Comment by Paula
Want to start uproar on a transgender support site? Just mention the phrase “pass as a woman.” Some forum moderators will not even allow the topic! I personally never had an issue with the term, but realize that it can be and is hurtful to many of my sisters. There is also a lot of politics tied up in the term, for these reasons I try not to use it.
However the term constantly comes up, and is used in spite of all the criticisms. Heck younger transgender people use it without controversy. There is even a trans-passing sub-reditt that asks for passing advice. I’ve reflected on this idea during my journey and wondered, what is it that I am striving for?
Just thinking about all the effort and time we put into our presentation. It starts with shopping for the right clothes, finding hip pads and forms that work. Then there is shaving and more shaving, along with laser or electro. Then skin care, finding the right cosmetics, learning how to use them, with hours of practice. Then our hair, searching for and learning how to style the wig that’s right for us. Lest we not forget the accessories, the perfect purse, jewelry, scarf’s and belts. Oh wait shoes! That’s a book in itself.
Then the night before it all gets laid out for the morning. That’s when the magic happens and the Phoenix rises from the ashes. Out the door we go expecting what? Exactly what is it in our psyche, in our hierarchy of needs that we are trying to satisfy?
I am sure that I would get diverse answers from many of you and I would never be so presumptuous to think I have the singular and definitive raison d'être.
However I believe I can identify a theme that is common for many of us. Something that runs deep in the DNA of transgender women and I’ll go one step further and venture to say it is in fact the same for every woman.
But first let me share with you how I came to this conclusion. I was watching a historical documentary that covered the life of Marie Curie. It was this particular phrase that was an epiphany. “Universally recognized as a woman who changed modern science”.
The words that echoed in my mind were “recognized as a woman”. She in this instance was being recognized as a woman who did something significant. Let’s take a look at the definition of recognize:
Recognize: acknowledge the existence, validity, or legality of, accept, admit,realize, be aware of, be conscious of, perceive, discern, appreciate Synonym: officially approve, certify, accredit, endorse, sanction, validate.I won’t go over this whole list of words girlfriends, however they all speak legions! When I walk into a store or office, your damm right I want to be “acknowledged” as a woman.
To hear the words “Thank you Ma’am” isn’t that the “validation” we seek? How about being accepted, endorsed, or perceived as a woman?
This is exactly what I’m seeking when my heels tap the floor as I walk thru a hotel lobby. I want people to recognize that a woman is walking by. I want them to see a woman, to recognize me for what I am deep down inside. A woman.
Yes Ma’am that’s it!
Thank you Paula.