I’ve mentioned this before but since it’s apropos I’ll refer to it again. When I finally accepted that I was transgendered and I started seriously thinking about transitioning in the mid-70’s there were few shows on TV or places one could go to get a feel for what it might be like to try to ‘pass’. The many TV shows – Jerry Springer, Phil, Sally Jessye, when they had tg girls on they were all glammed up, wannabe showgirls or future contestants on RuPaul’s show. They may have been passing, but they surely would have been noticed if they walked down any street in any town. Maybe admired by males, maybe scrutinized by women, but they would be noticed. And any flaws would have been super pronounced.
Then I caught a Lou Gordon show and he had on some tg women who looked like they lived in anytown USA and had just been out at the supermarket or had put the young one down for a nap and, well, you get the picture. And you could see that they were not comfortable at all being on the show and being interviewed. Why? Maybe they realized they were being ‘outed’ and were no longer ‘passing’.
That’s what I would consider passing – wearing decent clothing but nothing ‘glamorous unless it was a special occasion, hair mostly neat but a few stray hairs, minimal makeup, probably not in a dress just a top and slacks or capris or something simple, just everyday living. I don’t mean to be mean, but I would barely have noticed them if I had passed within 2 feet or less. I mean they would just be your standard housewife doing some errands, practically blending into the scenery.
And that was what made me start looking a little deeper into what it would be to transition. That was passing and if they could do it, maybe I could too.