Passing (1 of 2)

The key to invading circles that one ‘does not belong in’ is to pass well.  This applies to both transgenderists and psychopaths.  Passing is the art of keeping some internal characteristic hidden in a way, or emphasizing other characteristics in a manner, such that others do not suspect you possess that characteristic.  This differs from anonymity as you are not hiding yourself in full.  A transgender person passes when others do not suspect that their outward dress, mannerisms, and body deny their true biological sex.  A psychopath passes when she is considered empathic, trustworthy, interested in others, or otherwise ‘normal’ as appropriate.  In both cases, passing is the act of wearing a disguise in such a way to where others do not know of your true internal state.  Now, the degree to which the disguise is worn for ill-intent can vary, and is much more applicable to the mask worn by the psychopath rather than the makeup of the female transgenderist, but it is still, nevertheless, a disguise.  To pass is to wear your mask such that the separation of flesh and disguise is not perceivable.  I pass on both fronts.  

I believe that the key to passing is both a combination of luck and an exploitation of the inherent naivety of most people.  There is a threshold in which even the most naive people will suspect something is different about a person trying to pass and that is where luck comes in.  But first, let us talk about the naivety of people.  As I’ve mentioned before, people, by and large, assume that others are like themselves.  This can mean that people believe that other people are good, that they are Christian, that they speak English, so on and so forth.  It is when others realize that an individual is different that all hell breaks loose.  It can mean the loss of a business transaction, a job, a relationship, and so on.  This is why passing is so important so that those destructive reactions can be avoided.

We see this naivety in place every day.  The boss who sees you goofing off at 14:45 in the afternoon assumes that you are on your unscheduled break so long as he doesn’t see you avoiding work all day.  The date that sees that you ‘forgot’ your checkbook at home assumes that you are meaning no ill will.  Finally, the person who sees your body hair, deeper voice, and short haircut assumes that you are biologically male.  For transgenderists, this is very important.  People assume that those they are interacting with are cisgendered.  That is, that those other people have congruence between gender and sex.  People assume, largely, that you are not trying to con or manipulate them; that what you say is truth.  People believe that when you ‘forgot’ to wish them a happy birthday, that it wasn’t because you literally don’t care about their joys and experiences.  Family believes that when you strategically arrive late to take your sibling to the airport, that you must have really been stuck in traffic and that it wasn’t that you simply did not want to afford the energy in doing so.  Naivety means nearly everything when it comes to passing, but luck plays a part as well.

Without some semblance of luck, you may not be able to pass regardless of your presentation of your characteristics.  For the transgender male, if they were born with a disposition to be 150 centimeters then they will, undoubtedly, face higher scrutiny by those they interact with.  If you are a transgender female and you were a bass prior to transition, then your deeper voice may confuse those that you speak with.  If you are a psychopath that has a predisposition to be, literally, unable to fake empathy, then others may see through any other masks you wear as well.  Naivety allows one to invade another person easily, luck determines whether there are any uncontrollable obstacles.  However, I am leaving one very important point out …

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