A note on stealth

A reader asked:

In your glossary you say that going deep stealth means that you can have a regular sex partner without him knowing that you had a sex change. I was wondering if this was actually possible and has it ever happened?

This can and does happen, although it's very rare, and it's a potentially problematic thing to attempt. There have been several TS women who were deep stealth until they were outed, and it made their lives pretty miserable for a while right after they were outed. Perhaps the most notable is Caroline Cossey, a model who worked under the name Tula. Her marriage and her modeling career came to an abrupt end when a British tabloid outed her. She recovered eventually, but it caused her a lot of heartache and stress for a while.

Most TS women will never pass at the level required to be stealth. Among those who can, many will have too many personal or professional contacts who knew them before or heard of their transition to make a life of deep stealth practical.

Deep stealth is a house of cards that can come tumbling down unexpectedly. Someone always knows your TS status. While it is possible to start totally over by moving and all of that, people are always going to wonder about your past at some point. Then you have to decide if you are going to make up a story. As soon as you start making up a past or not telling people certain things (lies of omission), you run the risk of having people find out later that you don't tell them the truth. Think of how people responded to Bill Clinton's attempts to keep his past affair under wraps by phrasing things in ways that were open to interpretation.

Because a long-term relationship (whether a friendship or an intimate relationship) has to be based on trust, many people feel betrayed when they find out about a TS woman's past that's been kept from them. The question of when to tell is a very difficult one and must be considered very carefully and based on your own conscience.

There are a lot of people who claim to be deep stealth who aren't. Some of these have a sort of "don't ask, don't tell" thing going on, where their partner may have suspicions, but the partner never brings it up. The longer you're with someone in deep stealth, the more of an invented history you have to put out there. This is fine for some, but it's not really conducive to trust.

Most people live somewhere between totally stealth and totally out. Someone somewhere always knows, so proceed with deep stealth at your own risk.


For a great book on what it's like to live stealth, including the serious problems you can face, I suggest reading Leslie Townsend's interesting autobiography.