Today, “Anthony Burns” failed his last ever job interview. “He” went to it in full sharp-suited masculine persona, essentially pulling a cruel deception on the interviewers as they would have very soon discovered whom they had really hired (It was an internal vacancy, and my union rep will shortly be outing me to management as part of my social transitioning). On reflection, it may have been as well that I did so badly, stuttering, stalling, and generally feeling like an awkward mass of falseness. A shame in some ways, of course, as my present finances (or lack of) present no shortage of obstacles to my transitioning, but indicative I do feel of how I am right to proceed with the erosion of “Anthony”. “He” was an uncomfortable mask to wear at the best of times, and has since become stifling. Even if the Gender Identity Clinic refuse me all help (which my GP reassures me is unlikely), “he” will still have to die, insofar as an imaginary person can.
Furthermore, lacking any self-assurance – due no doubt to lack of self – “he” was also a terrible doormat, generally not inclined to stick up for or defend “his” interests. Eleanor, being distinctly more confirmed in her sense of existence, will be less hesitant to take what she wants from life, though I fear she will do no better in job interviews, as her wants and ambitions are not very career-focused at all. Primarily, she wants validation and acceptance as a feminine entity, which she is thankfully getting from those closest to her and the local TG networks. She wants to express herself artistically, aesthetically, and academically; she wants to make peace with her whole family; learn French fluently; re-play the entire Mass Effect series (with all of the DLCs… and a badass female Cmdr. Shepard, of course); and suchlike things that sadly bring in very little money… thank God for the NHS. If I was transitioning under a private healthcare system, I would now be asking myself which were the most expendable and lucrative organs I could be selling to fund the treatment.
Having to purchase my own medication at this stage is no great help, though in justice to my phytoestrogens, the GP has cleared them as safe (in stated dosages only, of course), and they are having mild feminising effects… though at present it does feel as if two little handymen are trying to drill their way out of my nipples. Oh well, no-one ever said developing an aesthetically pleasing cleavage was going to be a doddle. I daresay I shall be grateful for it on the day when I no longer have to wad my bras with rolled-up socks. At any rate, a little bird on Facebook informs me that I can always request bridging hormones on prescription as long as the psychiatrist refers me to the GIC. That letter cannot come soon enough (according to both my deepest desires and the hole now burning in my bank account…).
Come what may, my sense of identity is building strength with each day, and on re-watching “La Piel Que Habito” (reviewed in a previous post) I find even more to identify with in the protagonist (SPOILER ALERT): Vincente’s act to lull Dr. Legard into a false sense of security is in fact painfully transparent, and seen through by his mother… though since his mother is a true Hitchcockian stereotype, jealous and controlling, Legard fatally dismisses her opinion, and listens to his own warped ego instead. Vincente was very lucky, in fact, that Legard’s narcissism made him blind to the obvious manipulation that was being worked on him (given the myriad signs that Vincente has successfully resisted being brainwashed, making his sudden change of heart completely implausible).
Acting is a refined talent, requiring skill in what Keats termed “Negative Capability“: that is, the ability of an artist to silence the ego in order to better empathise with and / or metaphorically enter into their subject or character. All the more difficult when the ego is stubbornly fighting for its own self-assertion against circumstances (or a body) that appear to deny it. Now that my true ego has finally won the battle for my identity and can rest content that it has been acknowledged at long last, perhaps I will be a better actress in the future, though I still suspect I will fall flat in most job intervews. Sadly, unconvincing pre-op transwomen are not the most popular employment demographic, regardless of skills and experience… of which I have precious few, to be fair, or does Mass Effect marksmanship count?