Marilyn says don't be scared

I have an appointment at the Desert AIDS Project next week to register for services and I’m nervous about it.

I don’t have HIV—Desert AIDS Project also has a lot of transgender services, and they’re the only game in town (or within 100 miles, anyway) so they’re going to be my go-to resource for all things trans.

So I’ll be getting medical services from them, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and such, and also counseling or therapy for issues that come along with transitioning.

I’m nervous because I’m always nervous about the unknown. And about doctors and therapy. I’ve never been there, so I don’t know anyone there or know what to expect. That always throws me off. I’m the type of person who looks up a new place on Google maps and wants to know where I’m going to park, and what the door looks like. I’m weird. What did I do before the internet? What did any of us do before the internet?

I’m also nervous because, hello!, transitioning. It doesn’t make sense to be nervous about something I’ve wanted for so long, but I suppose fear doesn’t have to make sense. It’s fear. And it’s not so much fear of transitioning as a thing, I welcome that, I’m excited about that. It’s the unknown bits of it. What’s going to happen? Are these treatments going to be what I expect or want or hope for? Who knows. The whole thing is one big unknown, and that makes me queasy. Ha.

There’s a goal there somewhere. A year or two (or three or five or 10) off in the future. Again, unknown. You can’t know until you start, and even then, everyone is different. The older you are the longer it takes for the HRT to change your body and appearance. And even then I’ll never have the body that I really want, or look the way I really want to look. I’ll look different, I’m sure. Closer, hopefully, to who I’ve always seen myself as. But I don’t know if any trans person is every really satisfied with their appearance.

It shouldn’t matter. We should all embrace all forms and expressions of gender in the world. Non-binary or hybrid, in between kind of you-can’t-tell-what-I-am-and-that’s-the-way-I-like-it trans people are the same as those of us who want to be more traditionally male or female looking. So it shouldn’t matter. But it does.

But I have to be honest with myself, and myself says any change is good change. My expectations are low. Or not low, exactly, but tempered. I know I’m not going to swallow a few pills and wake up transformed. No one does, this shit is a lot of work and pain and inconvenience and expense. A lot. You have to have a high level of I don’t give a fuck to even start down this road.

Which is why it’s kind of funny that there are people out there who still ask, “Are you sure you want to do that?” or put up roadblocks for trans people and other gender malcontents and nonconformists. Am I sure? I think after 50 years of thinking, wishing, and hoping, it’s safe to say that, yeah, I’m pretty sure.

Are you sure you’re who you are?

You probably are. And you’ve probably never even considered that question because of course you are who you are. Who would question that?

Well, a lot of us would. And a lot of us have spent too much of our time thinking about who we are or worrying over who we are. Over years and decades that we could have been doing something more productive, like building business empires or cultivating rare orchids in Alaska.

So I don’t know what’s going to happen next week, let alone over the next few years. But it’s going to be good, I can feel that. It’s already been good, and I haven’t even really done anything yet, other than say, “Here I am, take it or leave it.” But that’s not exactly an easy thing to do either.


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