Pass

Alexis Arquette continues to amaze on The Surreal Life 6.  

The amazing part?  Simply this: I see a transwoman I recognize on TV.

They started the show with her talking to her roomate.  No makeup, hair back, and a discussion of how people in the house don't get it and that's frustrating.  Yeah, I get that.

Alexis was not chosen for an on-camera role in the San Luis Obisbo news task, and she got that right away, knowing how uncomfortable she makes people.  Still, I don't think any of the rest of the cast, except maybe for Steve, could have done the job.  Alexis is smart and fast, combining the effective comminication skills of a woman and the get-r-done boy stuff, and that worked for her.

In the bus riding up, the girls wanted to talk about trans.  Tawny started by whispering "When did you know that you would be a beautiful girl?"  Alexis liked someone willing to engage and listen, but my sense was that Tawny wanted traction for later, something to use.  Alexis never had to be careful of the Queen Bee and her mean girls in high school.

Some of the self-narrative made me cringe — TV, TG, TS will always make me squirm — but it was honest.  The conversation turned to Alexis being comfortable not passing, which baffled Andrea.  Alexis didn't have a perfect answer, but in her own words she made the point: passing is a lie, and that's not good.   She doesn't want to have to be put in a position where she would have to deny who she is, like that's not good enough.

Every tranny would love to be able to pass at a close distance.  But that doesn't mean we would do it.

Next week, someone yells to a guy Alexis is flirting with that he should "Take her home because she has a penis just like yours."  Alexis, well, she gets upset, with a beach umbrella.

Passing is messy, dangerous and crazymaking. Passing can

  • make people think you are trying to fool them and get them angry
  • lose you the capacity to speak from your own experience
  • trap you in a cycle of denial
  • make you feel like you are always on show
  • lots more that should go here.

And that's not just passing as being born another sex, it's also passing as being normative in the gender you were assigned at birth, the one that you are supposed to be according to your birthcrotch, that can seed destruction.

No little kid wants to be a tranny.  But as grown ups, we know that being seen as being a tranny is better than the risk and damage of trying to pass as something we are not.  The cost of passing, though, isn't something assimilated people think much about.  They think life would be easier for us — and easier for people like them — if we hide our differences and pass.

The price of silence is death. And Alexis knows that, even if Tawny & Andrea don't.

And that's why Alexis needs her morning moments to stay in touch with someone who understands.

Does anyone have that persons number?  I could use a chat. 

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