Thursday, August 30, 2012
“Being a man one day and a woman the next isn't an easy thing to do.” -Bernadette from Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
For some reason, that I can’t recall right now, I wanted desperately to watch Priscilla again. I fondly remember loving this campy 90’s Aussie film about queens on a journey into the Australian Outback, how fun. Now, nearly 20 years later and living my own life openly as trans women (not a drag queen, I’m not that fabulous), a little more like Bernadette (one of the main characters), I guess I wanted to see if the film held up, especially from my new perspective. Anyway, this movie is very difficult to find online, truly it is. Netflix was no help, nor was Amazon, but there’s always the inter-web. But even in that magical world, it was a challenge to find. I did come across a few versions, several in Russian, French, and Japanese, who knew it was so popular, and eventually I found one in English. While the image was the size of a cell phone screen, I enjoyed every minute, especially Guy Pierce, yummy.
For me, seeing this movie again, anew if you like, was reinvigorating. And, while there’s some dated language and a reliance on stereotypes, the message rings true today. LGBT people are people, and our identity is our own. Interestingly, when this film came out 15+ years ago, I recall my aunt and uncle mentioning how much they loved this film. To me that was so wonderful. Without speaking openly about my gender and sexuality, I’ve always felt close to them (she’s my Godmother by the way). They must have known something, or at least were comfortable expressing their appreciation of the LGBT culture to me. So for me it was no surprise, and a great relief, that they stepped forward this year to openly support me as I started to transition. You can never be grateful enough when you have allies that love you for who you are and aren’t afraid to show it. Watching Priscilla this week was a welcome reminder of how fortunate I am to have love and support as I embark upon my own adventure.
It’s been two days since my most recent interview. This is clearly a case when no news is not good news. The interview on Tuesday was my fourth this summer, actually pretty good I think. They were all for high school teaching jobs, that’s what I do, or did for the past nineteen years. Sadly my job of nine years was eliminated this past spring. I was stuck at the bottom of the seniority ladder with seven other art teachers ahead of me, so I got cut. I did love my job and looked forward to going to school everyday. But that’s how it is in public schools. As Heidi Klum says, “one day you’re in and the next you’re out.” It’s not how good you are, or whether you make a difference, or your passion for learning and compassion for kids that matters, nope, it’s years of service, that’s it. And while I can accept a small part of the union’s argument, the reality is, it’s difficult to pass someone climbing the same ladder as you.
Here I am, unemployed. It’s been rather an interesting, if not a very anxious process for me trying to find work. I’ve been fortunate to have had the same job and employer for 9 years. So when I had my interview a few weeks ago, the first in 9 years, I was understandably, a little nervous. To make things more exciting, this was the first time I interviewed for a job as Gia, now a talented middle aged woman, who just so happens to be a trans-woman. Could it be any different? Would I be treated unfairly or with skepticism? I didn’t know. Since that first interview, I’ve had three more since, I’ve walked into all the same way, with confidence and a smile. The reactions are typical; a slight pause, quick adjustment, an overly polite greeting, then on to business as usual.
So why post this? Is there anything about being a trans-woman that affected the outcome of the interviews? I hope not, but I don’t know for sure. And I think that’s why I wrote about this entry. I’ve never felt so confident in my being and soul after affirming my gender identity, yet never so confused about the future. I often feel lost and alone. I now look back at loosing my job a few months ago with more bitterness and disbelief than when I left. It’s certainly possible that being a trans-teacher expedited my departed from my last job. And despite awesome interviews, impeccable recommendations, and the highest of qualifications, it’s given me reason to understand why I haven’t been hired yet. All this makes me question everything, my identity, my prosperity, and myself. What’s a girl to do?
Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well. How do I know? It’s a mystery.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
I really don’t know how to start this blog. I’ve been writing in my journal for the past few years and I guess I wanted to share a few of my thoughts about what it’s like to be a transgender women, transitioning from male to female. So this is part of my so called life. From time to time I’ll try to share what’s going on now, but also look back to where I’ve come from to be here today. Anyway, I’ve debated what to call this blog, but haven’t decided on one name just yet. Perhaps, we’ll decide that later. For now I’m using “up that hill” with the subtitle of “girl afraid”. I hope this blog sheds a little light on my journey to embrace my transgender identity, but more importantly find my own happiness.