That Thing You Do: T!

This weekend saw the four-month mark of my blossoming love affair with testosterone. I know I wrote more about this when I first began hormone therapy so I would like to take the chance now to share more.

Four months ago I spent the afternoon with one best friend in the doctor’s office and the evening in a bar with another. Having procured and filled the prescription I toasted ‘to testosterone’ and after a few shots of another variety mustered up the courage to tag-team my first injection. Now I sit down every Saturday morning and go through the routine of preparing the needle and site and taking several false starts at actually piercing the skin. It’s never as bad as I anticipate. I coach myself through it (a skill well-honed having grown up as an only child) and cover the inevitable few drops of blood with a band-aid. Once again victorious I emerge from the bathroom into the world as a self-made man. Musclier. Smellier. And now with 20% more stubble (and 75% more acne).

I don’t spend a great deal of time obsessing about the incremental change I am experiencing. My friends tell me my hands look more masculine. My voice continues to drop. It seems that one day I woke up with linebacker shoulders. I measured myself to order new binders recently and found I have lost a few inches off my chest. My muscles are starting to show definition and I have definitely increased in strength and stamina. With some working out, pull-ups are now easy and I can run without dying. The awkward leg hair I have forever sported has grown in to uniformly cover my whole leg (with a few humorous bald patches).

I will admit to losing time staring into the mirror, searching my reflection for the vision of myself I know to be true. This same pursuit is evidenced in the scores of self-portraits snapped on my phone in the recent past. If only they could talk. “Month one: sexy pose – self-confidence on the rise.” “Month two: where is all this hair coming from?” My parents gave me gift cards for graduation so I immediately bought the weight set I wanted. My time at home is now frequently spent doing something and pumping iron. In the bathroom mirror I watch my muscles ripple under the weight. Soon, I think to myself. Soon.

As smoothly as the physical process has been going, I am still adjusting to the fact I cannot seem to cry anymore. I could not tell you the last time I did but I posture that it was nearly four months ago. I was always quick to cry and now the most touching parts of humanity cannot quite push out the tears. Even in my deepest sadness I can only stare down my frustration. I now experience anger as an emotion with a half-life of at least three hours. It’s my least favorite part of the picture.

As a function of the difficulty my parents are giving me, I am no longer insured. My prescription runs out this week so I have to switch to a doctor in Louisville. The doctor I was seeing here will not refill my prescription without the follow-up blood work and visit that I cannot afford. This too will work itself out.

In short, the hormonal facet of my transition is going well. Thanks to all who have laughed with me through the voice cracks and angst, who have stood by me regardless.


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