Some mornings the absurdity of my life hits me so hard that I become frozen in place for minutes at a time. On mornings like that, I get into the shower and simply stand there staring at myself, wondering at the freakish thing I have turned myself into.
Six months of hormones have given me breasts better suited to the body of a 11 year old girl than a 23 year old male. My shrunken genitals hang limp and look grotesquely out of place between thighs which have suddenly become thick enough to rub against each other. My cheeks are fuller and my eyes are becoming (so I'm told) 'pretty'. Laser hair removal has decimated my facial hair. It's like I've gone back in time to being 15 years old again, only able to grow a sparse, half-blonde teenage moustache.
There's a line from The Matrix that's been running through my head for about a month now: "You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he’s expecting to wake up." My life feels like a dream. Not in a cliche way—it is by no means a 'dream come true'. But I just can't shake the feeling that this isn't really my life. It feels like if I turn my head quickly enough I'll be able to see the edge of unreality in my peripheral vision. Like when you're dreaming and objects suddenly jump into place as soon as you look at them.
And yet, despite my difficulty embracing my identity and despite the fact that my body is very much in an 'awkward phase', I actually feel much more comfortable with myself and my body now than I can ever remember being in my life. Ever since I learned about trans people when I was 10, I could never look into a mirror without wondering what I'd look like if I were a girl, if I took hormones to make my body more feminine. Wondering at which features would be an asset and which would hold me back. But now I look in the mirror and I just see myself as I am. And more and more I like who that is.
Transition is a desire so deep and so shameful to me that even after coming out to my friends and family, I still barely let myself indulge in it. If you'd asked me two years ago where I thought I'd be now, my answer would've been "dead". And not only am I alive but I'm taking hormones and going to therapy and slowly, very slowly, pulling my life together. Even in retrospect it seems impossible for me to have done those things. But then again, the more time goes on, the more it feels like it was impossible for me not to.