Passing and Non Passing - MtF transgender

For most trans people, one of the most important goals of transitioning is ​to be passable. What exactly is passing? Simply put, if you transition from a man to a woman, and strangers perceive you to be a cis woman, you are passable. ​However, passing is a tricky subject for many.

It is likely that most trans women can pass if they undergo a variety of surgeries and procedures, but where do you draw the line?

Should you allow societal expectations to draw you away from your authentic self?

Sometimes, who you are might align with society’s expectations. For some, societal expectations may require them to be who they don’t want to be. If you hope to pass, you must live by the expectations placed on cis women.

Please note that some trans people would not want to pass and are more comfortable being open about their trans identity. There is no right or wrong way to go about it. 


This becomes tricky when you are non-binary, because humans are conditioned to put people in boxes- religion, language, gender, and culture are all labels that help define others.

However, as a non-binary, you wouldn’t fit into either of the boxes and yet, you will be consistently pushed into one.  


It is also natural to want to pass in some situations, where you do not want to attract attention, like at a restaurant or when addressing a meeting.

In many scenarios, you just want to tick something off your checklist and move on, without any discussions emerging regarding your gender identity. There are certain places where you may be comfortable challenging norms, and in others, you just want to fit in.

For instance, your trans identity may be public knowledge in your school and you may even be willing to talk about it to your close friends. You don’t feel the need to pass there, because you consider it to be a safe space. 


For a lot of trans people, transition is a time of growth and personal development. As such, they do not want to separate from this identity that has taught them so much.

One important distinction that many trans people make is that being trans is a part of their identity but they don’t identify as trans people. They are not attached to the concept of being trans nor do they make it their entire identity.

They cannot deny that part of themselves nor are they going to identify as a trans person, because they underwent transition to be a woman. Their innate womanhood has existed since childhood and that’s what they identify with.   

Moreover, trans people do not want to be put into the trans box because they are so much more than that. They do not want to be defined merely by their gender. 


Some trans women do not try overtly to pass, but they do not announce their trans identity either. They are comfortable passing or being clocked in.

If you want to clear the air immediately and go on with your life, that would be a sensible decision to. It all goes back to your comfort levels.

The fact is that most trans women have a mix of feminine and masculine aspects until they completely ditch the latter (only if they want to). They are both a part of who you are and there is absolutely no reason to hide it. 


Today, there are many trans people who do not want to pass. Instead, they want to talk about their identity to eliminate the stigma surrounding the topic.

They want to be the best version of themselves and be role models for others who are afraid to come out. This is a valid school of thought too. It is natural to want to protect your community by working towards awareness and destigmatizing the topic.   


In a nutshell, passing or not passing is an entirely personal choice. You must make a decision based on your environment.

As long as there is no threat to your safety, there is no reason why you shouldn’t live as an openly trans person if you want to. We hope this helps. Good luck!!

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