Nine years ago today I started testosterone. In my 30 years on this earth, I have embodied many genders. I have lived two thirds of my life as female and a third as male. I graduated from high school as a girl and from college as a guy; those five years were the most difficult yet joyous and rewarding of my life.
I was afraid to take this step toward medical transition; afraid I would lose everyone I loved, afraid of what I would look like, afraid of what people would say and what a freak they would think I am. I thought I would have to move far away and never talk to my parents, extended family, or friends again. I am happy to say I was very wrong.
It has taken a lot of time, patience, and communication, but for the most part I didn’t lose anyone I love, and the people I did lose weren’t real friends in the first place. Nothing has turned out like I thought it would when I first started transitioning; instead of being shunned and vilified by people from my past, I have been received lovingly.
For 20 years, I was ashamed of how I felt and stuffed down what I thought was a terrible secret, only to be met with open arms and discover affirmation, validation, and love. So, thank you to everyone who has been there. It means a lot.
After going through all of this – changing my name, my body, my presence in this world and the way I navigate it, I can just say that I feel really fucking human. And I know what it means to be alive.
If you’ve already binge-watched “Making a Murderer,’ another excellent documentary series about the injustices in our legal system are the Paradise Lost films (1-3). They look at three teenage boys who were falsely accused of murdering three little boys and exposes how the legal system often pinholes suspects and targets the poor.