Gender issues have again risen to the forefront in my mind. So many various aspects of my life and journey switch off–eating disorder, alcoholism, gender identity/expression. However, lately, everything has been a roller coaster of events, with all three switching off rather quickly.
After coming to the conclusion last week that I am still not comfortable with my gender identity and expression, I have done a lot of deep soul-searching. Analyzing myself, my past, and my feelings. What makes me feel like I fit–what makes me feel like me.
As I’ve mentioned before, one of my favorite times to think is while I’m laying in bed at night. The air is always still. The only sounds in the room are the gentle snoring of my partner next to me, our cat Tigey, and the quiet roar of the air conditioning. My mind is still, and it gives me time to think about life.
The first thing I realized was that when I think about anything womanly that happens to me or that is associated with me, I hate myself. I don’t want to think about my hips or boobs. God forbid I have my period. Then it’s 8,000 times worse. It just makes me feel absolutely gross. Like an out of body experience. A complete disconnect between who I am physically and how I feel.
I think back. When did I first notice this? Definitely when I was first going through puberty. But did it occur before that? I sit and think. I remember the first time considering my gender identity, although I did not know it as such. I remember playing soccer with a childhood friend. Running around in the field, free. I loved soccer. It was my escape. I remember thinking: “maybe I’ll get a sex change when I get older. People do that, right?”
I was in about third grade. I didn’t really graspe the concept of what that means. Of what it truly means to have sex reassignment. Of the political, cultural, and emotional implications of transcending gender. Playing with the line society has drawn in the sand between what is inherently “male” and “female.”
And this is when I came to the big conclusion. The one that’s been lurking in the back of my head…
That’s when I made the decision to start taking testosterone.
For anyone who is not familiar with the process, it generally requires that you be in therapy for a few months in order to get approval for hormone therapy. To make sure you’re making the right decision for yourself and for the right reasons. Luckily, I have a therapist now who is also very competent in GLBTQ issues. So, the next day, I brought it up to her. I told her that I’d like to begin Testosterone therapy.
So what’s next? We made a few steps to get me towards where I want to me. First, to build my comfort zone. My solid support. Tell the people I know will support me, first. That way, when things go wrong with others, I have a solid support to fall back on. I’ve told a couple of people, and obviously, at the end of the day, I have my wonderful, supportive partner. Who, in addition to dealing with their own struggles, finds the compassion and courage to support me through mine. I obviously do the same.
My final, and a little more simple goal proposed my my therapist: Reading. Reading, reading, reading. I’ve already read a couple of books, and also picked up Just Add Hormones and The First Man-made Man today.
I’m nervous, excited, scared–and everything in between.