Tuesday, June 15, 2010

To Pass or Not To Pass

The other comment I want to address was anonymous and here is the gist:

judging by the photo on your blog, you don't look very passable. I think you would be crazy to consider flying .... at best, you risk ridicule by others, at worst you risk being beaten up or arrested (it is not a good idea to mess with airport security guys). If I were you I would get a reality check and stick to visits to the local mall.

I'm not the first transgender to pass through airline security. My friend Deb pointed me to Kimberly who flies regularly. I admit she looks a LOT better than I ever have or ever will, but she still says she has no problem.

Lisah wrote to me:

I travel a lot for work, and have been doing so almost exclusively in girl-mode for the last 2 years. The bottom line is that you should have no problems. As long as you're using your legal photo ID, and it matches the name on the ticket, you're ok. The TSA folks receive specific training in TG sensitivity (really!) and so are not going to be terribly surprised by you. Some of the best compliments I've received have been when they've said to me "You've given me the wrong ID, Ma'am" In all the travelling I've done, I've never been given a hard time (other than the aforementioned)

I doubt that I risk being beaten up in a crowded airport.

And anon stopped half-way on the best/worst line.

My worst-case scenario involves sitting next to David Duke for three hours on the plane.

My best-case scenario involves being treated as a women by the cabbie, ticket agent, TSA, flight attendants, my seatmate, the rental car clerk, and the hotel desk. Oh, and my seatmate strikes up a conversation about either girl stuff or why I'm traveling as Meg. Either way, it would make for a short pleasant flight.

In between, I'm ignored by my seatmate, called sir by everyone else, fall off my heel and sprain an ankle, my allergies act up and my eyes tear up and my makeup becomes a mess, and I get in trouble because I have to use the ladies' room. Some or all of those.

But mostly, the in between things I can live with. And the worst-case is as unlikely as the best case.

I also changed pictures. Am I passable, or not? (I admit, I have 10 pictures I don't like for every one I do, and I'll be in close quarters ~ I should pick my worst, not my best and ask what you think!)


  1. Hon, I believe that "passing" is 80% attitude and 20% looks. Just do your best presenting yourself, keep a smile on your face, look people in the eye, and know you belong where you are and you will do fine.
    My only suggestions would be to use less eyeliner and not so red lipstick. Tone those two items down and you will look much better. Check out real women and you won't see many using that much eyeliner and much more neutral lipstick.

  2. Girlfriend, passing is all about confidence. I think you'll do just fine.

  3. If I noticed you in an airport would I clock you? Probably, if I studied you. But you are an attractive person who projects confident femininity and to me, that's passing. Personally, I don't care if people know I'm a CDer, but they better either deal with me as a feminine person or leave me alone. I think you're beautiful (I really do), the hair is perfect for you and your eyes are gorgeous. No one's gonna give you any trouble hon, and you're gonna luv your trip. I don't fly often, but the next time I do you can bet your bippy I'll be doing it as a gurl.

  4. Oh, btw, that first commenter doesn't have a clue what (s)he is talking about. When it comes to gurls getting out of the closet, that's usually the way it is with someone who is speaking speculatively rather than from experience.

  5. Sure this a comment to an older post but you present fine! The first commenter was obviously on some sort of substance. I live 50/50 (leisure time) in both genders. Never have flown in femme but most of the folks are in such a hurry and never make eye contact anyhow! You look great! Relax!

  6. Crysti, please come back on Monday. You can see my latest attempt and let me know if you still feel that way. I'm not so worried about the people rushing through the airport as I am about that stranger I'll be sitting next to for almost three hours when we're in the air!

    I'd love to hear more about your 50/50 ~ I envy you!


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