Methods of passing as male

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

This article discusses methods of passing as male. People who wish to pass as a member of a gender to which they were not assigned at birth may use various methods to disguise unwanted features and to emphasize desired features. People who may be concerned with passing as male include female crossdressers, drag kings, and transgender men.

For transgender men, drag kings, or any female-assigned person trying to pass as male, this may include binding the breasts to create a flat-chested appearance, taking on a more masculine demeanor, and wearing male clothing. Baggy or loose clothing is usually preferred because it hides characteristics like breasts and rounded hips.


A "packer," a prosthetic penis worn at the crotch to approximate the size and shape of flaccid male genitalia, may be worn.[1] "Packing" is generally done on a daily basis for FTMs, sometimes for the rest of their life, especially if they do not undergo sex reassignment surgery. For other transgender men or cross-dressing women, packing is done on an as-needed basis either for personal comfort or for drag performances.

The vast majority of packers are made to look and feel like flaccid penises, but in the past few years two companies have released medical-quality prosthetics that can be used for both general packing and for sexual activity.

Medical-quality prosthetics are available that can be attached with medical adhesive. Other prosthetics are held in place with clothes or (rarely) specialized harnesses.


A flat chest can be achieved in many ways. There are commercially-made specialty binders available worldwide, as well as binders designed for the treatment of gynecomastia. Both are safe and effective for the compression of breast tissue and allow for normal breathing in most people. Binders should still not be worn for more than 8 hours per day, or when exercising/sleeping, even if they are made by a reputable brand.

Safe binders should not flatten the chest completely, but flatten the chest enough to create the look of pectoral muscles instead of breasts.

Other methods of binding include compression bandages, back braces, tape, modified clothing, very firm sports bras and tight-fitting shirts. These methods are more popular with young people who have not yet come out as trans, or those who have limited financial means.

Dangerous binding methods[edit]

Binding with duct tape or elastic/compression bandages can cause serious injury and even death due to asphyxia. Bandages can compress the ribcage so greatly as to make normal breathing impossible, as they are meant to wrap tightly around injuries and not for binding.[2] Tape is also ill-advised due to potentially permanent damage to the skin caused by adhesives, and due to the inflexibility of materials which puts the wearer at a similar risk as bandages.

See also[edit]


  1. FTM Passing Tips[unreliable source?]
  2. "Cost Ranges for Transition". Archived from the original on December 23, 2009. Retrieved August 24, 2010.

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