This post is PART 39 in a guest blogger series following author Rachael's transition from an A.M.A.B (Assigned Male at Birth) individual to that of a self-identified trans woman.
If you are just discovering Queer as me, start the story from the beginning here.
Many people think that being Trans is a choice. It is not.
But the thing that those people might not realize is that once you go on hormones they will change you. If you have gotten this far through the constant medical requirements, you should know that you are about to do something that will redefine who you are and how others perceive your gender.
Now mind you medical transition is not for everyone, and not everyone wishes to transition that way.
But for those of us that do, well it is truly like going through puberty a second time. If you don’t recall the first time, then you are probably lucky. If you’re able to transition at a young age, the effects will be more noticeable. If on the other hand, you do so later in life, then the process is quite different. Once I had the required blood work done, I was given an appointment to an endocrinologist. What you will find as I did, is that the changes are profound in physical aspects of the body. But the ones that affect the mind are so much greater than I had ever realized.
The preconceived notions you may have about what defines men and women will become a new battlefield in your mind. What you thought you knew of the opposite gender or was taught growing up are so different when you start to learn how to become your true or more authentic self. When I first presented myself to the endocrinologist, I was asked the usual questions by yet another assistant who was, in turn, becoming an endocrinologist herself. She said that doctor required these questions on why I wished to start to take estrogen. I’ve had to repeat myself many times throughout this transition, and I may have to do so yet again for my surgery.
No matter, I will do what is necessary to prove who I am. In this case, it was only an hour after giving an abbreviated version of my life and why I believed myself to be a woman that the doctor came in and asked if I met the requirements, his assistant confirmed my desire to transition was necessary. Once he knew that I understood all the risks involved with taking hormones, he gave me two prescriptions. One a pill, that would stop my body from making more testosterone, and the second one estrogen patches, to increase the amounts of natural estrogen in my body. He told me that the first one I could get and start on right away. But the second for estrogen, I couldn’t start that until one month later. He explained that without a month’s worth of testosterone blockers my body wouldn’t be able to process the estrogen that was being placed there.
After the first month, my body would be in the position to utilize the hormone. I was told that there would be some breast growth, and other body changes. My body would become softer and the muscles would increase and decrease in different areas. He also asked if I was absolutely sure that I wished to go through with this. I said oh yes, I’ve been waiting for such a long time, that I was very sure that this treatment would be the best for me and my future.
I would see him again in six months’ time, after which I could have my family doctor would continue with the refills for the medications, and if there were any issues I was to contact him right away. There is a danger in these medications and that he had to make sure that I was aware of them. I understood, that it was his job to make sure that I understood the ramifications. I told him that I understand the risks and accept them. He wished me luck in my journey and hoped that I would be happy with the changes that estrogen would start to make in my body.
I was finally on my way. Hormones here I come.
Editor’s Note: To read Queer as me – Part 40: Changes, click here. Or click here to read the previous blog post Queer as me – Part 38: Explanations and hopeful answers. For the latest LSOP blog posts and so much more, make sure to add us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.