I started taking T three years ago. I knew it was something I wanted, I was positive, I was prepared, I was terrified.
Me, less than one month before starting T:
[image description: JAC – auburn hair and brown eyes, looking directly into the camera. His shoulders are bare, shirtless and leaning on a white pillow]
This is the only self-portrait shoot I did from before T until two months in. I decided not to photograph myself in any structured way. At the time, I felt enough like a science experiment without documenting myself in mug shots. I did take my measurements – everything from my chest to my wrist. I also recorded my voice. Being a singer my voice was of particular interest to me. I recorded it at every shot for a year, then every 6 months, then every year. Its fascinating listening to my voice then. I remember recording it, but only after playing it back a few times did I notice how nervous I sound and that my voice is shaking.
I remember being excited and sad when I found I was no longer a mezzo soprano, and discovering a tenor falsetto which, funny enough, made me feel really butch. I listened to my voice from a year ago and was pleased to find my voice today is a little deeper. I keep shooting for that baritone, haha, but I don’t think I’m ever gonna get it.
I really like what T has done for me. When I started T I told myself I was going to take it until I didn’t want to take it anymore. No pressure, no deadlines, no “goals” (fuck you GID). I knew there was a possibility that my health would deteriorate and if that happened I would deal with it when I came to it. So far, though it has had some not-so-desirable health effects on my disability I find that the price is worth paying. As Kate says, its about doing whatever you have to do to make your life more worth living.
Me, 3 years on T:
[image description: JAC – pink hair and brown eyes, looking directly into the camera with a slight smile.]
I’m very pleased in that I look almost exactly the same. I started taking T in order to look more like I wanted to look, to sound more like I wanted to sound, and that’s exactly what happened. I took my measurements and every one was within one inch of those I took three years ago. Its funny because my body looks very, very different from before which just shows how little change can go a long way. Before I started T I was terrified. I was terrified of my health deteriorating, terrified it would make me go crazy(ier), terrified of being denied health care, yeah that was all in there… But what scared me the most was changing into someone I couldn’t recognize, living in a body I couldn’t imagine as a me I didn’t know. Really its no different than the fear I had as a little kid, dreading getting older because I didn’t want grow up and be someone I didn’t know in a life I couldn’t imagine. Now it all seems so insignificant, now that I know myself better, know my life better. Honestly, I don’t think being trans has much to do with it, I think I’m just getting old and being genderfucked along the way. Is shit perfect? Course not. Sometimes the androgyny pulls on me so hard that I don’t know if I can stand it anymore. I dream of a voice I’ll never get in a body I’ll probably never have dressed in a metro-fashion I’m incapable of affording let alone pulling off. The reality is that yes, I want to be read as male, yes I want to pass, I hate being stared at, I hate being afraid… I hate being different. But this is who and what I am. I lived so long as a lesser version of me either trying to be more femme or more butch than I am, more of a girl or more of a guy than I am, always trying to pass as something other me. And if I’m not going to go all out now, well, what would I be waiting for? For it to get easier, for the world to get better? I don’t have time for that. I don’t think anyone does. This is the only life I have and I figure its good enough for me and if nothing else, I have really fabulous hair.