The following is more a reflection of experiences in the past two months and less observation than I normally write. Obviously my own experiences do not mimic or match any others as they’re not supposed to. We all experience different things in our lives at our own speeds and in our own way. This is absolutely no exception.
So today marks the 2 month anniversary of me starting HRT. Through all the twists and turns and changes both physically and mentally it’s been a…well it’s certainly been a something, I can’t really explain it. Every day I look in the mirror and every day it hurts less. Every time cute clothes that used to not fit me fit and every time someone uses my proper name or pronoun it’s another win and another boost in confidence. I wake up mornings and look forward to what’s next as oppose to just go through the motions and lurch through the day, miserable and unfulfilled. My relationships have become better than I could ever imagine and acquaintances in the past have transformed into life long and very close friends. It’s all been very fast actually, and most of it has been positive. Since being “full time” at work I’ve been getting nothing but praise for my boost in confidence and productivity and just being myself and living as myself has been a dream.
It’s not all positive. I still get the anxiety and the fear, especially when I use the restroom, but most of the time it’s been just fine. As I was telling my one friend the other weekend when I was visiting her and her husband (he was the first I came out to, she was very short to follow) all it takes is one person to say something, one little girl to say “Mommy, why is a boy in the girls’ room?” and hell breaks loose. Granted, I don’t look overly feminine yet. I’m willing to admit I’m looking andro, but certainly not “this being in front of me is female” least of all in my face. My body has filled out and moved around very nicely but my face still needs to catch up. This does add to the stresses of every day life especially as I start to be full time (campus is the only place now where I don’t completely represent as female because I just don’t feel safe doing so). That said, I’m by far way more ahead now than many other girls I’ve seen comparisons to with online posts and time lapse photos. What causes my body to just soak this up is beyond me but I recognize my, I don’t know, head start?
Over all I’ve been very lucky and my case has been such an anomaly where all the right parameters just fell into place in the two years leading up to my coming out. I realize this and recognize this and I feel a bit bad sharing my story because it’s, up to this time, been nothing but Spock farts and rainbows. So many girls are rejected, beaten, abused, disowned, and murdered, I am so fortunate to have had such a positive experience so far and for every success I have I need to stay grounded and remember that there are so many girls like me that are having so much trouble. I try not to feel bad at my fortune, we all have different experiences and to think of myself as “less trans” because I haven’t suffered as much is counter productive and an outcome of the toxic culture we live in. We live in a culture that teaches us that to be trans is to live one’s life in constant tragedy. There was an article not long ago (on my birthday of last year actually) on Autostraddle that went over representation of trans women in television and it hurt to read. I would list some statistics they found here, but I could not give them any justice. Everyone should read it, the findings are, well, repulsive to put it lightly.
These last two months have been eye opening on both an internal and external level. Walking through the world I live in, which granted is a small slice of this country, as myself has been educational at worst and absolutely fantastic at best. Every day I get closer to my goals and understand how fortunate I really am. I have respect for my fellow woman that grows with each passing day in ways I could never have imagined. The love, acceptance, and sisterhood that I have found since coming out and since starting on this journey has been unimaginable and even if things aren’t nearly perfect, I’ve loved every moment of it. I’m Jess, I’m going to be for the rest of my life and I now know for the first time ever that I won’t need to be anything else for as long as I live.