This is a line from my favorite Against Me song, Bamboo Bones. I already know I will get the words as a tattoo…a reminder to keep moving forward in my transition, even when things get hard.
Right now, things are very good for me, and I’m making strides daily toward my transition. Many are small and unnoticeable to most, but I see them, and get to experience them…so that is enough right now. The only negative is that I’ve spent way too much money buying some things.
When things are good, I have the confidence to take more of my life and expression from “him.” They can be little things, like painting my toes, shaving off body hair, or wearing clothes I want at home. The last is big, not in the sense that I’m coming home to put on a dress and do my makeup, but in the sense that I have my wife’s support to do so, and that is huge for my confidence, just as it was for my daughter when she first started to change her mode of dress. I’m in the process of making my casual wardrobe more genderfluid, with the intent to mix and match male and female clothing. I’ve gotten to the point where I have stopped caring what others think. If it makes me happy then I will wear what makes “me” feel good.
Part of the reason for my jubilant mood today, and why I am choosing to write about my happiness today, instead of something else, is because I had my first visit with the woman who will provide me with my primary medical care and my HRT needs. Let me just say, she was everything I was hoping for when I made my appointment. She’s sweet, kind, affirming, and genuinely happy for me. On top of all that, she specializes in trans patients and what they need! What’s not to love about her? Seriously though, we had a wonderful talk about everything moving forward, and then when I asked about if I’d have to come back to get my prescription for HRT, she told me no, and my opinion of her went up even more.
See, for those that don’t know, many medical providers still require a therapist letter affirming that you are transgender and are a good candidate for transition, but guidelines no longer require this, as long as informed consent is given. I felt it important to my journey to get a letter, but I will not have mine until Monday, the same day my labs are supposed to come back for my hormones. Many doctors would make me come back, make another appointment, and then give me my prescriptions. However, my doctor will not make me do that, instead she simply said that if all looked good she’d send the prescriptions over to my pharmacy and I could start that day!
As she talked with me about the hormone therapy, what it entailed, and how I would change in the first two months, I felt a total body excitement that I have rarely ever felt. I thought I’d be more nervous at the thought, but honestly, I can’t wait to get started.
For those who are unfamiliar with HRT, my drug regimen includes two drugs, Spironolactone and estrogen. I will start out with 100mg of Spironolactone to be taken once a day, and this will block/lower the testosterone in my body to natal female levels eventually, allowing the estrogen to do it’s job of bringing my mind and body into alignment. For estrogen, I will start with 6mg daily (2 pills in morning, and 1 pill in evening). After two months we will evaluate where I am at, and adjust as needed.
So what can I expect in the first two months? Well, I’m told I can expect a calmness/peace of mind to come over me. At the same time, I’m starting my “real” puberty, and so I can expect to have some emotional issues as well, and to honest I’m excited to see how things hit me. As to the physical, my skin will become drier and softer, my sweat will change, and early breast development should begin. I may also see less morning wood, which would be perfect, because as I have lost weight and gotten healthier the issue has gotten to be a daily occurrence again, much to my annoyance. As to the rest, well, that all depends on how my genetics react to the estrogen, but those significant changes to the body often don’t start to show, no matter who you are, until at least a few months on HRT.
As I write this, I realize that for the past two months I’ve been preparing for the biggest adventure of my life. Now, I am on the precipice of a cliff and I can’t wait to leap into the unknown. In truth, I’ve never wanted to jump so bad. I want to see the muscle melt, my body change, the female form start to emerge. I day dream about when I will first notice something different in the mirror, and what that something will be. I wonder when my mind will first begin to feel those changes, and what my first mental changes will be. Some claim significant change, and others have said they didn’t feel like their mind changed that much. I can already say, even before HRT, that my emotions are already more accessible, freer. I’m quicker to feel close to tears, for both happy and sad things. I can only imagine that my emotions, and the ability to emote will get more intense, as the testosterone lowers in my body and those “male” blocks go away.
All of this also leaves me to consider how this will affect my family. My wife and I have already talked about how we will share what is going on with the kids. We decided to approach this using the same language my daughter used when she started to come out to us. She often talked about a boy and a girl heart, and so this weekend we will share with the kids that daddy has always had a boy and a girl heart, but I’ve just let the boy bully the girl for close to forty years. I’m going to tell them that the girl is finally standing up for herself, and that daddy is working with doctors to decide what to do.
I will stress to them that I am never going anywhere, and that no matter what…I will always be their dad and love them. My kids were foster kids to begin with, and so family is the most important thing in the world to them. Their mother and I will let them know that no matter what happens we will always be a family, and that will never change. It’s important that they have time to process and ask questions. In a few months we will share with them that I am really a woman, and that I am taking medicine to help me be the “real me.” My daughter will get this, as she has already asked about what she will do later as she gets older. My son, well, if I’m right, all he’ll care about is that I love him and that I’m not going anywhere. Overall, I think the sharing should go well, and they have friends with two moms, so it won’t be a total shock from that perspective, but they are allowed to feel whatever they want, and all we can do is be there to help them understand.
As for my wife? She is the brave one. She has made efforts to help me, and I know she’s trying not to think about it too much. I have to imagine the day I start HRT, a serenely happy day for me, will not be a happy one for her. She could tell something was on my mind last night, and all I was doing was trying to keep my happiness down. I know I’m allowed to be happy, but I also don’t want to feel like I’m shoving it in her face. There will be physical changes that will do that all on their own, and I’m sure we will talk about how she feels as those come about. My goal is to be compassionate to this woman I adore, and to let her process and accept things on her own timetable. I know she will, because she has accepted that this is really happening, and the only way we stand a chance is to move forward.
Finally, I have also decided to start a daily journal, beginning with the day I start HRT. I don’t know how much I will share here, but I think my journal entries may be the foundation of what I do post here. I intend to possibly write a book one day, and I also want to chronicle how I change, body and mind, moving forward. I can’t help but wonder if after two years, five years, tens years from now I look back at my first journal amazed at who I was, and just how far I’ve come. I feel like in some ways, next week my life finally begins as it was supposed to be.