I’ve been a very bad blogger. I know I could post more frequently and write shorter posts but I always wind up with a lot to say and I hesitate to start posts when I don’t have a lot of time to spare because I know I will wind up taking more time than I had intended.
So my one year testosterone anniversary on May 26th came and went with no commentary from me. The Saturday before, I had a multi-purpose party to celebrate my anniversary, the end of term, two friends’ birthdays etc. Other than that, it was pretty uneventful.
A year later, it feels weird to think that it actually has been a whole year. I have to look back through my transition pictures to actually see the changes. But they’re there. Facial hair is now unmistakable. Lots of hair on my back, shoulders and upper arms. And slowly but surely, my chest is filling in. My girlfriend teases me about a few little hairs that show when my shirt is unbuttoned at the top.
I’m the same person that I was essentially but I’m a new person in a few ways. I’ve described here before how I felt more confident as a person because I feel more like myself and how this has spread out to many areas, such as trying to learn to ice skate last winter. Another area where my increased confidence has showed up is in driving. I was always a nervous driver and, several years ago, I had practically given up driving. I kepy my licence but said that I was too dangerous to be on the road because driving made me too nervous.
Well, knowing that I would be spending a year (summer 2010 – summer 2011) in a remote northern community, I knew that I would need a car. Flying to the subarctic, even in the same country, is too expensive and there is a road that goes to this community. I believe it’s as far north as one can go in Quebec by road. And once there, the nearest town is an hour’s drive away. To not have a car is to depend on people’s kindness. Alone, I wouldn’t mind but with my boy, I’d rather be independent.
SO: I bought a nice second hand car last fall and slowly got reacquainted with driving. And, surprisingly, wasn’t half as nervous as I used to be. after months of practice, I’m now adept at highway driving and have reflexes and nerves that I didn’t know I could have. Some of my fellow drag performers and I recently drove to Toronto for Pride. On the way there, when it was my turn at the wheel, I jokingly said that if someone had told me a year ago that I would be driving to Toronto, doing 120 on the 401, then driving downtown Toronto, I would have laughed. But there I was!
It’ s not because I’m a guy that I’m more self-confident. It’s because I’m me and don’t have all this energy that I’m wasting on questionning myself anymore.
Emotion-wise: I have noticed some changes. I’ve read accounts of trans women who feel emotions more sharply than they used to and trans men who feel them less sharply than before. I still feel emotions but they do feel different. They feel more managable now. If I’m sad about something, it’s not this gut-wrenching sadness. I’m still brought to tears by the same things that used to do so, like a poignant song, film, or work of art, but it’s . . . different.I still feel guilt when I realise I’m procrastinating but rather than go off in a spiral of despair, thinking that I’m useless and will never get anything done, I catch myself, mentally slap myself on the wrist for falling into my old traps and get back on track.
Is that just me being more comfortable with myself and not letting myself get caught up in self-destructive emotions? Or is it really the hormones? As usual, I tend to think it’s a bit of both. I really don’t like the idea of the “rational male” and the “emotional female”. That’s much too essentialistic for my liking and perpetrates what I think are very dangerous stereotypes. But I’m willing to concede that hormones, socialisation and personality ALL predispose us, as individuals, to process emotions differently.
What else had changed? I can’t really think of much else. Transition has become . . . a non-issue for the most part. I’m still waiting for my legal name change to go through. It’s taking longer because I also requested a change of last name. I’m set to see a surgeon to talk about an upcoming hysterectomy. My endo had recommended one but then I found out that he wasn’t really trans friendly and had someone recommend someone better, and closer! Top surgery is out of the question for a few more years as being a full-time student has returned me to a life to financial hardship. *sigh*
But the one thing I can say for sure is that, although I still sometimes ask myself if I’m crazy, injecting this funny looking thick solution into my body every week, and then taking pills to offset some of it’s effects like cholesterol, high blood pressure* and hair thinning, I rarely question that this was the right path for me to take. Genderqueer as I may be, I am unequivocally male and it feels right to be so.
*yes, yes, I know, I need more exercise and a better diet. But testo sure didn’t help!