A few months ago, I was talking to a friend about my plans for starting T. He asked me what I was most looking forward to — after a bit, I said not sounding like a twelve-year-old and not being read as a girl. While that’s true, it’s not the first thing that came to mind.
My first thought was, “I want to look like you.” Not, really, like him specifically (I’m not delusional) but like all of my friends who are on T. I see them, and I want to look like that. I want people to read me as male: I want people other than my friends and family — other than those who already know how I identify — to see that I’m not a woman.
I want to be out with friends and have strangers call me handsome, like them, not beautiful — being the one person who’s awkwardly misgendered. I want people to stop seeing me as girly. Except, perhaps, in a way that also also me to be a boy (“I get a kick out of boys that are girly — girly boys.” Thank you, Beth Boucher). I want to be able to get a facial or a pedicure and not be called ‘she.’ I want to be able to look in the mirror and not see someone female staring back at me.
It’s now been a little over a month since I started on T: I gave myself my fourth shot today. I’d almost swear that my voice is changing — not yet dropping, but it sounds and feels different. I’m beginning to see a bit of muscle definition in the bicep/tricep area (of course, that could be due to the fact that I started working out again more than due to T).
I am so impatient to actually see changes! While I actually started injections a month ago, I got the prescription written two months ago, and I started trying to get T six months ago. It feels like everything has gone so, so slowly, but finally, things are getting started.
And after numerous phone calls with the insurance company, rejections, and a lot of support from the lovely people at the Chicago Women’s Health Center (even though they’re 400 miles away), my insurance company has agreed to cover my T! It feels like a victory, even though that feels a little unfair — as hormone therapy, testosterone is clearly covered according to my health plan; that they’ve agreed to cover it is nothing more than them doing what they’ve said they would. In a larger sense, we all deserve decent healthcare and health insurance, and that insurance covers needed healthcare shouldn’t be victory: it should be a given.
Still, I’m very appreciative that my insurance will be covering my T. Of my friends who both are on hormones and have health insurance, very few (if any) of them have been able to get their insurance to pay for hormones. I’m a little hesitant about celebrating quite yet — I’d prefer to wait until I have to refill my prescription, and they actually pay for it — but I’m still happy. I’m counting this as a victory; I’ll deal with it later if they renege on their promised coverage.
And even more than being happy about T being covered by insurance, I’m happy to be on T. I’m grateful that places like the Chicago Women’s Health Center and Howard Brown Health Center use an informed consent process. And I’m just so excited about being on T and seeing where it will take me.