Are you frazzled from not passing as a woman?

Passing ain’t easy

Ever had one of those days where nothing seemed to go right? Your hair frizzed up, your outfit so shocking it could make a teenage girl weep with shame, and your makeup looks like a bad rendition of kindergarten finger painting?

Or perhaps it is something more subtle. A feeling of disquiet, an awkward motion more robotic than feminine, or a strained high pitched sound in place of your usual confident contralto.

That would be a good description of my yesterday. I decided to wear one of my favorite patterned skirts of orange, blue, green and dabs of black and white beneath a plain orange top and unassuming flats. A comfortable outfit for running a few errands around town before spending an idyllic few hours in the park drenched in sunshine.

Passing (or not) when Crossdressed

It started out well – I made small talk with the teller at the bank while depositing a few checks, then I was off to grab a Starbucks. When I opened my mouth the barista at the drive through was clearly shocked. To his credit he recovered quickly with a smile, and we chatted about the beautiful mountains the clear day had made visible. Note to self – more voice feminization practice. Feeling a bit lazy, I decided to go shopping later in the day, and headed to the park.

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Were I delusional I would think that the lingering looks from men in the park were all a natural male reaction to a beautiful, tall brunette passing them by. I’m not quite that pretty, and the somewhat confused looks I saw on a few faces betrayed a response of more than just appreciation.

Sometimes when I go out I’m fairly passable, but that on day passing was not in my destiny. As if to confirm this sentiment I exchanged radiant smiles with a few woman in the park. And it only got more fun when I walked into Safeway. The lady giving away free samples forgot her pitch momentarily when she saw me, and to my overwhelming joy and chagrin I was carded by the cashier on the way out. I must confess, there are better experiences in life than producing your male ID while out en femme. The cashier looked a bit befuddled before blessing me with an encouraging smile. Note to self – get your ID photo updated to look more gender neutral.

So, did I fail by not passing?

If you believe every time you fail every time you’re read, then perhaps you would recommend I review my own tips for passing as a woman. Looking back on the day, I went out as Vanessa, I felt great, chatted with a few people and was on the receiving end of many smiles. Everyone I met was pleasant – I even walked past a gaggle of teenage girls without inspiring shrieks of laughter (or even a comment). Perhaps it was my worst day in a while for passing, but I had fun and expressed my true self. In my book that’s a success.


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I’m passionate about creating a safe space for everyone in the transgender community to find laughter and friendship on their journey. I completed my physical transition in 2011 and through it I lost everything, and gained everything. I am blessed that I was forced to gaze inward and embark on the journey to discover and live my authentic self. My deepest wish is that all who wander here may find peace, happiness and freedom.

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rogina garter
rogina garter
13 years ago

A girl has to make their best presentation,and live with it!! Not worth beating ourselves up over..So what? It made their day…that got to tell someone that they saw one of those “trannies" out and about. Enjoy your girl time.

Janine' class='avatar avatar-64 photo' height='64' width='64' />
8 years ago

I had a day like this one just last week. I was all dressed and ready to leave my house when I looked at myself in the mirror and knew that I couldn’t pass by the way that I looked.
I have been dressed in the same outfit many times and thought that I could pass but that day I knew that I couldn’t.
Using my better judgment I stayed in the house and I was glad that I did because when I looked at my watch I saw that it was Friday the thirteenth.
Good day to stay home

Robert Marsini
3 years ago
Reply to  Janine

Do you really believe in that “Friday the 13th baloney. Perhaps you take a few extra minutes to have made a few corrections to your look, you would have passed wearing the same outfit! Heck with Friday the 13th nonsense, it’s your thing do what you want to do like the song went ( 1970’s). Luv ya for who you are. Robin Jennifer.

7 years ago

i just want to let all new girls to know how to learn to walk like a female, get yourself a long tight skirt and walk in it, it will make you take a straight short step just like a women

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