Like so many other things, passing isn’t a binary. Sometimes I pass, and sometimes I don’t. I think I’ve finally tipped the fifty percent mark, but I still get read both ways. Today, I experienced both, but oddly, passing was terrible and failing to pass was lovely, all due to the character of the others involved.
In the first case, being read as female made me a target for sexual harassment. They kept their hands to themself, and I’m not going to say much more about it, other than that I wasn’t as prepared for this inevitability as I’d thought.
The second case was more involved. “Excuse me ma’am,” they say. I turn, “… Oh, I’m sorry, sir.” I correct them “It’s miss,” but they’re already onto their next thought and don’t catch it. “You look good. You really do. Good for you. I like that style and am surprised to see it up here.” Et cetera.
Having failed to pass, I was read as a femme presenting male. And they were so sweet about it that I wasn’t bothered at all. Attitude is everything.