making and unmaking

i forgot about my testosterone anniversary.  i forgot my shot that week, too.

at the doctor’s, i had to take off my binder for her to palpate my stomach.  she pressed on my left ovary; i squealed.  she didn’t say anything.  she asked me if i was taking oral testosterone and i wanted to cry. i hate explaining my body to doctors—didn’t they go to graduate school for eight years to know how the body works?  didn’t they drag themselves to bed every night, only to worry for hours about upcoming papers, exams, pressing personal problems they didn’t have time to address?  don’t they know the power they have to make or break a life?  i sighed.  she watched me put my binder back on and wondered if she watched everyone put their underwear back on.  the worst part was that she was so nice, just unsure, so i couldn’t even be angry.

my mother emailed me and told me that she was worried about me attending my best friend’s wedding.  too many people from work, too many fellow friend’s parents.  i’m in the ceremony.  i hash out with my friend what i’ll wear—maybe a pant suit, maybe go all out drag and wear a dress.  i tell her to use my birth name because this day is not about me.  but i feel like i’m putting my underwear on in a room full of doctors who don’t know that oral testosterone disintegrates your liver. 

i respond to my mother’s email, reassuring her, wanting to tell her that it’s not worth all the trouble, that everyone knows.

this is just as hard for me as it is for you, i tell her.

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