“Yes, you would,” he admitted. “But not with me as Minister. I am devious, calculating, cunning, crafty, Machiavellian, sly, and tricky enough for both of us. If I remember correctly, I said you were a moral compass and therefore unfit for the job. Except I need a moral compass.” (x)
It’s fascinating how our brains are made to recognize someone’s gender. Although this whole gender-identifying aspect can be a complete hurdle for trans and non-binary people in general. I’ve always tried to put myself into a cis person’s shoes first. When you interact with someone, they look at you and they will tag your gender based on your appearance, so it’s important to take care of every single aspect in order to be correctly tagged as a male. Otherwise they will either tag you incorrectly or be extremely confused. That’s what I experienced in my very early phases of transition where I did not really know much about how to pass properly. I did plenty of researches on the Internet and did a lot of experiments that I am going to share with you in this post, hoping that they are going to be useful for someone who is experiencing the same situation.
1. Get a short haircut
We all know that there are indeed a lot of hot dudes with long hair who look extremely handsome, but let’s not forget that they have those secondary sex characteristics that pre-T guys currently lack. And anyway, shorter hair is better and easier to take care of. But that’s just my personal preference. Also, don’t forget that not all short haircuts are meant to be masculine. That’s why your hair stylist should be aware of it and not try to emphasize certain characteristics that we are actually trying to hide.
DON’T shave your whole head. I highly recommend haircuts with shaved sides. They are trending, attractive and most importantly, they give you a more masculine appearance. This is my current haircut:
This type of haircut requires some daily styling though, but I consider it to be worth it. I personally pass a lot easier ever since I got it.
2. Don’t forget about your eyebrows
Your eyebrows can make a HUGE difference. Thicker eyebrows can easily give you a more masculine appearance. You can use an eyebrow pencil to give them a form of your preference. But be careful to not exaggerate either, make sure you still maintain a natural look. Try to not put too much pressure on the pencil, otherwise your eyebrows will rather look fake. Having plucked them in the past can be advantageous since the hair would grow back even thicker.
3. Bind your chest unless it’s already flat
… but don’t forget about Rule #1: DON’T. EVER. USE. ACE. BANDAGES. If you do, take them off RIGHT NOW. It can seriously damage your health and I doubt you want to end up in hospital with a broken rib.
If you can’t afford a binder that was especially designed for this purpose or need a temporary binder until you get your „real” ones, I have a cheap alternative for you. But please note that this might only work for small-chested folks. It seems to work fine to me, but I can’t guarantee that you will get the exact same results since your body type might be different. Either way, you can always try to improvise and see what would fit you better or ask me if you would like to get more ideas. All you need is: - a body swimsuit - 2-3 shoulder pads - basic sewing skills - (optionally) a smaller waistband that you could wrap around your chest (it is to flatten the nipples correctly)
… and behind the curtains:
Basically, all you need to do is to first take the swimsuit and mark the area where the shoulder pads should be tied to. Yes, the shoulder pads will go under the chest. The amount of pads you need to use depends on their thickness and on your chest size. It will give you a bit more buffed look, but it does a great job at hiding those unwanted curves. The suit is designed to flatten it a bit more, so you can have some interesting results. Personally, I can wear it all the time without a single issue. I even cycle in it and it has never been a problem. The material of the suit also allows your skin to breathe, so there’s pretty much nothing to worry about, health-wise. I cut the whole bottom part that covered the intimate body parts so that I wouldn’t have to take the whole suit off or put the bottom part by side whenever I wanted to use the toilet. Indeed, you need to „sacrifice” the suit if you want more comfort. It isn’t perfect, but it can be a great temporary solution until you get the actual binders. Speaking of bottom parts, let’s proceed to the next step:
Even though my psychologist was like „why have something between your legs, it’s only getting in your way”, I still consider packing to be an important aspect in passing as a male. If you go out and start observing people, you will notice that guys do look like they have something inside their pants, while ladies don’t. Packing can vary depending on every individual’s preference or budget. Personally, I find silicone packers to be useless unless they have an STP (stand-to-pee) function. Because come on… nobody is going to check what you actually have inside your pants while walking on the streets. This part is to rather deal more with your own body dysphoria other than just passing. So just sticking a pair of socks inside your underwear is probably not very confidence-boosting and if you stick too much inside then you might rather end up with an awkward boner effect instead. So whatever you are using to pack, make sure it’s not too big and not too long. With some more creativity you could even create your own STP device using a tub. But maybe that’s already not worth the effort anymore, as you can nowadays find some great STPs at affordable prices, that would cover both packing and peeing.
5. Dress up properly
Clothes are one of the (less important) aspects that people look at while trying to identify someone’s correct gender. However, not all male clothes will also make you look more male. I personally recommend wearing darker clothes because they can easily hide certain unwanted shapes. Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight but also the ones that are way too loose. Pay attention to short sleeves, they can give you an appealing look if they fit you like a glove.
6. Get some facial hair - optional
Wait, facial hair without T? How? Well, it’s not going to be a real beard and although I mentioned that this step is optional, it can be quite important to those whose face shape could be an issue for passing as a male properly. Using make-up elements will not give your beard a natural look at all, so you should consider using your own hair for it and spirit gum. Once you go get your haircut done, you can ask your hair stylist if they could give you your hair rests. The beard can’t be a big one so you are not going to need tons of hair for it. Make sure the hair bits are cut very short though. Then, apply spirit gum on the area where you want some facial hair, then use a (preferably make-up) brush to stick the hair bits to your face. Repeat the process until the area is covered properly. Don’t expect excellent results at your first try. It takes time and practice to build an authentic beard. Using spirit gum is nice because it can even last days on your face (although you might have a few hairs fall off, but no big deal). Make sure you are not allergic to it though.
This is my current beard, keeping it simple:
But you can also have it only on the sides (the below picture shows how durable it can be, I was already having it for like a week - and only then it was starting to wear off):
… or a complete chin strap:
7. Work out
Make sure you are always in shape. Start doing a certain sport or go to the gym, it will definitely help you feel better and it’s very important in order to be able to pass more easily. Also, an athletic look is always more attractive to the eye. *wink*
8. Behave like a guy
This is already obvious enough. Be careful at how you walk and how you sit. Use a men’s body spray regularly and start using the men’s restroom unless you already do (also don’t forget about the men’s restroom etiquette: get in, do your job, don’t look around too much, leave). Practice your voice a little and try to speak deeper, using your diaphragm could help. DON’T START SMOKING!!! Really, smoking only has negative effects - it can increase the risks of having certain complications if you consider taking T in the future. Apart from that, you’d stink from miles away no matter how much deodorant you use. I highly discourage it. And most importantly: Don’t be ashamed of yourself! You are a human like all of us and thus you have equal rights, nobody has the right to bully or discriminate you. Those people don’t deserve any attention.
That’s it for now! These are pretty much the most important aspects you need to consider in order to successfully pass as a male in public. I hope you enjoyed reading and eventually found some remarks to be helpful if you are in the same situation.
the topic for this post is in regards to the most common
practice of the western fandom when it comes to contributing to their
ship/fandom. it is the medium i am most familiar to: fanfiction
this is a guide that will assist you in choosing the correct
tags to label your work
in the previous posts i stress greatly about how both the
commonplace ship tag “ereri” (and the less common “rivaere”) are borrowed tags. they
are tags/ship names we have taken from the japanese fandom and so have specific
japanese ship names are typically created as such: since
many fanworks are R18 and there is a strong rule of courtesy when it comes to
preference of “top or bottom”, in m/m works in particular it is customary that
the first syllable(s) of the character who tops [is dominate] will go first in
the ship name, and the first syllable(s) of the character who bottoms [is
submissive] will be second
eren/levi: ereri follows this as such eren/rivai
エレン、リヴァイ ＝ エレリ
levi/eren: rivaere follows this as such rivai/eren
リヴァイ、エレン ＝ リヴァエレ
*please note, in japanese levi’s name is spelt phonetically- “rivai”
but this is how japanese fandoms come up with ship
names/tags. western fandoms have a different method.
though, depending on the fandom, if it’s anime/manga/video games-
should there be a “western counterpart”(what the snk fandom is btw) it is not
uncommon for the western counterpart to adopt the japanese tags/ship names (like we have done). however there are times a western counterpart will make its own ship names and
style these names like they typically do in fandoms for ships of a western
series. it’s because western fandoms have a different method that our ship tag is befuddled. people are misusing it because they have tacked onto it a western mentality though it is a japanese ship tag. this is harmful because the japanese ship tag is created by specific rules and as such has a specific meaning. trying to give it another meaning with western logic just doesn’t make sense because the tag wasn’t created to support that logic or any other meaning than the one it originally has.
when it comes to western series fandoms, they typically have (1) prevailing
preference on “who tops or bottoms” and (1) ship name is decided to be
unanimous. this ship name does not always adhere to the fandoms’ most
popular/decided on preference. the unanimous ship name is usually decided as a
combination of the character’s names: the first half of one character’s and then
the second half of the other character’s. and what combination of these names
that usually “sounds the best” is how it’s decided.
even in western series fandoms, a unanimous ship name does not equate a unanimous tag.
i will use a western fandom i am familiar with as an
the BBC show “merlin”. The most popular m/m ship is “arthur/merlin”,
and the unanimous ship name follows western rules: it is “merthur” (merlin arthur). arthur
topping merlin is more popular than merlin topping arthur, yet for the ship
name merlin comes first. this is just what was decided in that fandom when they created their ship name.
since “merthur” is a unanimous ship name it can be used to
speak of both works that are “arthur/merlin” and/or “merlin/arthur”. be as that
may, should the fic have sexual content or the writer has a preference, it is
still common practice and courtesy, that if merlin tops arthur in a fic- even
if the fic is labeled “merthur”, the pairing tagged/presented on the work
would reflect the content and thus be “merlin/arthur” and not “arthur/merlin”.
we have an extremely huge problem when it comes to
fanfiction for our pairing and it is this confusion on tagging.
a work that has eren topping levi might be labeled “levi/eren”
or a work that has levi topping eren might be labeled “eren/levi”, because there
is confusion that “ereri” is unanimous it is also confused on if the whole tag
of a ship itself is also unanimous. it is not possible for a ship tag to be unanimous unless
every single fan ships a pairing one certain way. as mentioned before, this is an
extremely popular pairing, loved by many and interpreted differently by many so
there are different preferences and as such different tags depending. that is
just how it is, but it is not a difficult thing.
since our fandom is a western counterpart of a japanese
fandom we are borrowing their ship names/tags. but when it comes to tagging our
fanfic we are not borrowing japanese tags. we have our own tags that follow the
same format as almost any other fandom. if your fic has sexual content, who tops and
who bottoms is the deciding factor of whose name goes first and whose name goes
for examples i will be utilising AO3′s format, it is customary to include the surname(s) of the character(s) in the ship tags of this website and so the tags will reflect that. however it is up to you should you be posting on tumblr or a blog site like lj if you want to include surname (i personally rather like to, this is spoilers free below)
if levi tops and eren bottoms, it’s “levi/eren” and should
be tagged as followed:
if eren tops and levi bottoms, it’s “eren/levi” and should
be tagged as followed:
if at some point they both top/bottom (switch) in the work,
or will in the future depending on how you see it, it is either “levi/eren/levi”
or “eren/levi/eren”. you could use a tag like this
but perhaps they don’t switch in the same scene. or you don’t
want them to switch until later in your work. or that tag is simply too much
effort and you’re retagging old works. taking that into consideration, what would be easiest is add the other
tag with whatever ship tag you originally have and it will look as such (or the
other way, i don’t know what choice you thought you’d regret the least):
if your work does not have sexual content both tags can be used. people are usually only picky about preference when the work contains sexual content b/c one way might not be pleasing to them like the other. if your work does not have sexual content and you have a firm preference, of course any work can choose one tag over the other. the writer is the creator of their work so they know what their work is.
why is this a big deal?
it’s because writers are not accurately tagging their works.
tagging for the ship is tagging for content.
tagging for preference is as important as
for tagging for content like certain kinks (eg; foot fetish, breath play,
somnophilia, fellatio) that your readers might share with you, and certain
warnings (eg; rape, character death, extreme violence) that your readers might want
depending on what you wrote and what you tag, determines on what sort of reader
you will draw in.
you should not tag your work to be something it is not. if you do this it is a disservice to your work, yourself,
and your audience.
people will choose to spend time on what they think they
will enjoy. readers typically choose to read a fic because they think it will
suit their tastes.
i will tell you now as a writer myself for this fandom and
this pairing. my preference as i have stated on my blog is “levi/eren”. i only
tag my work “levi/eren” because i only write “levi/eren”. and a comment i have received
countlessly from readers has always been essentially: “i was relieved. you
tagged the work as levi/eren and the work is levi/eren.”
i am making these posts on tagging partially because of such comments. why was i receiving such comments? does not every writer tag their content correctly? and then i was told this is not the case. and then i have seen it is not the case.
please remember, when it comes to your work, when you post, you the writer are the one in control of the tags on your work. the writer should know what tags they should use, because
they wrote the content of the work.
do not be ashamed of what preference you have and do not be
afraid to tag your work for what it is. the reader will know when they read
your work what the truth is. the work is what it is. and the reader will know if you have deceived them for
the sake of their potential readership.
in the case of many readers, they will definitely not trust
you to read your work again if you have failed to warn them about certain
content; the ship tag is that powerful. as powerful as tagging for warnings of unsavoury content (i have learnt my lessons too)
rather than ensnare a hit to your work- cultivate a company
that will appreciate your work. i cannot imagine how many writers were thought
of badly not because their writing was bad, but because they had mislabeled
their work and left a bad taste in the reader’s mouth from the reader’s
if a reader goes in expecting x/y but the content is y/x, the reader will be upset about that. especially when they only
started to read the work because they trusted you to present the work as what
and it is especially important to tag your work when your work
contains sexual content. let’s be real, porn is one of the most sought for type of works to
read, and the most mislabeled despite that it is the most easy to tag.
tagging is a courtesy and it shows you care.
please care about your work, your readers, and other people
in this fandom.
nobody wants to waste time reading something they know with
certainty they’re not going to like.
i speak to you as a writer again. the feedback you receive from
people who truly value and understand your work because they share the same
preference or likes or kinks, will always be the people who will enjoy your
work the most. they will be the most likely to return to you. you will have their
trust. they will be the most likely to speak to you about what they enjoyed and
what you might need to work on. they will invigorate you and help you.
readers are important and so are you the writer.
i have always thought, writing fanfic is for fun, it is for
my own self-satisfaction and i still think that, and that the most important
person to enjoy the work is the person who created it. love your work, be
honest about your work; always strive to improve and berate yourself over how
it can be done better. enjoy yourself and let your readers enjoy your work
for what it is. and that can be done if you show your readers consideration. you will love your work more if you do and so will your readers. have pride in what you do. everyone likes what they like and tagging is a tool that
helps people who likes things exactly as you do, find your work.
please tag your work correctly.
i would like to stress for what seems the nth time. nobody
is better than anyone else for having a preference. whether you only like one
character to top or bottom, whether you like it when they switch, whether you view them
asexual, or aromantic. if you prefer them as girls. if you prefer them in a
modern setting over canon. however you like it. write what you like. but tag what it is you like.
we all ship this pair because we love them and no one’s love
is greater than the other’s.
do not allow at any time for someone with any preference to
look down on yours. people are always willing to cause trouble when they are unwilling
to change, unwilling to learn; when they are arrogant and stupid. but we all
have in common that we love this ship, just like how each tag has a meaning
that will not change that fact too cannot change.
i am sincerely grateful to the people who have reblogged,
liked, and even shared their stressful experiences from the misuse of tags. you
have been helpful and i hope your input will also encourage everyone to tag their works
and the works of other’s correctly.
if you have read this far, thank you so very much for your
time and consideration. i sincerely encourage you to reblog this post. i’m sorry it’s so long, writers never shut up. see you
ooc – ey ey eyyyyyyyyyy i need more threads like yeah i seriously do please thread with me i don’t eat people i mean uhm i don’t eat people alive but please yes discuss or plot with me uhm we could do an event thread or not jfc talk to me friends