I began presenting masculine and got rid of all my women’s clothing – purchased a new wardrobe of only men’s clothing.
While working at the LGBT Community Center in New York City, I had my first encounter with a transgender male when I was introduced to a transguy colleague. I recognized that I shared a similar story, but didn’t understand that transition was something that was realistic for me at the time.
While taking a break from the city by spending about half a year back in my the town where I went to college, I was randomly asked by a work colleague who didn’t know me as transgender and didn’t have any ties to the LGBT community if I preferred male or female pronouns. I decided that if someone who didn’t know anything about the LGBT Community or trans people could recognize that there was something going on with my gender identity, that it was something I needed to examine about myself.
I began researching and watching YouTube videos of transguys who vlog about their transitions. I realized that transitioning is something that everyday, regular people do – that people who wanted to align their bodies and their minds and become their true selves do every day. I realized that transition was something that I could really do – it wasn’t something only rich people or people of certain social status do. It was something I could do for myself – to be my best self. I decided that I wanted to transition, and returned New York City that November.
I took the leap and came out to my mom, who was supportive and wonderful. I also came out to my aunt, who cautioned me to spend at least a few months thinking about my decision to transition before actually doing it. I took her advice, and then some (but the then some wasn’t intentional).
I got into a relationship with a girl who was introduced to me as a guy, but as we began to form a relationship, became somewhat emotionally abusive around my gender identity, and stopped referring to me as a guy, and was manipulative and would say really horrible things about things that I would do to express my gender, such as binding, not shaving my legs or arms, etc. She was also emotionally abusive in general, and struggled with mental illness, so I chose to stay with her instead of transitioning. I decided at the time not to transition, and that I didn’t “need” to transition to be happy.
After years of suffering from chronic pelvic pain from endometriosis and adenomysosis, I had a robotic-assisted laproscopic hysterectomy and salpingectomy with expert robotic surgeon Dr. Kenneth Levey at NYU Langone Medical Center on May 18, 2011.
I broke up with my girlfriend after a really hard two year relationship. Within a month of our breakup, my head cleared and I realized almost immediately that I wanted and needed to transition. I knew that I would be “okay” if I didn’t transition, but I decided that I deserved every opportunity to be the happiest I can be, and the most myself I can be.
Even though I decided to transition, I was working on a potential film project at the time, which was filming a documentary in Iraq. For safety reasons, I could not transition until I finished filming, so I decided at the time to put off transitioning until filming was complete.
At this time, I informed my mom and dad of my plans to transition medically, and they were again supportive and not at all surprised.
After continued chronic pelvic pain issues, I found through research that endometriosis was once treated with testosterone. I knew that it could help me, and so I decided to forego my film project and transition right away. I was planning to transition anyway, but decided that I didn’t want to wait another two years after all.
I had my T appointment at Callen-Lorde with Ronika Mukerjee, NP, who is amazing. Callen-Lorde is a fantastic LGBT Community Health Center (and health clinic) which specializes in transgender health care. Because I had high blood pressure at the time of my appointment, I was prescribed HCTZ (hydrochlorothiazide) and asked to take it for two weeks before starting my testosterone injections.
After continued chronic pain, I decided that since I was several months on testosterone, it was time to have a bilateral oophorectomy (removal of ovaries). I had the surgery on August 27, 2012 with Mark Adelson at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, NY.
I began to become curious about simple metoidioplasty. I hadn’t decided I wanted lower surgery, but began to explore my feelings around the possibility of having it.
After years of waiting, I was finally able to have my chest surgery on January 23, 2013, with Dr. Kathy Rumer in Ardmore, PA (just outside Philly).
I decided I want to pursue lower surgery, and began to research procedures and surgeons and costs.
I celebrated one year on testosterone on May 23, 2013.