Hello again, Shiny Internet People Who I’ve Missed So Much. The above point being that I’m still breathing, even though coherence eludes me, but I’m taking another stab at posting in the hope that it makes something approaching sense.
Term finished officially today, and although we budding chemists don’t apparently get those “holiday” things we’ve heard so much about, there should be more room for blogging over the next three weeks before I (quite possibly) disappear into a reluctant silence again.
I like to think I have a good reason for not posting (namely murderous amounts of work), and I have independent witnesses to back up my claims if anyone’s that interested, but my frustrations are being saved for another post… and I thought last year was bad. This post is a gendery one. Because I like talking gender, and there’s definitely genderstuff to talk about.
Changes on T
I’ve been on T for five and a half months now, and there have been Changes. With a capital C. The details from month to month can be found over at my transition-specific space, in which I also swear a lot, in case anyone really wants to hear me say the same line over and over again to prove my voice is finally mine, you know, Real Exciting Stuff. But in an overall-y sense, I’ll do bullet points (and try to make them as brief as is realistic for a person who can turn a single banal point into a dissertation, as this point itself is proving). Here we go.
- The Voice. Said voice had changed already, the last time I posted. It’s gone through the process of cracking, deepening, squeaking and cracking some more, and now it’s finally started to settle. I think it’s safe to say that speaking is a lot more pleasant now; it comes a lot more naturally.
- Hair, hair everywhere. I didn’t realise that my legs were hairier because I no longer have a bath, but on a weekend home I noticed far more of a change than I’d originally thought. I have a line of dark hair leading up to my navel now (whatever it’s called), the backs of my legs are as hairy as the fronts, and I never thought I’d be so excited about it.
- I am also the proud owner of a single shoulder hair. I thought it was worth mentioning. It’s quite long, but I think it’s starting to get lonely.
- Very early on, dark hairs on my chin and above my upper lip started appearing. I shave them and can still feel the stubbliness afterwards. They are fine still, and wouldn’t be visible unless you were looking for them (and if I wasn’t shaving them, obviously), but the fact that they’re there is a huge comfort. There are more and more of them every day, but they’re still far from being Proper Shiny Facial Hair.
- My hunger has stabilised, and I’ve been steadily gaining weight. Very very comforting, since I have always had trouble gaining weight in the past.
- Time has been hard to find, and since starting T no extra deliberate exercise has been done, but I’ve been doing a lot of walking. I’d not expected anything to come of that, because it’s no more than I did before (when I’m stressed, I pace, and an anxiety disorder means I’m pretty much stressed most of the time). But my legs have changed shape completely. They’re chunkier, more defined, and my strength has increased massively. My upper-body strength has boosted noticeably as well, despite nothing having been done to catalyse it. No complaints here, that’s for sure.
- My fat is redistributing, but I never had that many curves to begin with, so it’s not that noticeable yet.
- I’ve been told by others (including Dr Lorimer, who’s only seen me twice) that my face looks different, but I’ve yet to notice much there.
- Lo and behold, the acne’s back. With a vengeance. It’s driving my senses crazy so I’m seeing a doctor next week in hope that they’ll come up with something to help. During Puberty Number One, I did over-the-counters, prescription topicals, antibiotics and even oral contraceptives (which, thinking about it, is hilarious, given that not only was I a FT…erm…Not-F trans person taking a testosterone blocker, but I was – and still am – aromantic and asexual, but there we go), and nothing made any difference. I started getting acne, although admittedly not badly, when I was eight, and I’m 20 on Tuesday, so I think it’s fair that I want it sorted out, don’t you?
- And speaking of Odd For Asexuals, I now officially have a sex drive, which – for those who don’t know from experience – is not a good mix with gender dysphoria. That and the acne are so far the only things I could do without.
- I also have some extra growth. And that’s all I’m saying.
So I think that just about covers it.
I’m passing most of the time now; in that people assume I’m male without knowing any of my history, apart from one Very Stubborn Person who apparently remembers me from last year (although I don’t know him personally, and I don’t think we’ve ever spoken) and will not get his pronouns right. But then again, I’ve not corrected him, because he doesn’t speak to me, just about me while I’m there, and I see little reason to.
Lots of positives though. Everyone at uni uses the right name, and the right pronouns, and only my parents have ever slipped up. Ever. They’re still slipping up regularly, and they still talk about their “daughter” with their friends and the family I have no contact with (by choice), which is probably not helping. Sometimes it feels like they’re ashamed, but since I don’t interact with the people they haven’t told, it’s not up to me to force the issue, and it only bothers me because it hinders their ability to get their names and pronouns right.
But at uni it is glorious. It seems as if no one is remotely surprised to hear about my being trans, and their ability to switch so easily almost reinforces the point that it makes more sense to them too that I’m better in my trans configuration than in the false female one (and since I’ve never really presented as female with much enthusiasm, if at all, that might have something to do with it). Even my Personal tutor and the lecturers who knew me from last year had no trouble adapting. Huzzah for humanity!
Some people at uni – those who don’t know me or my history, that is – have even been so sure about my gender that they have corrected others who have been less sure. Yes, you read that right. With no prompting or awkward explanations on my part. And even better, those who have been corrected usually seem relieved, as if they had previously just been guessing, and then accept it without question and get it all right from then on.
It’s incredibly comforting, and as much as I hate to sound all mushy and float-y-thinking-y (explaining that term would take up a post in itself, so I’ll just pretend you all understand it), empowering. Support, even when unintended as such, can have a profound effect on the general outlook of a person. And knowing that my coming out adventures (especially because I’ve ended up doing more than I’d expected to) have not only gone well, but have been accepted as if they’d all been waiting for me to say it from the start, is helping me reach that critical point.
Now I’m of the general opinion that people will hear it, whether they want to or not, and then they can take it and deal with it the right way or fuck right off.
And that’s where I’ll end… on an, erm, high note.