This essay will be read at the April 2014 Erotic Literary Salon in Philadelphia.
April 15, 2014
Last April I first realized I was not just a bit odd, I was actually transgender. Last November I started hormone therapy. I’m taking one drug to suppress testosterone and replacing it with estrogen. I questioned the wisdom of such a radical change at my tender young age, and less than seven months after coming out to myself. But then I remembered: I’m an adult, and I can fuck around with my body chemistry if I want to!
Last month I came out to my family. I think that’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
I wrote a 3-page letter to broach the subject and try to answer some of their likely questions, then spoke with them on the phone a lot. My dad took it the hardest, but he and my stepmom came to visit during my Spring break, and I think it was comforting to him that I’m still 99% the same person he’s always loved, and I didn’t look like Corporal Klinger. My mom and two of my cousins clearly don’t approve, but I wasn’t taking a survey.
I celebrated surviving my coming out by getting my ears pierced at No Ka Oi.
So as I mentioned here in February, I’m starting puberty again. (God I hope I don’t have to repeat high school!) I was warned that the effects of hormone therapy take a year or two to develop. So what has trading testosterone for estrogen done for me?
- My skin and facial features are getting softer. I like that part.
- Only a month into therapy, my nipples got incredibly sensitive. As in, I could brush by one with my arm, and feel a ZING go through my body. Ladies, can we talk? … Is this normal for girls entering puberty?? I didn’t have any sisters and this isn’t exactly something you can Google without getting investigated by the NSA.
- The family jewels, sad to say, have shrunk some. Mother Nature doesn’t let you be fully male and fully female at the same time. So if you see a trans porn star who’s well hung and busty, *whisper* they’re not on hormones!
It made me realize that our bodies stay the way they are only because they are carefully maintained to be that way. They aren’t just inert blobs that go along for the ride day after day. This also means that we can change much more easily than I ever imagined.
- My body hair is getting softer and sparser. Shaving is enough of a pain, this makes it less traumatic for all concerned. I’m also cheating by getting laser hair removal.
- I’m weaker as a result of losing testosterone. My physical strength was my only masculine highlight, so I’ll have to be more agile and devious instead.
- The main feature of hormone therapy will take longer to manifest (hmm, man-i-fest … that word seems wrong here). Fat redistribution. Some of it will reshape my butt, and some will create boobies! My doctor said to expect about the same cup size as women in my family (“C” is not just for Cookie), so we’ll see if that comes true. *pause* You can stop staring at my chest now. My eyes are up here. *sigh*
I’ll close on a legal footnote:
In Pennsylvania you don’t qualify as the opposite sex unless you get reassignment surgery … down there. So in a while I might develop nice boobs, and yet be able to take my shirt off in public because … I’ll legally still be a man. How’s that for fucking with the system?