Has it been a year?! Goodness, how time does fly when your luxurious leg fat migrates to your uxorious back and abs! Where does the time go when you’re developing enough patches of hair to almost match every chick you know?! Time passages with tom-cat fat-face, crackity tranny vox, ½ inch of new real-estate on the forehead, with the biggest, the bestest surprise saved for your pants: the fantastic trouser gherkin! YAYASS!!!
I had wrung and wrung my hairless paws those first few months, abetted by a whimsical hormonal teeter-totter, as prescribed by my endocrinologist. Dudes, do not let the doctors prescribe a bi-monthly dose of T, unless you want to be at the mercy of the perverse plunge of the emptying gas tank of testosterone. A hybrid I was not, and those flips from T back to E were excruciating and suicidal. I’ve not “enjoyed” those moody swings since I insisted on shooting my dope every week, and I’m glad I insisted. I can be easily cowed at a doctor’s office; I suffer some sort of medical amnesia in which I am rendered incapable of recalling any symptoms or complaints in the face of an overly fluorescent, ill-decorated, acoustic tiled office. Particularly when wearing a “backless smock.” (if you ever need me to be docile, just dress me in a gown.)
Not knowing where I was going was a tremendous challenge. People are happy to tell you where you are going: you are going to be a man, right? but the truth is less…definitive. And I wasn’t at all sure that’s what I wanted, either.
But I did trust, intuitively, that the testosterone would tell. I believed it to be an oracle; I understood my body would, after some resistance, synch up with T’s rumbling vibe, if it was meant to. I believed the body would share with me what I was supposed to do, and I was right.
The hormones, after their initial jostle – it’s rather like being tossed onto a rugby field in mid-game and you forgot to change so you’re still wearing your “work heels;” and the hormones don’t give a shit that you’re in some ways totally unprepared for their masculinity, the back-slapping, head-cuffing, outright hazing initiation to this rough world – ease you onto the tarmac with a steady, light jog. They are singularly focused. They have a job to do. Testosterone doesn’t care if it takes months or years: it’s Japanese in its post-war reconstruction, and that’s almost soothing, particularly after the fucking war.
And war it has been, for this transguy. I had a long, intense convo with my sig.oth. at the Food Hole this evening. D was under the mistaken impression that I knew, I had known, my transgendered path a year ago, but the truth is I did not know, and I suffered and struggled and gnarled and gnashed; I laid on the floor and cried to God; I called 80 million people and especially Jessica and Judith who are neither gay nor trans but know heartbreak when they hear it and could be there for what felt like my brain exploding with uncertainty and even terror.
I didn’t know if I wanted to be a “man.” I was sure I wanted to “masculinize my body” was how I put it. No-one could have predicted how deeply I would fall in love with my new, hormonally enhanced genitalia, especially given that I’d had a terrible fear bordering on revulsion for that piece of transitioning. Come to find out my discomfort with my downstairs had more to do with that-there being “ladybits” and wotnot, and that its evolution to something else feels right and natural and as it should be. That should’ve been a tell, right? The more “male” my body changes to, the happier I am. Joyful, even.
Even in the ecstasy of becoming this beautiful new sexy unicorn creature, I find myself in moments, doubting. Dreading. At a meeting with other transpeople last night, I heard a guy share that the terror of the unknown haunted him; he couldn’t imagine what he might turn into and he wasn’t sure he wanted “manhood.” We’re not sure. We just know something’s gotta change.
Anyway, I can report, after a year, I am (mostly) comfortable in the not-knowing. I’m surer that I will be a man, whatever that is, but what that will look like and how long it will take is impossible to predict. Today a woman told me I was in the “wrong” bathroom, and I said “no I’m not.” But I should’ve liked to reply “yes, I am, because we don’t make bathrooms for people like me.” And that’s the “bottom” line, really. I just want to be myself, whoever that is. Like I said to D tonight, it’s not always about T, and trans, and gender. Sometimes it’s about how we were crushed, and shamed, and oppressed, and not allowed to be ourselves – sometimes it’s just about getting in touch with that heartbreak.
And that’s just human. And heartbreak is the beautiful, dense, dark humus for the most miraculous growth, whether that’s in your soul or your pants. Happy new year Others!