Something about permission. Something about the floodgates opening and all of this queer magic pouring out of me.
The question I am asked the most is, “How did you know that HRT was the right decision for you?” And the short answer for that is, “I didn’t.”
I can tell you what I did know: Staying the same was no longer an option. I’d tried to make this body and this assigned identity work for me, in vain, for 24 years. I knew that this body made me uncomfortable in ways I couldn’t always articulate. And I knew that I wasn’t a woman and I wasn’t going to wake up tomorrow and suddenly be one (though I’d hoped for that for many years, denial being the potent thing that it is).
When people ask me if I was certain about testosterone, I am reminded of an essay I read a few years back. It was written by a trans man who said of T, “I wasn’t 100% sure of testosterone, but I was 100% sure that I was ready to try.”
(If you know which essay I’m talking about, please tweet me, I’ve been trying to hunt this one down since I first read it.)
Those were my exact feelings: I wasn’t completely sure that testosterone would “fix” these gender woes, but I was completely certain that the time was right to give it a try. It seemed like the most logical next step of any of the choices available to me, anyway.
After one month on testosterone, there have already been a whole slew of physical changes and I’m ecstatic about every one of them. My curvy hips are decidedly square now, my face shape is no longer as round as it once was, and I have muscles and body hair where I once possessed neither (TOE HAIR? I have HAIR ON MY TOES?). These are thrilling discoveries, to be sure.
But what I didn’t really anticipate were the emotional changes that came along with it.
Changes like: A sense of peace and comfort in my own skin, sudden clarity on my gender identity where it once felt blurry at best, joy in the deepest part of my heart where I’d never felt joy before.
And then there’s something more — it’s this eagerness to live, to be ALIVE in the authentic sense, to embrace the fire burning within me and to be the fullest, most remarkable version of myself that I can be.
I feel free to do that, to be My Self, like a weight that had once kept me pinned to the ground can no longer keep me from standing tall in all of the beauty, all of the reverie that is me.
Don’t ask me to explain how hormones can make a person feel so free. Something about liberation. Something about permission. Something about the floodgates opening and all of this queer magic pouring out of me.
Everything I had suppressed in myself — this gender deviant, this queer alien gay boy that never quite fit much of anywhere — is coming alive and I’m in awe.
I’m not afraid of myself anymore. I’m not interested in packaging my truth in tidy little boxes for somebody else’s consumption.
And I have never felt so free, so queer, so marvelous in my entire life.