Hopes, Dreams, and Hindrances
The past few days, I have felt more strongly about my gender than usual days. On a typical day, I feel overrun by my male side the entire time I'm at work and when I'm working on whatever project I have going at home (a.k.a. when I'm frustrated and/or concentrating hard). In the idle moments like when driving, cleaning, or just watching videos online, the feminine side of me seems to take over, changing how I think, talk, and even move. That said, these past two days have been overwhelmingly feminine for me for some reason. Maybe it's because the weekend shifts are more quiet, and thus give me more time to myself. Maybe it's because I haven't slept overly well over the past few days. In any case, I've been really pushing my luck at work with how I've been acting and speaking to myself.
I've also just had a lot of validating thoughts recently. For example, on my drive home yesterday morning, it occurred to me that I would love to go to my 10-year class reunion in 3 years, but only if I was 3 years on HRT. I get excited and a little happy at the idea of going there and blowing a lot of people's minds. Then again, I also feel like I'd meet a lot of resistance and transphobia, so I'm sure I wouldn't actually go in the end.
I also took one of those silly, online quizzes last night that breaks down what “percentage” of each (binary) gender you are. I tried to stay true to how I thought about myself and not just pick the options that would give me the result I wanted. The result I got was 28% male, 61% female, which only adds up to 89% so consequentially I'm 11% mystery. Anyway, when I saw the results I literally breathed a sigh of relief and said “oh thank God” out loud, completely instinctively. That reaction coupled with the whole “trying to not choose answers that I knew would get the result I wanted” thing made for a pretty validating experience altogether.
A very silly experience, but nonetheless validating.
All of this though hits a brick wall once we actually start talking about going forward with transitioning. There are two main factors that are stopping me currently: the lack of a solid support net, and a crippling phobia of needles.
I'll start with the needles thing since it's a little easier to put into words. When I was in 5th grade, I played basketball. One game, I must have landed on my foot wrong and eventually went to the doctor for it. They found out that I had sprained my ankle and that I needed to have support for a few days- not necessarily a cast, but a hard plastic ankle support. For whatever reason though, they decided to do some blood work, if memory serves me, “just because you're already here”. I was, as most 10-11 year-olds would be, nervous and scared, however I was at a point in my life where I wanted to get over it because I thought it was “childish”. Now, this was a very emotional and painful moment for me, so I might have some of the details wrong, but how I remember it going down is like this: they sat me in a chair and strapped my arm down. A nurse came in and proceeded to stick me in the bend of my elbow. There was a pause, and she shifted the needle inside of my arm. She then shifted it again, proclaiming “huh, that's weird, your vain is slipping away.” Now, my memory is that she dug around in there back and forth violently, but I imagine that she just shifted it a few times trying to get the vain to not roll off of the needle. After what felt like an eternity (so probably ~5 seconds), a doctor came into the room and said “why don't I take over?” I don't remember if I screamed or how loudly I did if I did, but thinking about it now, some 15 years later, I still want to scream. To this day, I can't even look at pictures or videos of people with IVs, let alone get shots myself. This, quite obviously, poses a huge problem for going through with hormone replacement therapy, seeing as how I'll likely have to get bloodwork done on a regular basis, which makes me shift uncomfortably in my chair just thinking about it.
The second portion is probably the hardest to deal with. I only have a small handful of people who I know currently support me and who would continue to do so no matter what happened. Of that small handful, only one of them is family: my sister. As for the rest of my family, perhaps it's my pessimistic nature, but I have 0 faith that they would be accepting at first, if not ever. My mother has openly spoken transphobic rhetoric to me directly, albeit before I knew I was, so she's nearly certainly off the list at first, potentially always. My father hasn't explicitly said anything transphobic to me before, however the track record of what he finds acceptable/not and some of the nonsense he's spouted while drunk before about how “participation trophies are the reason this generation is unable to accept anything they don't like” don't exactly lead me to believe he's going to be okay with “oh hey btw I've learned over the past few years that I'm actually a girl and a lesbian k thx bye.” So at this point, I've more or less crossed them off my list of people whom I will be able to go to for support. My grandparents are wildcards honestly. They obviously grew up in a different time with different morals, but I feel like they might be at that point in life where they give up trying to push against things they don't agree with and just let things go. Either I'll be a disgrace and a heathen who should never talk with them again, or they'll just roll with it without understanding anything. I suppose their real reaction will be somewhere in the middle, but I'm scared to find out because of the very real potential of being ostracized from the family nearly completely.
I think that about does it for things that have been rattling around in my brain for the past few weeks. I feel like I'm at a point where I want to reach out to a counselor who will actually take me seriously and help me with (a) needle phobia (b) finding support and (c) getting at least the necessary recommendation for informed consent. The only issue now is finding that counselor/psychiatrist...