Today marks my 1 year HRT anniversary 🎉. It’s kind of a second birthday, on top of that, three weeks from now, on the 31st, will be the 1 year anniversary of coming out publicly and living as my true self full time. It’s surreal. When I was first coming to terms with being trans, I never thought I’d have made it this far. I remember seeing other people’s timelines and getting butterflies and this deep aching longing sensation in the pit of my stomach. I wanted that–I wanted transition so badly. It seemed like it was impossibly far away.
Yet, here I am. Like I said, it’s kind of surreal. In some ways I’ve already made so much more progress than I’d thought possible, but equally not nearly as much as I’d hoped. There’s even moments throughout the day where I forget that I’m trans; I’m just like any other woman–at least until dysphoria strikes again. That said, it’s amazing how much more comfortable I am. I kind of comfort I never knew I was missing out on–a comfort I didn’t even know was possible. The stranger I’ve always seen in the mirror, he and his melancholy eyes are gone. Although, when I’m feeling the need for some mental self harm, I know just the angles to look to summon him. Thankfully even that is getting more difficult to do; instead, for the first time in my life, I just see me. That feeling is so amazing.
On the other hand, it’s certainly an odd feeling (surreal if you don’t mind me repeating that yet again) going through puberty not only for a second time, but doubly so to be experiencing it in my 30s. At the risk of quickly veering off into TMI territory, I’ll just say I absolutely love the way my body is changing. Gotta say, I wish this was how it went the first time out the gate, but better late than never.
Hormones truly are magic. Everything is looking generally rounder; my chest is growing; I’m getting hips; I’m a little over an inch shorter in height; my hands (fingers in particular) are slimmer; I’ve lost 2 shoe sizes; my hair has not only grown back (something I’m shocked and grateful for), but it’s getting long–no more wigs for me; certain parts don’t work anymore if you get the drift, and there are a myriad of other little and not so little changes that all compound on each other. In addition to the hormone’s physical changes, there are other things that have changed. Since transitioning, I’m back on a proper diet and exercising again, losing me ~20lbs (still have ~15-20lbs to go to get back to my pre-lockdown weight). Taking better care of myself has done wonders for my skin. Thanks to 8 full body laser hair removal sessions and counting most of my face and body hair are mostly gone although another 5 or so will be needed for my face :/. I’d like to say I’ve done well with voice training (certainly well enough to pass over the phone).
Physical changes aren’t the only ones, there’s also a fair share of mental ones. Emotions for instance–I actually have them finally; they’re not muted and dulled anymore. I’m not numb. That said, this is still a second puberty and I’ve got the emotional stability of a 13yo. A small price to pay and something that has been and will continue to work itself out over time as I adjust. Just like a teenager, it’s taking time, but I’m finding myself, my style, and who I am as a person–who I am as a woman. At 32, you’d think I’d have done that already 🤷♀️. Like I said in my coming out post, the relief of the miasma of depression, anxiety, and depersonalization has been life changingly positive. I smile all the time, I sing along loudly (and terribly) to all my music, I approach life with enthusiasm, I’d say I’m overall a substantially better parent than I ever used to be. It’s freaky how fast my mental map / self recognition has changed. A few months ago, I saw a picture of pre-transition me and Emma out of the corner of my eye and freaked out wondering who the guy was taking a picture with her, before realizing it was me in that picture with her. Like I know that was what I looked like, I recognize it was me, but it doesn’t feel like it anymore. In fact, it’s almost like I’ve got first-person memories of someone else’s life.
Finally, the miscellaneous category. I’ve sold my house and moved in with my mom. I’m in the process of getting divorced. I’ve made some amazing new friends and feel closer to the ones I already had (love you all ♥). After jumping through way too many hoops, I’ve got both my name and sex marker legally changed and my identification updated to reflect that. After even more hoop jumping, I managed to get my birth certificate updated as well. Thankfully, Florida and New Jersey no longer require SRS for driver’s licenses and birth certificates any more which is how I was able to even get that all updated at all. On that subject, I do have an SRS consultation scheduled for October where I’ll get my actual surgery date (fingers crossed it’ll be this calendar year or very early next year).
My transition certainly started with some… hiccups, but on the whole, I’ve been extremely fortunate. For the most part, everyone has been supportive or at least tolerant and for that I’m eternally grateful. Thank you all 💜. Add to that the fact that I’d say HRT’s effects are hitting me at an above average rate–another thing I’m super grateful for. Thinking about how far I’ve come still makes me feel all warm and content and happy and makes me tear up a little.
I’ve come a long way already, but I still have a long way to go. Ya know what? I’m finally excited for the future.
PS: While editing this, I did my best to strip out calling literally everything surreal. I mean it is all super surreal, but yeah…