The Anniversary

As of two weeks ago, I have officially been on testosterone for one year.

I am not terribly interested in parties so let’s consider this my public celebration. Hurrah! Oliver is one year on T! Hip hip hooray!

It’s very exciting. I’m a big boy now! I jest—one doesn’t need to be on hormones in order to qualify for manhood.

Last Saturday, I shaved my face in a rush to make it easier to get over the border. I haven’t changed my legal name yet—expensive shit—and subsequently my gender marker, so I figured I ought to make a vague attempt at looking like a girl-ish creature. I mostly look like my picture, ‘cause it’s not like I suddenly have a new face entirely.

I stood in my friend’s bathroom, in my binder (a shirt that compresses my chest), and we marveled at my facial hair, which of course, I had none of this time last year. Off came the long hairs under my chin. I trimmed my sideburns. I’m not that hairy yet.

As I stood there in my binder, I admired the abdominal hair growing around my navel.

My voice is much deeper, although I don’t think it has changed much after the six month mark—by the by, I waved to the border guards and didn’t speak. We had no problems. I am told that I have a nice baritone. I eat as much as I ever have, as fast metabolisms run in my family.

My face is rougher and has more distinct edges. I am slightly easier to move to anger or frustration, but not by much. I am calmer, in that I am more settled in myself. My anxiety only pops up when I drink badly-made coffee.

I will be having top surgery—the double mastectomy that breast cancer survivors get—within the next six months or so. As a gentle reminder or rather, as my editors gently remind me, I shall not be writing for The Link during my recuperation period. That will be one to three weeks.

I might as well answer The Big One so we can just get that out of the way here: I don’t know if I want The Surgery. Yeah, you heard me. I don’t know if I want a dick. The surgeries involve permanently altering your genitalia forever! That’s scary.

What if my urethra is messed up and then I can’t pee properly? Or what if my ability to orgasm is somehow affected?

These are bloody big life decisions. I’m going to take my time deciding. So there. Let’s not argue about what makes a man because basically, if you don’t think the answer is “self-identifying as one!”, we won’t be very good friends.

Oh also, I think my feet have gotten bigger?! My hands definitely have. And my neck is thicker. Bodies are strange, as I tell my friends.

Thanks for hanging out with my through this weird and wonderful journey, y’all. Special thanks to my brilliant, supportive, incredible friends who know exactly when to high-five me when I say “I am one whole year on T!”

Your compassion and enthusiasm have really made my arrival a warm welcome home.

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