written by Chantelle

Not caring about not passing


Like many girls on TGR, I knew I was different even as a child. I would surreptitiously dress in my sister's clothes, terrified of being caught out. Later as an adult, I would buy clothes "for my partner" and then wear them surreptitiously at home, terrified of being caught out. Finally, I ventured out in public, in Sydney far away from home, thrilled and pleased but still terrified of being seen as transgender, i.e. as not passing for a woman. Then, well into my sixties I couldn't lead the double life any longer and said "Oh golly gosh (or an equivalent vulgar phrase) I'm just going to be me, my feminine self".

But who/what is my feminine self? I've grown my hair, bought elegant feminine clothes, keep finger and toe nails painted, changed my name, use breast forms and always wear makeup - but I'm still 6'1" tall, have large feet and hands, speak with a deep voice and have a masculine'ish face. From a distance perhaps I'm taken for a "real" woman, but close up and when I'm speaking there's no way I can pass. Of course, it doesn't help that I don't wear clothes that "match my age": I have great legs after 55 years as a runner and I ain't gonna hide them! I attract attention, as my partner tells me.

So, after a long period of fear and frustration at "not passing" I've finally reached a point (most of the time) of accepting that I'm transgendered and not apologising to anyone for it. I'm never going to be a "real" woman, or even a passable one after surgery etc (which anyway I can't afford or undertake health-wise). It's obvious that I'm presenting as female and most people respect that. Although not perfect, this situation pretty much satisfies my desire to be my feminine self.

In summary, I no longer care that I'm not passable. Being passable full-time in life is a bridge too far for me, as it probably is for most other MtF transgender people.



PS there are emotional and behavioural aspects of my feminine self (not just appearance) - but I won't talk about those here!

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