I’m not content with being content anymore.

I feel like at 26 I am supposed to have my shit together. Or at least, to have a plan about where I want my life to go and what I want to do with it. Being past 25, the age limit that I had put myself a long time ago is making me both very proud and very disappointed in myself.

At the same time, I understand that my life progression is not exactly a straight line. I spent most of my teenage years depressed, and then most of my early twenties in a frantic search for ways to exist in myself in a way that felt comfortable. And then I spent the rest transitioning, introducing a new identity to the world, and trying to put out the fires that this created in all the areas of my life.

From a certain point and after, I abandoned any aspiration of being happy for the sake of being “content”. I understood that happiness is not something that you can achieve if you can’t first be content with the situation you are in. Being content is a very low bar in measuring life satisfaction because it’s a very passive way of being, but it’s a good enough point of measure for letting go of things. And that’s what I did, and for a while it worked pretty well. It gave me stability and a peace of mind that I desperately needed.

It’s just that right now I don’t think that being content is enough for me. I want more from my life. I want more from myself. I generally, want more.

And I feel that it’s too late for me to want those things, because I spent all this time building my life around being content, without having worked out what being happy could mean for me or where I should put my work and efforts in order to make this a reality.

I feel like I spent so much time trying to be comfortable, that I forgot how to be happy.

And I have no idea what to do to bridge that gap, or even, if it’s possible to do so.

So you think you’re done with your transition?

There is this tendency when you reach a few octaves low and get the first facial hair, and finally yeet the teets to think that you’re “done” with your transition. Many people stop recording their changes, stop making youtube videos, and start living their stealth lives, as one would do. COMPLETELY UNDERSTANDABLE, I did that too.

And then I reached one and a half years on testosterone, and I changed the way I take it. And my voice started breaking again while I was two months in a new job – awkwaaard. And my face started getting round again, and I once again lost my perfectly sharp jawline and got a chubby cheeks fifteen year old’s face.

And my acne came back.

Is it the lockdown? Is it my diet? Is it the shots? Who knows?

All I know is that everything annoys me, I have infinite breakouts, my voice sounds like a squirrel, and I sweat like a mother fucker while having the sex drive of a kid that just discovered their genitals, while at the same time my back hurts and I find white hair on my eyebrows.

I AM IN CONFUSION.

Will this ever be really over?

The Defective Human: When your human warranty is not valid anymore

According to health insurance companies, being transgender is either a “pre-existing condition” that they will not cover medical expenses for (which by itself it’s a bit ridiculous if you ask me) or it is not considered a medical condition, having possible medical needs (like surgeries or hormone treatment) fall under “cosmetic procedures” and therefore, not covered either.

This is not the post where I argue about the fact that gender affirming surgeries and other procedures are labeled as “cosmetic” and “optional” (they are optional, not all transgender people choose to have them and that’s ok – however for those who do, it’s not really an “option”, when it’s either that or severe mental health problems).

This is rather the post where I talk about how it feels when you suddenly start understanding yourself as “defective” in comparison to the general population, and you get introduced to various situations where your “human warrantee” that will allow you to navigate your body in society is being seen as “out of warranty”.

Personally, I have been defective my whole life, one way or another. When I was 6 months old my parents discovered that I have a severe case of atopic dermatitis (an autoimmune, non-curable thing that causes rashes and unexplainable wounds on your body, and can make your mother shit herself in fear when she discovers her sleeping baby covered in blood as if someone slit their throat during the night). It’s not a serious condition, for the most part it’s mainly inconvenient and the worst thing that can happen to you is to get bullied at school because your skin looks really gross, but it’s something that made me familiar with the idea that I am defective, in ways that I can’t really do anything about it.

When I was 13, I was diagnosed with depression and the deal was sealed. I am defective, a kind of human that was not cooked properly and ended up being a bit scruffy at the ends. Fast forward to ten years later, I’m also trans (oh the surprise!). And if up until now I was the only one aware of my defectiveness, now the whole world would know.

The thing with defective products that their owners still use, is that pretty much they are the only ones who know how to deal with them. If you have an electronic device with a specific problem that needs a bit of shaking or the press of two random buttons to work properly, chances are that if it falls in the hands of someone else (who is not an expert) they probably won’t be able to figure it out, and they will just abandon it, right after swearing a bit for how “dumb” it is.

This metaphor, although uncomfortable, is a very relatable way of understanding the way most people see us. Many medical experts don’t know “which buttons they are supposed to press”, most acquaintances don’t understand “how it works”, friends and family are wondering “why don’t we let this go already”.

But, you know, it’s our thing. And it’s not only our thing, it’s us that are the “thing”.

And as much as I want to be angry at the world that many times has no idea what to do to “make me work”, I also understand that whether I like it or not, I’m not easy nor ordinary (in the bluntest of ways of course, it’s not that I consider myself a special snowflake), and I have to learn how to live with that, with all my defectiveness and such.

And for the most part, that’s okay, because for what is worth, I know which buttons I need to press, and that’s what matters the most.

My alien trans body: Being a medical liability

If you ever found yourself worrying about something going wrong with your body, you’d most likely feel safe to the hands of a medical practitioner (or a group of them) to know how to “fix you”. It’s pretty simple really. These people spent most of their lives studying the faults and functions of human bodies, and many of them are specialised to offer specific treatment for specific parts, and since your body is just another one of the thousands they’ve seen, you’re sorted, right?

Well yes. Until your body becomes part of a very small percentage of alien bodies, that not many people know how to deal with. I mean, yes sure, you’re not that special after all – your bodily functions on their majority are the same as everyone else’s. But what happens when they are not? And what happens when the data and knowledge available for these specific types of bodies are not much?

It’s scary.

Being a man who owns a vagina, let me tell you that visiting medical facilities is not the most pleasant of endeavours. Recently, I had to say the word “my vagina” to a medical practitioner and I immediately grasped a sense of “Oh! How do I deal with this right now” – not in a transphobic way, rather than in a human “I hope it’s something I know what to do about” way.

Given that I am still learning how my new body works, after years of it working in different ways, I would hope that medical practitioners would have a clearer idea about it, and they would be able to guide and support me through this process. However, most of them are just as confused as I am, and although both of us are aware of many of the things that are happening in there, we are still not sure if that’s the whole story or not.

I wish there was a specialty for transgender people. I mean, there are specialties for pretty much everything these days. It would provide so much comfort to people who need someone to empathise and understand them (us) when we go with a full on beard to a GP and talk about periods, or god forbid! vaginas.