No, I am not talking about watercress finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and a steaming pot of Earl Gray. Nor am I thinking about a round of golf here in Michigan or anywhere else.
I am referring to testosterone; “T” as it is familiarly referred to by those transitioning from female to male. “T” is what will deepen the voice, encourage facial hair to grow and build muscle mass. It is the magic elixir that will help to transform a trans boy into a man.
For two plus years our son has anticipated this moment. After coming out to me as transgender (female to male) more than a year and a half ago, one of the first things he said was, “I want to go on T.” At that moment, life came to a screeching halt. There was so much I didn’t know, didn’t understand, didn’t want to hear. Hunter had been doing research; he did all his homework and knew exactly what he wanted.
Yesterday was a big day. Yesterday, Hunter, my husband and I drove together to DMC Children’s Specialty Clinic and rode the elevator in anticipation to the Pediatric Endocrinology department housed on the third floor. Long-term, injections will be given by us, at home, on a weekly basis. The first time, however, is a required teaching session with our endocrine nurse.
Over the last few months, I’ve had numerous conversations with two of the nurses. They have been immensely helpful, kind and understanding through some very frustrating situations. I felt like they were trusted friends. While waiting for our “lesson,” the exam room door opened and in walked both nurses. They, too, felt a connection to us and to our journey.
“We just couldn’t wait to meet you,” they exclaimed, practically in unison, as if they’d rehearsed.
We’ve had so many hurdles to get past in order to get to this day, it really was especially meaningful that the nurses were there to cheer us on. And then it was down to business. I think we were attentive students; I know that I, for one, didn’t want to miss a single moment of the instruction — this was not a time to lose focus.
By the time we left, we had truly bonded with our nurse. We knew that she was a wife, a mother, a daughter and a breast cancer survivor. We knew that she cared deeply about her job and the children that she’s able to help every day. We knew that we had made a new friend.
So, here we are. Our journey — Hunter’s journey, has taken a new path. I have been very comfortable with where we were; perhaps, a bit too comfortable. Honestly, I am not sure that I am prepared for the road ahead of us. When will his voice start to change? What will it sound like? When will I feel stubble rather than a soft, smooth baby face? What will it be like for Hunter to go through puberty (again)?
We are hoping to document our weekly “T” times so we can track Hunter’s transition during this part of the journey. I am optimistic that at some point, down the road, I will once again feel comfortable with where we are.