“One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” I’m going to rewrite this as, “A trans woman’s electrolysis is a trans man’s beard.”
I promised my wife I would stop transitioning physically after top surgery. Ha. Being unbalanced physically and mentally did not throw me as much while I was on the road to top surgery and while recovering afterwards. Now, almost a year after the operation, I am experiencing even more dysphoria, and reading about other trans guys learning to shave or growing beards, is not helping at all, to put it mildly. How I wish I could trade my baby-soft cheeks for the beard of a trans woman going through the pain of electrolysis…
Tyrannosaurus Rex has raised its ugly head and is staring at me with its beady eyes, softly growling, “Think about it, chum.”
And I am thinking about it. Daily. The scale is tipping heavily towards the physical. My desire to go on T is growing exponentially. If I had been single, I would most probably have already embarked on the journey, riding into the future on T Rex’s back. But I am not single, I have a partner to consider and B is not the emotionally strongest person around – on the contrary.
So I am finding myself balancing on a very sharp double-edged sword: my need and intense desire to continue physical transitioning by going on testosterone on one hand, and B’s fragile emotional state and fears on the other. She had given me her blessing to go through with top surgery, but a flat chest is not something for which people will stone you. They might wonder where the flower sacks have gone, but they will not query it. A beard is something totally different.
B had dragged along a cartful of baggage from childhood through our quarter of a century together and had discarded most of it in years of therapy. She has only recently come to terms with the concept of being in a “gay” relationship, and then I had to go and throw the whole transgender issue at her: mud, manure and all. She cannot fathom that I now, a stone-throw away from turning 60, would want to look like a man. I, on the other hand, have to make the picture of the guy I am in my head, fit into a shell that screams, “Female!”
The partners of trans people are walking an uphill emotional road as well, feeling as alone and scared as us who are transitioning. Some relationships cannot withstand being emotionally torn apart and disintegrate. Friendships die a sudden death when friends hear about a person transitioning. Families turn their backs.
How can I now put B through the wringer again?
I do not think I have the emotional strength to ride into the sunset on T Rex’s back alone. I will just have to keep shooting at him.
Note: While not a T Rex, Gertie the Dinosaur is a 1914 animated short film by American cartoonist and animator Winsor McCay. It is the earliest animated film to feature a dinosaur.