I detailed the effects on my mood related to transitioning in my previous post. Estrogen brought unwelcome swings to my psyche, but it also brought a valuable, but intangible, benefit as well. Having lived with an outward presentation from either dominant gender, I’ve gained invaluable insight as to what it means to pass as “normal”. This knowledge would be instrumental in determining how to proceed once I received my fateful assessment of psychopathy a few years later.
You see, people are very naive. I learned very quickly – early in transition – that people often see what they want to see unless there is undeniable evidence to the contrary. I may have shoulders broader than that of a typical female and a voice marred by years of smoking, but my outward feminine appearance was more than enough to convince most that I was cisgendered. The ignored all of the signs that could reveal contradiction. I quickly picked up on their ignorance and continue, to this day, to use it to my advantage.
So what does this have to do with psychopathy? Everything. I would enter my fifth year of living as a woman before I received my fateful diagnosis, but the lessons that I learned while transitioning have made me a much “better” psychopath. Just as people ignore the signs – or are otherwise ignorant – of contradiction before their eyes regarding sex/gender congruence, they due the same when presented with someone who is callous, without empathy, and without conscience. They see things as aberrations from the “norm” when my mask slips. They think that I must be tired, or sick, or grumpy, or any number of forced conclusions rather than see the contradiction of the image I present with that of my natural state.
I believe that the dysphoria that I had earlier in life was a blessing. It forced me to pick up on the simplicity of other human beings and how to exploit that simplicity. I could not have appreciated nor conjured the tactics that I use to “pass” as a neurotypical in the present had I not learned how to do the same with my incongruence that should have been visible to all. Yes, being transgender may be awfully inconvenient, but it has given me knowledge and insight into the minds of others that most cisgender people will never know. I need not wear a cloak when none can seem to remember the face that I present.