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Definition - What does Passing mean?

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.

Kinkly explains 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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  • It is essential that we realize once and for all that man is much more of a sex creature than a moral creature. The former is inherent, the other is grafted on.
    - Emma Goldman

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