Let me start by saying I am a trans woman, and this is only my perspective from the outside looking in, as someone who works with and is friends with a lot of trans men. I honestly have no clue how long–and certainly not how many days–I have been on hormones. As a trans woman, I have never counted. In fact, I have never seen any other trans women count how long she has been on “E.” Most of the trans guys I know in real life do not count the days they have been on testosterone. My boyfriend is trans too, but the only time we talk about our shot is when laugh about how sometimes we each still manage to forget to do them. But when I started adding trans guys to my Facebook page, I really began to notice how many of them add videos, blog posts, or statuses discussing how long they have been on “T.”
At first, I kind of thought it was weird that none of the guys ever said how many months or years they were on T–only how many days–so the length of time tended to sound greater than it really was. The more I saw these types of status updates, the more I began to wonder why so many trans guys post how long they have been on hormones. Is it for self-gratification, or to boost one’s ego? Is it to validate who they are? Or, is it to compete with other trans men? Why don’t we see trans women documenting their transitions in similar ways? And, when does a trans person stop counting the days, and just start living as one’s authentic self of being a man? I really don’t know the answers to these questions, and every trans guy is different. I am only sharing my outsider perspective and opinion.
A few trans guys I’ve discussed this issue with say that at the beginning of their transition they were excited and counted the days, but after a year or so, most of them just started living their lives. I’ve also seen guys on social media post about shot days even three years later. Either way, I still love hearing how their testosterone shot made them feel different from the moment they first injected themselves. But for myself, I have taken hormones and never felt an instantaneous change. Maybe it’s because shots have never really phased me; the changes I notice from taking hormones are the long term ones, like softer skin or less body hair, as opposed to any immediate, psychosomatic benefits. What I mean is, I think what a lot of guys feel right after taking their shots is not a physical, but a mental, benefit of becoming the authentic self they were meant to be. I totally understand this excitement; I was excited early in my transition too. But what about those trans guys who don’t have a chance to be on hormones? They might see your counting and get jealous or upset with their own transition. Have you considered how what you post out of excitement might harm other men struggling with their own journeys?
So my main question to the trans guys out there is: when do you stop counting and just start focusing on living your life as men? When do you stop anticipating the next shot? When does it just become a normal thing in your life, like a person who has to take an insulin shot? Does the shot really make you a man? I don’t think it does. Yes, testosterone gives you the physical characteristics to appear like a man, but it doesn’t make you a man. You are a man within your soul. A shot does not make you more or less of a man. When is it time for you just to be you? You are a beautiful soul, and you are more than a shot, or a day on a calendar. Trans men are beautiful human beings, and the journey you guys go through is beautiful. The scars on your body are breathtaking because they tell me you went on a journey to become your authentic self. You worked hard to be that man, that beautiful man you are. I would love for you to just live your authentic self without a counter running on how many days you have been on testosterone, and to just be happy as the man you have always been. Be your true self because no number makes you more of a man, or less of a man.
photo via http://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/longform/stories/identity/2/img/20140423MWHtransgenderAdvance21.jpg