First, do I pass? Basically, no I do not. I may do okay in some aspects, but how much I fail to pass is not the topic I am wanting to touch on here. What I do want to say is some form of statement on the notion of passing or not passing itself.
So for those that may not be in the loop of understanding, and NBD if you are not, I will give a quick explanation.
For a trans person, passing means that they can be seen by others (unusually implied ‘others’ are random people in public) as their gender and NOT their assigned gender at birth.
I cannot speak for others, so these are my thoughts. I have said before, you do you. I will be me.
There are some days where passing is a thing I think about, worry over, what not. The rest of the days I have an altogether different agenda.
Where I live is in some ways, not all by any definition, safer that anywhere else I have lived or been to not pass, so I do have this luxury, so many do not. What I do with this is push for those not where I am to benefit, I hope someone does. If I can be visible in the right way it might help those who just cannot.
For the days I can be and not stress over thoughts of hate and anger generating threats against me I go about my life as I do, just another woman out doing whatever I have to do. Fully aware I do not pass, but interact with others as if I do. I am not shy to start a conversation with a stranger or ride the bus, whatever it may be.
My own true measure of passing, for me has little to do with others but MYSELF. I am not out to get validation that I am myself and YES, I am a trans woman! I know this through every particle of my being and beyond as this is my mind, emotional existence and my very soul and spirit.
The issue is when some refuse to allow me to exist. I could not care less if they agree or not so long as I am not in danger or restricted from being. This being amounts to life at the level I may breathe and have a heartbeat, but that is not the definition of life for a human I am writing about.
Trans* is not a simple topic of discussion and in no way is there boolean or binary in there anywhere I can see.
The only correct answer in anything that amounts to anything people have any passion, hate, fear, love, etc. on and on is…
What is it does depends on is so subjective and situational it is removed beyond quantitative beyond what is qualitative in any generalized way that is meaningful.