Chris Interview #3, May 2016

“Now that I am about seven months into hormone treatment, I notice that my muscles are developing really quickly. I have started going to the gym more than ever. I am getting more facial hair and more hair in general, especially on my arms. It’s kind of crazy to see. My voice has deepened a lot more.

Emotionally, I feel a lot more stable now because I changed the way I take the hormones. I used to take them every two weeks; now I do it every week so I feel a lot more even. I am also on a higher dose now. All of these changes have made me feel better.

I have always felt that I was a bit more on the masculine side, but now with these changes in my body I am feeling more comfortable, more like myself. I still feel mostly gender-fluid, not that I go between boy and girl really, but I don’t feel I fit in completely with either one.

In terms of my moods, I notice that I used to be a lot more patient before I started taking testosterone. Now I feel like I am quicker to get angry, but it’s not overwhelming.

Things are good with my girlfriend. I feel like she is super supportive, like she loves me no matter what, and that’s great to have. She told me I am no longer able to focus on a variety of things at the same time. I can’t multitask. If I am totally involved in something I can’t pay attention to her at the same time, whereas before I was totally fine with doing that. She says, ‘you are such a dude now; you don’t listen to anything I say.’

I notice that I have more sexual dreams now but that is the only change I can think of regarding my dreams.

I love the chance to experience being both sexes. I kid around a lot with my guy friends and we say, ‘I’m so glad I wasn’t born with a penis.’ I think that perspective is something I really like because I want to be the type of man who is in touch with his emotions. I want to have respect for women. I feel like I have more sensitivity because I was raised and socialized that way.

I have a couple of transwomen friends, but the main group of friends I have is cisgender queer people and transmen. I think it’s really cool to have that group to be around. I feel very comfortable and accepted.

You ask if I feel separate from the traditional gay population. Yes and no. I feel like the majority of the queer population, or many LGBT people, still have a little transphobia, like they still don’t completely get it because they are not trans. I think the LGBT population has a ways to go before they completely accept transgender people. On the other hand, I feel that in any LGBT or queer space I go into I feel very much at home. But that’s also because I identify as a queer person.

Right now I am working in the MetLife Building doing construction. About a month and a half ago I told my boss that I had to have surgery. He was concerned and said, ‘oh, are you okay? What kind of surgery?’ He was worried because people my age don’t usually have surgery. So I told him I was having top surgery, transitioning from female to male. He said, ‘oh, okay. Well, good luck.’ He was pretty okay with it; I wasn’t expecting that. When I returned from work, another project manager said, ‘So, what’s your name now?’ I told him it was Christian, and it was no big deal. But I don’t think they told the other people I work with, so they don’t know I’m transitioning. So I get a mixed bag of shes and hes. Everyone seems real nice about it; there is no real hostility.

But I am experiencing a little hostility myself towards them because they are not using the right pronouns. Yet I can’t really hold it against them because many of them don’t know yet. The project I was working on last week, only one of the company guys was there. So the foreman was calling me Chris, but he kept saying ‘she’ to some people. Everyone else on the job was using the pronoun ‘he,’ but to hear the foreman call me ‘she’ was really confusing and no one really caught on. About a week into the job he stopped using ‘he’ or ‘she’ and just called me Chris. Or Christian. So he finally caught himself and is changing his words.

At work I am conscious of not reverting back to my old ways. I try not to stand certain ways that might look feminine. It is weird because I don’t want to conform to that idea that I have to change my mannerisms, but I don’t want them to pick up on anything. I try to lower my voice a little. At work my gender role is shifting more than it is at home.

I enjoy my profession more now because I am so much stronger. I just feel tougher in general, which is good for me considering my line of work. And I just like that people see me the way I want to be seen now. I rarely get ‘she’ or ‘maam.’ Once my voice dropped further, and I started getting facial hair, I was not getting misgendered, which is very nice.

When I was changing my documents, I went to Social Security, to the DMV, and they were all very nice. The woman at the DMV went out of her way to make sure everything would go through easily. As I was leaving she said, ‘good luck!’

I do have a lot of anger but I try not to show it, and I also try to understand. I think with transwomen it’s a little different. A lot of people will say, ‘they still look like a man,’ and it is tough to hear that.

Do I miss anything about being female? Not really, because I feel like I still have everything I had before. I still have my emotions, my mannerisms; I’m not changing completely just because I am transgender. I feel like all that has changed is that I feel more comfortable within myself. I am still the same person—very emotional, nice and polite. I have not turned into a belligerent man.

I saw a lot of family yesterday and it’s a mixed bag because most of them are still saying ‘she’ and ‘her.’ They all know, I’m pretty sure; my mom has been telling a lot of people. My mom has been wonderful, but she still has a ways to go in understanding a lot of things. I try to talk to her as calmly as I can but sometimes it does get a little frustrating, like the questions she asks. Sometimes I feel like she doesn’t want to understand. It is going to take time so I have to be patient. My dad is on the fence. He’s supportive but he also doesn’t get it at all.”