I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Jordan. In their first post with us, they talk about choosing whether or not to medically transition. Thanks for sharing with us, Jordan!
I’ve been anxious for as long as I can remember. As a child, social situations were nerve-wracking. As a teenager, I was already worried about getting into college, getting a job, and living independently. And as an adult, even with therapy and medication, anxiety continues to be a challenge that affects me daily.
So it’s no surprise that when I started to explore my gender identity, my anxiety kicked in full force. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go on hormones or if I wanted surgery. It took me years to reach that point, years of anxiety, years of asking what if.
I pondered over all of the possible negative outcomes. What if I transition and I don’t like who I become? What if I change my mind once I’ve started transitioning? What if testosterone gives me male pattern baldness? What if I’m always read as a woman, even once I transition? What if the surgery has complications? What if my family disowns me? What if I’m no longer accepted in queer spaces? What if people think me and my spouse are straight?
I didn’t have answers to all these questions, so I put my thoughts of transitioning on the back burner. It seemed like there was no possibility I could ever make peace with the anxiety and fear I felt over transitioning.
I went from one transgender support group to another, from one city to another, from one relationship to another. But in the background, my questions still lingered. Would I ever feel comfortable in the body I was born with? Would transitioning make me feel any better?
Deliberation is mentally exhausting. I spent years sitting on the fence, making no decision at all, denying myself the opportunity to live a happier life. The answers didn’t come easily, but eventually, I found them. And I realized that what was holding me back from transitioning wasn’t male pattern baldness or fear of societal reactions but fear of change and the unknown.
Transitioning is about giving up control and accepting that life has risks. Transitioning is about choosing to do what makes us happy in the moment, even if the results are variable and unpredictable. Transitioning is about doing what I can to make myself the most genuine version of myself, inside and out, regardless of the consequences.
I finally have decided to transition. I will be transitioning physically with hormones and top surgery but most importantly, I’m transitioning emotionally. I’m doing my best to live my life one day at a time, to not let anxiety and fear hold me back from learning, discovering, and exploring.
After all, I wasn’t given the choice whether or not to be transgender. But as a transgender person, I was given the choice whether or not to transition. Why live my life in fear? I’m getting my first testosterone shot later today, and plan to get top surgery in the next year. I’m anxious… but mostly I’m excited and eager to face whatever challenges await me.