Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kickin' It Up a Notch

I gave myself a 150 mg shot day before yesterday. The pace seems absurdly slow, but there are a few inklings of changes: hints of more hair on my thighs and my mom asked me if I had a cold when I called her on Mother's Day (answer: "Uh...allergies?")

I'm going to the doc in the next week or so to make sure there aren't undesirable invisible side effects, like too many blood cells in my blood or high cholesterol.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I'm Ready for the Next Thing

I just gave myself my third 100 cc shot. Like 24 days ago when I gave myself the first 100 cc shot, I'm finishing my period. Meaning that my period is not only regular despite the hormonal havoc I am doing my best to inflict on myself, it's coming in four days under the requisite 28 days. Combine that with the fact that I've still got a couple (very minor) zitty patches and my voice came back perhaps a half step lower but no more, and I'm starting to wonder what the hell I'm sticking myself with a needle for. On the bright side, I'm not going bald, and I'm feeling if anything more solid in my desire to butch up physically.

Even though I'm not talking about the testosterone much, it feels right to be back in a position at the cutting edge of gender. The noblesse oblige of supporting a range of decisions from the most radical spot is more comfortable to me than constantly having to argue the point that not altering one's body physically to correspond to society's norms of maleness is also radical (which I continue to believe).

The irony is that plenty women have facial hair and lack curves: People just don't see them because those women spend lots of time and money trying to conform to the norms of their assigned gender. Meanwhile, the health care and beauty industries are raking in the bucks—mine included. The bad news is that through the wonders of advertising, they also get money from women who don't have facial hair, but are nonetheless convinced that their blond peach fuzz makes them look like veritable cavemen. It works like the penis enlargement spam campaign: I've gotten so many emails telling me to "enlarge my wonder worm" and "stop settling for mediocrity in the bedroom" that I've started to feel like maybe I do have a "microscopic manhood," which is absurd because $100 would buy me the most horse-like piece of equipment out there. But the first step is to sell low self-esteem. The second step is to sell a product that will never fully resolve the self-esteem problem but will keep you spending.

In many ways, I feel like the trend among butch dykes toward taking testosterone has the same phases. As more butches took testosterone, those of us not taking it were left feeling somewhat feminine by comparison—a new and undesired feeling. Seeking a solution, we do the American thing and spend money on a prescription.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Worst of Both Worlds, Part III

For the second month in a row, I've spotted between periods...which sounds like something my mom should say, or all my lesbian friends who are trying to get preggers.

And within an hour of my third shot, I got my period a couple days early. This is not how it was supposed to be.

And by the way, if you've never heard Margaret Cho on men with their periods, you should.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Another Victim of the DOJ's Abuses

Hitting the news today is a report of still more wrongdoing at Alberto Gonzales's Justice department. Prosecutor Leslie Hagen was fired despite an "outstanding" performance evaluation. How is this news? Well, Hagen's loyalty to the Republican party agenda is not in question. She was a good Republican, who was also rumored to be a lesbian.

The DOJ could hardly stoop lower than it already has. But while I definitely don't believe Hagen should have been fired for her rumored homosexuality, I hesitate to paint her as a victim. After all, she eagerly embraced a party that has made absolutely no bones about publicly slandering homosexuals and opposing their right to protection from employment discrimination. So if Hagen's as good a lawyer as they say she was, she should have seen this one coming.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Shot Accompli

100 cc's and still no crazy rage fits or humping people or objects against their will.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Worst of Both Worlds, Part II

Am I fat? Because I've put on about 8 pounds since I started taking testosterone. I can't tell if it's fat or bone density. I know it's not muscle because I'm still struggling with the same weights at the gym.

This was one of the things I was hoping to avoid. Fat is not a transman's friend—not when it tends to gather on the ass and hips. When I weigh too much, I look like a girl as I walk along a building and catch myself in the reflection. That is, in fact, how I define weighing too much.

In an effort to avoid having the "that's no lady, that's my ass" moment of recognition, I have been trying to figure out how to monitor if I'm gaining muscle or fat for some time now. It's totally humiliating to have to ask for help in this endeavor, because I really just seem like a girl who's convinced she's fat no matter how much I explain that I really do want to gain muscle weight. But it's equally pathetic to deprive myself of delicious foods, which inevitably leads one to talk about how one has to deprive oneself of delicious foods, which, yet again, makes one sound like a girl. Do straight biomen not have to watch their waistlines, or do they genuinely not care how fat they get? (They do a pretty fantastic job of looking terrible, so maybe they really don't give a rat's ass.)

And in the end, it's always fat anyway: Building enough muscle to gain weight without manly quantities of testosterone is well nigh impossible. And so far, testosterone hasn't been much help, because I think it's fat now, too. My ass is not looking any manlier. I hold on to one small hope: I don't think I've gotten so much fatter that all of my T-shirts should be cutting into my armpits like they are (and sports bras always do because I have pecs), so I may possibly—maybe—be getting a little bit wider in the shoulders.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Worst of Both Worlds

I'm scheduled to give myself a shot today, but I'm afraid of what it will do to me. I've got my period, and as a not-intended-to-procreate female, I get horniest just before and after my period, when there's absolutely no chance I'll get pregnant. (Which would be a nifty trick of nature if menstruating didn't suck so bad.) Before I started taking testosterone, I would find myself lolling about thinking about sex all day at these times, and usually wind up masturbating at some point. But now, the testosterone is amplifying the effects of whatever lady hormone it is that causes me to be so non-utilitarianly randy (I'm just playing dumb: I know it's progesterone, whatever that is). Now, I'm an internet porn bandit and I actually woke up the other morning with my pants down, as if I'd clawed them off myself in the middle of the night.

(Aside: Would somebody please put out for me? I'm not that bad. I'm actually kinda hot.)

Point being, I'm not sure I can handle the perfect storm generated by the confluence of my female and male randiness. If I could grow two heads and two nether regions, it could work out, but barring that I'm going to wait several days to give myself the shot.

I'm also going to increase my dose from 50 ccs to 100 ccs, since after 5 shots all I've got to show is a constellation of little zits on one side of my face. (The laryngitis persists, and since it began on Easter, I'm thinking that I may simply be reborn with a lower voice.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Before You Go Getting Any Ideas...

Somehow I need to say that my story isn’t that I’ve always been a man, born in the wrong—clearly wrong—body, and that I’ve hated my “breasts” (such as they are) since the moment they first appeared. I don’t want to live my life as a straight man. I’m ambivalent about facial hair—except sideburns, with which I’m obsessed. And I don’t want to go bald. I’m not sure a dicklet—i.e., large clit—will be any better than what I’ve got now, unless it makes it insanely easy to come while I molest some sweet young thing.

I do want people to stop making all kinds of assumptions about my likes and dislikes, my history and how I want to be treated based on the fact that they associate “biological female” with all kinds of other things that don't follow logically. (To take one particularly annoying example, my housemate really felt like it should be him who changed the lightbulb in the high-ceilinged hallway, even though I swear to god, he looked like he’d never done it before.) (Or the guy who called me baby at the gym.) I do want to stop having waitresses refer to my gorgeous femme date and I as "ladies." And I wanted to experience for myself what biological attributes of masculinity might come in a bottle.

Find Your Voice (It’s Multiple Choice!)

I came down with laryngitis on Sunday night. It’s the final farewell of a cold I thought I’d outsmarted. Being more than a little bit verbal, I don’t find laryngitis much fun. But this time, I find myself wondering if my old voice will ever fully come back.

I’m ambivalent. I don’t love my voice, but I don’t hate it and I’ve had it for a long time. I’m psyched to have a lower voice—I think this will be the coup de grace that finally defeats people’s impulse to call me ma’am. It’s just a question of how it will happen. Will I sound like a teenage boy (which I figure could be kinda fun because I could bat away questions by saying "My voice must be changing," which is sort of Dada)? Or will I just feel it fill with more and more reverb (which is mostly exciting, but a little bit uncomfortable because I find myself sometimes having a visceral man-hating reaction because some guy’s voice is so loud and penetrating)? Or will I get laryngitis—which caused my (cool) coworkers to observe that my voice is "awesome," and my boss to make an uncharacteristically bizarrely sexualizing/feminizing remark that it’s "husky" (italics indicating the tone of insinuation, tampered by his lack of skills and practice at being inappropriate)—and recover with a whole new voice?

All this to say, I should be recording myself everyday...but it feels entirely too self-absorbed. And how awkward is it to talk into a tape recorder when you’re alone in your room?

Doctor, Make Me a Man!

I got my first three shots at the doctor’s office. First I’d tried the patch, which resulted a few weeks into it in 11 perfectly round, itchy, blazingly red welts on my ass. Before the allergic meltdown, I felt very private about telling anyone I was taking testosterone. But the reaction made the story feel somehow more mine, and less like Lexington pulp fiction.

The fourth shot I gave myself, after being coached sufficiently by the nurse. I came home from work, wound up on X Tube, jacked off, then realized I should give myself the shot before my utterly un-gendersmart straightboy housemate got home. So I did, and it went perfectly—no fuckups, no blood, no pain (the trial run at the nurse’s hadn’t been quite so textbook).

And I felt a wave of kindness toward myself wash over me, and I thought: Somebody has to do it. (For all the feelings among the rest of the dyke community—including, not so long ago me—that trannyboys are the ultimate manifestation of the dyke who thinks s/he’s awesome and takes up a lot of space to prove it, it doesn’t feel particularly privileged to be sticking a needle in your ass all alone to become a bit of a Frankenstein.) Then I watched Law & Order, and all felt right in my private little world.