disguise

People who are complaining about Superman’s glasses disguising his identity have obviously never worn glasses. You take them off around your friends, people who see you every single day, and they’re like ,,WHAT THE FUCK, YOU LOOK SO DIFFERENT! IS THAT HOW YOUR EYES LOOK LIKE?! NO WAY! WHO ARE YOU???“

How strange it is. We have these deep terrible lingering fears about ourselves and the people we love. Yet we walk around, talk to people, eat and drink. We manage to function. The feelings are deep and real. Shouldn’t they paralyze us? How is it we can survive them, at least for a little while? We drive a car, we teach a class. How is it no one sees how deeply afraid we were, last night, this morning? Is it something we all hide from each other, by mutual consent? Or do we share the same secret without knowing it? Wear the same disguise?
—  Don DeLillo

You are not less nonbinary if you must appear cis, and even follow typical gender roles, for your own safety.

Do you think that a chameleon is less a chameleon because it has disguised itself for protection? Of course not.

Similarly, your appearance does not dictate your gender, especially under these circumstances.

Do what you must to stay safe.

2

Mistaken Identity

When Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace premiered in 1999, the producers ran a disinformation campaign to suggest that Queen Amidala and the handmaiden Padmé were two separate people, and that Natalie Portman played both characters at all times. This is not true, and I think there are some people who are still confused and have a misconception about it when they watch the film. But I know the story behind it, and I will explain it to the best of my ability to make fans understand it better.

First of all, Queen Amidala and Padmé are indeed one and the same person. The real name of the character, played by Portman, is Padmé Naberrie. According to Star Wars canon, when Padmé went into politics as a preteen, she adopted “Amidala” as a regnal name. At the age of 13, she was elected Queen of her planet Naboo and went by the name of “Queen Amidala.” It was decided by her security officers that if her life was ever in danger, Padmé would disguise herself as one of her five handmaidens and use her birth name, while her handmaiden Sabé would act as her decoy and assume the persona of Queen Amidala, complete with the wardrobe and makeup.

So whenever Portman is shown onscreen, she is playing her own character of Padmé, who is the real Queen. For some scenes, she is out of makeup and wardrobe, since she is undercover as a handmaiden. In those same scenes, notably those where the Queen is wearing the black outfit with the huge feather headdress, the “Queen” is actually Sabé, who is played by Keira Knightley. The other known time on screen when Sabé is disguised as the Queen and Padmé is undercover is when the latter reveals her true identity to the leader of the Gungans, up though the Battle of Naboo. When Padmé and her cohorts are captured during the battle, she plays an instrumental role in deceiving Viceroy Nute Gunray. Initially believing that Padmé is the real queen, when he sees Sabé, he orders his troops to follow Sabé, believing she was the real queen and that Padmé was the decoy. This provides Padmé the opportunity to retrieve her blaster and take the Neimoidian into custody.

As I described above, Padmé using a decoy was done to keep her safe if her life was threatened. Among other things, dressing up as a non-royal figure allowed her to do and see things going around her that she wouldn’t be able to do while in her normal queen state. One of these examples was when she went with Qui-Gon, Jar Jar, and R2 to learn what Tatooine was like. She was also able to keep her identity safe since few people, including Viceroy Gunray, actually knew that Padmé was her real name, not Amidala.

How often is our life the elaboration of our disguises, of what we’re not and cannot really be…Man has invented a creature of culture and refinement which he then pretends to be…We become confused about our Being. We begin to believe we are our hypocrisies…We free the negative and let the positive go hang. We proclaim the ultimate value of man in the face of his palpable worthlessness.
—  William H. Gass, The Tunnel