THREE YEARS ON TESTOSTERONE... WHAT'S CHANGED

3 years ago this weekend I started hormone replacement therapy.

IMAGE BY JEN DOWNER/  SHE SAW THINGS

IMAGE BY JEN DOWNER/ SHE SAW THINGS

This is what I looked like then.

At the time I assured everyone that I wouldn't change. I'd still be the same me. My outside would just match my inside now.

I believed that to be true. I'm sure all of us do. Or maybe other transfolks do stay the exact same, or expected to change. I can't speak for them, but I can tell you, I'm a new person.

How can I not be.

Along with my new jaw line, broad shoulders, hairy exterior, and thicker skin, came changes in the way the world saw me, & in turn treated me.

Because I had the privilege of being able to "pass" rather quickly and easily. I stopped being yelled at in bathrooms, and harassed and stared at for not fitting the mold of binary gender and I stepped into white male privilege in a big way.

Not only did people start to listen more when I spoke, they believed what I had to say. People also made physical space for me in a way that they never had before.

And don’t even get me started on my work life. All of a sudden I had a new abundance of male clients where before I might get one a year. I see you awesomely brave and fantastic men! And I celebrate you, . And it's not often anyone asks me to discount my services anymore. Or to back up something I've said with research. Life before always seemed to be screaming out "PROVE IT!"

I also stepped into the cage of masculinity.

My sadness turned to rage. I was judged by a whole new set of standards. How well can I perform the 3P's - Provide, Protect, Procreate. This is a whole other saga for a who other post but let’s just say that the small dick jokes can be debilitating.

When I left behind my female presenting ways I also left behind my ability to interact with kids other than my own, as to not be the creepy pervy guy talking to your kid in the park. Women often argue with me on this one, but just think for a second, your kid is off in the distance at the park talking to a man, your inner mom alarm will likely go off, same kid, same park, talking to a woman, more times than not you think oh that’s nice, I hope my kid isn’t bothering that nice woman trying to enjoy her park experience.

I left behind being able to compliment someone on their outfit without being thought of as "hitting on them".

The point is that the world saw me differently & treated me as such.

But I saw me differently too.

For the first time in years I started to like me.

For the first time in years I was able to turn my feelings all the way back on.

For the first time ever I got to discover who I am.

The truth is 3 years in, I'm still discovering who I am.

I'm still trying to figure me out.

I’m so lucky to have someone beside me helping along the way. Katherine does this cute thing where she lovingly asks me "what do you want dear?"

I of course panic & freak out because "I just don't know!!!!"

I've got 30 years of figuring out who I am & what I like and what I want to make up for, but I'm working on it.