The weirdness of passing privilege.

It’s always amusing to me that even people who know I’m trans will sit there and expect me to join in bashing other trans people. And by “amusing,” I don’t mean funny ha ha, I mean funny like watching a Pythonesque 16 ton weight reduce them to street pizza. They seem to think that because I am read as female by most people, that I would naturally join in bashing those that don’t get that privilege.

They are dead wrong. When I first started transition I did not pass. I was still trying to shed all those little “corrections” of my mannerisms that were beaten into me as a child. The neighborhood I lived in at the time was pretty rough- burning cars in the parking lot rough. I heard my share of insults- and threats.

Now, I get passing privilege. I still get yelled at from passing cars, but it’s mostly catcalls and comments about my tits. Every woman has to deal with it, but the change is odd. And illusory. Somebody who knows that I’m trans and doesn’t like the fact could always out me in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Then as that passing privilege evaporates, the average twonk on the street then gets one of three prepackaged and dead wrong opinions about me thanks to our oh-so-fair-and-open-minded entertainment media: 1. I’m a whore. 2. I’m a drag performer. 3. I’m a sexual predator.

Oh, there are variations and exceptions, but that’s my usual experience with the general public outside the queer community. Sometimes, it can be a teaching opportunity, sometimes it can be a nightmare. But even the teaching opportunities can be harrowing, because even though I tend to live out, it is still startling these days to have someone clock me.


About Narcissa

I’m a volunteer and community activist, opinionated, moderate to liberal in political outlook, and a trans woman.
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