Before going any further,
we need define what is meant by stealth, I suggest:
process of hiding one's past so that there is less available
evidence of having been in a different gender and social role."
'stealth' is the typically the final stage
of the full time transition by a transwoman who believes that she
can successfully pass as a woman - for example changing
documents in to her new female name and getting a new job as a
stealth' is a more dramatic step which requires eliminating all
possible references and links to a former male life. It is
typically sought by transwomen in the public eye (model,
actress, reality star, ...) but also
by some transwomen who have lived in the changed role for many
years (married, good career, politician, ...) and now wish to
complete their life known only as a woman.
This is another important definition.
the context of a male-to-female transgender woman, "passing"
means that when you meet someone, they accept you as a woman and
treat you as woman - often termed the "passing privilege".
Conversely, if they have doubts about you being a woman, the
treatment can be very different, even hostile. But "passing" comes in various degrees,
as a minimum it means that you can go shopping without being identified as
a man; a significant step up is where acquaintances and work
colleagues always identify you as a woman (this equates to
"stealth"); and finally there's ultimate level of "deep
stealth", where very
close friends and even your husband never doubt that you are transwoman.
A continuous risk faced by the "passing" woman is suddenly
failing to pass and being "read" as a man. It
embarrassing to be read by a shop assistant whilst buying
women's clothing, and traumatic to be read and confronted by another woman whilst in the Ladies,
but it can be
positively dangerous to be read by an angry male lover when when becoming intimate.
In one horrendous case, 25-year old Russian
transwoman Nika Surgutskaya (left) was brutally murdered and
dismembered by her date when he realised during sexual
intercourse that she had had sex-change surgery.
opposite to stealth is sometimes called being "out" -
where you openly admit to, and perhaps even advertise, that you
are transgender. Stealthy women may also be "outed", where someone discovers
that they are transgender, for example via an old school photo.
The rest of this article is orientated towards transwomen who
transition as adults (age 18+), and is inherently less relevant to
boy-to-girls that transition at a young
age. For someone raised as a boy who reaches manhood,
subsequently passing as successfully as a woman
is not easy. A sad indication of this is that a whole genre
of popular films (usually comedies) has become based on situations
involving a "man" trying to pass as a "woman"
- I Was a Male War Bride, Some like it Hot, Tootsie,
Mrs Doubtfire, Victor/Victoria, He's My Girl.
Even when the man/woman is extremely feminine in appearance
(e.g. Ellen Barkin in Switch) her masculine sounding voice
/ speak / actions / manners / movements quickly lead to
Lynn Conway was stealth for 30 years. In 1998 she
decided to come "out" when a researcher began
delving in to some of her old work at IBM.
Implications of Going
While superficially desirable, stealth and in particular deep
stealth, is extra-ordinarily difficult for the adult male-to-female
transsexual to achieve. Deep stealth means:
Changing all documentation from educational
qualifications through to driving licence in to your new
identity. Vital but difficult documents to change are your
birth certificate and passport
Shredding (hiding is far too risky) all evidence of your pre-transition life - photo's,
school reports, diaries, letters, certificates, references ...
Moving home, as far away as possible from
people who met you as a man
Cutting off friends, acquaintances and even
close family who knew you as a man
Closing all old social media accounts
Diligently searching the Internet and deleting
(or requesting the deletion of) every pre-transition reference
that you can find - articles, posts, pictures's, etc
Model and actress Pascale
Ourbih (born Mohand Ourbih) transitioned and
went stealth when she moved to Paris, age 18.
Adapting your pre-transition life story in to a
consistent and convincing story, challenging yourself against
routine questions such as "How old were you when you had your
first period?", "What did you do for you Debs?", "Who was your
first boyfriend?", "Can I please have a photo of you
when young for my school project?"
Closing off every old identity trail that you
can - bank accounts, memberships, subscriptions, stores, etc.
Asking organisations what information - if any -
they hold about you (EU regulations permit such data requests
for a small fee)
Requesting organisations to delete your old
records (EU regulations again allow this "right to be
forgotten" in many circumstances)
Contacting all organisations (e.g. government, utilities, medical, education, professional bodies, ...) that have records about you that
you can't close and ensuring that they are updated.
Unfortunately they will often keep details in their files which
will remain a source of risk
A 36 year-old post-SRS transwoman. Very passable in this
Appearing topless as
page 3 pin-up girl in a national newspaper - in this
instance the Daily Sport, 4 March 2008 - is not a
good idea if you are stealth.
Re-writing your CV to include only admissible
material consistent with your stealth status, probably with a
much reduced job history, references and qualifications. A
potential employer may want to verify any claim made, so great
care must be taken to ensure that all the information provided
is safe to include - or of an unverifiable nature. A lack
of usable references can be a huge problem post transition
Changing jobs, which may mean changing
careers and accepting a far less well-paid or responsible
and all this is absolutely pointless unless:
Your appearance is undoubtedly that of a woman - and not
necessarily that of a tall and skinny model, being short
and dumpy may be more convincing
Behaviourally and socially you are also totally
convincing as a woman
Your voice is not a male give-away (a
common problem for otherwise extremely passable transwomen)
You never reveal your past to anyone under any
circumstances - this can be extra-ordinarily difficult,
particularly in the early months after transition where
circumstances may conspire against you
You maintain your cover story at all times, you
must believe it and it must be more than second nature -
you can't afford ever afford to let your guard down.
For example, an inconsistency or slip up at 2:00 am in
the morning when both tired and drunk is all too easy to make, but it may come to haunt
you and prove impossible to recover from
There is no discoverable give-away evidence on
the internet (often posted by yourself!)
In an emergency you instinctively react as a
woman - no matter how tired and befuddled you are, e.g. "men to
the left, women to the right ..."
may be necessary to take risks at first, but long-term it will be
necessary to have 'bottom surgery' to ensure that you can:
Stop tucking and taping your penis - and
suffering UTI's and other problems from avoiding trips to the
Pass naked as a woman, e.g. at non-intrusive medicals, security
body searches, in changing rooms, or when having to share a
hotel room with another woman
Sustain an intimate relationship as a woman. The
alternative being never to enter one - which is not the
preferred option for most transwomen.
A man chatting up a pre-SRS transwoman during a carnival
in Spain. She's happily responding but faces serious risks if things go
A transvestite who occasionally tries to pass in
public can limit himself to occasional night time outings, or
other circumstances where his chances of success are maximised.
But a transitioned transsexual woman faces ruthless and critical
examination at all times and in all circumstances:- day and night, at work and
at play, fresh or tired, posh frock or casual. For basic
physical reasons, many male-to-female transsexual women will
never be able to pass consistently, while for many others
it takes several years of hormone treatment, expensive and extensive
femisation surgery, and a lot of hard won experience after
transition before they can pass convincingly and confidently at all times -
only at this point is going stealth a real option.
While transsexuals considering transition often react with
annoyance about being told how important age is, it simply
cannot be ignored if stealth is an eventual objective. Rare
indeed is the transgirl who passes convincingly from the first
day of her transition - and she's almost certainly under 18 years
of age. At
Phuket Plastic Surgery Clinic in Thailand, the
seventy-nine Thai MTF transsexuals who received SRS during the
period 1997-2000 had an average age of just 26 years (the oldest
was 45) whereas that of the sixty-six American's was 50 years,
and several were 65. An article by Dr Sanguan Kunaporn in the
Journal of Asian Sexology brutally notes that "Thai M-F
transsexuals seeking SRS are younger. They generally look and
behave very natural as genetic women. Because of this, it
is obvious to any non-medical person that they are qualified
candidates for the surgery. On the other hand, most of the
American transsexuals come out when they are much older, many do
not pass so well as females."
Whether or not to go Stealth
A former shemale porn star who will always be haunted by
on-line evidence, e.g. this page
transwomen never go stealth, the reasons vary but can
An inability to pass completely convincingly 24x7
unwillingness to break existing career
or family ties
An unwillingness to make the many sacrifices that going
unwillingness to accept the constant fear of being
"read" or the risk of being "outed"
genuine desire to be open about being transgender
Just too much evidence of their past in
the public domain
the other hand, transsexual women go stealth because:
They hate the constant observation,
gossip and 'behind
the back' comments about their appearance and life as a known
They have suffered from abuse or
worse as a transsexual - before, during and after their
They want to completely separate
themselves from their male past
They have embarked upon a
female centric career
(usually modelling or acting) where being outed as
born a man would be a disaster
have entered in to a relationship that an admission of being
transgender would endanger
Pressure from their partner who
knows that she is transgender. Sadly many men fear
being labelled homosexual if their female partner is
outed as being a transwoman
After transition, many transwomen are unable to
resist posting on social media a flattering before
and after photo of themselves. Years later
this may come back to haunt them.
Going "deep" stealth is truly difficult, and
something only a very small proportion of transwomen successfully manage.
A particular problem is having to avoid contact with old friends and
even relatives - attending reunions or family events would be highly
dangerous. The consequences of this can be quite heart
rendering, The Transsexual Empire by Janice Raymond
(published 1979) may have many faults, but to support her arguments
she provides anonymised case studies obtained via transgender
clinics. One example describes a
in his 20's who
wife and their young children when he decided she was a woman.
Able to pass as a woman after sexual reassignment surgery, she went stealth and
a few years later met and married a man. She adopted his children from a previous marriage as their step-mother - without
any of them knowing about her past life as a man. Whilst the
book focuses on feminist concerns about a transsexual man adopting the stereotypical female
role of housewife and mother, there is an acknowledgement of the
pain that the subject suffered from being unable to see the children that she
grow up, and probably eventually marry and have her grandchildren.
Corey Rae (left), age 25, and
partner Amber Heard, age 33, at the 2019 Cannes Film
Transgender woman Corey Rae has a very
website covering her journey from teenage boy to a
'lesbian trans activist' (her words), and girlfriend of an
actress. A few quotes:
When it was time for me to transition,
it happened naturally ... on the morning after my
I survived my freshman year [at
university] without any clothing malfunctions,
uncomfortable naked bathroom encounters, or hook-ups
[The next year] my hormone changes led
to ... wild /semi-regrettable one-night stands
[Age 21] I got a vagina with no major
Post surgery ... I felt no need to [fear] being "outed"
any longer. I acted ... overly flirtatious
I decided to be stealth so I could be
treated as a "normal" woman
I started to work as a hostess at one of
the most exclusive NYC clubs, The Box
Two years post surgery ... I am at peace
with being transgender ... I have to believe that I was
meant to be a pioneer for the transgender community
The 27 year old Chevalier d'Eon
successfully passed as a woman for a mission to Russia
- long before hormones and
There is considerable debate within the transgender community about the
number and percentage of transsexual people who actually succeed in
"going stealth". Credible statistics
in peer reviewed medical studies don't exist - so we are
reduced to considering unsubstantiated claims that range from a majority
of post-SRS women to just a few percent.
is certain is that the number of transsexual women who go stealth
is directly proportional to the number who can pass convincingly as a woman at
all times, this being an essential pre-requisite. However
[unhelpfully] the proportion of transwomen who can pass is
also hotly disputed, with the additional difficulty that in surveys transwomen tend to overestimate their passability -
many thinking that they can pass when they are immediately out'ed by observers
in the very basic studies conducted. For example a
college study showed photos of transwomen and cis-women to
other students and asked if they were male or female, the
results were brutal for transwomen.
Worrying about passing is
rarely an issue for transsexual girls
transitioning at a young age, such as 14 year old Johanna.
almost impossible to over emphasise how much transitioning as a teenager
(or younger) immensely aids passability and subsequent stealth. Circumstantial evidence strongly indicates that most Western
(Caucasian) women transitioning full time after age 17 struggle to
pass as female in daily life, and this becomes almost
universal by age 30. The march of Father Time is
particularly brutal for transwomen.
course any transwoman who has succeeded in going deep stealth is
hardly likely to publicly claim this unless already out'ed, or
she deliberately chooses to out herself. The many follow-up studies of transsexuals
post-SRS are thus skewed by the dropping-out of the most successful and assimilated patients.
Receiving and participating in such a study is the last thing that a
women who has gone deep stealth would want.
Almost all transwomen know that their appearance,
size, and voice all play a big role in whether they can go the
"stealth" route - but human nature being what it is, most
women tend to take an over optimistic view of their physical traits.
The early years of the 20th century present a transwomen with
many options - a few examples in rough order of probability, cost and risk:
Facial appearance is a very important factor to
passing, but not the only one. Gabrielle Schaffer (USA).
Minor facial feminisation, e.g. rhinoplasty
Sex confirmation surgery
Major facial feminisation surgery
Vocal feminisation surgery
Radical skeletal surgery, e.g. rib removal and
But it's still not
possible to change a person's feet, or hand size - and even a very
pretty and petit girl many be completely given away by other factors such as
masculine voice. It is also worth noting here that some well
networked transsexual women claim that they have never met
another transsexual woman whom they didn't quickly "out" as such in
their mind, this is an extreme and rather self-selective example
but it does show how difficult totally convincing passing (and thus
stealth) can be.
Debbie, a young transgirl from the UK. Clearly passable - but if she
had waited another ten years the answer might be different.
transwoman seriously thinking of going
stealth must be brutally realistic about her passability. She
can start by asking her friends and family to be totally honest
about how well she passes - but the answers will have some bias. When passing in public she should
be alert for any odd looks, signs of puzzlement, sly glances, or
whispering. A great final test is working part-time
as a woman for a few weeks in a local convenience store, most are
always desperate for staff.
limited available evidence suggests that about 50% of post-SRS women
claim to be able to pass, but the real number is far lower,
particularly in the continuous, long-term, 7x24 context required
for stealth. The corollary is that more than half of
all transsexual women cannot pass successfully, some being read
instantly. Most of these women accept the situation and make
the best of it, but some
become seriously depressed, perhaps even suicidal, when they realise
that they fail to pass - often after extensive and irreversible
surgery. Other transwoman refuse to face facts and remain
deluded about their ability to pass - sometimes to the extent that
may become dangerous. More positively, years on
hormones. additional surgery (particularly FFS) and experience will
move some transwomen over the line from "can't pass" to "can pass".
Circumstantial evidence suggests that most transsexual women
who can pass will eventually go stealth
with the aim of being "assimilated" in to society as unquestionably
a woman. One report calculated that in 2001 the UK had about 5000
openly transsexual post-SRS women plus another 3000 (i.e. 38% of the
community) living in stealth. However the stealth percentage
seems high, anecdotal evidence suggests that
perhaps only 10-20% of western transsexual women ever reach the stage
where they can pass convincingly and consistently as
over a long period - with a very strong bias in favour of the
relatively few (at least in Europe) women who
transition when young.
(Above) A montage of wonderful transsexual women of all ages - some
more passable than others.
and Sexual Orientation
women with a heterosexual orientation (i.e. sexually attracted
primarily to men) often tend towards stealth if they can pass
well enough. The corollary is that they also eventually
find themselves entering in to a committed relationship with
a man, with even marriage becoming a possibility.
The stealthy transwoman is soon trying to walk a fine
line between honesty and deceit. For instance - when should she inform
her lover of her past history as a male? A few women hold the view
that the other partner need never be told; a larger number hold that a
partner should be told upon first meeting, while probably a majority
believe that a partner need be told only when the relationship becomes
serious, i.e., when the "L word" ("love") is uttered - with the caveat
that if the transwoman senses the partner will react extremely
negatively or violently, the relationship should be broken off with no
"Ivana" was born male, but did her
sexual partners need to know that?
relationship with a man tends to pull the transwoman away from any
open acknowledgement of her transsexuality and male past, if only
because social stigma attaches to an alleged heterosexual man once it
becomes known that his girlfriend or wife was once a male. Many
passable transsexual women thus hide their past from partners and even
their husband, feeling (unfortunately often correctly) that the
relationship may not survive this becoming known. One study (Sörensen,
found that 10 out of 17 transwomen claimed to have been able to kept their SRS a
secret from male partners, while another indicated a perhaps more
plausible ratio of 13 out of 42.
John Money has described how a happily married housewife concealed her
sex-change from her husband of seven years, explaining their lack of
children as being due to medical problems that had rendered her
infertile, apparently he had no suspicion of the true situation.
Another transsexual woman, 'Anna Taylor', lived in deep stealth from
18, only her mother and brother were aware of her male past.
When she had SRS, she opted for the colon
section procedure as the ability to have sexual intercourse as a
woman was a high priority. She
describes how her relationship with her first husband, Paolo,
developed as follows:
Anna and Paulo on their wedding day
"He was Italian and very good looking.
When we eventually started seeing each other I tried to tell him
before we slept together. I asked him how important children
were to him because I was sterile. If he wanted a family there
was no point to our relationship. He said I was more important
to him than children and we could always adopt. But I told him
I'd need a brain transplant to do that because I'm not at all
maternal. He said he still loved me and when we finally made
love, I thought I was going to hit the ceiling. He was very
experienced, very romantic - and very sexy. So I told him I'd
had a genetic problem when I was younger and had had an operation to
correct it. He said, 'These are childhood things. Why do we need
to talk about it now?' I thought he'd understood what I was trying to
Anna was married to Paolo for 13 years before he sadly
died of cancer; he never knew his wife was a transsexual. A few
years later Anna met Steve:
married for five years and although ... I knew the marriage
wasn't lawful, I kept quiet. It never crossed my mind
to tell Steve - what purpose would it serve?"
the balance between personal happiness and revealing "the whole truth
and nothing but the truth", many transsexual women try to choose happiness
- but not always with the result they expect.
Judy and her first
Judy Lee had SRS surgery at age 24 and then faced the
challenge of "at what point do you say to a man 'Hi, My name is
Judy, I'm a transsexual'?". Very passable as a woman she
decided to go stealth not to tell all and a year later she married a man who
was unaware of her background. But Judy was
unable to cope with stress that keeping him in ignorance caused her,
and she eventually sought a divorce whilst leaving him unaware of the real problem.
Judy then had another unsuccessful marriage with opposite problem -
her husband was only interested in her admission to
being transgender. After 20 years living as
woman, including two failed marriages, Judy transitioned back to living as a man.
in to a serious relationship with a man drives many
passable transsexual women in to going stealthy.
Scotland Yard Detective Steve Longshore to marry his girlfriend
Lisa Webb were wrecked in 1995 when The Mirror newspaper
revealed that she was a transsexual. The paper got the
lead because unknown to Steve she was working as an
'escort' girl and said too much to a client one night.
entered the Miss Schutzenfest 2005 beauty contest,
won, and then was quickly outed.
of Kato Sato's earliest fashion shoots - for Sky Girl
magazine. Although pre-SRS, she modelled for
nearly two years as a girl, eventually outing herself before
someone else did.
Most transgender women
want to successfully live a normal life in their preferred
gender, and this requires not being identified as having "changed
sex". However a risk
that all transsexual women who have gone stealth face is being outed.
This can happen for many reasons, including: poor physical
passability; poor social passability; bad documentation;
sheer bad luck; ... etc.
transitioned but still pre-SRS women obviously faces many additional risks of being out'ed
because of her genetalia:- security checks; medical emergencies;
groping men; in the changing room; accidents in the pool, perverts
with miniature cameras, poor tucking ... even an erection for those not on a high
dose hormone regime!
A good example of this is Japanese transsexual
Kato Sato. Born in 1998 she claims to have begun hormones when just 15. At age 18 she moved town, changed
her name and got a job as a female shop assistant. She was
quickly discovered by a
modelling agency and within months was working as a
successful fashion model, she also soon became a TV presenter.
However, she still hadn't had SRS and it was impossible to
conceal the anatomy of her "bottom" from colleagues in the back
stage dressing room. Rumours that she was a man began to spread
and finally in September 2010 she confirmed on TV and via her
that "I was born a boy".
Even if the woman has had SRS, passing and not being outed
is getting ever more difficult. Being post-SRS and reasonably
female in appearance and behaviour is certainly no longer enough.
Until perhaps the 1980's, if a person's name
was 'Helen' and she wore lipstick and a dress, she would be
assumed to be a woman even if she also had an oddly deep
voice, rather large hands and not the best complexion.
Things have changed since then - people have become
increasingly educated (if only subconsciously) on the
signature signs of a transsexual.
Srta is an exceptionally elegant and beautiful woman,
but not "passable".
Steele was voted Las Vegas's "Sexiest Showgirl" in 1991,
and out'ed the following year.
She sadly passed away in January 2008, age just 49.
We are getting
close to the stage where most people know a transsexual
woman - be her family, friend, work colleague or an
acquaintance. Another real problem in recent years is
the regular appearance of transsexual women on television in
reality programmes, soaps and on talk shows. As a
result, some transwomen who have passed successfully for
years or decades have been reduced to tears on finding
themselves "outed" within minutes or even seconds of
entering a room of strangers.
If a transwoman is able to pass the brutal and rigorous
initial contact with a stranger as an unquestioned female
then a breathing space has been won. But long term
passing is often about the small things - things that are
second nature for someone brought up as girl but entirely
strange for a man - things that Hollywood often has a field
day over when a man impersonates a woman in a comedy.
If you appear awkward in heels, struggle to touch-up your
makeup, don't recognise Channel No. 5, ... well cumulatively
over weeks it might become strange to people.
an extreme example of living the detail is Roberta
Close, one would-be lover was disconcerted to discover that
it was her 'period' and she
had a tampon
in her vagina, before disposal she would stain it with
chicken blood to simulate
South Korean model and actress
Ha Ri-Su was outed when a former school
friend recognised her from TV appearances.
It's become extra-ordinarily difficult for a transwoman to
pass long-term as a Cis-women when living with a partner.
The need to use vaginal
the discovery of dilators, packs of hormones, surgical scars,
infertility as a woman ...
eventually the partner may suspect something.
A tremendous danger is hanging yourself by your own rope, an
inconsistent and every changing story about your
pre-transition life can cumulatively cause great problems
with a friend or partner. Getting drunk is another
huge danger - in the early
months after transition you can make stupid mistakes such going in to
the wrong toilets which may be picked up by more sober observers.
Even long term, the danger of committing a horrendous disaster such as
starting a story "when I was a boy ...". increases dramatically.
Margo and Madelyn did not go
stealth after transitioning in their teens, despite
being completely passable. They would now face
an immense challenge if they wanted to go stealth,
e.g. after meeting a partner.
Another huge problem is trail of "evidence" that we all leave as we go through
our lives, the volume is immense.... thousands of photos (and not just those taken
by our own friends and family), school records, financial details, medical
records, home videos, tax records, computer records, newspaper articles, etc.
A 20th century problem is the internet.
Before transition many
TS girls have established a social media web presence
on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, etc.
These may even contain 'smoking gun' posts such as "One
year on hormones!" After transitioning many
transwomen close their accounts as they settle in to
their new life and move from openness about being transgender to privacy and perhaps eventually deep stealth
- but archived records will still exist.
There are also the thousands of people we meet
over the years – some of whom have uncanny memories in my
A very difficult problem is friends. Many transwoman develop close relationships with homosexual men,
or other transwomen that struggle to pass.
After transitioning it is very difficult to cut-off good friends, but also being seen in their company can be
Carol Marra on the front cover of Trip
magazine, age 26
When we transition to female, its impossible to delete,
destroy or alter all that prior evidence, some will always remain to act
as a potential pointer to our being transgender.
A Few Examples of Outing
With the support of her parents,
Carol Marra dressed androgynously as a child and went stealth
when she began to work as a
for a Brazilian TV station. Age 24, she was
spotted by a photographer and agreed to do a photo shoot
which quickly led to high profile fashion assignments around
the world However she was still
pre-SRS and inevitably it
soon became widely known that she was transgender.
25-year old Jamie Dee (born James)
was confident of her passability after two years
transitioned and extensive facial feminisation surgery. She was on a nightout with her friend
Teddy when she was shocked by venue staff repeatedly
calling her "Bro" or "Sir". Jamie was almost certainly out'ed
because of her friend's appearance and attire, which led
staff to assess that Jamie was also a man. Her
subsequent complaints to the restaurant arguably made the
as the story was then passed on by someone to several
Jamie Dee. From the
left, the photos show her before starting hormones;
and FFS; and on the traumatic night. The photo (right) is of Teddy
Alicia Liu (Xun Ai) is a good example of how the past can
haunt a transsexual. She transitioned in her teens and had
SRS in 2004 - age 18, She then started to build a career as
model and had a big break when she became a regular member of a popular
Korean television, but in
January 2010 a former school classmate recognised her on TV and
posted a photo of her as a boy (Zi Hua)
on-line. Hounded by the media, Alicia had no choice
but admit that she was a transsexual woman.
Alicia Liu was out'ed by
the school photo (left). She showed (right) the media an identity card that stated she was
"female", but had to admit that she was a
Liu Shi Han become a huge star in China - after being out'ed
Liu Shi Han was born in 1989 as Liu Shuai, she knew she was a girl by age 3. From
age 16, she attended the Hunan Mass Media Vocational Technical College in Changsha in the day, but at
night worked in clubs as a pole dancer and "Snake
Girl Lan Xi". After three years she had saved the $10,000
she needed for her SRS, which she had against the wishes of her family.
When she returned home from the hospital she was physically
beaten and bullied. She
moved to Beijing and soon started to get
modelling assignments, and attracted many boyfriends. Liu
soon faced a huge problem for many transsexual
women trying to live stealth but becoming well known - a lack of evidence
about her childhood. She had no childhood photos; no video clips; no school reports;
no newspaper clips; no examination certificates; no
childhood friends or even acquaintances, no social media
accounts going back more than a few years. She tried to hide her early
childhood by claiming that she had been adopted at 8 or 9,
but in 2010 someone at Tsinghau University in
started to post
pictures of her whilst including rumours about her being a
boy. The posts went 'viral' and Liu
reluctantly blogged in December 2010 “I did have transsexual surgery. I just wanted to hide my identity and be an
ordinary individual. But an anonymous person just wouldn’t
let me go, making my privacy public and exposing to the
media and public the fact that I can’t give birth to babies.
Now, I admit it." Ironically the exposure helped her
modelling career enormously, and in 2011 she reached super model status
28 year old Lauraine (right) and her 22-year
old half-sister Lenette in a photo dated 1970. However a
little research reveals that they were born Cary and Burt.
While the risk of being out'ed will diminish over time, it
will never go away and may come from any quarter at any time -
someone trying to organise a reunion, a medical emergency,
background checks by an adoption agency, a company unexpectedly
checking old educational qualifications, a revealing letter from
the Social Security about pensions, a strange slip of the
tongue, a chance meeting with an old friend,
a problem at the Registry Office getting a marriage certificate,
etc. For example, half-sisters Lauraine and Lenette had an
unexpected problem when a reporter from a small local
newspaper knocked on their door after noticing a minor court
procedure changing their names - from Cary and Burt.
Born brothers, the two sisters had mutually decided that
they were female and transitioned to live full-time as
women. They received medical support from the
University of Minnesota and Lauraine had SRS age 26 whilst
Lenette followed six months later in 1969, soon after her
21st birthday. Given the early date, they are probably
among the first thousand American post-SRS women. All
went wonderfully well until a year later (1970) when they
tried to legalise their new names and status as female.
made headlines around the
world as the result of a brief relationship with a married man.
An example of unexpected 'bolt from the blue' is Jenny Hiloudaki (born Yiannis). She transitioned in her early teens with the support
of her family, and appeared to be a fairly successful female model
when in 1997 a mid-ranking government official - Giorgos
Sakellaropoulos - left his wife and family for the then 29
year-old Jenny, after inspecting the brothel that she ran!
A curious journalist started to do a little digging and was
not surprised to discover that Jenny had a history as a
prostitute - but was surprised to find that she was born a
boy and was a post-operative male-to-female
After the revelation Giorgos (who had never suspected Jenny
pre-SRS past) returned to his forgiving wife, whilst thanks
to all the publicity Jenny's modelling career
prospered for several years, and she was even voted Greek
Woman of the Year 2000!
An example of the type of disaster that can occur
from historical records is what happened to Brigitte Fell.
She had gone
stealth after having SRS in 1996, which just a few family members
knew about. In early
2008 her boyfriend, Garrick Jacobson, was arrested under
suspicion of theft and mentioned her name. The policemen looked up
Brigitte's records and discovered that her Sex was given as Male, they then
laughingly informed Garrick that “You’re rooting a bloke” and showed him
the records. When released, Garrick broke in to Brigitte's
flat and violently attacked her, he later told a court: “I felt
disgusted and deceived because the female I’d been with had had a
sex change.” Soon after Zoo magazine appalling featured a photo of
her with the headline "Is Your Girlfriend A Bloke?".
23 year old Maximilia (aka Avarelle) Cordero probably soon regretted
her decision in 2007 to sue billionaire
Jeffery Epstein for
having “demanded oral sex”
performance of "bizarre and unnatural sex acts" with her
in return for promoting her career
when she was "aspiring 16 year-old model" (i.e. still a minor in the
USA). At this time Epstein was a substantial share holder in
the Victoria Secrets lingerie chain.
Maximila / Avarelle /
Ava's case against Epstein was not helped by her social media
profiles, which included claims to be up to 6 years younger than
she actually was!
The New York Post was sufficiently interested in the lawsuit to do some digging and
in a series of articles revealed that the pretty young "model" had once been a boy - Maximillian
- who had transitioned and started taking female hormones when age
12. They also discovered that she
was born in November 1982, and was actually age 18 or 19 when "repeatedly lured" to
Epstein's mansion. The NY Post also found no evidence that Maximilia
had had SRS.
Maximilia's case was further not helped
by her admitting that she was "known professionally as Ava" at
the time of claimed incident with Jeffrey, and also that she had
previously lost a similar case.
A decade later there was an avalanche of revelations
about very serious sexual misconduct by Jeffrey Epstein, and this
probably led to his suicide in 2019. It now seems that many of Maximilia's claims against
Jeffrey Epstein were correct, if she had been a more credible
witness in 2007 then
many young women might have avoided traumatic experiences.
was out'ed when she briefly became a minor 'C list' celebrity in the
early 2000's but
Whilst I don't know if she is trying to go stealth, it seems
appropriate to delete her name.
Internet and the Social Media
particularly modern problem is that many transsexual women
enjoy a brief moment of fame - intentionally or not.
It's become very unusual to find someone who has not signed
up for an
account on social media websites and apps such as
Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Whatsapp.
These have become essential to communicate with family,
friends and acquaintances, and to progress one's
career. But they are also enormous helpful
resources for journalists and researchers, and the bane of
many transsexual women trying to go stealth.
night-out - but all are transwomen. After thousands views and
Facebook and Instagram, someone may make connection with an old male friend.
Kyoko (left) and Mika -
Sisters" - are
highly secretive about their past
before about 1997,
even about their birth dates. It seems unlikely they are half
sisters as claimed, one speculation is
that Kyoka is a former boyfriend of Mika, another that
they are both are transwomen.
Human memory is generally short and to a surprising
degree many transwomen who were outed or outed themselves on social
media can - if they try to erase all references to this - just a few
years later be effectively stealth. I've seen first-hand this
happen for an actress, hairdresser, ballerina, teacher, journalist,
cook and a student.
Nevertheless the evidence is still out there for a
determined searcher. Any moment of openness as a transsexual - on the Internet,
in a magazine, on TV, etc - can be bitterly regretted many
years later. Attempts by
transwomen to delete themselves from the Internet will never be completely successful, their pleas are often being sent to dead
email addresses and even years later a simple 'goggle' might still
produce damaging hits to no longer maintained websites. Despite
every effort to get revealing materials deleted or
destroyed (potentially a counterproductive exercise in itself),
many transwomen have a constant nagging fear of being outed because of
the potential evidence on the Internet at al; which may one
day come back to haunt them.
model Lauren had a secret - now she may not have a job" -
this South African woman paid a high price when she was "outed".
19 year-old hairdresser Gemma (formerly Anthony) Gee was
out'ed by the UK press when she dated the son of a famous
football player. She transitioned age 16 and changed her birth
certificate, but friends and colleagues (although not the man in
question) were aware of her past.
23-year old transsexual Caroline Cossey
name Tula) and
her sister Pam were the "Page 3" girls in the UK's bestselling
The Sun newspaper on 6 April 1978.
After an increasingly
successful career as a model and actress, Caroline (left
most in the picture)
was famously outed when she became a Bond girl in 1982.
It's thus become almost impossible for
an individual to cover up her past so well that some determined
sleuthing wouldn't soon reveal strange discrepancies,
inconsistencies, or a peculiar lack of supporting
evidence. For example, a post by proud parents of their
son's appearance in a school play can become a ticking time-bomb
when a decade later a reporter casually asks a
stealthy transwoman where she went to school. A
failure to answer would be strange, an inaccurate answer may be
challenged, whilst a truthful answer leads to her being out'd.
Of course, any woman who features regularly in the
media will inevitably eventually be seen by old friends or
acquaintances. Over time the chances of someone
recognising the voice, mannerisms, facial features, and starting to
link them to a man that they used know are very high.
Some of the most well-known transsexual women had
been stealthy when the spotlight of publicity first began to
lightly shine upon them, and they were eventually outed, e.g. Caroline
Cossey, April Ashley,
Lear and Teddy Quinlivan. Given the massive public and media interest in famous
people this is almost inevitable, and it's a puzzle that so many transgender women
attempting to be stealth also actively seek high-profile
and very public careers as actresses,
models, singers, etc.
good example of this is Laura-Alicia (aka Larissa) Summers, born in
the UK as Darren Pratt on 5 September 1984. One newspaper
article claims that he transitioned during secondary school, age
13-14. After surgery she began her modelling career by
appearing in lad-mags
such as Zoo in 2006 under feature titles such as
"real girls". By mid-2007 she was a regular "page 3" pin up
girl, displaying her impressive breasts in the mass circulation Daily Star and
Daily Sport newspapers, and
was about to become a
Playboy Cyber Girl.
She didn't hid the fact that she had extensive and expensive plastic
Larissa then pushed her luck too far by selling to the News of the World newspaper
a story revealing that she was in a sexual relationship with a member of the English Rugby
team. A reporter at the rival Mail newspaper did some digging and discovered that Larissa was a male-to-female transsexual,
The News of World got wind of the Mail's story and pre-empted
it by publishing its own article outing her, quoting an old
school pal as saying "I still recognise him from school, he's got the
same strong jaw". As the final blow, the article included a
copy of Larissa's/Darren's male birth certificate.
Larissa responded to the newspaper articles outing her by
that "what they had wrote was a load of **** !" and there was
suspicion that it was all just a PR stunt, however she never
denied that she was transgender . In April 2009 Larissa's
(now defunct) published a statement that said she had won "very substantial damages" from the
again there was no denial that she was transsexual
or that she had been born Darren.
Photos of Larissa, most published by her on social media.
From the left: after transition age 18;
an early topless
photo age 21; pin-up girl age 26;
Ex on the Beach age 30; and "addicted to
plastic surgery" age 34.
The outing of Larissa as a transwoman quickly became
old news and she was soon again appearing in magazine
other publications, usually as 'Laura'. Her career probably peaked in 2015 when she appeared in series 3 of the
MTV reality program Ex on the Beach. The pre-launch
publicity materials stated that she was a 22-year female model and
in the first episodes she passed as such. However in a side
interview she admitted that her age was 30 and in an argument she
was outed by another contestant as being "a man". She later
revealed in a heart to heart with another female contestant (watched
by nearly a million people) "I was meant to be a girl ...
my whole childhood was ruined ". Just before having sex with one of the men
she admitted to being intersex.
In her thirties, Larissa/Laura again tried to made a positive of all her
plastic surgery by selling stories claiming that since age 18 she
had has spent
£500,000 on 50+ procedures, including eight breast procedures, seven rhinoplasty procedures (nose jobs)
and three Brazilian butt lifts.
Two more photos of Larissa, from magazines published 8 years
The digital trail is simply too great to avoid
eventual discovery. The corollary is that we moving to a world
where we accept that a significant proportion of woman are
genetically XY and significant proportion of men are genetically XX.
And another significant proportion are gender neutral.
Perhaps the final word here should go to a
transwoman - Talisa Garcia - who as noted
above was outed by
UK newspaper in 2005 after an affair with a celebrity: "Everyone has
skeletons in their closet - only mine is bigger than most."
has developed a passion for including a transwoman in every reality TV series – with the lady
in question usually (but not always) being very passable
before eventually being out’ed in some way.
The genesis of this probably occurred in early 2004 when Sky
broadcast to the UK a reality TV series called there’s
Something about Miriam.
involved six male contestants spending three weeks at
a villa in Ibiza trying to woo a pretty 21-year-old Mexican
pre-op transsexual woman called Miriam Rivera in order to
win the prize. Only at the end were the supposedly
shocked contestants told about Miriam's "something",
although from previously shown conversations they clearly
had a suspicion. The contestants then began a legal action
against the producers claiming conspiracy to commit sexual
assault. Their lawyer said: "The men had no idea that Miriam
was a transsexual. ... They are horrified because there are
shots of them snogging, cuddling and groping her." Sky
settled the case for £125,000 ($200,000) each.
few months later the fifth series of Big Brother UK
started. 27-year old Nadia Almada was a popular
housemate who whilst not worried about hiding her generous
from fellow contestants, did keep secret the fact
that she was a post-SRS transgender woman - although viewers
were informed. After 71 days in the Big Brother house, she
emerged as the winner, securing 74% of the overall vote and
These two programmes set a formula that has been used
numerous times since, a few more examples from the UK:
In 2008, 23-year old Larissa Alicia Summers
featured in the
Channel 4 series Vanity Lair.
Newspaper articles later revealed that Larissa was a post-SRS
In 2015, MTV's Ex on the Beach
also included Larissa Alicia Summers (now 30) as the cast member 'Laura',
listing her with the improbable age of just 22!
In 2019, Channel 4, showed in the UK the short series
Gender Quake, where eleven strangers of different gender
identities and sexualities shared a house for a week. Given
the nature of the programme, it wasn’t a great surprise
when 23-year old
Cambell Kenneford revealed that she was a post-SRS
BBC 3 reality series Heartbreak Holiday - also shown
in 2019 - followed the amorous adventures of ten
20-somethings on a month long vacation in the Greek islands.
Maxine Heron (age 24) introduced herself to viewers as a
transwoman at the start of episode 1. But she was
completely passable and it was half-way
through the series before she announced to her clearly shocked companions that she
was “trans”, having transitioned age 16.
Emel Aydan, born in 1951 as Erdoğan Kaşif
(inset), is a Turkish
porn star who appeared in many films in
the 1970's - often co-staring her
step-mother! The fact that Emel was a
was never even hinted.
Sexual intercourse can be a give-away for a transsexual woman,
particularly when partnering with a sexually experienced man - often
the hunky and masculine type that a newly post-SRS woman is seeking
problems include any of: obvious scare tissue; a vulva with a
strange appearance; vaginal hair; a bad smell, the vagina entrance
is oddly positioned, the vagina is tight and narrow, unsatisfactory
depth; and a lack of lubrication.
Thankfully with modern surgical techniques the chance of
an immediate exclamation of "Oh my god, what is that" by the man on
seeing his FTM partners vulva has decreased
very considerably in recent years. Going further, the happy coincidence
of a pelvic girdle (bones) with
intermediate sexual proportions and a good result from a top surgeon
will leave male lovers very contented and some natal women
very jealous - but this is a best case.
A few transwomen are lucky enough to meet a "true
love" whilst still pre-op. Her sex reassignment surgery can then be shared
experience, and the subsequent intercourse "wonderful", no matter how
bad it actually is! In practice, most transwoman break their
virginity as a woman with an experienced heterosexual man. If
he's unaware of her past, this poses significant risk, particularly
if she is at an age where sexual inexperience as a female might seem
Top a 2014 photo
from Sun's facebook site, below the photo on her ID card
A complete contrast to Bob's girl is the story of
Sun Jing-Ya or 'Linda'. Born in China in 1989, she worked the
streets for several years as a shemale to fund her sex-reassignment
surgery in 2012, age 22. She then quickly became renowned for
her sexual skills and techniques as a woman, and within months was
able to charge VIP's over $3000 for a one-hour session.
Prostitution is illegal in China and her success eventually led to
her being arrested in 2015 and being made an example of. At
her trial, the authorities claimed that she had been paid nearly
$100,000 to attend a three-day orgy with wealthy businessmen, and
then showed that she still had an male ID card with name Luo Yue -
undoubtedly to the shock of many of her former clients. She
was jailed for four years.
the above stories are worrying, in practice many recently post-SRS
woman do seek a few one night stands with a drunken but horny young
man at a night club. It might not be Romeo and Juliet,
but it helps to build sexual experiences comparable to women 10, 20
or even 30 years younger.
Attractive and passing transwomen may still face serious problems
when in bed with their partner.
However I strongly advice against breaking your
virginity as a woman - particularly with a stranger - if less than
six months post-SRS. In my opinion, six months of healing,
dilation and post-natal exercises, combined with a little bit of
rehearsal using a sexy video is essential. Anything less risks a
The British comedian Bob Monkhouse relates in his
autobiography Crying with Laughter how after a show he was
approached by a buxom and "beautiful blonde dancer from the chorus line"
and "one dinner later enjoyed a night a passion".
However her vagina gave him no
satisfaction - describing the feeling as mushy and blocked, "it was like plunging your feet into an apple-pie bed".
At breakfast the next morning the poor girl admitted to him that she had recently had a
sex change operation, and that he was the first man she had ever had
intercourse with. Bob then belatedly remembered him/her
from the male chorus line at his show in Glasgow a few months
earlier. Bob is reasonable about this (at least in the book),
but many men might not be.
(above right) outed herself by entering Big Brother UK 2004.
News of the World in July 2009 -
once a man called Louis (and her boyfriend didn't know)"
Transwomen Outing Themselves
Some transsexual women who achieve deep stealth then seem to have an urge to "play with fire" and
start to take ever increasing risks. For example: starting to
revisit old haunts, taking on a job or role with a high public
profile, excessive surgery, an affair with a celebrity, posting
topless or even nude photos on the internet, becoming a politician,
making false claims that are easily to checked. An extreme
example is Lana Woods, who starred as a woman in several porn films
in the early 1990s, allegedly without the producer knowing her past.
Some stealthy transsexuals eventually
decide to 'out'
themselves. This is most often done by transwomen who
successfully transition when young, but in middle age decide to come
out as being a transsexual woman - usually in support of the wider trangender community.
A few examples include
Brevard and Anna Taylor.
are also instances where stealthy transwomen appear to have decided
for financial reasons to sell their story to the media, examples in
the UK possibly include Nadia Almada,
Angel Paris Jordan, and
Lisa Du Preez.
Nadia (born Jorge
'Carlos' Leodoro in 1977) transitioned when she moved to the UK from
Madeira in 1999 and had her SRS a few years later. She
won a £65,000 prize by
intriguing housemates and television viewers when, age 27, she
participated in the UK version of television reality show
Big Brother in 2004. She went into the house
stealth but housemates began to wonder if she was TS after just a few days.
The program's producers already knew that she was a transsexual, and soon the
rest of the world did as well.
McAuliffe, age 28
Lisa's story appeared in various newspapers and
magazines with tabloid suitable quotes such as "When I met my fiancé ... in a pub a
year ago we hit it off right away but I didn’t tell him about the
is perhaps an extreme example of this. Born Jason, she
transitioned age 20 and had SRS when 25. She was fortunate
enough to be a totally as a woman and in the late 1990's she worked
for several years as a [female] prostitute, sleeping with hundreds
of men. But she was very publically outed (albeit presumably
with Jackie's consent) in the BBC docu-drama Paddington Green
- briefly becoming the most famous transsexual in Britain.
The BBC paid her very little and a new career as a musician quickly
came to nothing; she readily admitted to financial difficulties in
the follow on program Jackie's Story. Since then she has
married and changed her name, the passage of time and a low profile
life style has allowed her to slip back in to stealth but the trail
of evidence means that she can never be totally sure that she won't
be recognised as a transsexual.
Céline Van Den Bossche
Whilst at primary school, Van Den Bossche knew that he was
different from the other boys. He began wearing make-up and
dressing as a girl. When age 15, she transitioned
with the forename Celine and began female hormone treatment. Age 18, she
underwent a sex change operation and was now legally a woman in
Belgium. Four years later she was working as a hair dresser
and all aspects of her life was living as a woman. Perhaps
she entered and won a local beauty contest. As a result, she
qualified for the Miss Belgium contest and strong local
support made her one of the
favourites. However, a reporter from Laatste Nieuw did
some research and interviewed her just before the contest, in answer to a question she said
"I'm transgender, so what?". Now out'ed, she was
eliminated in the preliminary round.
Major risks are also involved with trying to go partially stealthy, e.g. going
"stealth" at work but "out" with friends and
family. Inevitably this division will not work long term.
Confiding ones transsexuality to a partner or best friend with an
oath of secrecy is extremely risky - human nature being what it is
the word will almost inevitably slowly spread. The temptation
or even need to reveal one's background in order to get a job,
obtain a bank loan, during a medical, etc., is also often great, but
again this breaks the stealth rules and increases the risk of
eventually being out'ed.
internet has become nightmare when trying to go stealth.
This photo of contestants during a beauty
a holiday resort was posted on a popular social network. One of
old account to add
a comment, which
revealed that she was
I can't resist
including this photo from the 2012 Miss Transsexual contest
held in Pataya, Thailand. All the contestants were
born male, but one girl's tuck failed and a large erection
suddenly became obvious!
example is 17 year-old transgirl Sarah Green who was successfully
passing and developing as a young woman
- "the first time I went out as a woman I felt really embarrassed
but it was brilliant too. I wasn't hiding anymore". She
wanted other young transsexuals to know that "they don't have to be
ashamed of who they are" and so she agreed to
appear on Blunt - a teens' TV programme But an unfortunate result
herself so publicly was that people on her street now knew that she was a transsexual, and shouted
abuse at her.
Victoria Beltran with Admiral General Aladeen (aka Sacha Baron Cohen)
in the The Dictator (left), and 'guarding' him at a publicity event
A more high profile case is the sad story of Victoria Beltran.
She was probably born in February 1979 - although 1987 is also
stated in some press reports. It's likely but not
certain that she transitioned and became Victoria
when she moved
to New York
age 15, and had SRS age 18. She then went deep
stealth, working occasionally as a model (e.g. Maxim Magazine, Dior, L’Oreal) or extra in TV shows (e.g.
& Order and Ugly Betty).
In 2009 she married
Brett Bergman, who was apparently unaware that she was a transsexual. In 2011 Victoria
to be one of the mini-skirted "Virgin Guard" in Sacha Baron Cohen’s
movie The Dictator, briefly appearing in the movie and
rather more prominently at subsequent PR events in 2012. She became worried that
she would be out'ed (which indeed occurred in May 2013) and thus
revealed to her husband that she was transgender
and had SRS. Shocked, he sought comfort
with a female work colleague, Katarzyna Sakowicz, and they began an
affair. Victoria discovered this and
started to make threatening phone calls to Katarzyna, who eventually
contacted the police - resulting in Victoria being arrested in May
2013 on harassment charges. Victoria then said “I’m more a woman than she’ll [Katarzyna] ever be!”, and
husband actually "knew the whole time” about her past.
Her husband has since filed for divorce.
When transwoman Carmen Carrera married her longstanding boyfriend, she became the stepmother of his two
daughters from a previous marriage.
A huge pressure faced by stealthy and physically passable transwoman in their 20's and 30's is
to marry and have children. The vast majority do indeed marry a
man but they then face intense pressure to have children - with
constant hints and reminders that the biological clock is
ticking and that they need to have children before its was too late.
Oddly the situation is far more difficult than in the 1970's and
1980's when a stealthy transwoman could claim that she was infertile
due to an unstated medical commission. Advances in medical
science will now lead too many questions, and the suggestion of
various test and treatments.
Given the current impossibility of actually bearing children, push back
reasons can include:
1. I just don't want children. Whilst this may
cause arguments with a husband, it justifies the taking of
2. I'm infertile due to a medical condition.
This can be problematic if the husband is determined to have
children as so many conditions can now be treated.
3. I've had a miscarriage.
A fake pregnancy
and early miscarriage can be a credible and traumatic excuse, but
if repeated will be problematic if the husband is determined to have
4. We don't want children. If the husband is aware that
his wife is a transwoman, then a lack of children can be put down to
The Australian film Carlotta -
based on a true biography -
includes a study of how the marriage of a transwoman was
destroyed by her mother-in-law's expectation of grandchildren.
Argentinean model Nicole Ferri
appeared in the short film Panza ('Belly Bump' in English), a
documentary of the true life story of a young woman who was
faking being pregnant in order to get the attention of a
bank security guard, but was then shot when the bank was
robbed. Nicole is
shown using pillows to create a baby bump and whilst a subtitle
makes clear that she's an actress, it's not stated that she is a pre-SRS transwoman.
This documentary is presumably the source of subsequent and
re-occurring claims that
Nicole a mother.
Attorney, author and commentator
She has been the subject of extra-ordinary attempts to 'out' her
as either suffering from AIS or a transwomen. Her supposed
Adams Apple is highlighted below.
Women Incorrectly Outed
The spotlight of even modest fame and publicity is
fatal for most transwomen attempting
to go stealth. It
quickly out's most transwomen, even if they later claim that
they weren't really trying to go stealth.
Many more (from Caroline Cossey to Harisu to Nikkie de Jager)
realise that they are about to out'ed and pre-empt this publicly.
There are also a few transwomen such as Teddy Quinlivan, Sophia Hutchins,
Tatjana Wiedemann and Marie France who chose to out themselves as transgender
after years of successfully passing as a woman. This may
still leave some
well know women who have successfully concealed being transgender,
but its unlikely that many would be considered an A or B list
Conversely, some genetic cis-women celebrities have been incorrectly outed as being transgender. In many cases this is undoubtedly
deliberate "false news" aimed either harming the recipient in some
way or raising the profile of the poster.
One example is the popular
American political pundit
Ann Coulter. In 2005 there began a determined attempt to expose her as a transsexual woman, or
suffer of AIS.
A leading speculation claimed that she was
born Arthur Coltrane in Georgia (USA) and had SRS in Denmark as a
teenager. A host of circumstantial evidence was offered to
prove that she was once "male", e.g. that she is: 6ft tall; has brow
ridges; an Adams apple; big hands; big feet; has not been forthcoming
with her childhood records; her age varies oddly in interviews; and
her birth certificate has never been published. However many years of determined
investigation ultimately failed to provide any strong evidence that
Ann is transgender (e.g. photos of her as a boy), if she is actually a
transsexual then she has taken going 'stealth' to an impressive
Lady Gaga with a penis in her panties?
In December 2008
photos of pop singer Lady Gaga during a concert were posted on the internet
that appeared to show the outline of a penis, leading to suggestions that she
was a pre-op transsexual woman or hermaphrodite However the
far morelikely explanations are that she had a sanitary pad in her
pants, or that she has a large clitoris and
was sexually aroused at the tome of the photos. Lady Gaga
then stoked the speculation
transgender for over a year - all publicity is good publicity! But
in 2010 she appeared
in a very revealing music video (Bad Romance) apparently aimed at
proving that she didn't have a penis, and another video (Telephone)
made fun of the idea. This ended the debate - except for some
that she had belatedly spent some of her fortune on radical feminisation surgery
of her bottom genitalia.
Another singer-musician claimed to be a transsexual
is Avril Lavigne, very oddly out'ed by her brother (Matt). He
says that when their mother (Judy) became pregnant with Avril, their
violent father insisted that it must be a daughter. The new
born baby was unfortunately a boy but Judy dressed and brought up Avril
as a girl, eventually even giving her female hormones. This improbable story
is supported by
some circumstantial evidence:
Avril tends to be tomboyish in appearance when
Avril reached the age of 35 with no children
from two marriages and several serious relationships
Her short height (5ft 2in) is actually compatible with taking
excessively large dosages of oestrogen hormones at a young age
The length of her fingers are more typical of a
genetically XY male than a XX female
She has had plastic surgery - feminising her
nose, chin and jaw line compared to a more robust appearance in
her early teens
having breast implants, Avril posed
topless for several magazines and her B cup size breasts, with small
areola, were typical of a transwoman who started taking oestrogen as
Nevertheless it seems very unlikely that Avril is
transgender given that the validity of her marriages was never
challenged, and that her other intimate partners have never sold a
story to the media.
The most notorious example of a genetically XX woman being mistaking
outed as a transwoman is undoubtedly the case of Miss France 2001 -
- My Experience
I transitioned I tried to avoid telling people about my past, but I
found that sometimes I had to admit to my male past, or I was asked revealing questions, or I was simply "outed".
Thus an ever growing number of people get to know - my family, my
doctor, my bank, my closest friends, my boss, my work colleagues,
their acquaintances, .... .
many women give themselves away with silly and careless
mistakes, particularly when tired or after a drink. I've
made mistakes that have had me cringing and worried for days.
Nevertheless I was
(and still am) uncomfortable about people knowing and talking about my past,
which was rapidly becoming distant and irrelevant to me.
Ideally I would
like to go deep "stealth" and live completely as woman
without anyone knowing my past, but while this is an appealing prospect
in many ways, it would also be extremely difficult to achieve.
Going stealthy to that extreme would imply me being absolutely
convincing as a woman at all times, have no contact with people
(including family) who know me otherwise, and destroy all evidence
(photo's, school reports, references, letters...), of my previous
incarnation. It would also mean fabricating a complete and
believable past (including girlhood) covering the time before I
transitioned, obtaining all the essential supporting documentation,
and then completely and utterly maintaining the story at all
times. I would also have to somehow remove all evidence of
myself from the Internet. Over the last few years a dozen or
more girls have asked me for what ever reason to remove their photos and information from this website,
but despite the clearly determined efforts of some, it was a simple
exercise to disprove the possibility that all evidence of
their transsexuality had really gone from the web.
As a woman in my
mid-30's, I was under constant pressure from uninitiated [and married]
friends and acquaintances to marry my increasingly long-term boyfriend.
By the time we did tie the knot (overcoming a mass of legal and
religious hurdles), I was in my late 30's. I then faced intense
pressure to have children - hints and reminders that my biological clock was
ticking and that I should have children before it was too late were
constant. In some countries this would not be a big problem, but
in parts of Ireland it's still fairly unusual. Barring some dramatic
medical development this was clearly impossible,
and for a while I actually toyed with the idea of having a fake pregnancy and
Asian transsexual women such as
Makiko (a minor TV celebrity in Japan) tend to be remarkably
passable in western eyes because
of their small
stature and light build, often greatly assisted by early
transition, - although sometimes less so to their fellow
A few personal
examples of how hard stealth is
A few months after I transitioned I had
my car stolen by 'Joy Riders'. The car was recovered the next
day but the Police got confused after comparing their records with
documents that they had found in the car. They made checks and called me in for a very embarrassing interview
before I could reclaim it.
Ten months after I transitioned (and still
pre-Orchiectomy, let alone SRS) the company I was working for sent me
to visit their Agents in the
Arabian Gulf. Unfortunately my passport was still "male" and upon arrival
at the airport late at night I aroused suspicions when I reached the
Customs Area. I was strip searched and
every item in my baggage questioned - providing great
entertainment to the bored staff. I then had to wait two hours wearing
only my panties until their Chief finally arrived at 3:00 a.m. to
approve my release - apologetic but with a big smile on his face.
About 18 months after my transition I visited my
Mum and went out to get some groceries. I was shocked when a
shop assistant recognised me - we had been in the same class at
school. Actually I'm still amazed, she hadn't seen me for over
10 years and I was dressing as a woman, but she knew me long before
I could put a name to her.
During the 1980's I
worked at a University for several years and became slightly acquainted with
the young wife of one of the lecturers. I was rather
surprised to get an email from her in 2002, she had seen this website and
is a transsexual as well
- so we can now out each other!
stealth is undoubtedly living the "big lie", and while a few
girls may manage to carry it off, it is still perhaps too great a
challenge for me. But I am seeking a compromise degree of
"stealth" in my normal daily life, and with time and
experience (i.e. age!) and new documentation behind me, I'm now near
Connectivity newsletter of FORGE
(For Ourselves: Reworking Gender Expression), a male-to-female support
organisation, conducted a survey
about the extent to which its members felt that they were perceived
(or out'ed) as male or female, and the associated context.
I've taken the liberty of summarising the report as follows:
1 = Male by everyone, 5 = Female by everyone.
Note: The totals don't add to 100%,
particularly for 'School', the survey says "Figures
for those out at school are too small to analyze."
Presumably the gap reflects where no response was selected.
Unsurprisingly a majority of participants
felt that they could pass as female with friends and family,
but very few were confident of this at work or with
acquaintances. Excluding 'School', just 10% of
respondents that they could pass as female in all
situations, and this was probabl;y an exageration.
Many transwomen convince themselves that they can pass until
a traumatic event proves otherwise. As noted several
time elsewhere on this site, passability is brutally age
dependent - whilst many teenage transgirls can pass easily
with just hormones, tranwomen in their 20's, 30's and beyond
rely increasingly heavily on feminising surgery and the
reality is that a majority will never consistently pass
The "Can I Pass?" Quiz
Two Brazilian transwomen test their ability to pass
seen several quizzes on the Internet about "passing".
Unfortunately, these seem to be mostly concerned with transvestites
attempting occasional passing in public, so I thought I would have a
go myself at a quiz for pre-transition, adult (age 18 or older),
transsexual women who are considering going full time. The quiz
is designed to give some indication of the chances of being quickly
"read", it gives less indication about the chances of
passing long-term when many other factors come in to play.
quiz is primarily intended to be for fun, but also a little
thought provoking for pre-transition girls. Please don't take it
too seriously and shoot me down in flames, but I do welcome
constructive feedback and
suggestions that will help me refine it.
you really want to try the quiz, it's here.