Becoming the main character in my story

A little over a year ago, I had what many trans people refer to as their egg cracking moment. I didn’t do anything for two days, laying in my bed trying to determine what exactly it meant for me and my future. It shook me literally and figuratively to my core. I had a brief period of time where I wanted to try and tape it together for the hundredth time, pretend it wasn’t true, “that’s not me”. Spoiler: It was just not going to work for me this time.

Egg-cracking is generally referred to as the point of which a person realizes they are trans. The ‘egg’ is often the ‘shell’ of a presentation trans people have taken on for their own protection. For example a trans woman would say her shell was her acting masculine for many years, doing sterotypical male activities to fit in.

I went through every possible scenario in my mind… would my friends accept me? Would I be at risk of losing my job? What about the little twitter followings I had? Would that cause me to be harassed for being myself?  What about family? 

A note: Not every trans person wants to (or can) have any surgery, or take hormones. That doesn’t make them any less trans, and they’re still valid and beautiful people for being themselves. If you think less of a trans person based on these you should find yourself a therapist. 

I’m a year out from when I started my journey on HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) and it took quite a bit of therapy and self-reflection to get over my hesitations with it, “What if I regret it?” “What if you do actually want kids?…” etc, for me to truly start to feel like it was the right decision for me. Most of that was internalized transphobia I had picked up over the years, the constant bullying in school, the media, the jokes on sitcom shows (almost every sitcom has made a joke at the expense of trans people). 

I’m fortunate, my coworkers have been amazing and supportive. My friends have not treated me any differently and for the most part my family is doing their best. It’s a work in progress, it’s a big change for many to get used to calling me by my new name.

October 4th, 2020

October 4th, 2020 was the day I chose to make myself the main character in my own story. 

It was business as usual except for that one little, monumental step I took for myself that day. I had waited two months from my egg-cracking before I started HRT and got a prescription for it.  The prescription sat on my table for 5 days before I finally took my first dose.  What was I waiting on? Looking back, I thought I would come to regret it, but with every dose from that first one I got a little more sure every day it was the right decision for me and my body.

I’m fortunate to live in a state where I can be treated under the informed-consent model. I understand the risks, the pros, the cons. I’ve talked with my doctors, who are trans-friendly and VERY well informed. Many ill-informed (or unsupportive) doctors in many other states or countries (looking at you United Kingdom) gatekeep trans people to prevent their treatment and that has a high chance of causing trans people to die.

It’s a day I’ll remember going forward, for now. One day as the scars I earned from life before my transition start to fade, so too may October the 4th for me… I look forward to that realization when it passes as just a normal day.

Looking Back

Do I lament that I never started sooner, or one of the other times that the egg was almost cracked and it was pieced and taped back together? I could, if I let myself.  Sure I wish I knew I could transition and be successful and happy before I did… but I can’t change the past for it’s already written.

Do I wish I hadn’t had years of testosterone coursing through my body, causing permanent changes to my vocal cords and other areas of my body, of course I wish I had known then. I still can’t change that fact. Do I sound like a typical cis-woman? I don’t. Many women have deeper voices, and that doesn’t make them any less of a woman. 

It won’t be an overnight change, but I can help further the image that trans women (and trans men) are beautiful, successful people who can not just survive, but thrive. When I was close to cracking, I had found a few trans people over social media, and when I saw they were not just surviving or making due in an unhappy shell they constructed, it was one of the last pushes I needed to let my egg crack. 

I never planned on living past 18, then 20, then 25. When I hit 25 I was like “well shit, now what?”. In hindsight, this was my shell I had constructed realizing it wasn’t going to be able to hold on much longer. I never planned for a future, never could picture myself being successful, having a career or even considering relationships. Now I’m no longer living a shell of my life, I’m realizing I can have those things! It’s wildly freeing.

The future

I consider myself fortunate and lucky. I live in a time where the acceptance for trans people is better than it was in the past, but it’s not as good yet as I hope it will be in 10 more years. I want every trans child, teen or adult to be able to receive the treatment they want and need to thrive.

I live in a state of constantly wanting to hide myself from the internet, life as a trans woman on the internet can be really terrible if you fall onto the wrong parts… and wanting to live out and publicly so any other LGBTQ+ folks who need a role model can see we can be successful, happy and thriving. 

Thank you ❤️

For now I’ll wrap it up here. The past year has been full of ups and downs, but each day it gets a little bit easier. Doing things that scared me on October 5th, 2020 no longer scare me like they did. There are more scary things to come in the future, but I’m learning I’m strong enough to get past them.

It does get better. I’m glad I chose to live over the other option last year.

Thank you for reading,
Andrea