We all know that time is strange. Recent things feel like they were ages ago and the distant past feels just like yesterday.
On September 8th (6 months and 10 days ago), I started taking testosterone. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago, and yet… it feels like it always has been that way.
If you didn’t already know, I was a mechanic before I started having major back problems (and 3 subsequent surgeries), so the only analogy I can think of is in automotive terms. I feel like my body had been running on too thick of oil for the first 35 years of my life. It was too viscous to get up and lubricate the bearings which made for a really rough ride. Now that I’m on T, it is the proper 5w20 and I feel lubricated and smooth.
Don’t misunderstand that analogy though, testosterone isn’t a cure all. I still deal with anxiety, depression, complacency, back pain, body dysphoria, and a whole host of other issues. What testosterone has done though, is help me to present myself in a way that doesn’t need explanation. Customers and strangers both now read me as the man I am. My voice has deepened into male range. My face is somehow changing. My confidence has risen. I’m getting more body hair. I am physically changing, but I am still me – with my flaws, weaknesses, humor, and strengths.
I have several important dates coming up. The first is April 27th. That is the day I have my hearing to have my name legally changed to Oliver. I have my letters from Howard Brown Health Center to bring as well to show that I am indeed male. As soon as that hearing is over, I will be heading to the Social Security Administration office (that is conveniently 2 miles away from our apartment) to get my new SS card with my new name and file that I am indeed M not F. It will take probably about 2 weeks to get the new card and then I will get to go to the DMV and get my real license. A real picture, a real name, a real gender.
A few days after the hearing, on May 1, I will have Starbucks health insurance. The first thing I will do is to set up a consult with a surgeon. I may have to wait until I have been on testosterone for a full year (various surgeons have different requirements), but even then, just knowing that it will happen, will mean a world of difference. I’m sure I’ll write more about top surgery and why it is so important when I get closer to it being a reality, but I will say now, that it is going to be worth the pain and the seemingly endless waiting. To be able to look at myself in the mirror and to actually see what I felt I should see will be the greatest gift.