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Belief in one's identity is crucial.

Look at genetic women who don’t identify strongly as women. The way they move and dress and behave suggests they are rejecting that identity. We see them in public and sometimes do a double take because we are not always sure they are women or perhaps react to how they stand out among the crowd.

They are being themselves which is precisely the point.

Belief in what you are is very important and I don’t care how well you present or dress or speak. If you don’t understand this in your bones it will emanate from your pores that you are a fraud. This is the significant difference between pretend and reality. We all know people who when dressed as the other gender should theoretically pass perfectly and yet that lack of authenticity gives them away because they either don’t believe it or for them it is only pretend.

If you are not sure about yourself, reflect and you will know in good time because passing has little to do with it.


  1. This post is timely for me. Some weeks back my therapist observed that I suffer from a need for external affirmation and validation. It's as if my well of internal affirmation/validation is always running on empty. Her suggestion was for me to create a list of 5-8 short phrases - affirmations - that I read and try to absorb twice/day. Things like "I am okay," "I am a good person," that sort of thing. One of the items on my list was "I am a sweet woman" which is indeed, what I would like to think of myself as being. After about a week, though, I told her that I feel like I'm not being fully truthful to myself. Indeed, I think I am pretty sweet, as people go. But a woman? Always wanted to be, yes, but it's as if I don't fully believe it in my heart even as I am on a solid vector of transition. She then suggested "I embrace my feminine characteristics" as a replacement. I liked it but again, after a week I didn't. Shoot, anyone could write that! I do embrace my femininity such as it is but I want more than that.

    We will discuss this tomorrow morning. I am not a man per se, but I'm also not a woman, am I? Who am I? I'm Emma Gray, a transgender woman. Like you, Joanna, I'm not happy feeling compelled to put that qualifying adjective in front.

    I will add, though, that yesterday I wore this pretty blue and green paisley tunic top over skinny jeans with my floppy booties, and I felt good. A man held the door for me at FedEx, another referred to me as "her" when speaking to a FedEx employee, and I was treated with respect and dignity at Lowe's as I picked up garden tools.

    I don't think I pass very well unless it's from the back. But wearing that outfit felt like I am just presenting as myself, pleased with myself to look well assembled and comfortable.

    1. just be yourself Emma whoever that is and that is more than good enough. The moment you stop seeking affirmation you are there...


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