I personally prefer the term “reading” rather than passing. As an agender person, my (lack of) gender will likely never be read correctly by strangers, even those who are aware of non-binary gender, as being agender is not something I represent through my clothing or mannerisms. So I settle for being read as a man, as I’ve transitioned to male for legal and medical purposes.

But having visible breasts means I am still sometimes read as female, which causes me distress. I can accept myself as a bearded person with breasts, but this combination reads as freakish to the general public, as I wrote about in a piece that Medium featured recently.

Strangers’ opinions of my body shouldn’t matter, but I am concerned for my safety if I am called out when, for example, using a men’s restroom, especially in a trans-hostile space. I have also had problems when traveling; airport body scanners read my breasts as “anomalies” on my last two trips, as the TSA agents had read me as male and programmed the machines accordingly. This caused delays and embarrassment. Trans women and transfeminine people, particularly those of color, face even greater hostility when (mis)read as male.

So I agree that yes, we trans folks should love ourselves and our bodies regardless of what combinations of cistypical male and female physical characteristics we possess. But that won’t eliminate the need to be read as our correct genders (or as near as we can get, for non-binary people like myself) for our safety and well-being.

Written by

Queer agender trans male. Black vegan atheist, photographer, blogger. Pronouns: they/them/their. http://funcrunch.org, https://www.patreon.com/funcrunch

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