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Stealth

This is the term commonly used by trans women and trans men who are living full-time in the gender they prefer, and whose Trans status is unknown to people around them. This may come when a Trans person feels that they wish to distance themselves from the gender identity that they were born as, and use this as a further step to enable them to be treated as just another person by society at large and avoid any prejudices that being known to be Transgender might bring with it. It may also be due to a personal feeling that one’s Trans status is simply a part of hir medical history and is really not relevant to any but the most intimately acquainted in hir life (lovers, doctors, close family, etc.).

Some people deliberately work to be/stay stealth by lying about their past where necessary; others do not, and may come out when it’s relevant.

It is important to note that being stealth does not have to mean that you hide from your past. An increasingly large number of transpeople describe themselves as semi-stealth which means that they don’t draw attention to their past but do not hide from it. Mostly other people such as friends and work colleagues will never suspect. Some are honest when asked, others may drop the occasional white lie to throw people off the scent – a favourite post-op fib can be for transwomen to say they have had a hysterectomy to explain any scars and the fact they lack internal reproductive organs. It is not necessary to lie or tell fibs though, and it is a personal choice of the individual.

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