Skirting the Center

  • Reading time:5 mins read

So yesterday for my nine-month follow-up, we went on a little adventure. Got a little bold. Previously the only time I’d worn a skirt outside is that once, to the mailbox around the corner—and at the time it felt like I was running through fire. But here I figured, I’m basically a girl now. It’s getting kinda hard to hide, even when I dress androgynously. The more femme I go, the better I do psychologically. So why not just do it.

And I did. I wore a skirt and tights. Put on a lacy top. Did my above-mask makeup. Walked the two miles to my appointment. Only got hit on once.

The whole time, I just felt chill. No one gave a shit (aside from that one creepo), because why would they. People are people; everyone’s got their own thing going on. I am who I am. It’s fine. It’s whatever. I can just be myself now.

I got there a few minutes early and after waiting over two and a half hours, I got to see the… less helpful doctor for like five minutes. She barely titrated me up at all, though it seems there’s plenty of headroom. We’ll get back to that, though.

Everyone there did, however, keep calling me “ma’am.” That was novel.

After my session, I walked the two miles back, then halfway to the CVS to fill my prescription—before I realized I’d forgotten my wallet at home. So that’s halfway back again, then all the way to the CVS and back. Altogether that was like seven miles in a day, and oh my God I do not have New York legs anymore, never mind lockdown torpor, and I may never walk again after this.

So, I only got my estradiol bumped up to the level I had been unofficially taking anyway, which blows because I was looking for a tangible increase. Every time this goes up, I feel a little bit more human, a little bit less gross and ill, a little more myself. But, we’ll take what we can get I guess.

What’s interesting here is my hormone levels, which I don’t think I’d been given before. So the goal is to get my T down below 100, into a normal feminine range, right. I’m just on a moderate dose of spiro—150mg out of a theoretical max of 400. As it turns out, my T levels are… 9.


I don’t know what they’d be without the spiro, but that seems… uh, low. Considering the modest dose I’m on, and that the target is below 100. This of course does not surprise me in the shape of it—I know I’ve never been brimming with testosterone, right—but the exact number strikes me as hilarious.

I guess this would help to inform why I have suffered so little damage, broadly speaking, to the point where I figured my shit out and started to get my health in order.

So yeah, they felt no particular need to mess with my spiro dose. And that’s fine.

In terms of headroom for estrogen—okay, the ceiling is vaguely defined, but for an adult woman it’s around 350. Right now, my levels are at 170—so just under the square middle again, right? We can double my estrogen and I’ll still be in a healthy range, if close to scraping the top.

All of which is to say, in three months I’m gonna make a right old fuss about increasing my dose. There’s no reason to trickle this out, guys. I’m fine, I’m getting healthier. And this is what I need to get there. Just gimme my darned hormones, jeez.

But there’s a sort of nutty day. My legs are dead, but my hormones are awesome (if not quite where I want them yet) and very normal for a healthy adult woman. And, like. That’s what I am. I can go outside, dress how I want, act in a way that comes naturally to me, and no one cares.

On the way back from the CVS, I felt this weight fall from me despite my fatigue. All of this, everything I was doing, it was under my control. This was me, living my life. And it was fine. I didn’t have to watch the way I walked, try to control my autistic arm movements to avoid weirding out passers-by. If anything, all my neurodivergent tics seem that much less strange from a girl than from a boy—such is the culture we have, and the associations we make.

I just felt so relaxed, and inside myself, and present in the world. I saw all the young people walking around on a Friday night… in the middle of a pandemic… none of them wearing a fucking mask… living their lives, chatting, laughing, going to restaurants, and I realized, holy shit, I’m a real person too. If not for the plague and poverty, that could be me. I could have friends. I could be going out and doing things. And no one would care that I am me. If anything, they’d probably be nicer to me than they ever were to that awkward lumbering shell.

Like, I could be doing this. I could be alive. I could have a life. One of my choosing. I could make a world for myself.

But first, well.

Let’s get the world in order, I guess. And see if I can find a way to support myself.

God, though, when all of this is over? Everything is going to be so very different for me. For the first time, I feel so much potential. I want to be here. I want to live. I want to be free to simply fucking exist.

And I can be. And it will be good.