To pass or not to pass

On several mailing lists I’m on there have been a lot of debate about passing for transwomen. How to pass as a woman and how important it is to pass. So here is my take on some aspects of passing.

Of course we transwomen all like to pass as born women, and preferably beautiful ones. (Don’t all girls want to be pretty?)

We all have different aspects that makes it difficult to pass. In my case it’s mainly my voice (very low), my height (187 cm 6′ 1½”) and a more or les bald head.

The baldness is easily corrected with a wig. And as I am diagnosed as transsexual the Swedish state lets me buy wigs for a sum that  about covers the cost of two synthetic wigs a year. (At the time of writing I’m a redhead.) 😉

As soon as I open my mouth it’s obvious that I was born male. That will take a lot of training to correct. But I will soon  resume my  regular appointments with a speech therapist. And in two previous visits with her she concluded that I have the range to achieve a low female voice.

Height is not much I can do about, but i console myself with the fact that Venus Williams also is 187 cm. 

A few years ago I was very pessimistic about ever being able to pass. But now I think that I do it most of the time (except when i speak). So what has changed? I basically look the same. I think it boils down to some basics.

I don’t use any exaggerated, supposedly, female ways of bodily expression. That would just make me look as a drag queen. What those expressions are vary from culture to culture. But widely swinging hips and permanently “weak wrists” is a dead give away. A study of women around you will give you clues what to do. I’ve found that shoulders held back, a straight posture, chest out and head held high will do a world of good re: passing.

Make up is another area where it’s easy to go overboard. A night club make up when you just nip down to buy some fags and danish is overkill. I just put on some mascara and maybe lipstick. LIpstick, if chosen with care, is a great help in passing as no men use it. They may use foundation and/or mascara but never lipstick. So the painted lips are a strong sign that a person have a woman before them.

How you dress is also important. Mainly you have to find a style that is you and that suits your body. . I don’t give a damn about dressing “age appropriate”, at the moment I’m wearing black leather trousers and a black T-shirt with the text ” When the Goddess made this body she was showing off”. When I say that I don’t give a damn I don’t mean that I’ll ever wear litle girl clothes or try to look as a cheerleader, that would only look silly on a 60 + year old Golden Lady.



On a preliminary consultation with my plastic surgeon (If I wasn’t lesbian I would “swoon”, imagine a younger and much more handsome Dr House without the bad manners.) he made comment that I could easily pass and mainly because I didn’t seem to care what others were thinking.

And I think that this is the main key to passing:

Be proud of who you are – a “self made” woman. You have every right to expect people to respect you for the person you are wether they clock you or not. And if they don’t it’s them that have problems with their attitude.

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