Date: 14th May 2019 Subject: 31 Year Old Aporagender Non-Binary Human Event: One Year On HRT
A year is a long time when you’re focused on changing who you are. A year ago I started this journey with a vague notion of what I was doing; old hormones out, new hormones in, results may vary.
What a year, what a weird and wonderful fucking year.
Medical transition when you don’t have any kind of end goal is complicated to say the least, even more-so when the medical community as a whole doesn’t know how to deal with you. So here’s a bit of a round up both celebrating and discussing what happened, where I ended up, and a bit of a Q&A at the end. So strap yourself in…
Getting access to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Oh gods this can be an awkward situation; it’s totally dependent on where you are, what your local doctors know, and how much you’ve learned from local trans communities. If you’re lucky it can take a couple of weeks, in other places it could take years.
In total it took about three months to get access to medication from first recommendation from a GP, to gender clinic (as opposed to a endocrinologist which is another direction many take), to the psychiatrist to confirm that yes, I am trans and not just pretending to get access to oestrogen (??????), back to the clinic, and finally to picking up my medication.
In the year that’s followed I’ve been to a few different doctors, some more helpful than others, none of whom really understanding non-binary identity. One even pushing their idea of what I was without even attempting to accept my views. The binary is strong with those ones…
Medication: Not a lot changed since those first days. Anti-androgens cut my energy down to practically nothing, so after my oestrogen levels got to a decent point I limited how my anti-androgen I was taking and suddenly I wasn’t napping two thirds of the day.
After a while it turned into a balancing act, not wanting to keep my oestrogen too high, while still having enough in my system to keep feeling right. In the end it’s all about self-assessment. You know you more than your doctor does, so if it works keep it up.
Changes!: So many changes.
I got boobs, that’s a pretty nice change. I’ve never felt they would be necessary for me to feel right about my body, but once they started growing they did help a lot with my self-esteem. A bit of curve helped balance out a body I wasn’t exactly excited to be inhabiting.
My face changed quite a bit; bigger cheeks, clearer skin, a bit rounder all in all. It’s nice to have a face that you like to see when you look in the mirror.
What else? Mostly just a redistribution of body weight. Legs & butt bulked up a little, hips grew out quite a bit. Muscle tone dropped.
Emotionally things changed a lot. Between day 14 and month 2 my emotions were all over the fucking place. Since then they have settled into a generally heightened state of emotion. Some things get to me a lot more than they used to, but how I deal with that emotion is often directed more inwardly than outwardly. I find myself being more self-conscious of everything I do and the What-Ifs if I do something.
Gender!!: Gosh, this was a big one. Once again it took finding the right person with the right words for me to figure it out but I finally got a real understanding of my gender after nearly a year and a half of being non-binary.
This is because non-binary covers a LOT of different genders, from agender, to multiple genders, to genders that fluctuate. It’s not binary, and it’s often not simple.
I’m Aporagender. That is a gender that is not woman nor man, masculine nor feminine. It’s having your own gender identity separate of the binary terminology and associated traits that are far too often considered the only real options. Here’s a reasonable description if you want to know more.
Thankfully after I moved to Melbourne I fell in love with a wonderful Aporagender partner who helped me find myself ❤ To them I will forever be thankful.
Time for a little Q&A
Q: Some words on gender euphoria?
A: Holy fuck! Understanding who you are and being able to talk about it honestly and proudly is the best! It gets complex at times, and frustrating at others, but I wouldn’t give up who I am for anything.
Q: What was the biggest “surprise” or “unexpected” change you physically faced? (On a positive or neutral side.)
A: BOOBS. Getting them wasn’t really unexpected, the amount I developed was more of a surprise (at 30 and just starting on the basic stuff you never know what you’ll get), but how they made me feel about myself was the biggest physical surprise ever. An ever-present reminder of how far I’ve come.
Q: Simple question, and the only one that matters IMO. Are you happier?
A: Yeah, I am. I still go through a lot of mental health issues, there’s CPTSD to deal with and self worth struggles to combat, but I never feel bad about who I am. And getting to learn who I was, this time honestly and directly, has made me a happier person.
It’s been a heck of a year.
Now I’m going to eat an entire cake to celebrate