I found this incredible quote at Quora in reference to a question posed to Caroline Cossey. For those who may not remember, she is one of the world's most well known trans women, having appeared in a James Bond film and the first to pose for Playboy. This is interesting especially coming from someone who by all test, passed perfectly.
Question: How is "passing" regarded inside the trans community, regarded outside the trans community, and what if anything can trans allies do to help?
Answer: A lot of us feel the need to "pass" because we come under so much scrutiny in society over our physical appearance. We all feel this pressure within society about "acceptable" appearance so the pressure is felt even more so when you're a transgender person. The sad truth is that society is and has always been superficial when it comes to acceptance whether that be based on physical appearance, religious expression or non expression, philosophy, sexual orientation, you name it. Society doesn't have a great track record in taking kindly to variation or diversity.
I have never liked labels and I'm not for judging a book by its cover. We are all unique. We classify the world and our experiences in our minds into categories, groups, etc. which is natural but then we make the mistake of believing we and/or others fit into these "boxes".
The spectrum of femininity vs. masculinity (if one chooses to categorize in that regard) is vast in of itself and people will fall all across that spectrum whether they're trans or cis. So trans allies can help by embracing diversity and living tolerance in their daily lives. And they may just find it's in keeping with diverse world that we live in. ;-)
In the next few post I would like to discuss this subject more, but would like your input - Is passing important to you? Has you perception and need to pass changed in light of current visibility?