Boy – Part 1
I think I went through the biggest part of my gender confusion when I was about nineteen years old. I remember this one time I was telling an older butch friend about a dream I had where I was a boy, and how it really made me wonder where my gender stood. There was this other woman hanging around, non-butch, totally didn’t get it, while my friend just kind of nodded and agreed that any masculine woman these days has a moment where ya wonder, am I male or female?
There is this opening story in Stone Butch Blues about how the protagonist, Jess, is constantly asked if she is a boy or a girl. This was the constant question of my childhood too. Are you a boy or a girl? To think that even adults think they have the right to interrogate a child on their gender, that is sick.
At this point in my life, eight years of really doing major soul searching on whether or not I wanted to transition into a man, I have accepted that my gender is a question more than any answer. More than any allegiance to a binary, I have come to terms with living on the border of boy and girl. I know I wouldn’t be happier with a more masculine body. Hair, deep voice, no, that’s not really me. I don’t feel completely comfortable inside a girl body either, but it’s something I can work with until the day I shed this body and go to the other side, where something tells me I won’t be a boy or a girl.
At the same time, ever since I was nineteen, hearing the fabulous stories of what a shot of testosterone can do, I knew I wanted to have that experience. Only once, a needle sinking into my butt, a couple of weeks of male hormones, possibly one or two minor physical changes. My dalliance inside maleness. And eight years after making the decision to temporarily modify my hormones, to possibly put a couple of gendered questions to rest, some trans friends of mine are giving me a shot.
It’s the most exciting thing to happen to me all summer so far, and so of course with summer night drinks with friends I’ve excitedly told them about this new development in my life.
Okay, so I’ve had trans friends for ages, I mean, ever since I was in youth groups. I knew shit came at you for being trans, transphobia, yes, I thought I was really prepared for it. I also somehow thought that because I have educated and informed myself about transgender politics, I dunno, everyone else would have done the same thing.
Anyway, people have really freaked out about me getting this shot. They’ve challenged me on my gender, some people even said I wasn’t butch. They’ve tried to talk me out of it. Some people have said they don’t want to hear about how it goes. They’ve demanded to know what my body is going to look like after having one shot (this is a strange one, because my body is my own business). I’m just being an open honest dude about it and realizing that my openly transgendered butch status is turning me into an Other on a daily basis, with weird taunts about why in the world a nice girl like me would have a shot of T.
We decided we would do it this weekend, and I’m seeing them tonight. I’m a little intimidated by the needle, more so than what’s going to take place in my body. The last time I got a needle in the butt was just before they strapped me down in four point restraints for three and a half hours. Soooo, being a leathergirl, of course I have to re-enact the scene to reclaim that moment in my life. My friends aren’t tying me up, but we’ll probably have a nice chat about boy hormones and ladies and things of that nature. It’s an inch and a half long intramuscular injection, and apparently it can really hurt. I can take it, but that doesn’t make me like it any.
This is an experience I just have to have in my life, a chance to see what difference, if any, having testosterone in my body makes. It comes from a deep desire to understand and know the human condition. And even though people have been really vocal about not wanting me to do it, it is my own journey that I’m on, and this is just one of those destinations I have been planning for a long time.
I doubt I will decide to continue taking hormones, but then again, no one can say with certainty what the future holds.