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Let's revisit an old essay.

This is an old essay I am bringing back to give Gwen a break today.

I’m going to vent a bit here. Why do others in our community (I am specifically addressing the CD community) think that telling some one that they “pass” or are “passable” is a compliment? I do recognize they are trying to be kind and/or supportive, which is obviously admirable. But when you tell someone in a headless photo shot they are passable, you kind of lose credibility. In my most humble opinion, the best compliment is a compliment that one woman would give another. What a lovely dress! I love your makeup! Passing………not part of that lexicon.

Pass what? Is this a test? Life is not pass/fail. If passing were the sole criterion, Kandi would get an F. But being who she is, she gets an A (still working on that extra credit).

Understand, pictures lie. They all do. They don’t always show relative height, body frame, thickness, hand size (in my opinion, the easiest tell we all have), musculature, body movement, mannerisms and of course, the voice. The face is full of tells. I can take picture after picture that do in fact look like I am a woman. My significant catalog of hugs and compliments is evidence that I do not pass. These were received because I am proudly me, proudly out, proudly trying to fool no one, owning it. Yes, I am stylish, yes, I comport myself in a feminine manner, but we all have an endless list of tells. That cannot be denied, and I understand that outliers do exist. If you think you do not (excepting those actively changing their bodies with HRT or plastic surgery) you are fooling yourself. Go to a group gathering and just look at the man hands. Those cannot be altered in any way. That was what struck me most at Keystone, the meat hooks I saw.

The ultimate compliment for me is to be told I am pretty, stylish, beautiful, look great in that dress, any compliment one would give a woman. The sooner you accept you will never pass, the sooner you can begin crafting a life doing this well and with general public acceptance. Honesty and self awareness go a long way in this regard. Knowing I don’t pass doesn’t preclude me from striving to make the best possible feminine presentation, it just keeps me grounded in reality.

My favorite compliment (which I laugh at) is a picture of a number of us and someone says you all look so passable. Regardless of how completely attractive we may be, put a bunch of us together and the sheer body sizes give us away. Yes, woman can be tall or thick. But outside of the WNBA, tall and thick women generally don’t necessarily congregate together.

I thank those of you that think I pass. What I do is take a very good picture imitating a woman and then walk out the door and enjoy all the goodness life has to give. Tom Brady passes, I enjoy my life in the real world.

Check out the DC Photo Shoot!!


8 Responses

  1. As always when I read about passing this is spot on.
    Most of us do not, now as you say mostly CDs are part of this but with that said I have seen t girls on HRT that do very nicely looking very much like a cis women but yes most of us defiantly have tells for sure

  2. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but all of the people all of the time? Not me — not even close. But the acceptance…that is the honey in my tea!

    Thank you for a wonderful reminder, Kandi (and I hope I have never said that to anyone!)

  3. sorry-I cannot agree with your generalization that “you” meaning us do not pass. Some of us do pass some of the time.Believe me-you can tell if someone reads you. I have a friend who runs a business serving women on a personal basis. I took a lot of courage for her to do this but believe me she passes most of the time (no hormones ,surgery etc) & she is not full time
    The key is that most people see what they expect to see. They are not looking at your hands etc. So if you are blessed by being not totally testosterone maimed and really work at it you can pass some of the time Personally my goal is to be as feminine as possible and that could lead to passing

    1. Emily,

      We can agree to disagree, that’s what makes the world go around. But the important part is we both are being ourselves in the world.

      I will say, I have literally been out about a thousand times, I have literally been in front of tens of thousand of people in multiple thousand places. I am mainstream almost exclusively, so I do have a pretty good read on things. And I have yet to have a single negative experience. Your experience may well be different and there are unicorns out there (which I acknowledge), but I stand by my view on this subject.

      Thank you Emily for being you!


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