Suddenly, This Summer

Everything seems very sudden.

And I understand that, especially if you’re looking from the outside in, as everyone is. Except me.

I mean, there’s no way to change your name gradually. You can’t phase in a new name and give everyone who comes in contact with you time to get used to it. You just change it one day and that’s it. People either adapt or they don’t.

“Your friend has lost his/her mind!”

But yeah, one day I popped up out of the blue with a podcast saying I’m transgender, and the next day, or over the next few days I changed all my social media to from Michael to Hannah. That’s weird, and it’s sudden, and it’s unexpected, since I didn’t tell anyone before I did any of it.

But none of it is sudden to me. I mean, the decision to blurt everything out was sudden, but it had to be. As Bob Dylan sang, “If I’d a thought about it, I never woulda done it.” But everything you’re learning about me now has been brewing for decades. Half a century, even. So it seems sudden, but it’s not.

Everything is going at its own pace. I don’t look like Hannah every time I leave the house, and my voice certainly doesn’t sound the way I’d like it to sound. It’s very un-Hannah-like. The legal name change will take months (or longer thanks to COVID), and if I get electrolysis to remove my damn beard, as I’d like to, that takes a year. Or more.

Hormone therapy? I can get that soon. California has “informed consent,” which means I don’t have to go through a bunch of “professional” gatekeepers (and hourly billers) to start hormones. I just go to a doctor and say, “I know the risks, I know I want to do it, get to scribbling on that prescription pad,” and they do it.

But I’ll probably see a therapist before I do that anyway, even though it’s not a requirement. What are they going to say, anyway? That I should wait to “be sure”? I’ve been waiting longer than they’ve probably been alive. I’m sure.

But everything takes time. And everything will happen in due time. But as a Bob Dylan imitator once sang, “The waiting is the hardest part.”


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