,
    This was one of your best written and wisest posts. I think that the sentence about hugs and compliments that were bestowed on you because you are “proudly me, proudly out, proudly trying to fool no one, owning it.” may be one of the best sentences you have ever written. You nailed it.


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