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Thread: What it means to be passable.

  1. #26
    Aspiring Member Geena75's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    I remember a time when it was called the "10 foot rule." You tried to work your look so that from ten feet someone couldn't tell. I think the realization has set in that actions speak as loud as looks. While I could pose for a picture that looks very feminine, if I look at a video, I see far more flaws in the presentation.

    As some have pointed out, to pass as feminine can mean to go unobserved, which requires not drawing attention. Short hem lines, patterned hose, and jiggling bobs tend to draw attention, while jeans, sneakers, loose tops blend in more -- flying low under radar.

  2. #27
    Weirdest woman ever! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Orange County, Calif.
    Anyone, even I, unmasked on a moonless nite at 100 yards can "pass". But, passing at 10'+, dressing to blend, etc, etc, is not really passing. It's simply not being noticed!

    Passing is when someone is rite in front of u talking to with no doubts u r a woman! Which I have done. Several men and a few women, thot for sure I was an attractive woman until I was pressed to speak!

    Then, the looks on their faces when they realized I mite be one was PRICELESS!
    Last edited by docrobbysherry; 03-11-2021 at 01:57 PM.
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

    Challenge yourself and pursue your passions! When your life clock runs out, you'll have few or NO REGRETS!

  3. #28
    Member Terrihoney's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    I can see Chicago from my house
    Dear Mila,

    I've not been on this forum for quite some time, still a member in good standing.
    Passing or blending is the same thing. When others assume you are female, not a guy in a dress, that's passing. Acceptance as a CD in certain venues might serve the need for some who can't do otherwise. I could never pass in my younger days. Now in my early 60's, an overweight woman with a slightly husky voice passes very well. As proof of that, I'm a member of a woman's only social club. Some day, they might figure me out. Till then in their eyes, I'm 100% woman. I go out for normal errands on the weekend with near total confidence. Whether shopping for groceries, clothing, or a tire repair, I'm called Ma'am(by men), Hon or Sweetie (by women).

    Dead give aways are hanging together in a group. 2-3 max, unless other GG's are involved. Avoid gay friendly clubs unless that's the only places safe for you. Practice mannerisms. Wrists forward, elbows in, shorter steps.

    Hugs, Terri
    Last edited by Terrihoney; 03-10-2021 at 09:22 PM. Reason: spelling

  4. #29
    Rural T Girl Teri Ray's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    I agree with Karen. I am not trying to define the term "passing" for others but to me passing means to the extent I can I blend with others so I do not necessarily stand out. But then when I am out and about I am not in the habit of looking at others appearance and passing judgement.
    Teri Ray Rural Idaho Girl.

  5. #30
    Aspiring Member GracieRose's Avatar
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    Aug 2017
    Passing, blending. I think what I want is to move around in public without people staring and pointing, or worse. We can do things to avoid attracting attention, such as dressing appropriately, moving in a more feminine manner (but not exaggerated), makeup to disguise male features, longer fingernails, and controlling that pesky voice. Oh, yes, and move about with confidence, or "own it" as many here have pointed out. Some of us have it harder than others with towering height, large Adam's apple, big hands, or other more easily noticeable and less easily hidden features.
    Although I've been 'called out' a few times, they have been the rare exception rather than the rule. Perhaps I'm too dense to notice others reading me, or most people are more polite than I might expect them to be, or no one is paying any attention to me (probably more often than I'd like to think) , but I move around in public without feeling uncomfortable, and am referred to as "ma'am" or "she" or "her" often enough to keep my spirits up.
    I've even had a few moments that were particularly gratifying. Walking into an unexpectedly crowed restroom and having a young woman look me in the face, and tell me to go ahead of her because she was just waiting for her friend (would that ever happen in a men's restroom). Or the time a gentleman told me that I look like Christine Baranski. Or the gentleman that smiled and tipped his hat as I walked by. Or in the grocery, when another customer and I were redirecting our carts to avoid running into each other, and he said something to his friend about "that pretty girl trying to run me over". I'm confident that in each of those instances, there was no suspicion that I was anything but a woman. :-)

  6. #31
    Princess Candice candykowal's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    Arlington Heights, Illinois
    What it means to be passable?
    To present as those around me present, depending on the setting or event. Usually restaurants, piano bar, lounges, and window shopping.
    Here in my metro area, I have, in my opinion, a lot of passable, friends who are full time. A few have transitioned and are living the dream.
    So when I want to G2G with my friends for a Girls Night Out, shopping, or lunch, I have to take my presentation seriously,
    in order to really be comfortable with myself among friends.
    In the end, I do not go in public settings in areas where I do not feel comfortable.
    Candice Coleen Kowal ....all my friends call me Candy!

  7. #32
    Jayme jayme357's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Ellbee, you are absolutely exquisite. Fear nothing!

  8. #33
    Senior Member Maid_Marion's Avatar
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    Jul 2018
    Passing is when you get gendered as female after a long interaction. Folks will "slip" and say what gender they perceive from your mannerisms, voice, and appearance as opposed to your name.


  9. #34
    Platinum Member Karren Hutton's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    South Western PA
    Quote Originally Posted by kristi98 View Post

    Karren, You look passable and cute in your avatar photo
    You are too sweet, Kristi! Smoke and mirrors... and angles.... Obviously I do not post the photos that make me look otherwise! And I have a ton of them that will never leave my had drive! Lol

  10. #35
    New Member
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    Mar 2021
    Lots of food for thought. My 'thing' is 50s retro style, I've always like that look. That look in itself would attract a lot of attention as it's a bit dressy for day to day, so I understand what people mean by 'blending' now.

  11. #36
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    You make a very good point , when going out with a TS friend or a GG friend consider will I let them down or embarrass them . I did ask my GG friend on one occasion and she was annoyed with me for not believeing in myself .

    Being full time does mean not ruling out any situation , by that I mean regular activities , we all know places to avoid at certain times of the day .

    There are no rules you're either comfortable with your surroundings or you're not , I had to chat a young checkout guy this morning for ten minutes while someone went to check the price of an unmarked item , as I left he called out have a nice day madam .
    The real me , no going back.

  12. #37
    Aspiring Member Angela1954's Avatar
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    Feb 2015
    Many people have told me I am passable. Perceptions of what a woman should look like are important. I am 5ft 6 135-140 so I am closer to a woman's body size than a mans. For me passing is the ability to go out in public and blend in. What is also important is how you carry yourself. Self confidence goes a long way.

  13. #38
    There's that smile! CarlaWestin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Area Zona
    My wife has confirmed that I have inherent male traits that simply show themselves in such a subtle way, they can't really be described.
    There are just too many postures and micro expressions that occur subliminally to be managed and suppressed.
    I can simulate a feminine persona but the squared off shoulders and the ape walk are nearly impossible to cloak.
    So to me, passing is just a moving target that just isn't the ultimate goal anymore.
    Besides, anyone who's really paying attention is probably distracted by an element of my chosen presentation.
    "That girl with the big boobs. I think that's a man?"
    I've waited so long for this time. Makeup is so frustrating. Shaking hands and I look so old. This was a mistake.
    My new maid's outfit is cute. Sure fits tight.
    And then I step into the bedroom and in the mirror, I see a beautiful woman looking back at me.
    Smile, Honey! You look fabulous!

  14. #39
    Exploring NEPA now Cheryl T's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    Truly passable means being perceived and accepted as a female by all without question or reservation.
    I feel that there are very few of us (CD, TG, TS) who are ever truly passable. Kudo's to those that are. So many factors are involved. Height, weight, face, hair, figure, voice, carriage all play a factor and being able to put all those or most of those into play is not easy.
    I used to believe that I could be "passable". Then I came to the realization that it's not all about being truly passable. It's about being Accepted. I no longer try to be passable. I simply try to be the best I can be, carry myself with my head held high and show others that no matter how they may see me, I BELONG there, where ever that may be.

    Next time you're out look around you.
    Do all the women look like the "ideal woman"? Are all the women the same? No, they are a range of women. Some more feminine than others, some more "passable" if you will. Some look like men.
    We are that way too. Don't get hung up on that perfect image.
    Last edited by Cheryl T; 03-11-2021 at 10:49 AM.
    Wear what makes you feel Confident !

  15. #40
    Silver Member CynthiaD's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    I’ve been to dozens of places en femme. This includes stores, restaurants, shows, and just about anything else you can imagine. I’ve always been treated as a lady. Do I pass? I don’t know. As long as I’m treated like a lady, I don’t care. I think that the real secret to passing is not caring whether you pass.

  16. #41
    Reality Check Krisi's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
    "Passable" or "passing" means that the person who saw you thought he or she saw a woman. That's the basic definition.

    In reality, you might pass if someone gives you a quick glace at a distance of twenty feet but not if they sat in a restaurant watching you for twenty minutes at a distance of five feet.

    For some of us, there are things we can do to be passable in certain situations. For others, there's no chance. Reality can be cruel.

    When I go out, I try to pass as a woman. I have no interest as being seen or accepted as a crossdresser. I try to limit my activities to those where I won't be in close proximity to others for more than thirty seconds or less. I try to avoid specking and eye contact.

  17. #42
    Member Jemima Stephens's Avatar
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    Feb 2020
    Midlands, UK
    Having looked at this thread I experimented with 'Blending' today. I presented as male (difficult not to with a beard!) but i dressed as female apart from my brown Chelsea boots and my quilted Barbour Jacket which was half undone. My jeans, underwear (including bra) and blouse were all feminine, the Blouse being a white shirt with a grey chain pattern on it. I have also been experimenting with my 'Lockdown hair' and did a feminine messy Pixie style.
    I went to the local supermarket to get some groceries and spent 30 minutes shopping. The only time I got a second look that I saw was when I was browsing the womenswear section, but I sometimes get odd looks anyway!

    Otherwise nothing, nada, zilch, everyone else is too busy with their own lives to care.

    I know that this is still a long way from presenting as female, and I long to do that, but it is interesting to push the boundaries of female clothing to see at what point it causes a kerfuffle

  18. #43
    Sallee Sallee's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    San Diego
    I usually try to be passable and blendable and I think I succeed That to me means dressing down In the mall slacks and flats not outrageous makeup. But it doesn't always work or does it ever work. One day I was have a good time shopping in a local mall everything was going well and I thought I was passing wonderfully and all of a sudden a woman passes me and whispers "you look wonderful and have a perfect right to dress as you feel." We just kept walking and my bubble was popped Oh well it still was a wonderful outing

  19. #44
    leggings junkie ellbee's Avatar
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    Aug 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by jayme357 View Post
    Ellbee, you are absolutely exquisite. Fear nothing!
    Eh, just a small still-photo (of many woofers!), cropped, converted to black-&-white in a basic photo program, then messed around with the exposure settings.

    Was just curious/bored, having some fun, and being a bit creative.

    Actually not even much of a fan of the original (which is why I messed with it a bit).

    Regardless? Thanks a bunch!

    But remember: It's just a still-pic.

    *Sooooo* many more things involved when attempting to pass, in-person.

    Back in my hey-day? I'd say with some confidence that I passed a few times -- with men, that is.

    But with a GG? No way, never. They've got the Spidey senses, don'tcha know!

    The best one can hope for with them, as a CD'er, anyway, is to get the non-verbal "I'm no dummy... But, great job, hon!" Official Nod of GG Approval. You'll know it when you get it. Good stuff.


    The way I see it?

    "Blending" is simply not being noticed on a conscious level. They may catch a glimpse from the corner of their eye, or whatever, but don't really give it a second thought.

    "Passing," on the other hand, *is* being noticed -- and more important, they think you're a legit GG.

    Of course, that's only at a cursory level. Because this can definitely ramp up exponentially from there... For example, someone studying your every move for whatever reason -- or even actually holding a conversation or sharing a moment with you!

    Ladies, read again what Cheryl T wrote.

    Please don't go down that "passing" rabbit-hole -- not worth it, trust me.

    Settle for blending, instead... And much better yet, simply "belonging & being accepted." Can't go wrong with that!

  20. #45
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    I'm not sure if being noticed is all about "Passing " . The problem is we can never say for certain and it's not a good idea going round asking people . We also have to consider people may take a second look not at you but at what you're wearing and I don't mean short skirts and high heels . I like to think I dress appropriately but sometimes people do give me a second glance . I recently attended a blood donation session and the nurse told me she loved my blouse , so we chatted about that and where I bought it .

    I'm possibly my own worse critic so I've learned by now when people actually think I am a woman , other times there maybe an element of doubt but if you say nothing and don't repond to it they give you the benifit of the doubt .

    For me passing isn't about trying to fool anyone , it's about living my life as Teresa , I'm sincere and honest with that and that is what people pick up on .
    The real me , no going back.

  21. #46
    Senior Member Asew's Avatar
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    Jan 2018
    Rochester, NY
    Passable to old me means people don't realize you are a CDer.

    Passable to current me means people don't bother you based on gender expression and can go about doing normal things.

  22. #47
    Life is more fun in heels Genifer Teal's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    When everyone treats you as you want to be treated and no one gives you a hard time or says anything rude. If you can go about your business and interact appropriately with whoever you need to. Job done. What more can you expect from people?

  23. #48
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    Nov 2016
    Greater Houston
    Agreed. That's how it should be, and it does not require "fooling" anyone (i.e. "passing") to have that.
    "Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it will always get you the right ones."
    -- John Lennon

  24. #49
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Many years ago, I was a project manager for a group that was developing software for the USG that would look at pictures and live video feed and build up a data sheet on that individual. Things that were included were height/weight, age, sex, race, ect ect.

    It soon became apparent that determining gender was not as straightforward as the original principles thought it would be. Mind you the threshold could be as low as 50.001 of weighted data.

    This was important because this algorithm was used in conjunction with facial recognition software. Software that sometimes was defeated by props or disguises. There had been an embarrassing incident in NYC where a man under video surveillance went into a department store and was lost. Sometime later a woman came out that the software tagged as being the subject. To everyone's great embarrassment it was a GG who had no connection to the subject.

    The first test had an acceptable error rate of around 17 percent. However this was in conjunction with facial recognition software that correctly identified the subject and for whom their normative gender was part of the subjects file. When we took the subset of subjects for whom facial recognition was inconclusive; for a number of reasons; then the failure rate was closer to 40 percent.

    A study was then set up whose function was to determine gender. A number of resources were used including, but no limited to, Halloween and/or Costume party videos, videos from public domains where known CD/TG/drag Queen, ect; as well as video samples of known individuals who had transitioned. For the purpose of the study the subjects birth gender had to be a known data point.

    With a lot of tweaking we finally arrived at an acceptable failure rate ( less than One percent), and incorporated that subroutine into our algorithm. Of those individuals who were unable to "gendered" by the algorithm; about half were GG/GM whose mannerisms and other weighted factors led to a miss identification. The other half were known individuals in the CD/TG spectrum.

    One of the things we did was set a group whose job it was to look at video feeds of people in a normal context. I.e. walking down a street with many other people, dinning, shopping, ect; and identify the non-cis male or female. The failure rate for those selected individuals in the feeds averaged three times higher than the algorithm. Meaning that ordinary people when asked to look at a group of people in everyday settings were unable to "clock" known TG/CDs. Understanding that the known CD/TGs selected were not a random sample of TG/CDs, but were rather selected from those individuals who marginally failed to "fool" the algorithm.

    Context was important to miss identification. Many of these same individuals who had either no problem beating the algorithm or just missed beating the algorithm, and who had also fooled the human eyes of our test group, would fail to greater or lesser degree when placed with other members of the TG/CD community. In places where the community tended to congregate, such as gay/lesbian/transgender venues or venues where people from alt lifestyles tended to congregate. To be clear the algorithm had the same success rate regardless if it were in a Church or gay bar. It was the people who tended to do better when context was applied. On the other hand while the success rate went up in identifying CD/TG individuals in these venues, the success rate tended to go down when correctly identifying GG/GMs.

    The number of TG/CDs that routinely "passed", in all venues, was, from my notes, 0.7 percent. The number that passed the "human test" while about either alone or with a GG of similar size was approximately three percent.

    Of note is that none of these individuals were assessed based on audio samples.

    Make of it what you will

  25. #50
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    Many thanks for giving us that information . I feel the important point to make is your group was asked to look for misgender situations , when out in the RW very few people are looking with the thought of misgendering , they don't expect to see a trans person so on many occasions they completely pass by without noticing . We are very much a minority , so even if we have tell tails most people will give you the benifit of the doubt .

    You appear to have had to work hard to perfect the software which reinforces the point that it's not alwasy easy to pick out a trans person , and that very often applies to how we sound .

    I agree with Jenifer as long as we don't have problems , the " Job is done " .
    The real me , no going back.

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