The next step: ‘Being trans is a happy thing’

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    It’s not a feeling I’d let myself get used to — that sense of relief and belonging. I want to savor it, so I can’t use it all at once. There’s something sour about the words “positive trans experience,” almost as though having good experiences with trans people is something meant to be scarce. It’s not, or it’s not supposed to be, but sometimes those brief moments when you’re in a solely, or mostly, trans space, it feels happy. There’s nothing inherently wrong with other spaces, like those with family, it’s just … different. A different kind of happy.

    Recently, I began treatment at the Mazzoni Center for hormone therapy. I’d spent too long dwelling on life and wondering if I’d ever make it to being the picture of myself I wanted to see. No more “I’ll never get there” without even trying. I had the money, so I figured now was a good time to start making an effort towards it. Making my own appointments was the first step. I’ve been out as trans for nearly five years now, and with finally having a steady job, I thought it was time I take those extra steps and start really caring for myself better. I’d made my appointment a month in advance; the Mazzoni Center’s schedules are always packed. When the end of February came, I found myself taking a bus to a part of the city I’d never been. I thought I’d get lost. (I didn’t.) I was kind of scared, really nervous, and a bit hesitant to let myself be comfortable in a strange environment. I’d been worried for weeks that they’d find something that would prevent me from starting T [testosterone]. (They haven’t.)

    The health center is on the second floor … talk to someone at the check in, and check in. There was a woman at the front desk when I went in, her name and pronouns on a little placard next to her desk. It was like that for everyone. I don’t think I’d ever talked directly to an adult trans person before in my life. Sure, I’d met fellow trans teenagers, but never had I met someone in a professional field that was happily trans. I can’t really explain the feeling; it’s something that can only be felt when you’re there; when the time is absolutely right and this is where you’re meant to be. It was happy. The kind of happy that catches your voice in your throat, and makes you feel like crying but for a good reason.

    I start on T in about a month, and I look forward to every appointment after that. I don’t want to get used to this feeling yet. It’s still fresh in my mind, and I want it to stay that way. I want the happy feeling to be present when I need it most.

    It’s a happy place. Being trans is a happy thing. I’m happy.