For the past month I’ve been in Spain, mostly to see friends and go to Opencon. Despite me taking my computer with me, I didn’t get that much writing done, so I’m going to try and catch up in the following days with some ideas I had for posts.
Before I get into that, though, I wanted to make a short post announcing something very exciting, at least for me — I’ve started hormone replacement therapy!
If you’ve been following my transition this might seem a bit surprising. I’ve been explaining things in terms of me probably getting hormones in a year or more. I was getting pretty frustrated about it, in fact.
Well, it’s not just you who would be surprised by this new development. Getting hormones was absolutely unexpected for me, too.
The way it happened was this: I arrived in Barcelona three weeks ago, after Opencon, and immediately went to stay with a trans friend of mine.
We had a lot of interesting conversations, mostly about trans topics and a bit of related stuff like feminism. Well, on the first or second day she mentions this new service in Barcelona called Transit. (Just like the internet is made of cats, the transgender Universe is built out of plays-on-words).
Transit consists of two female doctors, Rosa and Eva, who together are taking it upon themselves to prescribe hormones to those who need them and provide other health services for transgender people.
The miracle of this health service is that Rosa and Eva don’t put you through a year-long psychiatric process. You generally just go there, tell them how you feel, and they take your word for it.
This is such a step up from the previous system. In the main gender clinic in Barcelona, and practically anywhere in the world where this treatment is offered, you have to go through such a crazy gauntlet of beaurocracy, hospital waiting times, psychiatry, and telling the doctor what they want to hear. In some places many are forced to lie to get hormones; in others, it is, at the very least, expedient to lie. Overall the process is very humiliating, disempowering, frustrating, and slow.
And Jesus, it’s not like there is exactly an epidemic of people taking hormones when they are not really trans. But even if they do, who cares? It’s not like they do too much damage to their body (worst case scenario for a fake MtF trans: sterility and boobs that need to be removed with surgery). They might even open their minds a little and gain some insights into the opposite sex. Not such a problem in my eyes.
So really, I think Transit is a miracle, and I think this is the way things need to go. If you are a doctor, please consider getting into contact with Rosa and Eva for tips and making a similar service in your own town. It’s so easy to do, and so much good can come of it.
Anyway, being technically a Spanish resident and eligible for its health service, I had no problem. I wrote them an email to set up an appointment, went, and within a week had myself three months’ supply of testosterone blockers and estrogen.
Taking my first pill was a mix of trepidation and excitement – mostly excitement. My fears and self doubts were almost completely gone; particularly, they seemed to disappear in the previous week or so, when the reality of having hormones was too close to ignore. I was just left with my very strong desire, my hunger for changes.
Now, I’m on the 4th day. I’m impatient and excited to take my two pills each day; it feels good every time that moment comes around. I have a slightly silly feeling of hoping the next day comes faster so I can take another pill.
It will take time before anything noticeable happens, of course. So far I really can’t identify a single change, although had a couple of suspicions, but they are too small to be really sure. I’ll be building up to my full dose over a month or so; and noticeable physical changes will likely come around six months or later, for the most part.
From what I hear there should be no irreversible changes for three months. That figure used to matter more to me, when I was more unsure. Still, as part of my strategy of Massive Overkill (TM), I will monitor how I feel and make sure I feel comfortable with the changes during this time. I’m hoping and expecting the changes in mood and sex drive to better match who I feel I am as a person; this should be my last bit of confirmation in my path. If they somehow don’t seem to match, I will take a moment to think things over yet again.
But I don’t think there is an icecream’s chance in Hell of that happening.
From now on I will post occasional updates explaining the changes my body and being are going through with hormone therapy. I’m also taking detailed photos of my body every week. I’ll post them up when the contrast between them starts to become interesting.
I can’t wait