Hoo, boy. Where do I even begin? I have a feeling this post will get quite long, so I'm going to preface my story by stating two key facts about myself.
I have an unusually masculine body shape. My shoulders are broader than my hips, and being overweight on top of that, it can be a challenge to find women's clothes that fit me. More often than not, I end up buying men's clothes because they just tend to fit me better.
I'm autistic, so social cues aren't exactly my strong suit. As a result, I never quite fit in with either gender growing up. I "wasn't like other girls", but I sure as hell wasn't "one of the boys", either. I was just kind of...there.
I was already an adult when the trans movement really started to kick off on social media, and being someone who is susceptible to peer pressure, I began experimenting with being "non-binary" at the age of 19. It didn't last long.
Fast forward a few years. At this point, I had been through a lot of unrelated trauma, and I hated myself. I hated my body, I hated how I didn't look like a "normal woman". I hated how it was impossible for me to find feminine clothes that fit me. I hated how I didn't even quite fit in with other women to begin with.
But despite my body dysmorphia, I still identified as cis. Why? Because I just didn't think transitioning would be possible for me. With all of my other, unrelated mental and physical health difficulties, it just wouldn't be safe for me to irreversibly change my body.
All of that changed the first time I saw an OB/GYN. I mentioned off-handedly that I'd considered myself non-binary in the past, but "couldn't" do hormones. She asked me, if there were no side effect concerns, would I want to do it? I couldn't honestly answer that. She said that she wasn't an expert on transgender health, obviously, but that she assumed that there would be screening before I'd be given approval to go on hormones.
With this revelation in mind, I began to once again toy with the idea of being trans. I began socially transitioning. I cut my hair short - a decision I do not regret, short hair is awesome - and as I said earlier, I already wore men's clothes most of the time, so that part wasn't a big change.
Early last year, I fell direly ill with a chronic illness, and nearly died. I was on steroids for quite a while as my body healed, and those steroids made me absolutely bonkers. I began doing and saying the most manic things...including actually scheduling an appointment at a transgender health clinic to start doing hormones.
Now I admit... I was expecting screening. After what I'd just been through, I thought there would be a lot of testing done on me to figure out if it was safe for someone who literally nearly died to start doing hormones. I expected there to be mental health screening too, because there was a small part of me that knew the steroids were making my behavior more erratic than normal.
And the answer I got was essentially: "Well, we won't know until we try it!" And just like that, I was given a prescription for testosterone, ready to be injected next week. No tests. No counseling. Nothing. Just, oh, you say you're trans? Okay, here you go!
I live with my older sister, and thank God, she put her foot down. She's always been a huge supporter of LGBT rights, but she did not approve of this one bit. How could she? I literally nearly DIED, and the steroids made me act insane, there was no way in hell this was a good idea.
I was heartbroken at first, but I finally conceded she was right. I wasn't ready for this. I called the clinic up and said I needed to put it on hold. I was guilted by the receptionist - "But we have your medication ready..." - but I didn't care. Even in my roided-out state, I was able to realize that it was extremely suspicious that they were just going to inject me with testosterone without even doing a single test to make sure it was safe. That they considered my manic mental state to be able to consent.
It's been over a year since then, and when I look back on it, I cringe so hard. What was I thinking?? But moreso, it makes me sick to think of how many women like myself are out there who may fall victim to this. Women like me, who have an unusual body type, being convinced that they're "actually men". How many young autistic girls are finding that they don't fit in with their peers, and therefore, they need to irreversibly damage their growing bodies to do so. It's heartbreaking, it's sick, and honestly, I can't believe it's taken me over a year to finally come out and say it.
Sorry for writing this novel, I just needed to get all of that off my chest. If you read all the way through, you get a cookie. :)