Wednesday, May 14, 2008

apparently, the appropriate gift is cotton

Well, two years on T slipped by faster than I'd have thought possible. I didn't make much of a fuss (in fact, I made zero fuss) last month when my "maniversary" went by. It's three years since I decided to transition, and two years on T (April 10th, to be precise), and you know...the more things change, the more they stay the same.

I talked to my doctor last time I saw him about maybe switching to a different form of T. Two years of getting a shot every week will take the shine off the process real fast! I can still do my shots, they haven't become hard or traumatic for me (knock wood) but it's just tiresome to have to keep track, and wonder if I'm going to have a cramp this week, and deal with the needles and syringes and alcohol wipes. I'm going to the Trans Health Conference in Philly later this month and will hopefully be able to find out some more info about some of the new T alternatives being introduced in the U.S- pellets (testopel) and slow releasing shots (Nebido). I'll keep y'all posted.

My rapidfire bodily changes have slowed down considerably- hairline appears to be staying put (for a few more years at least, I hope!), my voice hasn't changed noticeably in a while, my acne is finally settling down (not that it was that bad to begin with), etc. I am continuing (I hope!) to gain more facial hair territory, and fill out a bit in terms of muscle. That's due in no small part, though, to working out and also, I think, just to getting older. I think I'm reaching the point where my changes aren't due to My Transition so much as they are my growing up. I imagine I'll have a fuller beard in two years because, well, 25 year olds often have fuller beards than 23 year olds. Particularly when they're late bloomers, like me!

I've spilled plenty of ink (or pixels, I suppose) already about working out and how satisfying it is to see visible changes so quickly. I know that I'll never have the same physique as, say, certain other guys who went to my high school and now live in New York. Even if I were willing to put in the insane amount of time/attention required to work out enough and restrict my diet enough to get the right combo of muscles and itty bitty body fat percentage, I'm still short, and I've still got wider/narrower-than-usual-for-a-dude hips and shoulders, respectively.

And I'm fine with that, but it leads me to admit that part of the reason I jumped back on the workout bandwagon recently, besides the onset of nice enough weather that I can run to the park to do my chin-ups, push-ups, whatnot, is that Trans Health Conference I mentioned early. I'm going to be leading the chest surgery show and tell, and I want to look good for the 90 minutes I'm going to have my shirt off while I run around making sure everything's going smoothly.

There's plenty to be said there, about my desire for masculine legibility even [especially] in a space where ostensibly we're coming together to shake off gender regulation. There's the rub, though. I've come a distance from my "smash the gender binary!" days. I no longer want to smash the gender binary. Some of that is coming, I'm sure, from that fact that I'm on the 'right' side of it now; instead of being limited and marginalized by society's perception of my gender, I'm being validated. (and boy howdy, that still feels good.) But I think I've also got a more nuaunced understanding, one that was, understandably, harder to grasp while I was still dealing with being misgendered and made to feel in[visible][valid] every day. And that understanding, helped heavily by reading Julia Serrano, is that I don't want to smash the gender binary, just smash the RULES about it. There's nothing wrong with adhering the gender binary (as it stands now) and being a feminine woman or masculine man as long as we keep working to effect a cultural shift so that it's no longer REQUIRED to adhere to the binary, so that we get away from a sense of "normal" vs. "invalid."

Anyway, this probably isn't revolutionary for most folks reading this blog, so I'll leave you instead with a bunch of half naked pictures of me, taken this morning post-workout (I threw that in there to explain the sweaty hair, and also to admit that I'm not always quite this, er, 'pumped' in terms of muscle definition.)

Last but not least, here's a little video update. You can compare it with my previous videos, if you'd like.

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