Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Friday, 3 February 2023


I'd not posted here for a while again, largely because life had been getting in the way. I was trying to do too much and ended up yet again spreading myself too thin. I started to write this post several months ago, but never quite found the time to complete it.

Within the trans community there is much discussion around "passing" this is the idea that a trans person may pass as a cis person of the same gender identity. Perhaps the idea has more currency amongst cross dressers ~ perhaps not, certainly the very idea is both aspirational and problematic. I have also heard gay men talking of "passing" as straight, and very recently for the first time of a black woman passing as white. For me I find this problematical as it has the inherent idea that being cis, straight, or indeed white is somehow of more value than the alternatives. 

Be Yourself ~ Everybody Else is Taken

A recent exchange on Twitter talked of how hard it is for trans women who transition later in life to pass, missing entirely the point of transition. The whole point of transition is to stop trying to be something you are not, to not have to pretend, but to simply be yourself. If the aim is to pass, then you can't be honest to yourself you will be trying to be some body else. 

I will admit that when I first started going out I wanted to not be noticed, this is different to passing this is "blending", as in blending in. I probably tried too hard and ended up standing out more because of that.  I have subsequently learnt that often less really is more. There are times when we want to be noticed, and times when we don't. Before I go out I tend to check myself in a full length mirror I have in my hall, I ask myself two questions, "will I frighten the horses?"* and "can I go to Tescos dressed like this?" this is about blending, not trying to be something I am not. I know I am a trans woman ~ that does not mean I'm not a woman, it means I'm part of a subset of women; like white women, short women, gay women, we're all women, just different sorts of women and there's no point in trying to be any other type. 

*"I don't care what they do as long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses" often atrributed to Mrs Patrick Campbell and others. 

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