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Passing

Updated: APRIL 6, 2020

Passing refers to a person's ability to be regarded as part of another social group, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, class, or disability status. The common goal for passing is to acquire social acceptance or deal with anxiety from being different. It entails changing one or more aspects of a person. It can be as little as their clothes or mannerisms. Sometimes, as in the case of those passing as another gender or race, make-up and binding may be required.

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More About Passing

The social acceptability of passing differs depending on what a person tries to pass as. Passing as a member of a higher social class is often deemed acceptable; while passing as members of another race or gender is often regarded with disdain. In fact, people who try to pass as another gender and are discovered sometimes experience discrimination.

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