In my last post I was musing about whether I was going to microdose testosterone or not. And even though the matter has been taken out of my hands in some ways, I have advanced in my reflections thanks to discussing the matter with my psychologist, also meditating on it on my own.
I asked myself, why do I think I feel the need to take T? Obviously, because there is this masculine part of me that is important to me. Expressing that, and feeling my masculinity makes me feel secure, safe and strong. It makes me feel grounded within myself and protected, and far less vulnerable.
And there is my feminine side which of course I do not want to deny, but that I did not know what to do with, and that I came to feel more and more uneasy with. But why actually?
Of course, I have always had these two parts to me, like two sides of a coin that together make one. But what is the problem with my feminity? Why has it become more difficult over time not to accept it, but to express it?
Looking back over time, “feminity” always had a somewhat stale or even bitter aftertaste to it. It started with my grandparents who raised me (they were wonderful loving people, and I will always stay grateful to them; and they were people of their time and generation) – they already had two daughters, and it was made obvious that yet “just” another girl was not really a desirable thing – yet when I wanted to play with typical boys´stuff I was not allowed to “because I was a girl” (dang – they were more fun) Later come the sexual abuse by an uncle when I was four years old, even later as a teen and yound adult rapes. When I then became a member of a christian community (I was a young teen then, together with my mother), I had all sorts of negative teachings and restrictions based on women, down to me having to repent for having been raped and abused (women being temptresses like Eve, their mother, purity teaching, women had to be submissive, I wanted to go to High School but was not allowed to…). So, being a woman, being female was not the most desireable and easy thing to be. Men were in charge, and to be safe and protected, I needed a shell, a protection – I needed my masculine side to take over.
And there is also my wife. She is in the middle of her transition, and started to present as a woman in daily life 100% a little less than a year ago. The changes have been amazing and she has become a beautiful, colorful butterfly that is spreading its wings and is flying, fluttering, embracing this new life that is hers now. She is gorgeous, and has masterfully embraced all the codes of a very femme look. Which makes me proud of her, and at the same time left me, more or less unconsciously, with a dilemma: being the “only” woman in the house before, and now facing full force feminity, what am I to do with my half-assed version of feminity? What does it actually mean to be a woman? Do I now become (read: start to look like her), do I stay a “half-woman” or do I, to distinguish myself from her and feel more secure, completely my masculinity?
Being able to express my masculine side these last weeks and months was important and neccessary. I had not been able to do it before, really. At least not in the way I wanted, and made me feel good – from shirts and ties to tshirts and hats to binders. It was something I had to do. And now I want to find a balance between the two – like the pendulum the swings on one side and then the other before finding its middle. There will be more masculine days, others will be more feminine, and still others will be a mix. Whatever feels right and good to me.
During my entire life, I have always had to adapt myself to the rules and wishes of others without much room to see who I am myself and what I want. Exploring that now is an exciting adventure.
Over the days and weeks, I meditated on my body, my body parts, what I liked and not, and came to the conclusion that actually I liked pretty much all of my body – from my face to my skin to my boobs and back. Ok, there is a bit too much weight, but apart from that… When I feel bad, it is mostly in comparison to other people – but when alone, I am good for most of the time. The rare times it is not, wearing a binder suffices – and that, I have noticed, is once a month or so.
This has lead me to the decision that I think I do not need to take Testosterone at this point in my life. I am good and whole the way I am, and I do not need to become (physically) stronger and more buff to protect myself. I can be everything I want to be, and I do not need to look one way or the other to look queer enough or anything. And whilst I have been pondering, sometimes the word “genderqueer” seemed better than “non-binary” to me. Whilst both are very similar, or even essentially the same, there is a political dimension to genderqueer that is absent from non-binary (though it could be very easily be added to it, or is even implicitly present already). But in the end, I am going towards rejecting those labels for myself. I am a human being, a member of the human race.
But before I could tell myself the doctor that I think I will not opt for taking T, the matter was more or less taken out of my hands, in a certain way by my body. I have several chronic illnesses that require medical treatment. They have complications and sometimes resist treatment making things complicated and needing changes in treatment (immunosuppressants, hormonal problems, chronic cluster headache…). Taking T additionally to the high level T that I already have naturally, does not sit well with my medications and could lead, for some them, to medium to severe interactions. So that alone is a reason to not to take it. But it is good to have done all the thinking and meditating about my life anyway, as it helps me to understand where I am today and why.
From here on, I move forward, confident and grateful.