Well, I’ve finally done it. I’ve finally made my appointment with the doctor to begin my Hormone Replacement Therapy. It won’t be for another month as she was booked until the end of January but on January 27th I’m going to finally begin my journey to physical womanhood.
As I write this I feel the butterflies in my abdomen doing back flips and I feel my fingers starting to quiver with anticipation. It has been such a long road to finally get to this point and now that I’m standing on the precipice I can’t help but feel really nervous. In a lot of ways this will be the point of no return for me because once I begin hormones I have no intention of stopping them. Right now, if I decided that I didn’t want to embark on this journey to becoming Emma (transwoman extraordinaire!), I could just go back to being Robert the man. I could cut my hair short again, remove my metallic purple toenail polish, forget I ever knew anything about voice feminization, throw away my makeup stash and turn away from this path forever. I could apologize, awkward as it would be, to all my friends and family that I’d been misguided in my feelings and that me being transgender was just a phase. Eventually they’d probably even forgive me, but I know I could never forgive myself.
I want any out there who are in similar shoes as me to know that I am not without doubt as I prepare for this doctor’s appointment. True, I could never forgive myself for chickening out on something I know I must do, but doubt is always nagging at the back of my mind as I consider the path ahead of me. There are so many uncertainties in the road before me, so many hidden corners and obstacles I have yet to foresee. My life may very well fall into complete disarray after I begin my HRT treatments and that thought frightens me quite a bit.
What will I look like after everything is done? Will my reflection finally become something I’m happy to see every morning? How much of an effect will the HRT have on my face and body? Will I be able to easily pass as a woman, or will I have to find solace in only partially passing? What about boobs? I know I shouldn’t expect anything too significant but how big/small will they end up being?
Setting aside vanity, what about my job? And my marriage? Everyone is always asking how my wife is taking things and I honestly don’t know how to answer that question. We don’t really talk about it because I can sense she doesn’t want to discuss it but what does that mean? Is she just having her process and shining a light on the subject only furthers the fears that she is trying to overcome? She seems mostly supportive and open about it, if not a little sad, but does her current willingness really mean she’s going to be okay with everything? Will she still love me when I no longer resemble the man she married and fell in love with? Can love truly transcend gender, or is our relationship doomed? I could never blame her for leaving, not under these circumstances, but what will I do if she does decide to go?
These are the questions I have rattling around in my mind, questions that really have no answer except for what only time can answer.
If I may be so candid, I want to say that I am terribly frightened by what I’m doing. All those years of fear and doubt are weighing down upon me right now, in this instant, and I feel as though there is nothing to save me from the crushing heaviness. Am I really going to do this? Am I really going to forsake 29 years of my life to begin something so different and new? Am I really going to transgress the gender norms and become something that most people don’t understand, some people joke about, and many people believe is a sure road to eternal damnation? Will God forgive me for what I’m about to do to myself, or is he up in heaven shaking his head in proverbial disappointment about the choice I’m about to make?
Where is comfort when emptiness and silence are my only true companions? Where will the sure footing I seek so badly be once I leap from this cliff into the dark and unknown? How will I navigate the road ahead with no one to guide me except for my patchwork confidence and fickle heart? Today my heart tells me that happiness lies on the other side of this transformation I’m embarking on, but my heart has been wrong before. Am I walking into a self-made trap, from which there can be no escape? There is no reset button, no previous save point to load and try again, once I make this choice there is no going back. Once I leap from this cliff there is no sprouting wings and flying back up. I will be left with no option but to succumb to the gravity of my decision and allow it to pull me to whatever end awaits for me.
And yet, there is a small voice, a quiet voice, echoing through my soul that whispers like a song:
“Do not be afraid, little one, we will ease your fall.
Our loving arms will catch you, after all.
Descend and our strength will shore you up,
Like eternal love, overflowing your cup
All will see the beauty you fear to show,
Emanating like the moon’s gentle glow.
They will tremble with joy and delight,
At the tranquil and luminescent sight.
Be strong and others may follow,
Give courage to those who’re hollow.
A light atop the hill that guides,
In you, their suffering confides.
Dare to make your path,
and live without fear or wrath.
Take courage and feel our love,
emanating from high above.
There is great love here for you,
And respect for all you do.
Though scary your leap may be,
This jump will set you free.”