Testosterone has made me feel at home my body again. As a kid I never felt awkward about my body until puberty, which started around 10. This time around, puberty has been a tolerable annoyance because I know from now on I will be the man I have always dreamed of. Instead of imagining myself as a man, today I finally feel like one.
I was afraid when I started Testosterone that I would lose myself and become someone no one would recognize. I was afraid of losing my friends, my family, the only identity I'd ever known. I was afraid that I would be alone, that no one would understand me. I worried about being"outed' and made feel like a liar, and honestly I still feel that way a lot of the time. I am hoping that fear will all but disappear once I have top surgery and no longer feel like my body is betraying me every step of the way.
It's difficult to be a transexual. There are so many things that I didn't even consider when making the journey across what is most definitely a boundary. It's difficult to re-invent yourself, to learn new behaviours and unlearn old ones to be accepted as one gender or the other. It is difficult to re-write your history with different pronouns for fear that you might lose precious childhood memories. I felt like I was taking something away from my family. It's hard to hear people talk about gender and gender identities and not be paranoid and horrified at some of the things people will say. Ignorance still runs rampant among the masses. Often I wish I could drop a bomb into a conversation (of course you know a transexual, you've been working next to me for the last five months haven't you?) and just be out; anyone who knows me knows I am a terrible liar.
One year isn't that long. It isn't long enough to have everyone remember to use my new name or even accept my transition. It took less than a year for my relationship to end because of my transition, and I still haven't figured out how the hell I'm supposed to re-introduce myself to old acquaintances.
A year is also a really long time. It's a long time to wait for a moustache, or funding for surgery, or finally feel like I don't want to step off the sidewalk in front of the next speeding car. It was long year of late nights and time spent sorting out me. People told me I was being selfish, self-absorbed, narcissistic, unreasonable, and acting like a jerk. And they were probably right. But there was no one who could help. I probably should have seen my psychiatrist on a more regular basis.
The past year has been the best and the worst all wrapped up into twelve long months. People don't recognize your voice on the phone particulary fun when you are trying to access your insurance/banking/student loan/medical/cellphone information. Friends and family stop talking to you and start talking about you. Relatives will ask each other questions they can't answer instead of picking up the phone and calling you for answers: they don't recognize you as the same person they always known. It's weird for them too. I found out who my real friends are. I found friends and allies I didn't even know I had. Some people are angry with me, others are proud of me. Some will get over it, some won't. Some won't care or even have thought about it. It's been a year and I'm ready to just be me. I want to surround myself with people who are supportive and accepting.
There is still a long journey ahead and I will continue to share all my thoughts and milestones with everyone who has been following along or checking in periodically. Seriously this next year I am on the hunt for a moustache.....stay tuned.