That I would actually take hormones was a surprise in itself, since for the longest time I was absolutely convinced that I would never ever do that. But also, internalizing the fact that you don’t take a shot of testosterone and wake up with a full grown beard and hunky chest hair helped me put aside my irrational fears and focus on what I really wanted.
For the past 2 years my name has been evolving. More recently an inkling of desperation started to creep in, fearing that I would never come upon the perfect name. Alas, the pot of gold was waiting not far ahead.
There’s really nothing I could’ve done about it had I known this prior to my surgery. Despite learning of my higher propensity for this, I would’ve still brushed it off as “one of those things that happens to other people.” But I feel at the very least I would’ve been more psychologically prepared for the possibility, and a little less remorse at not having the chance to deal with it sooner. Once I diagnosed the issue, it took lots of research and lost time to find a solution. And it’s something I am still dealing with today, physically and emotionally.
Bathrooms were even more of an issue last year than before. Men’s rooms can still be scary sometimes. But I have yet to get stared at, pointed at, laughed at, or kicked out of a men’s room, while I can’t say the same for the women’s. Nevertheless, while I’ve mostly switched to using the men’s bathroom in public places, I sometimes still use whichever is most convenient, cleanest, or emptiest. It is not so rare to see me walk out of one, straight into the other, and this is perfectly alright. Meanwhile, I’ve concluded that urinals are the worst invention ever – they stink to no end – and I will probably never get over their weirdness.
I still don’t feel comfortable coming out to people directly. I’ve come out more publicly than I had ever imagined, yet I cannot for the life of me tell someone face-to-face, straight up, “here’s my new name, please use these pronouns.”
I’ve felt relief by switching binary pronouns, but it’s still a lot of work. A year ago I was pretty caught up in the decision-making process, and feared it would just always eat at me: this-or-that pronoun, try using “they” to no avail, always unhappy at whatever people call me. As the distress upon being called “she” was mounting, the worry at finding a suitable solution only increased. Slowly this has been unraveling to a place where I am now much more comfortable with the way other people – both strangers, acquaintances, and friends – refer to me.