The recent election results have shaken me and many of my loved ones right down to our glittery, queer boots—and for good reason. There is a red House, red Senate, a white nationalist president with a conversion therapy-promoting sidekick to look forward to come January. To top it off, Trump has vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in his first one hundred days in office, which will leave many folks, especially low income trans folks, vulnerable to lapses in critical care of all kinds.
It was late one evening, and my wife and I had had a pretty rough day. She had been in physical pain all day, and we hadn’t much money left to last until payday. We were hungry, broke, exhausted and ready for a break. As we were driving, our tire blew, and it was the final straw. Our spare was already flat. We felt hopeless and didn’t know what to do. Perhaps that’s the definition of a crisis.
“I don’t want to werewolf,” I said to my doctor nervously. “Not overnight.” I was at my first appointment about starting hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in the form of testosterone. I was trying to explain that I wanted to take my time. I wasn’t looking to rush toward some cookie cutter version of passable cis maleness. In fact, I couldn’t even really picture what I wanted to look like.
We had just moved to a new town in North Carolina. I was 11 years old. Our new home was a lush, green, country hill town—and for an entire week I lived freely in this new paradise. In fact, I remember our arrival there as a cherished moment in my childhood. Since I was 4 years old, I had been actively fighting with my mom about my boyhood. Her argument of course, was that I was supposed to be having a girlhood.
Transitioning has affected how I interact with my body in more ways than I thought possible. It may sound funny, but essential bodily functions like peeing have taken on symbolic significance since I came out as a transgender man at age 16.