Shot at the Hudson Automotive Museum using a Ricoh GR2.
I like my body now. Rubbing testosterone gel on my stomach and thighs twice a day thrills me. But this hasn’t always been true.
In the past I struggled with my decision to transition and live as a man.
Many evenings ago I decided to stop taking hormones. My sexuality was muddled. I had no idea how to date women as a man. Was I even a man?
How do I date women now? My only positive sexual experiences had been as a butch woman. That fact may have influenced my desire to stop taking hormones. At least I know how to be butch.
But for reasons still unclear to me I continued taking my hormones. Somehow I kept a higher vision in play and remembered the excitement and pride I possessed when I first began hormones in 1996. I held fast to the thrilling fantasies I had about how great it would be to date women as a man. Somehow I would make those fantasies become a reality.
Bean sculpture, Chicago, shot on a Ricoh GR2.
Since then, each major surgical change- top surgery then bottom surgery - has altered my perception of myself in my body and myself in my gender. Last year I tweaked my hormone dosage with great result.
Now I find myself in the midst of another technological change - weight-bearing exercise. Now I have aged to a point where I must work to keep some mass on my muscles. Now I endeavor to complete ten full push ups and ten assisted pull ups. I fail, every day.
I keep trying and I keep taking hormones.
In 1996 we had no roadmaps pointing us in the direction of transsexual true north. We all winged it, and we never revealed our ambivalence. I had no idea I would feel as ambivalent as I once did without starting hormones.
We can only know some things as we go through them. Ambivalence shouldn’t surprise anyone. I now think of it as a natural part of the transitioning process. Then I didn’t know that. Today I do.
Today I take great joy in what my body, and my body on hormones, can do. My heart continues to beat, my lungs expand and contract.
My eyes span the gym and what a wonderful thing it is that I am a man. Two decades past my first hormone dose and I still get a thrill.
Now I’m glad I kept taking hormones even when I wanted to stop that long ago night on the freeway. I’m glad one part of me refused to listen to another part of me. I’m glad to be me today.
I’m glad to be in this body.
I’m glad to be in this transsexual body.