I am sorry about the delay in answering your question. The cyberpunk bundle had come out and I needed the money so I was afraid of rocking the boat by saying anything lest I somehow screw everything up.
To answer your question, among my own kind being seen as a trans woman is passing to me and comfortable. Other times among cis people who view trans women as inferior it isn’t passing to me. For example when I’m the only person in a room who is asked to give pronouns or when people comment on my “tells” such as feet or height or whatever, it’s painful.
I don’t really pass well all the time but I blend in enough that I’m usually left alone. If I could go without being misgendered again for the rest of my life I’d be happy regardless of how people see me.
The deeper part of this is that passing is not really a thing. It didn’t make it into the game due to scope and complexity but there was a character named Fancy who was planned to be included from the start. She was going to be an actual ghost who was buried as a boy by her family and was stuck haunting the world and filled with hatred.
No matter how you look, there are systems of gendering in place that exist even after death that enforce gender on us and we don’t always have control over them. I wanted to write about that pain but I just didn’t have the skill as a developer to make it yet.
I think passing is a painful thing because existing in society comfortably and safely is tied to it so I can’t exactly say “fuck passing it’s bullshit” and ignore it. At the same time chasing passing is ultimately self destructive for me and ends up hurting me.
I think for me passing is being able to avoid being misgendered while being part of society and having my gender not be questioned and scrutinized. That’s what passing is to me but it’s painful and really complicated. I’m sorry this turned into a rant but I thought about your question a lot and I finally just wanted to answer even if my answer is inarticulate and flawed.