T DIARY: 3 Months on T

This post is going to be a stream of consciousness one as I’m not in a space to think logically about things or get them in any coherent order, so just bear with me.

These are the emotional and physical things that I have been dealing with in the last month of my non-binary journey on testosterone. (I am still on the same dosage – 1ml per 100mg of Depo T per week).

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It takes balls to acknowledge male privilege.

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Have been thinking a lot about the bathroom issue this week; about when women will feel unsafe having me in their bathroom and whether that will coincide with me feeling safe in the men’s… Can only hope that there’s more of this in my and my siblings’ futures… Being someone who has been sexually violated by men, I do not feel safe around men, and yet I’m going to get to a point where I can no longer use the womens’ bathrooms as I will appear as a threat to them.

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PSA: Just because I, or another trans person you know, am open about things does not mean all trans people are. It is NEVER ok to ask about surgeries. Only when that person volunteers the information. My choice to be open about this journey is so that other trans and gender non-conforming people feel less alone. While I’m open to increasing your understanding, it does not give you permission to use me or other trans people as a personal project to give yourself a pat on the back for how awesome of an ally you are.

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Had a great time at Africa Trans* Visibility Day. Felt more connected and respresented than at any gay pride in South Africa.

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I came out to my mother.

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I was accused of mansplaining. I wish a side-effect of testosterone was a thicker skin. What hurt was not the mansplaining accusation. If I were doing that I would reflect and assess whether I was or wasn’t. What hurt was that in the accusation she assumed I am a man, which I’m not and never will be, and that based on that assumption I cannot participate in conversations about feminism, let alone be a feminist. I cannot undo my past as a woman or a girl anymore than I can undo being treated less than, being spoken down to, being ogled or being sexually assaulted just because I was perceived as female. I’m not undoing me by expressing my non-binary self; please don’t try to make me invisible by assuming things about me.

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While we’re on the topic of making me invisible and assuming things about me.  Two of my friends, who know me in person and, I assumed, know me well, have told someone close to me, not me, that they think I’m sharing my transition to get attention. Wow. This hurts. It hurts because you’re making judgements about my sharing without fully participating in my sharing, because I’ve spelled out why I’m doing this. It also hurts because it’s the furthest motive from the truth for me. Let me say it again: The first reason I share my journey (and it’s not just my journey on testosterone. I’ve shared openly about my journey with depression and addiction before on this blog, for years) is that I need to live consciously in order to be authentically me. If I do not keep on top of my thoughts and feelings, I become unconscious and lapse into limbo and comfort instead of pushing myself. Secondly, I know what it’s like to feel like you’re the only Freak in the Village. I have been excruciatingly lonely for most of my life and I do not wish that upon anyone. My visibility is my activism. It is my contribution to the trans community and to those out there who do not fit into the male:female/transman:transwoman box. I want to be the person to reach out to that I never had. Thirdly, I’m being open about it on forums that are not exclusively for trans people because visibility in cisgender circles is the most powerful form of activism. Minds are changed not by discourse, but by knowing someone who is trans. Lastly, I’ve always shared my personal journey because I believe that it is in being vulnerable that we connect to each other, and regardless of the precise nature of our struggles and triumphs, connecting with others on that level is powerful. The personal is political. If you still question my motives for sharing of myself, which is hugely difficult, painful and scary, and not all excitement and muscles, please ask me or speak to me directly.

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One of my trans brothers had his top surgery this month and it was hugely powerful to witness his rebirth. It was also emotional on another level as it just confirmed that I really can’t live with the roommate anymore and I would be infinitely more comfortable in the space I occupy in the world without my breasts. 2016 is The Year.

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My partner and I celebrated our 3-year anniversary this month. Whether our relationship would survive was one of the biggest worries about beginning testosterone. We’ll make a video together to share what’s happening, but bottom line, it hit me really powerfully in the last few weeks that in order for me to be visible for the first time in my life, for me to be seen as who I  truly am, she will become less visible. Unless she decides that the journey with me is worth it and reclaims an identity for herself within our relationship. And that is not easy. This is not just my transition.

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I went on a #QueerRoadTrip vacation with my partner and two trans friends. Body positivity can only happen in a safe space. That space normally only happens in my head and when I’m alone, if I’m managing the dysphoria and negative self-talk. This holiday, that space has become physical. Running and playing rugby on the beach in underwear, swimming without the usual restrictive layers to cover things up, just being. It is really, really special. The embodiment of a safe, Queer space.

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I also destroyed that safe space with a very unlike me outburst of anger. We always worry that people who love us are going to get to know us, really know us and then see that which they don’t like and leave us. What happens when that happens in a relationship with one’s self, in a space of self-care and self-love? I don’t know. I’ll let you know. All I know right now is that the ugliness of my anger and pain which I’ve been repressing is emerging as I heal more and more. And it’s not the testosterone that is bringing out my anger. T-rage is a myth. It’s about the fact that the closer I get to embodying my best self, the closer I get to undoing all the damage that was done to me and that I did to myself. And thawing all of that depression can only lead to feelings of pain and anger emerging. And I hurt other people in the process. I own that. I will take that on. I will not hide from that. I want to heal.

I’m tired of hiding. I’m tired of being scared not of my darkness, but of my light. I feel it palpably when I’m in the gym – that fear of what I could be if I just allowed myself to be free of fear. And it scares me. And I hold onto the self-destruction and the layers of fat I hide my best self behind. Not anymore. I can’t anymore. My best self wants out and it is taking its frustration out on the people close to me. Including myself. And self-love and self-care in the face of one’s own darkness looks like, for now, acknowledging the darkness, facing it, but not beating myself up for it either.

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So that about covers the emotions of the last month. Kind of. I’m struggling at the moment with what has happened and with how I take myself forward on this journey; because it means having to face myself. Really face myself. So I’m in a bit of a depression at the moment, which sees me sleeping 12 hours a day, not training and not being particularly self-caring. But I will face myself and I will heal. I can’t go back.

I can also have fun and enjoy this process at the same time as healing.

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Playing around with a grooming app. #beardgoals

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7 thoughts on “T DIARY: 3 Months on T

  1. G, just wishful thinking – it would have been great if your partner were ameniable to sharing her experiences and thoughts on your T journey. There are just as many fearful, lonely partners of transmen out there, mine, included. But it is just a dream.

    Like

  2. Really loved this post and your honesty. I keep my blog and am open about my journey for exactly the same reasons you are. Keep writing. And, this: “All I know right now is that the ugliness of my anger and pain which I’ve been repressing is emerging as I heal more and more.” I feel this too lately. Strangely, the more I allow that pain and rage to come to the surface, the lighter and happier I feel; somehow the two are coexisting simultaneously. Thank you for sharing your experiences so others can access and understand their own experiences. It is powerful and necessary work.

    Liked by 1 person

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