Dear L and G: Please Don’t Forget the Other Letters, Okay?

Apparently, a message of love and acceptance doesn’t always include everyone.

When I was only fourteen, I realized I liked girls. Naturally, I came out as a lesbian. I kept a more minor attraction to boys inside and to myself. After all, every young lesbian I met told me they’d never date someone who “played for both teams”.

Anyway, still in my teens, I remember a thread started on one of the lesbian-specific Facebook groups I was a part of: “Would you accept your child if they came out to you as transgender?” I was shocked to see hundreds of comments come in as a resounding “no”. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. All of these lesbians posted messages preaching acceptance and open-mindedness on the daily.

Huh?

It didn’t make sense to me then. So when I started to realize I was and had always been transgender, I kept it to myself for the longest time.

Lesbian friends had one of two reactions. “That’s wrong” or “Eh, I’d still do you anyway!” Nonetheless, I certainly wasn’t going to come out to anyone as pansexual at that point. At least, not until I started socially transitioning. Lesbian friends of mine started telling me I looked just fine and didn’t need to change a thing. Some called me “tranny”. I flat out lost a lot of friends, and not one of them was heterosexual and cisgender.

My own experiences aside, there are many people who don’t fit neatly into the boxes that cisgender gays and lesbians create for us. Some people are asexual, demisexual, bisexual, pansexual, aromantic, etc. or some of us just flat out aren’t cisgender. The very existence of trans people has caused an outcry from the lesbian and gay communities, some calling us homophobic by nature and others calling for the “T” to be dropped from LGBT.

And let’s not forget the issue of racism running rampant in the lesbian and gay communities, too. No, being lesbian or gay doesn’t automatically make you not racist. Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way.

Ever heard of Stonewall? It wasn’t some white, cis, gay man that threw the first brick. It was a black transgender woman, Marsha P. Johnson. Because of the Stonewall Riots, white lesbian and gay people are free to walk the streets and live openly as their true selves today. That is, with very little acknowledgment to the people who fought for that freedom. It included a lot of trans people, bisexual individuals, and people of color.

So why is transphobia, biphobia, and racism ever prevalent in the LGBT community?

I don’t know. And that is a sad fact that I really don’t have the answer. A lot of us don’t. I have never understood why people hold so tight to discrimination and hatred of other people. Especially when their own personal lives are not affected by it.

In the summer of 2017, the rainbow flag in Philadelphia added a brown and black stripe for people of color the LGBT+ community. Despite the positive message of inclusion they were striving for, many white lesbians and gays took it as some sort of attack on the rainbow flag.

A lot of TERFS — Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists — happen to be lesbians. They argue that trans women are “men invading women’s spaces” and that trans men are anti-lesbian; both by fact of mere existence. In fact, quite a few lesbians have taken to creating blogs that not only lash out against transgender individuals and their rights, but target trans youth and publicly out them.

Publicly outing a trans person can be dangerous to them, in an unlimited number of ways.

Bisexual and pansexual people face a large amount of backlash from gays and lesbians, frequently being called derogatory names and being berated at pride events. Asexuals, along with plenty of other sexualities, are simply often not even given acknowledgement of their existence. Let me give you a hint: the “A” in LGBTQIA doesn’t stand for “ally”. . .

Under a sky of rainbow flags held up by transgender, bisexual people of color and even more exists a large parade of white, cisgender lesbians and gays who claim those colors solely for themselves. That isn’t right. Our contributions to this movement are either ignored, mocked, or outright stolen and taken credit for by others. While you preach a message of love and tolerance, hundreds step on the feet of thousands working to make that message a reality.

Listen up L and G: none of the other letters have stopped fighting the good fight. Why have you so hastily cast us out?

Where I’m At: Sixteen Months On T

So, I’m going to post some info about my own journey on hormone replacement therapy and what not. I’m doing so in the hopes that maybe talking about it may help some other AFAB people who are on testosterone as well, or who are hoping to get on testosterone in the future.

I started testosterone on March 1, 2016. I started on gel and moved to shots after that. I have been on different doses. March 1st – July 1st means sixteen months on T for me so far, yay!

It’s important to note I have also been on lower doses of T since my journey began.

Since starting testosterone, here’s just a few of the things I have experienced:

-Increase in body hair growth, including more hair in places where I had hair before, and new hair in places where I never had it.

-Lots of different places on my face where I am now growing hair. However, sadly, while still living with my conservative father, I am forced to shave on a regular basis. Sometimes I let it go for a few days if I’m working a lot and know I won’t cross paths with him. But if he saw it, I’d be kicked out. I was temporarily banned from living here for a few months earlier this year, but have been staying here a little in the summer until my girlfriend and I can move in together.

-A LOT of increased muscle mass; especially in my upper body.

-Increased libido and growth “down there”.

-My hair line has receded at least a little, but it is noticeable.

-I have gained more weight around my mid-section, but I hope to start getting back to the gym soon so I can work it off.

-My voice has dropped but is continuing to drop. Other people notice it much more than I do and I notice it more when I compare it to old videos of me speaking and singing. The drop in my singing voice is actually much more noticeable than the drop in my speaking voice, too. I can especially tell my voice is different, however, when I sneeze or cry. Really. My sneeze is much different. So is my voice when I’m crying!

-I can see changes in my face.

-My period stopped for about three months and then started up again. Recently, though, it has been super light so I hope it will stop again.

-I sweat WAY more. Like seriously. What the heck?

-My eyebrows grow together faster. I don’t know why. . .

And much, much more. . .

At my last endo appointment, I was told my testosterone levels are in the 500’s, which is good. However, my estrogen levels are high. I know that a lot of the FtM community frowns upon using supplements and such, but I have started using DIM (diindolymethane) in order to help balance out my estrogen levels. I’m not sure if this will help, but I guess we will see.

I will point out that in doing research for supplements that help decrease estrogen, I found a lot that decrease estrogen in folks assigned male at birth, but most of the same ones INCREASED estrogen in folks assigned female at birth. However, with DIM, I feel the research points toward decreasing estrogen levels in both. That is part of why I decided to give it a try.

My next appointment with the endocrinologist is on Halloween. And hopefully at that point, I will have had top surgery done and changed my legal gender marker, both of which I’m working on. I have my name changed and my gender changed on my driver’s license (working on having it changed on my birth certificate).

Thanks for reading!