After months of waiting, I was finally able to take my first shot of testosterone this morning. Though nothing has noticeably changed in the 4 hours since the injection, I am already starting to feel better about my future. I can now clearly visualize what I want to look like in a couple of years without the nagging thought of having to get my prescription first. I could never get a clear picture of my future self in the past when I tried. I’d look at myself in the mirror at the gym and think, “Sure, my arms are getting more muscular, but I’ll never look like that guy over there.” Men and women with gigantic greasy muscles bulging from their frames have never been appealing or attractive to me. But the idea of having a male torso with just the right amount of muscles (I’m thinking Justin Timberlake, Jared Leto, Chris Pratt, Brad Pitt, Ryan Reynolds) is not only appealing to me, it actually used to cause me depression knowing that no matter how much I worked out I would never look like them, and I would still be a woman.
And what’s wrong with being a woman?!? I’ve deeply struggled with the inner conflict of my resistance to womanhood. Since I can remember I have been confused about why I was expected to wear female clothing (mostly on special occasions), play sports only with females, and didn’t get to do anything significant during church services. It did not come naturally to me to be girly, and I constantly felt out of place, isolated, and incredibly guilty for disappointing people by not being feminine enough. When I had an awful boyfriend for a few years in my early 20s, he would constantly make fun of me for my big hands and feet, muscles, and the small amount of facial hair I tried desperately to hide from him by shaving. Throughout that relationship, I learned how to hide myself entirely. I wore dark eye makeup, kept my hair long, and wore clothes that accentuated my female figure.
I am and always have been disgusted by inequality between the sexes, and there was a period in my life in which I flat out resented men. I had my wife and we were happy, and men were not a necessity in our lives, really more of an annoyance at that point, since it seemed to be the men in our families who had the hardest time accepting our “lesbian” relationship. And then I started to realize that I was doing exactly what I didn’t want done to me as a person: I was generalizing an entire gender based on my own experiences and frustrations with gender inequality in society.
Now, several years later, I’ve come to terms with my gender identity. I no longer resent men, and there is nothing that a cisgendered male has that I can’t have myself. I am a male, I’ve always been a male, and thanks to modern science I can use testosterone to change my gene expression to give me a more male appearance. There are many things I’ve wanted to do as a female, but my insecurity has often held me back: writing songs and singing on stage, making YouTube videos, talking to people about health and fitness, getting my picture taken, making phone calls, speaking up in class, attending social events, and even working. This first shot of testosterone brings hope that soon I will look in the mirror and feel good about the image staring back at me.