Wishing I’d pass

Submitted by Blake, the model and photographer

“At this time, I thought I passed just fine. I didn’t. People still read me as female. I wasn’t too upset, just confused. Things are better now.”

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Posted by on June 20th, 2012 at 10:00 am

Category: faces 8 comments »

8 Responses to “Wishing I’d pass”

  1. Joss/Ame

    If it makes you feel any better, I read you as male :) I know it can be hard sometimes, especially if you’re operating under the assumption that people are reading you correctly and then that one person comes along and wrecks it…just keep going as you are. It will get better. Best wishes!


  2. Silvia

    you pass for me =) I didn’t think you were “female” when I saw the pic.


  3. Aubri

    As someone who tries to pass as male (and succeeds with mixed results), try not to sweat it too much. I know it can be aggregating and upsetting for me but I try to work through it. I agree with Joss/Ame that sometimes you’ll be passing and then one person will come along and ruin it for you. I’ve had that happen a lot.


  4. Thomas

    I wish I had the confidence to believe that people could read me a male. It’s been two years of living as male and it still surprises me when I pass. But my girlfriend gets surprised Everytime i’m read as female cause she sees me as male. But she also sees how hurt/depressed I get when I’m called female even though I try to claim that it doesn’t bother me.


  5. Lane

    Keep doing your thing!! Your way, and just own it. Own that you have inner knowledge about both male and female, and how that gives you wisdom. I pass pretty often and carry that as my general assumption of how I am perceived as I go about my daily routine, but my voice will usually be the give away if there is one. Even though I pass a lot, it thrills me each and every time it happens and I feel like I have both come alive and can relax- I understand ‘questing’ for these feeling inside yourself.

    My worst way to get outed, so to speak, is to be either A) called Miss or Ladies (if I’m with women- hate the word lady) or B) to have the person I just passed to realize that I am female bodied and think it is appropriate to ‘correct’ this ‘error’ which was actually accurate to begin with and then over-correct themselves and excessively say ma’am miss or just stammer in my face.

    BUT if you feel you are passing and someone mis-reads you as otherwise, maybe there is comfort in this: they may read you as ‘female’ somehow, but you are clearly queer enough looking (in the best way-very cute!) to have caused the initial confusion and so not THAT kind of female, you know? Not Cis, feminine, heterogirl… This is how I calm myself after one of these mis-readings and why I think They get so uncomfortable calling me Ma’am or Miss after it happens, cuz I’m just not one of those, but not the man I first looked like either. Hell- they don’t know what ‘letter’ I am in the stew and their stammering makes it clear. I think it is worse for them than me, really…

    I live in Utah and even with a nice lgbtq community here, I still get my share of second looks in public, especially when I wear shorts. So I do it a lot;)


  6. Brett Blatchley

    Goodness!!! BLAKE!!! When I first saw your picture, I thought you were cis-male, albeit one with a kind, intense face. :-)

    I had an interesting insight last night that might help? (But a touch of background first):

    My appearance is becoming decidedly female (on hormones), and I’ve become more sensitive to being called ‘sir’ recently (especially as I am increasingly being treated as a woman, though I’m not making it a point to “pass” as one…I’m just *being* “Brett”).

    What prompted the insight was this sort-of “backhanded compliment” I received as I passed a gaggle of 20-somethings in the mall going in the opposite direction: One of the young men quietly said “is that a guy???” And I simply smiled sweetly to them as we passed by each other, and thought “thank you, that’s nice validation!!!” (You know, I think that it would have hurt if he had said instead: “was that a gal???” Yes, it’s kind of subtle… ;-) )

    Okay, so here’s the insight:

    “I will consider being ‘treated as a man’ as an honest mistake on the part of the other person!”

    I have begun to look at myself as simply a woman with masculine features! (Blake, it sounds like you a *man* with feminine features.)

    By looking at ourselves this way, the mal-chosen gender references (sir/madam, she/he, et cetera) are THEIR mistake, *not ours*, and we can treat them GRACIOUSLY (as they have committed a social faux pas, NOT US); instead of being defensive as someone unsure of themselves might, we exude confidence (even “chutzpah”) in who we are, in the gender we are, whether our appearance “convinces” others or not. (Deep inside, it’s for us anyway!)

    [This is one of those areas where two wonderful tools come into play: 1) “Fake It to Make It!” and 2) Desensitization Is A GOOD Thing! Once I made the decision that I would *be* who I am inside regardless of whether received positive or negative feedback, then #1 quickly led to #2 which has led me to be delightfully un-self-conscious. These principles have worked amazingly well {for me and close others}: for my wearing jewelry, un-censoring my feminine mannerisms, wearing bras, and most recently abandoning mens’ bathrooms in favour of women’s.]

    Maybe this is helpful?

    Blessings Blake & Everyone!!! <3


    Lane replied:

    YEP!! :)


  7. Jesse

    I have huge problems with passing in my current “liberal” town. In Alabama, I could pass as a guy easily; sometimes I wouldn’t even have my binder on and I still passed. I come out to Colorado, bind, wear compression shorts, pack, and use mascara to darken my facial hair and people STILL think I’m a 14-year old lesbian. Guess that’s because in most conservative places I’ve been in, if you have short hair and wear boy clothes you’re automatically seen as a guy because gender roles are more defined. Catch-22, right? So I’m more accepted (usually) when I come out, but on the other hand I can’t freakin’ pass!


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