On February 25 I have an appointment with an endocrinologist to talk about the possibility of testosterone microdosing for me in order to masculinize my appearance in several aspects and lower my voice (more marked facial features, muscles, body fat distribution… ) – but in no case do I want to look like a man or be a man – because simply, I am not. More body hair ugh – that’s something I’d rather not – no thanks. But you can’t pick and choose.
But I do have doubts now, second thoughts.
Why do I feel the need to do this?
During my 2 months stay in the clinic, I felt perfectly comfortable in my body, with no desire or need for testosterone. Whenever I thought about it, my answer was “no”. Yes, once or twice I put on my binder and it felt great – but that was it. I felt pretty good and confident as I was, as I am.
So why has it changed since I got home again, and why was it different before I went there? And what was different over there?
Since my masculine side was never really able to express itself, was not allowed to express itself freely, it had to express itself now for a certain time – like the pendulum, which goes from one side then the other before finding its middle ground, the right balance.
But I am not a man, or even a demi-man. I just have an important masculine side.
But there is also another factor: my wife.
Not that something was her fault, but management, or “handling” problems on my part.
Before her realization, coming out and transition, I was the only woman in our little family, and I didn’t have to ask myself any questions about “how” to be a woman, what makes a woman, about my femininity or lack thereof. Easy (!?)
But now, what do I do, how do I situate myself when suddenly facing her hyper-femininity which fills all possible clichés as our daughter put it (long hair, make-up, gel nails, short skirts, high heels)? How, what to do? Try to be the same as her, or be only some kind of “half-woman”, or be the total opposite and nurture and express only my masculine side to have the impression to exist and to be visible next to her?
A couple of days ago, I read this article, and a few lines really touched something in me:
I do not have to perform in a way that makes people say: Oh look at that queer person. It is not my responsibility to change my appearance in a way that makes me look more masculine or less feminine because I can look like whatever and still be the same person inside.
I refuse to oppress or remove anything within or of myself to affirm a given norm. Deep inside myself I know that I am whole. I am complete. I don’t need to do that because I am non-binary and fluid and this is my natural state of being.
Fluid – yes, fluid. I don’t need to appear like this or like that for others – or even for myself.
I spent some time nurturing exclusively my masculine side, the masculine part of my gender identity, and it was necessary. And I keep a lot of good things from it: a certain security, safety within myself, a certain way of being. But there are also forms of femininity that I like (when others would just be like playing theater for me). There is a certain fluidity in me.
My wife’s rejection of “everything male” disturbed me, even if in my head, it is understandable. When I was dressed as a drag queen, that is, in a hyper feminine way, it was disturbing for her.
The masculine style suits me, so is it better to stay exclusively masculine rather (or at least easier) than playing with my disturbing fluidity, or to adapt a form of femininity that might not please others, as my other attempts of self-expression have already before.
So why the troubles with my femininity?
Yes, my masculinity has always been there.
Yes, it needed to finally be able to express itself. After my coming out was the right moment.
The feminine, female, being a woman has always had some sort of bitter taste, something negative in life. “Just another girl again…” My grandfather would have wanted a boy so much (I grew up with my grandparents, who were wonderful people by the way) … and yet all boy activities that I was so longing to do and have fun with were forbidden to me, thanks to gender roles. Later, in the Christianity of my youth and young adulthood, the woman was responsible for all the evils of the world, of sin – tool and door of the devil, supposed to remain chaste, subjected and humble. Then there were abuse and rape – no, life is not safe as a female.
You need a protecting shell, an armor. A male armor.
So testosterone, do I really need you?
Or rather, how do I juggle with, or put in harmony the feminine and masculine parts of my identity, how do I live this fluidity – in harmony with myself?
Maybe often there won’t be much difference between the two. Both are dark, both imbued with metal, hiphop and Gothic; skulls, black, red and silver; laughter and excess; the aesthetics of a witch – the magic of life – and love infusing all.
And instead of non-binary, maybe I might say Genderqueer.