Every one of us has to have those “How do you know for sure?” moments. We get confronted by it enough by the people close to us; it only makes sense that we have those moments with ourselves. Mirrored furniture you ask? Honestly the first thought I had when I saw that search term was furniture made entirely of mirrors. I suppose that’s not true, but it’s a pretty good analogy for what we go through in transition. In other words, we are faced with a constant reflection of ourselves. Every angle, every flaw.

Are you female? How do you know for sure? You certainly don’t look like it. Whether the conversation is with someone close to you or someone even closer, yourself, the conversation is the same no matter what. How can you explain something even you can’t see? With a straight face you have to say it’s all in your head and mean every last word of it. Our bodies betray, no contradict, our own sense of ourselves. There’s no getting around it. For me it’s become a conversation of not’s.

The body I have is not the body I need in order for the chaos in my head to stop. Ok now that I wrote that I do sound completely crazy. That’s not (see there I go again) entirely true, but live this life long enough and it’s only a matter of time before the padded room has your name on it. My female brain drives me to modify my male body to satisfy my need to be outwardly (as well as inwardly) female and yet it’s not enough. Grow your nails out, enjoy the sound of your fingernails clicking on the keyboard as you write, and write and write (yes, even right now) am I expressing my femaleness, yes, does it make me feel more female, qualified maybe, does it make me feel a little less dysphoric, not really. Shave your legs, your chest, your arms, heck every hair off your body, the feelings are still the same. You’re going to ask, so I’m going to tell you, if you remember my comments about my therapist and “breast tissue” a ways back (January 8th, 2011, to be precise, click here if you don’t believe me), yes my breasts look better not all covered in chest hair. Take a minute, do you know a male that thinks like that? I don’t. Yet in all the things I’ve done recently to try to reduce my dysphoria it’s the one thing that’s had any measure of success.

I started taking Finasteride this week; it’s one of a cocktail of drugs that makes up a full hormone (HRT) regimen for the average MtF. Admittedly, at this stage, it’s to prevent male pattern baldness, I’ve got “great hair” according to my therapist. It’s a small dose, but there’s always a chance I could be fortunate to have side effects like tender breasts or erectile dysfunction. I’m looking forward to it; in fact I couldn’t be happier if I won the lottery. That’s not normal, for a guy.

Maybe I’m not entitled to claim the title of “female”. But I’m certainly not male. Any measure I have of feeling good about myself comes from expressing my femaleness, not my maleness. I don’t see the female in the mirror yet, but not continuing to take even the most baby of steps in that direction isn’t going to make me feel any better about my situation either.