just wanted to share this awesome Janet Mock article with any readers of this blog.
now to rant.
i hate the term ‘passing’ as it is applied to transgender people! we are so looksist and sexist in our society. when people use the term ‘passing’ for a transgender woman, what i hear behind the words is: “he really looks like a woman”
no one worries about how i, as a cis-woman, ‘present’. i can wear pants and no make-up all day long, be as frumpy as i please and no one challenges whether or not i am a woman. no one questions that i ‘pass’. so i can’t imagine how unfair it must seem for a transgender woman to be held up to some unreal standard of ‘passing’. i’ve heard the saying that gender isn’t between the legs, it’s between the ears. i totally agree. so where does ‘passing’ figure into it?
it seems a back-handed compliment at best and not very trans-friendly to judge whether or not a woman makes the ‘passing’ grade.
some of my older friends who are transgender tell me that my daughter is lucky to be receiving puberty blockers that will keep her from suffering the irreversible effects of testosterone. that she will be able to ‘pass’ much easier. but i feel that it’s a shame that it’s such a big thing.
of course, this is all a very cis-gender attitude to have. after all, with or without make-up, i am read as a woman, and there’s no danger that a man, who has felt attracted to me, will later feel betrayed and angry enough to beat me for not being a ‘real woman’. i will not have a job interview go south because i don’t ‘pass’. i will not be followed home down a dark street by dangerous idiots that taunt me as being a ‘she-male’.
whether i think passing matters or not is of little consequence. but i look forward to a day when no one worries about such a thing. when a woman is a woman because she says so! when that is enough! i look forward to a day when ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminists’ realise that their own ‘womanhood’ is not more than that of a transgender woman. when society lets go of a need to judge…
i look forward to a time when people are more concerned about their own being able to ‘pass’ for a compassionate human being.