‘Sup Travelers and Dreamers!
So, I turned 32. I initially wanted to start HRT on or around my birthday, but I wound up putting that on hold for a few reasons. This is not something to rush into and not something I want to do if I’m not 100% about it. So I waited. Because I’m not as impulsive as people give me credit for, lol.
Here are the reasons I chose to wait. One, I still had doubts about my gender identity. Did I want to present as genderfluid or non-binary or was I certain I wanted to present as male for the rest of my life? Two, I dislike injections quite a bit and wasn’t sure I wanted to administer them for the rest of my life. (Yes, other methods exist, but injections are the most efficient.) Three, I want to buy a home this year and that became my primary focus in the months of December and January. Four, I became overwhelmed and started seeing all of my goals as pipe dreams – gender or non-gender related.
Here’s what I’ve decided after giving these a good think. It’s okay to have doubts and it’s okay to take more time to make sure this is what I want for the rest of my life. I’m happiest presenting as male and don’t even really recognize myself as myself in old pictures of me presenting as female anymore. I love my long-ass chin hairs I used to pluck while presenting female. I want to go shirtless at the club when I get too hot. I want men to see me as a man and be attracted to me as a man. I don’t want to present as female. I don’t want to present as non-binary or genderfluid. I don’t want these lumps of fat on my chest anymore.
As far as the injections go, I’ve gone back and forth when considering how I wanted to present and came across “microdosing” as well as people who started taking testosterone and stopped after getting their desired effects. My hips don’t make me dysphoric. I like this slim, hourglass look. I’m fine with that. It’s attractive on men, as well. So what do I want out of testosterone? Well, to answer that, I have to evaluate what I think doesn’t make me pass on a daily basis. And those things are my voice (number one!) and my lack of a beard. Everything else, I can handle. I’ll be a pretty boy, I don’t give a fuck. Let me be small and dainty as a man. That’s fine. But let me be undeniably male when another person looks at me or interacts with me.
So I want testosterone to give me a deep voice and a beard. Those are my HRT goals. Now, when I stop taking testosterone, my beard may not be coming in yet or it might have come in a little. It will stop when I stop taking T. My solution? Minoxidil. Rub some of that Rogaine on my face twice a day for the rest of my life and voila! A big, thick beautiful beard. My voice will deepen on T and that will be irreversible (thank goodness!), so stopping T won’t take that away from me. This is how I will achieve my desired gender goals without having to take injections for the rest of my life. And as a bonus, if I stop T right after my voice drops, there’s a very slim chance that I’ll have suffered any hair loss. And if you’ve been following my journey, you know that’s been one of my chief hang ups about HRT.
DISCLAIMER: There’s some information on the web that says that minoxidil might not work for beard growth, of course. If I don’t get a beard, so be it. At least I’ll have the deep voice. That’s the first concern!
Now, I’ll still get periods, of course. But I don’t think I’ll mind them. It’s only once a month anyway and in another ten to fifteen years, I’ll hit menopause and it won’t even matter.
So, on to point three and point four. I am someone who focuses on one thing at a time and throws all my strength into that one goal. When I decided that I would buy land this year and build my tiny home, my gender identity went on a back burner. I become a sort of machine when I’m focused on something, be it writing or real estate. So for the past two months, I’ve been focused only on real estate. I haven’t even started writing the sequel to LUCID yet, sadly. Then I started thinking about my gender identity again as I edged closer to my birthday, the date I set for myself to begin HRT.
Well, I failed, didn’t I? That’s how I started to think. “You’re never going to do it. It’s just something you think about sometimes. Like when you say you’re going to move south every winter. You daydream about it, sure, but you’ll never act on it.” Those thoughts. And that seeped into my other goals. “Build a tiny home? Buy land? You only have one contract set to close so far! You really think you can write four contracts a month? Ha! You better be more realistic before you crash and burn, buddy!”
And now I’m smoking again. Because, hey, if I’m never going to pull the trigger on HRT, I might as well enjoy what little creature comforts I can. The whole reason I was quitting this time was to prepare for T and top surgery. But I’m not going to do that, right? Not right now at least. I’m focused on real estate and trying to “buy a house”. Psh!
I’m incredibly cruel with myself, you see. I’m a terrible, ugly person when I talk to myself. I’m unforgiving and sarcastic and if I don’t immediately succeed at something, then it must have all been a game to me. If I fail, I didn’t try hard enough. If I keep trying, I’m kidding myself. There’s no winning with me sometimes. And January, well, it’s the worst month for mental illness flare ups for a lot of people. I figured I was doing alright, but these things have a way of creeping up on you, don’t they?
A thought I had this morning while I was on my way to buy more cigarettes: I’m tired of being everything to me. I’m tired of being my own therapist, because I can’t keep one or find one. And I’m more than that to me, as well, but I’ll spare you the details. I’m just feeling isolated and lonely, to be honest. I’ll white-knuckle my way through it, as I always do, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a struggle. It’s always a struggle, every year. But I make it through. Because I can do hard things.
But I know what I want a lot better now than I did eight months ago and that’s worth a lot. This is precisely the same feeling I had when I left Christianity. It was scary at first, but now it feels right. I feel today that I made the right decision leaving my old religion and embracing paganism. I couldn’t imagine going back to living that life now. And I know that when I finally do make my decision to start HRT and rub that minoxidil all over my face, it’ll be scary all over again. But there will come a time after that when I’ll look back at who I used to be and go, “Wow. I wasted so much time trying to be that. I’m so glad I made this decision.”
I truly believe that. I’ll get there. It won’t be today, but it will happen for me, I know it.
Anyway, happy trails, Travelers and Dreamers!