Today is T day! I am 1 hour and 7 minutes away from the rest of my life as a trans man. Today I learn how to give myself weekly injections of testosterone. This is an exciting day, but it has also been anxiety provoking, I think that any action with such a huge ability to change my life should be a bit anxiety provoking, so I am taking it in stride. I hate needles, I loathe shots, and yet I am super excited to stab a needle into my thigh because it will start the next stage of my transition.
Leading up to today I have been thinking a lot about what things I want from myself and my loved ones during this time. I was talking to my brother recently, he is a huge supporter of me and my wife’s transitions, but he said something that made me pause and realize the hurt that I have been causing that I never meant to inflict. He said that I can’t erase the past, there are pictures and memories and that will never go away. I have realized that I don’t want to erase the past, not that that response isn’t valid for some people,it just isn’t for Phoebe and I. So I knew that I needed to go back and talk with my family again so that they could be let off of the painful path I had deposited them on. See, for me the best way to go forward is to remember and be proud of the person that I was before. I am leaving up the pictures of me as a woman, I am not shutting Barb out of my life and not expecting anyone else to either for that matter, but that is exactly what I conveyed to my parents. In short, I was a jackass when I talked to them the first time. I won’t make excuses as to why I said it, but I told my Mom that she needed to mourn her daughter so she could love her son and that hurt her really deep. I tried to explain to my Dad how I wanted them to only see Alex because that is who I have been all along and Barb wasn’t suppose to be at all, that hurt him. So this past week I called both of my parents and talked with them individually in order to have less going on when I explained to them how I have been wrong in how I have gone about explaining my transition and what I want from them. I told them that I want them to see me as Alexander starting now and going forward. I told them how happy Phoebe and I are now and that we are simply being the best versions of ourselves as of now, but that we are proud of Barb and Joe and all that we accomplished. We are the same people, just different genders and much happier for it. I apologized for telling them such hurtful things and I told them that I know that it may take quite awhile but I hope that they can someday see me as Alexander James Rattee.
My Mom’s reaction: At first when I told her that I didn’t want to take the memory or the experiences with Barb away from her she got defensive for a bit, She kept saying that you can never take that from me and it took a lot for me to keep calm and stay on course. I simply let her know that I knew I couldn’t and I never really wanted to. I let her know that I didn’t expect change overnight, but that I would really like it if she could call me Alex. She said that it would take awhile and that was all. It was a great reaction from my Mom, who can be intensely negative and defensive. It felt like I actually got through to her, and that was even more apparent when she bought Phoebe really pretty flats that I picked out for her birthday without even one negative comment.
My Dad’d reaction: So my Dad also got defensive at first. Also stating that there was no way that I could take those memories and the pictures away from him. He was also much more pointed with just how big of an asshole I had been with my Mom, telling me that I told her she had to mourn Barb so that she could accept Alex. Once we were through that section of our talk he responded with telling me that he loved me and letting me know that he doesn’t understand it, he doesn’t agree with it and he said that if he was going through this dysphoria then he would be worried about himself and not happy and embracing it because it is a mental illness type of thing. All of that was really hard to hear, especially from him because he has always been the one in my corner. In the end he told me that he doesn’t want to picture me as a man, but he doesn’t have that say. He told me that he loves Phoebe and I and I think that the talk helped to some extent, but there is a lot of work to be done on that front. Thankfully it is worth the spoons that it takes from my reserve because losing my Dad is just not something I could abide by at all. One more day under my belt and today is the first day of my medical transition. It is so huge and I am sitting here watching the clock just waiting for the time when we can leave and get this done. Wish me luck, it’s time to for me to take the next step toward the best me I can be.