The Art of Passability
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Politics and Activism

The Art of Passability

Give me Passability or give Death

The Art of Passability
Huffington Post

This article is not geared to helping anyone be more passable.

Passability refers to a person's ability to be regarded at a glance to be cisgender in relation to their gender identity. For many (not all) trans* individuals who transition, the goal is to become 100% passable aka stealth. This can be done in so many ways, and there are often limitations to what someone can change to increase their passability. A lot of it boils down to genetics and age. For example, if someone started transitioning when they were younger, they would've generally had less limitations becoming stealth due to their lack of biological body development, whereas an older persons body will have developed more, and thus created more limitations, either through puberty or otherwise. Passability is can be measure in a few ways, but in the end it is very subjective. One of the easiest way for and individual to understand how passable they are is by relating how often they are misgendered to how often the are gendered correctly. The less they are misgendered, the more passable they are, and visa versa. Either way, no matter how passable someone is, they are 100% who they say they are, and that's irrefutable. There are many ways to increase passability, here are just a few examples:

Surgery: GRS, Face Surgery

Clothing: Pants/Skirts, Baggy/Tight, Heels/Sneakers, Jewelry/Watch

Voice Modification: Pitch, Resonance, Prosody, Timbre

Body Modification: Tucking, Binding, Packing, Corseting,

Hormone Replacement: Estrogen, Testosterone, Progesterone

Body Hair: Clean Shaven/Bushy, Long/Short, Wigs, Drawn in Facial Hair

However, at some point the individual will plateau with passability, either in the passable zone, or the unpassable zone. Sadly, many unpassable individuals who feel like they're plateauing engage in unhealthy practices such as anorexia, alcoholism, drug use, self-harm, suicidal ideation, etc. Ultimately it seems that for many that passability outweighs even their own life, though many are probably hard-pressed to admit it. "Give me passability or give me death," may be analogous to the feeling, but its not their fault, and to attribute fault would be ignorant. When someone has invested their whole existence into achieving their goal of being wholly themselves, what should you expect when that goal falls just short of their reach?

As someone who is plagued by the desire/need for passability, I cant stress how important it is to support those individuals in your life who are subject to this need. Also, if you are someone like me, I should express the importance of good and diligent self-care. Regular, quality self-care is more beneficial to suppress depression than the unhealthy coping methods you may feel more inclined to implement. Nothing can get better without you giving it the ability to do so.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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