Sorry for the delay in the response, I have been busy with holidays. But this lead to a serendipitous reading today which may explain things. Pardon my mixed metaphor, but I think it works here.
About 10 years ago I was at a dinner with many other crossdressers (and a few GG’s) before performing in a show. The restaurant was on a lower level, down a ramp from the waiting area and entrance. Since the meal had already been paid for, people were making their way back to get ready for the show on their own time.
As I was leaving, I passed a woman in the waiting area. As I was going past, she said to her friend in a “how-curious” tone, “You see that table of women down there? I don’t think they’re women; I think they’re men.” Well for me, I knew that the cat was out of the bag (and was alive). But for the people remaining at the table, they had no idea and could easily believe they passed. Not unlike Schrödinger’s cat, they both passed (in their minds) and didn’t pass (from my observation) at the same time. For those remaining, the cat was very much still in the bag (and probably dead).
Consider if you are in a room with 5 people. One person knows but accepts you, and the others have no idea. Did you pass or were you just accepted? What if it were 1 out of 100?
Do you have to fool everyone to pass? What if you were walking somewhere and someone reads you but doesn’t say anything or act any different, or maybe says something when out of earshot (and maybe even out of sight)? Did you pass? You can easily be in a state of being read and accepted by some, and fooling others, at the same time, just as Schrödinger’s cat was alive and dead at the same time. Since you really don’t know what others are thinking, you never know if you are fooling the other person or just being accepted. And everybody is different, so the answer can be different person to person. Does knowing what others are thinking really change the situation?
It’s for this reason I consider being accepted and “passing” (fooling others) to be the same thing. You never know how many you are fooling, how many just aren’t taking notice, how many people just don’t care, and how many people are accepting. On the surface they all seem very different, but the result, the observation, is the only thing you know for certain. If they are all the same, I consider all of these to be “passing.”
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by Alison Anderson.