But what does this mean? This "Passing?" Does it mean nothing more than the villagers didn't come out in force today with pitchforks and torches thirsting for the blood of trans monsters wandering en Femme? Or does it mean that the person in question was actually being perceived as being "the opposite sex?"
Actually? In the New Speak of Trans Land, (heretofore also known as the land of Misfit Toys!) It means both and it also means all points between. For when one says they are passing it could simply mean that some semblance of cultural acknowledgement was made towards them, or it might mean they have not and cannot be read as their birth sex, and all points between
Which is why Miz Know It All is going to delight her readers by dragging out an oldie but still goodie written over a decade back by a talented writer who went by the Nom de Plume Kate Grimaldi... Kate wrote this back in the day after a forum interaction with a sister about their "Passing." Which when they said "Passing" they were expressing having not been read in decades, when up piped another voice who said they too were not read! Well not very often! Why in fact it hadn't happened to them more than twice that very day!
Decades... hours... minutes, same terms, very very VERY different meanings...
Thus was born "The Stepped Phase Scale," This scale of Kate's was composed of six levels.
- Step 0, No passing
- Step 1, Pass in a crowd
- Step 2, Pass with longer person-to-person interactions
- Step 3, Passing with a lover
- Step 4, Sustained Passing
- Step 5, Having your memory rewrite itself
- Step 6, Knowing that you have always been female
The Null Step,
This is that guy in a wig we all know and love so so well.. but want nothing to do with at all! The one who no matter what he says about how he is a woman is so clearly a man in a dress he is going to be read by a blind man at midnight from half a mile away... Therefore he does not and cannot be said to pass in anyway-shape-form-or-fashion!
The First Step,
That is simply you walking into the Mall and the torches are not lit! In fact, no one says a darn thing to you ,so you are pretty much left to your own devices. What this means passing wise is you have reached the point were you are rated as a threat to others on par with the potted plants, and so, you are ignored... "Wow that was a damned ugly woman. Hummm I gotta remember to get some toothpaste and I need to call Uncle Bob when I get home! I wonder what we are having for dinner?"
The Second step,
The one Miz Know It All thinks most often applies when she reads about some 60 something whoo ups and says they are "Passing," Because the Second Step, is nothing more than "Passing" a little longer than the quick glance... We humans are biologically programmed to sex each other and we do it in a fraction of a second, but we are also busy as heck and very VERY self centered... Which means that 99% of us pay almost no attention to the person on the other side of a counter from us, other than to do what we must to make them go away... So if there are enough social clues one way or the other to make a rather rudimentary assessment, we sex em based on that alone and then think nothing more of it! Wow, that sure is one ugly woman but it mostly looks female. So... the clerk or the waiter, or the bank teller is going to say "Can I help you Ma'am?" This is the level where you notice that doors are usually held open, men tip their hats, etc etc etc... It is where society acknowledges you as female... sorta
The Third Step,
Getting Hot and Heavy, Kate took a lot of heat for this one being third, but over the years I have come to see why she put it where she did. This is the point where you have either had surgery or you are not far away and you have come to accept that the world sees you as a female, so you start to spread your wings a bit and worry less, and when we do that, we hit others, or might I say, they "Hit" upon us? Hummmm? Your appearance at this point is at least feminine enough that you have become exactly what most women are to men. A sexual object! Now before you let that go to your head. remember most men would gladly fuck a knot hole on a tree if it was wet and willing! Really! Men are not all choosie about what they fuck, at least if no one is looking! So take this with a grain of salt and see it for what it really is passing wise...
The Fourth Step,
Wow this is the toughy! If there was ever a line in the sand that you could point to vis-a-vie and say most do not and will not make it this far... then SP 4 is it! What this level of passing means is that you are not getting read on the sly... That after days, weeks, months or even years of passing as female in daily interactions, that your little secret is not quietly found out! That you are able to keep it going day in and day out without fail and the important part? Without thought on your part... Something which if you do fail at, you are not too likely to discover unless you are keenly observant of the little changes in others behavior... Because at this point, they have come know and probably to like you! So what if you turn out, not to be a girl but to be that sweet guy, I mean girl, guy, girl, oh heck the one over yonder who use to be a guy! They are still going to be nice to you, but trust me, if you do not make it here, they may be nice as pie but they will never accord you the same as they would with another other woman... No set ups with their brothers for example... or they will always change of subject when it comes to intimate and personal conversations... Step Four is make or break, and as Miz Know It All said... few make it to, much less past this point.
But if you do, there are more!
The Fifth Step,
If you have been paying attention you have noticed that these steps are not remotely equal.. that in each one the level of passing is on a whole order greater than the last... so by now I am sure you are wondering why this has switched gears so... How can your memory change? And what has that to do with "Passing" fer Christs sake! Well the how is simple... you have moved on from others not reading you to you yourself are not reading you! This is where you can finally look into the mirror of either your mind or your eye and only see a female..As to why? It's curious how this one happens but happen it does... So much so that if you are looking at old pictures, that is if you have come this far and any still exist! You will be looking, not for a male child but for that bright eyed little girl that you remember yourself because that is what you were! So even though there is a familiarity about that boy there in her stead, he only seems familiar to you in what is the most surreal of ways!
The Sixth Step
This is where actually have moved past, "Passing" because you have come to realize when looking back that you are and always have been female. That no matter how dearly it has cost you or how much you suffered... you did what you had to do because you were a female doing the very best she could with the ugly hand she was dealt! This is also the hardest one to relate to others because it simply cannot be understood all this really means and why you are now so distant to everyone in the "community" until you actually get there! Kinda like sexual intercourse is. You can have read everything every written about it, have heard all the stories but as a virgin, that in no way can begin to prepare you for what it actually feels like when a man is playing your arching body like a violin as he penetrates you. Ya just gotta live it to know it... but trust me, this level of "Passing" really does exist and dare I say it.. there are even realms beyond it, but the women I know of who have gotten that far? Well, I can count em on one hand...
Well, there you have it... So the next time someone is talking about their passing... you can now ask em exactly what they mean by that and by their responses... you will know how well they really "Pass!"
SP Scale (c) Kate Grimaldi