I Love the Smell of Burning Bridges in the Morning…

Who would have thought overwriting one’s former identity could be such a chore? Medical science may have advanced, but I will confidently bet in this one aspect things were somewhat easier for people transitioning in former decades before we had this wonderful web full of Facebooks, Myspaces, Linkedins, and God knows how many glorified photo albums advertising our presence to several billion people, 99% of whom don’t give a damn…

So why even bother? Well partially because I hate leaving any unnecessary traces of “Anthony” to taunt me now or in future years, and mainly because I am again running out of meaningful things to do. One of the worst things about this is coping during the times when there is little to nothing that can be done to advance the process. For want of any meaningful activity, I thus spend ages trying to alter my online profiles, or researching herbal alternatives to hormone treatment, or obsessively checking my emails for news. Creativity has gone right out of the window, and while I was hoping maybe even to advance my social life (through the local LGBT groups) this has not yet happened. On the contrary, it is a lonely process, with only my spouse and a couple of friends even trying to accustom themselves to my new gender and name (which they did without my even insisting, though, which was very touching). To everyone else, even close friends, I am still the old male-pronouned Anthony, and I can’t help but feel alienated every time that false assumption is driven home.

To be clear on this point, Anthony never existed. I am not opposed to him in concept – he was a decent enough character sketch – but I am, as I mentioned before, a dreadful actress, and I could never deliver him with any conviction. I am now giving up the stage and trying to enjoy my retirement, but being constantly mistaken for my stage character is not helping.

The sternest test yet comes next week, when we visit my parents for the first time since my coming out. God alone knows what the reaction will be. I would love to think proud that their daughter has finally realised she cannot live a lie, but on the other hand what father likes to hear that his “son” was only ever a poor facsimile? Not that my views on paternal psychology are worth a damn, of course. My insight into the male mind is strictly limited…

On the other hand, I felt like such a coward when I read about Leelah Alcorn and all the other trans people who had come out and suffered for it, that even if I could manage to crawl back into my shell of “normality”, and somehow cope with the constant dysphoria, I would have shame to deal with as well. I am most definitely not “normal”, however hard I might pretend to be, and pretense is not worthy of respect. Honesty is worthy of respect, but in the case of trans people it is far more likely to attract hatecrime. I am vaguely surprised this blog has not been trolled as yet, though I will be sure to keep a log of all flames and threats received here for posterity… and for the cops, of course. If there is one thing that alleviates my fear, the local authorities here do seem very supportive.

And I guess that fear is the other reason I am purging the online footprint of “Anthony” as quickly as I can, and his real-world administrative footprint as soon as feasible: because in burning my bridges, I reduce the possibility that I will lose heart and backslide into denial again. The battle is on this side of the bridges, and there will never be a better time than now to fight it…

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2 thoughts on “I Love the Smell of Burning Bridges in the Morning…

  1. I have to tell you, this really hits home, especially when you say,
    ‘One of the worst things about this is coping during the times when there is little to nothing that can be done to advance the process.’
    Which is where I find myself as well. I began purging my old profiles in the very beginning and now I do everything online as Kira, which has made things bearable when the “real” world tries to kick me in the face.
    Thank you so much for sharing this, it goes to show, even in the darkest of times, there are others who understand.

    Best wishes,
    Kira Moore

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can relate all too easily It is certainly much simpler to be myself online than in real life, but that in itself can become a trap: the last time this affected me so much, I practically buried myself online, but made no progress in reality at all. Now I am so impatient for change that ever minute spent not achieving it seems wasted. I sometimes wonder how much it will take to satisfy me, as well. Would hormones be enough, or will I not be content until I can sashay confidently out of doors and be a definitive Eleanor to the entire world, whatever surgery that takes? And even HRT is probably months if not years away… I think we just have to be stubborn, though. Much as I wish I had dealt with this before, one will never have a better time than the present, and I know if I delay again I will just have deeper regrets in the future. Thank you for the kind words, and I am glad if my blog is able to speak to anyone, just as I am grateful to hear than I am not alone. 🙂 x

    Like

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