Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Looking back

Hi all, it's me...Sevan. You remember me right? lol...I know it's been a while since posting. I'm sorry about that. Life kinda...flipped the fruit basket...if ya know what I mean.

Anyway...something that's been stewing in the back of my mind that I've really wanted to get down on "paper" is my thoughts now about transition and what it's really *been* vs. what i *thought* it would be for me. I talked this out in therapy and I figured it'd be good here too.

Before I ever started T I thought mostly about my identity as an androgyn and what transition might look like to bring the body into alignment with my mind/identity.

My only experience with testosterone was when Cyndi was prescribed a T gel for "chronically low T" (yea...go figure.) She'd not come out to our doctor yet, so our doctor did not know that he was prescribing testosterone to a trans woman. He didn't know the harm that could cause...because we didn't quite tell him the whole story. Honestly...we didn't know what harm adding MORE T to a trans woman's brain would do either. So Cyndi was on this gel for over a year I'd say. She applied it on schedule ever day. The doctor couldn't quite understand why she wasn't getting into the male range. I came to believe that perhaps the drug just wasn't strong enough. Obviously once Cyndi needed to start transitioning she stopped the testosterone.

Taking that into account; when I was considering taking T I thought (wrongly..) that this "low dose" gel drug would be perfect for me! After all, if a natal male can't get into "male range" on the blood work with this drug, surely *I* wouldn't be able to either! It would be perfect. My identity was somewhere in-between male and female, so my hormones should be too. Right? In my mind I thought this would be the perfect balance.

Thankfully I did have the knowledge of YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) So I talked myself through a bunch of "what-ifs" before embarking on my transition via hormones. I decided that while I was SURE those "what-ifs" were unlikely and even if they were to come to pass...I NEEDED this.

I thought that what was most likely to happen would be that I wouldn't really change on the outside at all! Putting my hormones in an intersexed ranged (not fully female, not fully male) wouldn't change my voice...if it did...then maybe just slightly. Surely not noticeably. I didn't think I'd get a beard or much body hair, I just thought that perhaps it would bring some mental peace.

Now that I'm four and a half months into my testosterone use I can say....BOY was I ever WRONG! Turns out that "peace" only comes for me when my hormones are in FULLY male range. Not even particularly low within that range! Nope. So my voice has dropped quite a bit, my body hair has increased, my beard is growing in and I'm already shaving twice a week, my mind feels rewired, I respond to emotions differently and I FEEL emotions differently. Basically; everything that could change...did.

We can never know how the body will respond to stimulus. My thoughts about what I needed were totally off. Thankfully I was able to listen to what my body needed, rather than force myself to adhere to the "numbers" of the labs. The few times I lowered my dose of T to try to keep it "low dose" it didn't work so well. I was cranky and surely and so tired! It clearly wasn't what my body or mind needed.

This did lead to a crisis of identity for a little while. It's very easy to jump to the conclusion that "fully male hormone levels=male identified" but that's just really simplifying an issue that isn't that simple. I can no more fit myself into a fully male identity than I can a fully female identity.

I was looking for my hormones to be in between, and be in balance. What I found instead is a female body, with male hormones. For me, right now, that's the balance. It's be sure. There's is still a TON of processing yet to do....but I'm in a good place. For the most part. If I shut out all the stimulus of the world and life and just tune into my body and mind...I finally feel much more at home. It's not perfect; nothing is...but it's much much better in this body than it's ever been. There's something to be said for that.

Thanks for coming along on this journey with me friends. Till next time, Sevan.