From whimsical musings to invasive ruminations on transitioning, Pt. 2Posted: January 29, 2015
Since I have a lot of extra time on my hands right now, I thought I’d read through some of my old blog entries. I came across a couple of pretty good ones that didn’t get read by many people, because I was just starting out. It takes time and energy to build a readership. I thought it’d be fun (and self-indulgent, which I could use right now) to “re-blog” one of my first posts (and edit it lightly). See if it still holds up; maybe make a commentary at the end. This one in particular was my 10th blog post, and it’s from a year and a half ago. I had been on T for 6 months at that point. It got 4 views. I think it’s of interest to more people than that!
For over a decade, I had been going back and forth thousands of times in my head about whether transitioning, or partial transition, was right for me or not. At some point not that long ago, I seemed to come to the conclusion that no, I wasn’t going to move forward because if I were, I would have done something about it by now. And I haven’t, so I’m not. I must be lacking some internal drive, so it must not be something that I need to do. I settled on identifying as genderqueer and trans* but not planning on medically transitioning in any way. But I was not quite satisfied, not at all actually. Because it was still on my mind. Sometimes just as whimsical musings in the back of my brain. Other times as pervasive/invasive body-dysphoric consistent ruminations.
I thought it had to be all or nothing. I thought I had to have a case ready about how I need to transition, in order to access testosterone. But I don’t need to transition, and I really don’t like to lie. I thought I would need a letter from a therapist, and to jump through all these hoops, to access testosterone, at least in my town, locally. And I wasn’t even sure I wanted it! Eventually I reached a point where I just knew that I needed to try it, just so that I could know. So that at the very least, I could think about it differently or think about it less often, as it relates to a decision about something I should or should not do.
I have this awesome therapist. She doesn’t know much about trans* identities. I’m fairly certain she had not previously had a trans* client before, although I could be wrong. I’d been talking to her about this stuff, and she’d been following along, more or less, in stride. When I would say I need to try this out, she would say, “then why not!” I asked her if she’d write me a letter if need be, and she said she wouldn’t be comfortable doing that; she doesn’t have enough knowledge about it. Still operating under the assumption that I would need a letter, I started also seeing another therapist, basically for the purpose of getting a letter.
This second therapist gave me the name of a doctor during our first session. Turns out that, apparently, I didn’t need a letter! Turns out I didn’t need to convince anyone at any point that I wanted to transition medically. I never once had to lie to get my hands on testosterone. And once I did get my hands on it, I was given the freedom to experiment with the dosing, basically use as much or as little as I wanted. Turns out I want to use as little as possible. Turns out I might be able to stay on it for the rest of my life without looking any more masculine than I currently do (this has yet to be proven, but it’s been 6 months now, and so far, so good). And the internal effects, with this super low dose, are significant and pretty much better than I could have even hoped for.
Basically, for all those years of wondering and second-guessing and processing and feeling anxious and obsessing and daydreaming and doubting myself and ultimately sort of concluding by default that I wouldn’t take any steps forward, actually doing something about it has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
And in retrospect, it isn’t like there’s no turning back, to some extent. Testosterone is a slow-moving substance in terms of long-term changes… I’m really enjoying the internal forward momentum though.
Now that it’s been close to two years on testosterone, I am at a new normal. I have used the gel every single day, and the benefits have been astronomical. BUT, I forget now; I forget what I used to feel like. I can feel myself approaching a new stage, a stage where I look like someone in between, more so than I already am. This new stage might involve shaving (or plucking chin hairs at a faster pace than I currently do.) It might involve a lot more explaining and coming out. It might involve top surgery and a name change. This is my transition, in process.