A controversial post?

    • 20 posts
    October 15, 2011 7:39 PM BST


    Now please do not judge me for this post.


    My simple thought is " just how important is it to pass in public"?


    Is it better to accept that one will never pass and therefore to put all thoughts of what you look like aside and just go out as you are?


    Time and tide has done its worst for me and I know even with my best rose coloured glasses on there is no way anyone could mistake me for anything other than what I am, masculin looking.


    Recently I have been taking note of some of the older females I see. I note the way they are dressed and what they look like. All of them of what ever age have a female look about them. Their features are smaller than your average male and most of them have hair that covers their shortend forehead.


    I am letting my hair grow and it is nearly to the bottom of my ears. But I can't hide my high forehead and my widows peeks. My top hair is quite thin though I try to add a bit of body by fluffing it up and have adopted a central parting.


    Anyway I have posted my thoughts and hope forum members will pass their comments and any suggestions for softening up a male looking face.


    Best wishes,





    • 434 posts
    October 16, 2011 3:00 AM BST

    Lots of GG's (ovarians) don't pass in public...Laughing

    so I don't think it's as important as most people think it is...

    • 30 posts
    October 16, 2011 3:11 AM BST

    I think this depends on context, whom you are with at the time - both the company you are in, and the people around you generally - so for instance, my first few dates with a post-op TG woman were confusing, not for me but for the GG women we encountered ... My confusion was afterwards as I tried to sort out what and how I felt, and - at the same time - adjust all my attitudes and established prejudices.  Know what my girlfriend had gone through to be where she was, I was immensely annoyed/angry that anyone would be as ignorant and stupid as to snigger at/cat call her ... Ironically while it didn't matter to me - M would get quite concerned about 'passing' in public, hands, voice, walk, all bothered her ... so I figure this has to strong connection to self-imaging/self-esteem.  You are what you think you are, so if you think like a woman, whatever you look like, whatever gender you were born, honey you're a woman ... If you think what other people see/say isn't important, then it isn't ... I have known many men who look 'feminine', and women who come across as 'manly', butch gays, and screaming queens ... as long as you - as a person - are happy, does it matter how you are seen?  If your hair bothers you - get a fab wig, time and tide - good make-up hides a multitude of sins, dressing/clothes - honey, buy a book like 'Colour Me Beautiful' get some female friends and have some fun trying out different looks.  In the mirror you see what you have been told to see ... to everyone else you are what you are, so go out there and be yourself, with confidence, style and integrity.  The public will almost always judge you, and because they do that, they don't matter     

  • October 16, 2011 12:13 PM BST

    Al you have it all set, you are right, Sarah, love your self, have a great make up, a nice wig, the hottest dress you have and hit the street.

    • 1652 posts
    October 16, 2011 1:20 PM BST

    How important it is to pass in public is up to the individual. There is no rule that says if you do not pass you should not go out (despite a recent comment here that "ugly" people should not post their photos). I believe if you want to go out dressed then you should, and if you do it not entirely stealthily then you will have made more people aware of our existence, and done more to break the taboo than any rhetoric on any website.

    As Janis Joplin said, "If it feels good, do it."

    For what it's worth, Sarah, your features look fine to me. If your hair is a problem you could try a wig with a fringe, it can take years off!


    • 25 posts
    October 17, 2011 1:21 AM BST

    Lucy is correct about the fringe. I got Id'd in Sainsbury's the other day while buying wine... I am 53, lol! Showed her my driving license and she said 'Ooh, you look well!" I wear a clip-in fringe. Not all the time, but most of the time. I was also wearing a trouser suit which makes me look lots younger for some reason!


    The Oestrogen has helped me skin and changed my body shape too, though it won't change your basic skeleton shape, so even now occasionally I get people do a double-take and possibly say "that's not a woman".


    You just have to learn to deal with that. Confidence and dressing appropriately is key too. I go everywhere in my home town with very few problems. It's not necessarily about 'passing', it's about 'getting by' without too much hassle.


    Good make-up will also help. Oh, and most women wear trousers / jeans for day to day wear. I don't understand the obsession with dresses. I love them, but only wear them (or a skirt) when it's nice and warm when other women might do too. (Or on a night out at a club or similar.)


    Don't wear heels when shopping! Get some flat shoes / boots (for this time of year), most women don't wear heels for shopping either.


    Footless tights / leggings with a tunic top / dress is a good look for women of all ages too.


    Hope that helps! x

    This post was edited by Melissa Milner at October 17, 2011 2:20 AM BST
    • 734 posts
    October 17, 2011 10:49 PM BST

    Do I pass in public? I don't really care as that isn't my objective. I just aim to be me. Female me. Happy to accept that I'll always look more 'farmer's daughter' than 'catwalk model' but that's life! I enjoy being me. Part of that is to have the confidence to appreciate yourself but also laugh with it. Two of the funniest times I've had has been at my local supermarket. In a semi-crowded aisle people just tend to see you with their peripheral vision. In that mode I pass. It was only when I asked the assistant where something was that three people dropped their shopping! I am The Girl With The Very Deep Voice. Twas difficult to keep a straight face. The second time, my sister was ahead of me and I said something to her. I noticed a young couple to my right suddenly get a fit of the giggles. You knew what they were thinking. That's not a woman! But neither did I feel anything malicious from them. It was just their initial casual perceptions had suddenly been turned upside down. I pretended to look at items whilst using my peripheral vision. They were so desperately trying to stop giggling. They were getting redder and redder. Biting their tongues. When they got to the stage of pulling random items from the shelf hoping to distract themselves I thought it would be too cruel of me to linger. So I gave them a big smile and a wave and moved away. Allowing them to pull themselves together and do likewise. I know, you had to be there to appreciate the humour ...

    • 4 posts
    October 18, 2011 4:48 AM BST

    I would love the opportunity to try.  I've never been in "public" as me, just in my boy costume.  Its hard to say, really.  I would love it if I could pass for the genuine addition, but I don't think it matters as much as feeling true to oneself.  As far as forehead issues, try a wig with some bangs to cover it. I have a cute oneAll in all I think you are beautiful the way you are.  You're not dressing for "them", its for you! xoxo

  • October 18, 2011 11:40 PM BST

    I like to try and pass as best I can, though I know I can never completely pass. But the way I look at it, we're not genetic girls, so beging a girl with some features that make people question the certainty of what they're looking at is just part of being a trans girl, and makes you you!


    Trying my best to pass is part of the fun to me though.

    • 20 posts
    October 20, 2011 7:24 PM BST

    Many thanks for all your thoughtful replies.


    Just a short story, on Tuesday evenings I go to a group counselling session. I really love these because no-one judges you.


    Well I was hungry not having eaten since lunch time, so I 'sort of' resolved to call in a fish and chip shop on my way home.


    I knew there would be one close to home in the village so that is where I headed. Now I was dressed totally as Sarah, wig, skirt, make-up, court shoes etc.


    Luckily they were still open so I braved a 100 yard walk and entered the shop.


    I was the only one in there so it was comfortable to ask for my order with only a short double take from the proprietor.


    I had to wait 5 minutes whilst the fish was cooked which was no problem so i sat down.


    Within a couple of minutes a postman walks in on his way to work. He had his back to me for most of the time but did eventually look at me and once again there was that second glance.


    I felt odd but not to the extent of being sorry I had called.


    The fish and chips were fine and I really was bouyed up by my experience:-)



    • 25 posts
    October 20, 2011 9:17 PM BST

    Most people are, esp. in the service 'industries'. Just dress appropriately and try and be confident. Yesterday I opened a new bank account, (at a bank I'd never been to before), went to my Estate Agents, Boots and a pub. (In my suit.) Tonight I'm going to Retro nightclub, tmrw got Estate Agents again, then maybe job centre. The more you do it, the more confident you get, the more people will treat you like anyone else! :-) x

    • 10 posts
    October 27, 2011 2:17 PM BST

    I think, early in transition, we all worry about 'passing' in public.

    I discovered one thing over the past 2 years since I've been out publicly and more since I started living full time:

    The more you worry about passing, the less you'll succeed.
    It's my friends that help me see that, when I worried about passing, I'd fail miserably. But, when I was just being myself, most people didn't even realize I was Trans.

    Do I pass all the time on the phone? No, it's a 50% chance whether I get 'sir' or 'maam' when I talk on the phone. And I work in tech support. In person, most people don't see me as trans, they see me as a husky/soft-voiced slightly goth chick. I'm now learning to stop talking about my transition, for most people don't see the male in me anymore. They see a confident, outgoing & friendly (if not a little wierd) woman.

    It took awhile, but - in the end - I realized one important thing: I'm transitioning for myself. What matters is how I feel, and what I think. People will either accept you or not, that is life. Those who accept me get my attention, those who don't won't get a second look from me.

    Love yourself, be yourself, and you will be accepted as who you are.

    • 17 posts
    February 19, 2012 5:33 PM GMT
    Early in my transition and even now, I assume I don't pass. I've found that there is very little difference in the way you are treated as long as you be yourself.
  • February 19, 2012 10:42 PM GMT
    I live full time and that means I always dress as, and present myself as, a woman. I find a large part of "passing" as well as clothes, makeup, hair etc. is self-confidence. I received tremendous help from female friends on many outings as woman which were real confidence boosters in helping to "pass". Perhaps you might be able to do something similar?
    • 20 posts
    February 20, 2012 8:10 AM GMT
    The difference is unfortunately my features are decidedly un-feminine.
    I know what some of my problems are. I am sure if I were to wear a wig it would change the way I look. It would also draw peoples attention to me even more.
    My mode of dress is now always feminine, in that all the clothes I have are now female apart from some male clobber which I shall in due course give away.
    I am unfortunately going to a funeral tomorrow and I shall be dressed in my black female jeans, female top, with a scarf round my neck. my female shoes, make-up and lipstick.
    This is how I will dress to go to town today and I shall be calling on my bank and the local council offices to clear up some outstanding matters relating to my name change.
    Even with all this I still have my concerns that I am not dressing female enough.
    I have a Partner who is not happy with what has happened over the past 9 months or so. I do not want to embarrass her hence the androgynous look.
    I hope as time goes by that I will look more female as this will give me more confidence.
    • 17 posts
    February 20, 2012 4:20 PM GMT
    I really think you worry too much. I guess I did too when I was early in my transition. Relax and be yourself. Be happy, be healthy.
    • 114 posts
    February 22, 2012 6:15 PM GMT
    This is an excellent thread. Thank you for starting it, Sarah.

    I have to agree that it's mostly confidence and "just doing it." When I go out, I know I get read, but most people are so nice and never draw any attention to it.

    The other day, I was getting a video at the Red Box, which I had never done before, and I just wasn't clear on what to do next. This lady had walked up, which made me more nervous because things weren't going right and here's this woman to see that and judge me and...OMG.

    But, what did she do? She smiled sweetly, helped me through the process, and treated me so nicely. Wished me a good day when I thanked her in my imperfect girl's voice.

    I have found the vast majority of people, especially service personnel, to be respectful of and just taking it in stride. You get the occasional flabbergasted innocent, and the very occasion jerk. But, on the whole, most people are too busy with life to really care a whole lot beyond the mild novelty effect.

    I wish you good luck as you venture out more and more. Just relax and enjoy life as a woman.
    • 20 posts
    February 26, 2012 7:52 PM GMT
    I certainly feel a good deal happier with myself these days:-) I even went to a funeral last week dressed as myself and although I may not look very feminine I was still proud to be there as me.
    I don't get "madamed or mammed" usually only "sired" and whilst it does hurt that I am not recognsed as my self and not as a bloke I'm too happy with my life to make it an issue.
    Though today I went to a major store and was "sired" by an assistant. I have dropped the company an email pointing out how I was dressed and whether they have a policy of diversification training to their staff.
    Some how or other I will make a difference for someone.
  • March 17, 2016 11:30 PM GMT
    Okay, so I was trying to send this as a private message, but my iPhone won't let me paste this in the message, I'm getting tired of trying to figure this out and I've got someplace to be, so here goes!!!

    Doanna, I know you haven't been here in a while, but as I was lurking through some of the old posts, I couldn't help but love your post in response to passing! Classic, as I have experienced this as a GG, or ovarian as you put it: "Lots of GG's (ovarians) don't pass in public...

    so I don't think it's as important as most people think it is..."

    You don't know how many times I've been self conscious that I look like a man! Ugh! I have a big forehead, square jaw, oh, and big head for my 5 foot tall frame. The only thing that saves me is my size, my petite feminine body, and I don't look half bad with my long hair down! Oh, and my great boob job! Just wanted to send this to you and perhaps put a smile on your face!!!

    So now that this is public, I just want to add, even I get self conscious from time to time, especially when I run out the door without any makeup on, but you just have to fuggetaboutit as they say in Donnie Brasco and not think about it. Everyone is too wrapped up in their own lives to even notice you, and if they do notice and are rude, flip 'em off...or if they stare, stare back!
    • 2017 posts
    March 18, 2016 7:13 PM GMT

    It's good to see some of these old posts ressurected as newer members may not have read them. 


    Passing is important to me of course, as it would make my day to day life much harder if I didn't. However, passing is not as difficult as you might think and yes, many GG's (shock horror) are not supermodels so they come in all shapes and sizes too. We are much more concerned about it naturally, as being born male is a pretty significant handicap but there are simple ways to pass, which do not require FFS!! 


    One of my favourite actresses, and someone I would aspire to is Sandra Bullock. Pretty, but not overly like a typical Hollywood bimbo and she has a square jaw too, but because of how she projects herself, you don't look twice. That's an important rule to passing. Look like you belong, be confident and project your femininity and you are well on the way to passing. The rest is just hair and make up. 


    It's all smoke and mirrors. 

    • 15 posts
    June 6, 2016 11:38 PM BST

    I'm more nervous about passing in public than not. I've been recognized as trans while out and about by men who were okay with it. 


    But I'm terrified of having someone come up to me and start flirting or somesuch because he's under the impression that what's between my legs is NOT the same as what's between his. How do you handle that situation??

    • 2017 posts
    June 15, 2016 3:10 PM BST

    You would handle it in the same way as you would when anyone makes a pass as you. Be nice about it but let them know you aren't interested. They will move on soon enough, it really isn't an issue. If someone is making a pass at you it's because they want sex and if they aren't getting anywhere with you, they will look elsewhere. Of course, they may have an idea that you are trans and that is why they are making a pass........another male looking for his 'tranny exerience', urgh!! 

    You have to handle each situation according to the individual factors; where you are, who are you with, do you know them, do they know of your identity etc. 

    It's a far bigger issue if you do enjoy the flirting. At what point do you let them know that you are TG? That's a very individual thing and depends on many factors so there is no one size fits all answer.