Recent instances of passingPosted: April 29, 2014
Some trans* people strongly dislike the notion of “passing,” because it implies a deception is taking place. They’re not passing as male/female, they just are male/female, whether others see them as such or not. I definitely respect and appreciate this viewpoint; for me personally though, I embrace “passing.” I relish the times I pass as male because although I don’t feel myself to be male, exactly, it feels awesome and validating when that’s what others see. If this were to happen 100% of the time or even 18% of the time, it’d start to feel disorienting, alarming even. But when it happens on occasion, it’s one of my favorite things ever!
It happened three times in the past two weeks. And, it was not only thrilling, but totally unexpected and unprecedented. Because in the past, I’ve passed at a distance, or with kids, or maybe with people who are much much older than me, or I pass until I start speaking, etc. But two out of three of these recent occasions, I was fully interacting with someone roughly my age (meaning: making eye contact, conversing, spending more than a couple seconds in their presence). I’m not sure if this has ever happened to me before, or if it has, it’s been a long time.
Makes me think that testosterone is doing something very subtly, above and beyond appearance. Like an aura or an energy or something that can be sensed by others. Because I look the same as I always have; I sound the same. The only thing I can think is that my shoulders might be slightly more filled out now; I might have a little bit of a different stance because of that. Ultimately, if it’s an either/or, in my opinion, I think I look female, and I love it when people think otherwise!
At Work: It was spring break, so the building was almost empty except for my co-workers and me. We were eating lunch, and my co-worker saw through the window that UPS had just pulled up, so I went down to receive and sign for the packages (usually administrative assistants would do that.) I let him into the office, talked to him about how everyone’s on vacation, small talk like that, etc. I signed his form, and he said, “Thank you, sir!.” I said, “You’re welcome.” And walked away, beaming.
At The Mall: My partner and I never go to the mall. Seriously. We have been together for 7 years and have been to a mall together once before, in that time. (Oh wait, no, twice. We went mini-golfing in a mall for a friend’s birthday.) In addition, I have been to a mall one time by myself in that time. We really had to go to the Apple store though because she finally upgraded to a smart phone, and then proceeded to smash the screen by dropping it on a concrete floor. Her protective case was on its way, in the mail! So we were just going to go there and see if they could do anything for her – a long shot, but might as well try… They could not do a single thing for her but they were very nice about it, as if they were her good buddy and just could not let her down, haha. We then walked out of the Apple Store and were directly confronted by a kiosk selling phone cases and a sign saying, “We fix phones here.” She asked, “how much?” It was reasonable and was only going to take 20 minutes. Seemed like a good option, so we watched the guy work his magic with teeny tiny screwdrivers with magnetic tips. He talked to us about how he’s only 22 years old and he already owns 10 of these kiosks. He’d just gotten back from Miami Beach for a entrepreneur conference, and he was on his way to Seattle. We chatted with him about phones, what there is to do for fun here, etc. I left to go find a bathroom and come right back. Then I left to sample teas at Teavana and come right back. Then I wandered away into a clothing store. My partner got her screen replaced(!!!) and when she came to get me, she told me that while I was gone, the kiosk guy asked her if I was her boyfriend! She told him “Yes.”
At the Public Market: I was looking at mushrooms when a little girl (3 years old?) turned and almost hugged my leg, thinking I was her mother. When she realized I wasn’t she startled, and then asked, “Is you a goioiol?” “What?” “Is you a goioiol?” I squatted down to her height and clarified her question, “Am I a boy or girl?” “Yeah.” “I’m a little bit of both.” She seemed to accept this.
Other recent instances in which I passed: