When I was considering going on to HRT I thought the hardest part of my experience was going to be the actual decision making and then getting a script for T but I was so very, very wrong. Transition has been a far harder experience than I ever expected.
The last month has been one of the hardest months of my life. I am barely hanging on in the maelstrom of negativity and hate, the crap I’ve had to deal with has me feeling defeated. I am left wondering if I have the strength to survive living in this world as a non binary person. The issue isn’t with transition per se but rather the series of events that I can no longer ignore and won’t go away.
My business is struggling, I can’t afford to float it much longer and as a result I am going to be looking for a job soon. This is a hard blow and while I know the issue isn’t with my skill as a medical practitioner, it seems that my unusual presentation may be a bit too weird for the conservative community I live in. So I cut my hair and dyed it black in a desperate attempt at some sort of conformity. The problem with this is that when I had blue (green/purple/turquoise) hair I could look in a mirror and like what I saw there, possibly for the first time in my life. I dislike my new haircut. It is also a tricky place to be because while my new haircut doesn’t feel right, it has had some of the effect that I wanted in that I get read as more masculine. A security guard called be boet (Afrikaans word for brother) the other day which gave me a moment of hell yeah, but that hell yeah is sorely lacking in my reflection. So either I have blue hair and struggle to find a job, and get horribly misgendered but like how I look or I have black hair, get more gender validation and possibly increase my chances of finding employment but struggle with my reflection on a daily basis.
It doesn’t help that a couple days after I cut my hair my car was keyed in what I can only guess was a homophobic/transphobic attack. I assume it was a hate crime as it happened at a place I go to 2-3 times a week and someone who might have had an issue with me would have seen me around a lot and been able to figure out which car I drive. I wasn’t parked badly, hadn’t cut anyone off or otherwise been rude to anyone there, I am on good terms with all the waiters/security staff/cashiers in the centre and greet most of them by name, and there aren’t kids hanging out in the centre who may have vandalised my car just for fun. The damage to my car was malicious and whoever did it did so in such a way as to scratch all the panels down one side of my car, there was anger and hatred in the action.
When people used to ask me why I had blue hair I explained that it gives people a focus for the fact that they find me weird. People can tell there is something unusual about me but they can’t quite figure out what it is and being non binary is so far out of people’s frame of reference that it isn’t something they would even be able to identify. It is easier for people to go “Oh, this person is weird because they have blue hair” and thus my blue hair actually put people at ease around me and became a talking point. I can’t help but feel that my recent change in appearance hasn’t somehow contributed to the fact that someone reacted so negatively towards me as to be moved to act in a pathetic and passive-aggressive manner. There have also been a lot more slurs, name calling, hisses and muttered remarks. It is exhausting.
There has also been big issues with my family. I finally got to the point where I told them that I no longer want contact with them. The reaction was something along the lines of “blah blah blah your gender issues blah blah blah you’ll always be our daughter blah.” So my decision to cut them out is becomingly exponentially easier to accept by the minute.
Being trans is hard. I can’t go back to who I was before I figured out that I am NB, but living in such a noxious world is breaking me down. Where to from here and how will I find a way to exist that isn’t damaging and painful? I’ve even contemplated putting a hold on my transition to buy time and process but I don’t think pausing transition will actually help me in any way.
I feel so lost.