Friday, May 14, 2010

"Passing" Perception

This has been a tricky post to write.

Part of it has been the issue that I have with the term 'passing' while at the same time the general idea of it is highly important to me.

Let's address the first part of this. 'Passing'

The main contention I have with the term is that I feels like it means someone is acting like something or someone they are not.

Which is what I am not doing as a girl.

Because I am a girl.

For me it is the opposite. I choose to act like a guy since I was forced to play the role of one. I taught myself to turn off certain things and allow only others out.

The effects mother nature had on me didn't hurt either. Even if they were forcing me into a direction I didn't want to go. It gave me the ability to present the world with the proper presentation as best I could.

For the most part people assumed what was being presented to them reflected who I was. Even if I had a few quirks.

As we know now it wasn't.

Yet they didn't know that.

To them I 'passed' as a boy.

I was simply performing for them to prevent myself from being discovered and shunned, voted off the island, or isolated from the rest of the herd.

Fear was the biggest reason behind that.

With that in mind it was very important to me to see how things worked if I did them as me with no restrictions or anything. Let myself be myself and see what happened.

However I had to work on presenting the world with a physical representation of what I was.

Not so easy when you are in the wrong packaging.

This prompted me to work on putting together the ability to cover him up and present the world with a woman. At least as much as I able and let my natural personality do the rest.

(I didn't always care that I had to do it this way but there isn't really much other choice.)

So far the result have proven extremely positive.

Really when people comment that they are surprised that I am not actually a girl (well I am but you get the point here) or they cannot figure out how I manage to live as a man. I figured who I am works with the presentation.

Consider this too, I am hearing this more and more from the cis community and not just the trans world.

What it boils down to is that my personality and mannerisms when free to be what they are line up with a physical presentation that isn't what mine is naturally.

I am not acting, I am not pretending I am simply me.

So maybe I 'pass' but that still irritates me because it isn't like I am pretending to be something I am not.

To me what it boils down to is perception.

And really this is with regards to my physical manifestation.

Or what the outside world would perceive.

Which is what this is all really about. The idea or 'holy grail' most of us pursue isn't to pretend to be something we are not. But really to have the outside world perceive us as we are on the inside.

Along with accord us the respect that goes along with it. I am nor ever want to be viewed as something I am not. I am a person, a woman. Not some sideshow freak.

Granted this is not always something that is easily overcome. Yet it is what we are looking for. To casually walk down the street and have the world view us as a woman or girl. To simple acknowledge that we are no different from them upon simply observation and even so with a bit more scrutiny.

This is what I desire myself. I don't really care if the world things I am pretty, attractive, cute, sexy, tall, short, curvy, or whatever.

I simply want them to think one thing.


Because that is what I am. Beyond that depends on the person and doesn't really matter to me.

All I really want is for the world at large to have the same perception of me as I have of myself.

Which is why some physical changes will have to take place. As I mentioned above I cannot produce the image of a woman with out a little help(I am fortunate that it isn't much help, but needed none the less). Then consider that I have tried without the extra help, it just doesn't work quite yet. I have gotten closer but I need to bring these to images together and blend them a bit more.

And that is going to take some outside help.

But I'll save those details for another post.

In the mean time this entire issue boils down to simple respect. You don't tell a police officer; "Wow you look just like a police officer, if I didn't know any better I would think you are one."

That is a back handed insult.

I think that is a large reason a lot of girls go stealth, they don't want any stigma attached to them that they are something they are not. When really we aren't, we just took a different path to get there.

It is just the plain fact that I am not act, I am not fooling, I am just being me.

Can we all try to perceive that?

P.S. I apologize if I rambled a bit on this one. It wasn't easy to write.


Laura Bennett said...

Great post Kelli! I remember when my spouse asked me if "I was going to 'dress' today' and I said "what?" and she said "you know crossdress".

I got so upset and I said to her "I crossdress everyday I go to work!", I was on the verge of tears, but THAT is when she got it.

Now I am having trouble "passing" as a boy, the whole notion of passing has completely flipped around on me mentally at least from the perspective I had in the very beginning.

Kelli Bennett said...

Wow thanks Laura! And here I was wondering if I had done it justice.

I know how you feel. Truly. I hate doing the boy thing all the time. Always have yet tried my best to accept it. But now as things progress I chafe at it more and more.

Crazy how some see it as crossdressing or drag. UGH! I am just more comfortable expressing myself with women's clothing and dislike men's. (though I have a affinity for oversized hoodies in the winter. It isn't always about skirts and heels, never has. shsssh don't tell.)

Yet as I go forward the less I like it and I can foresee the day I will just hate it entirely.

The issue I have is I still need some help in pushing me over into the other side. Those are the things I am looking to resolve.

Calie said...

I loved this post. Passing, typically a crossdressing term, means so much more to the girl who is going full time. I absolutely agree that the mannerisms, vocal inflection, and all of those female attributes that you have suppressed for all of your life, just appear naturally when let out of their cage.

I have said many times that it is not about the dressing. That, to me, is secondary and hardly worth doing unless I can do it full time.

The male act, however, or maintaining the facade, as the blogger, Halle, refers to it, is my current focus.

Calie xxx