Journey with Estrogen, Pt. 2

And now as promised, my reasons for going off testosterone. As you may have read several entries back, I had a heart attack in February 2020. This was a shock and still hasn’t been explained. But I found after I left the hospital that I gave a lot less shits what people thought about me. I think it was the brush with death.

The day that I went, I had decided that morning I was going to dress how I wanted and try not to care if people looked at me. I had on skinny jeans, a red camisole, and some makeup and nail polish. I planned to go downtown to Ithaca for therapy. So when I ended up at the hospital, there was even more confusion about my gender than there already usually is….After I said I was trans, they seemed to think I was a trans woman sometimes and were very frazzled. So I had to just grin and bare all that discomfort. Standing out with gender has historically felt unsafe to me. Or should I say, has been unsafe for me. Especially in medical scenarios.

Earlier that fall, after my depression started lifting, I was finding myself wanting to dress up again. I wasn’t just wearing the same plaid shirt and jeans everyday changing only my tee shirt and underwear (on a good day). I was showering or shaving….well, never, from when Joey broke up with me until when I started on ketamine treatments. That was a lot of months. That was how bad my depression had gotten.

I’ve always been someone who likes clothes. I enjoy putting together outfits that express myself. Have since I was a kid. After my depression lifted, I was able to start doing this again, and most my outfits got much more feminine. If I’m dressing more gay or fem and my hair and beard is styled, it’s usually a sign I’m doing well. Anyway, I started feeling even more comfortable after I left the hospital. I was just like, “fuck it! Life is too short.” I bought some new androgynous women’s clothes for our trip to Florida, and I felt great the entire time, even around Joey’s evangelical, pro-Trump parents.

When we returned from Florida, covid became a thing and we started quarantining. It was a weird time, obviously. I lost my job. I was doing a lot of hand-building with air dry clay and painting my sculptures. A lot of walks with my headphones on busy roads, yoga, and workout in my room. I was also struggling with a lot of body dysphoria. I was hating the masculine characteristics of my body. And they were becoming exaggerated in my mind. What’s funny is, as a teen, I wanted to be less curvy and I was so insecure that my butt was too round and large. Now I wanted the exact opposite. It was an obsession. This is awkward to talk about because it seems so shallow. But body dysmorphia is a type of OCD and becomes all consuming. It was a serious struggle. My body felt like it wasn’t me.

Then it occurred to me to go off testosterone. I never considered this; I did not wish to transition into a woman-presenting person. I didn’t really wish to shave my beard or be called She in public. Though I have wanted that, sometimes. More often I want to be a feminine/androgynous gay boy person. That sits the most correct with my soul and always has. Even as a young person, I conceived of myself as a girly boy, not a boyish girl.

I apologize if the way I talk about gender is confusing. I’ve kind of come up with my own language. It’s hard to explain how it works in my head. And established ways of talking about it don’t work for me. But I suppose you could say I am genderfluid and nonbinary or genderqueer. Many people would identify me as transmasculine. I have a lot of discomfort with that label. I conceive of myself as trans and feminine. But I also think of myself sometimes as a guy who transitioned from female (or FTM). Or a feminine trans boy. But I see myself on the feminine end of the spectrum. I have a lot of trouble with the word “man” though I want to be an adult, unlike the term “boy.” Not that I don’t also have masculine characteristics I suppose but….I mean, not really many. Of course this is all just gender stereotyping…….Argh!!!! I am sinking into the dreaded existential GenderHole!

Back to the point. I was uncomfortable in my body. It occurred to me that having a period once a month might be worth it. If it meant having a body that was less hairy and more shaped how I wanted.

So, I went off T. And every month I’ve been happier with how I look. I’ve only been misgendered as a woman once and it didn’t upset me. My face and clothed body pretty much just read as a feminine, somewhat androgynous guy. The change has been just dramatic enough. I’m lucky that it worked the way I wanted.

The people that I identify most with are femboys. The internet definitions would excluded me from this identity because I am over 30 and was not born male. But fuck that. I’m an adult, AFAB femboy.

Next time, I will write about the ways that I feel different: mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This was a surprise, as I was skeptical this would happen for me. Also I will continue about what happened next with the whole “trapped by covid in a shitty apartment without a job” thing. Kinda crazy how I went from there to living where I do now.

Anyway. Good night, dear readers. Peace.