Tuesday, October 21, 2008


At Questioning Transphobia there's a post about the need for a vocabulary for the experience of transpeople. They specifically talk about the term "passing", and how the term doesn't cover their experiences. I'm not commenting there because all I have to say is focused on me, and I don't think I as a cisgender woman should fill that space with my own thoughts about my own situation.

Passing seems to me to what happens if I'm not overtly challenging the onlooker's stereotyped interpretation of my looks/behaviour. I pass as straight, unless I explicitly mention a girlfriend. I pass as non-disabled unless I'm using a cane. I have to change something about myself in order not to pass.

Of course, sometimes I do make an effort to pass - I don't use the cane even though I really need it, because I don't want to be seen as "the woman with the health problem".

I'm not sure if it would be a good idea or not to have a common name for "being passed". Miscasting, or mistyping might cover misgendering/ungendering as well as other types of being perceived as other/more than we are.

What bugs me about the situation is that I always have to choose whether to out myself or not. I wish I didn't have to do that.

1 comment:

Grégoire said...

Just wanted to tell you that your blog rocks.

Not much more to say than that, really.