Thursday, December 10, 2009

Privilege of Passing

I was at the Transcending Boundaries this weekend and went to a workshop on the privilege of passing. I found this to be a very enlightening and amazing workshop. There was a great range of age, trans men and women, gender queer, and so on. It was really nice to discuss the difficulty of passing each of have in our given gender and life and how it is a privilege to pass as your gender. I often struggle with the privilege of passing or the ability to pass and how it does and doesn't affect my ability to live and breathe as who I am. I often times am told that if one displays themselves with confidence then one will pass a whole lot better; or not many really people care about your gender expression. While I agree more with the latter, none are entirely true. Yes confidence has a lot to do with, but lets be honest some people as hard as they try and as much confidence as they may have some of us trans folk can not pass, I am one of them. Confidence can go far in queer communities sometimes far in friendly communities but in the rest of the world confidence in my experience mean jack. The biggest theme of this workshop was displaying oneself with confidence, and how that saves all and fixes all.
The thought of passing has always interested me. I find that there isn't just one way to pass and there are both pros and cons for all levels of passing. For instance if you completely pass as your gender identity then quite often you are not welcome in the Trans community because you are not "queering gender" enough. If you don't pass as I don't whether it be for body shape, facial features, voice, etc... the trans community will sometimes take you in it depends and then the non-trans world knows that you are not "normal" Then what about people who don't want to pass, who are gender queer, or FTM or MTF with no desire to transition; should passing matter on the general public? Or should passing matter on the individual's belief that they are passing how they want to? I feel like it should be the latter but I don't know if the world would ever be ready to let go of the dispositions especially on gender.
Passing in my life is a privilege a privilege I don't have. Passing is always a privilege though since it is rather expensive to pay for the medical procedures and therapy in order to pass. Passing effects everything from relationships to jobs. Everything changes based on how you pass, or what you pass as. People aren't ready to let go of the very strong beliefs on gender and how it should be presented and I just don't know if passing is as simple as leaving the house with confidence.

No comments:

Post a Comment