In this article I discuss and critique transphobic media reactions to the celebrity Caitlyn Jenner’s 2015 Vanity Fair cover shoot. I then consider these in the light of Garfinkel, H. [1967. Studies in Ethnomethodology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall] concept of ‘passing’ in his celebrated case story of Agnes and argue that ‘passing’ is often conflated with ‘being out’. I argue that the two are significantly different and claim that the former is implicitly based on a public lie. I use several auto-ethnographic narratives to illustrate the argument.