Friday, August 5, 2016

shooting

I don't like needles. More than that; needles scare me. I like the results of needles. I love my inked skin, my typewriter and boxcutter and the crayon letters in bright colors across my belly. But those needles are tiny and held in another person's hand. I'm in favor of immunizations, obviously, because I am not insane. And the life I live would not be possible without needles. My voice, rich and round and my main source of income, sounds like that because of needles. My scratchy chin, my hairy arms, my entire ability to live as a man in this society - all thanks to intramuscular shots of self-administered testosterone.

It's been a year since my last shot.

I don't make a lot of money. I'm happy, mind you, and I cover my bills, but I seldom have extra for stuff like blood tests and doctors and scrips for T. So I get a few shots here and there off friends - this is a thing trans guys do sometimes. It happens. I've had a vial for a couple months now, but I've been putting off doing the shot. First I had to get more needles - a pain in the ass to do unofficially. Then I didn't have any alcohol swabs. Band-aids. Time. Bravery.

See, all those testosterone-created changes don't just go away when I stop taking my hormones. I take to the stuff well, and I stay my regular, manly(ish) self without it. For a while.

You want to see a mad motherfucker? Talk to a trans man whose body has decided to bleed again. And then, tonight at trivia, my voice cracked slightly. Oh hell no, y'all. Fuck a whole bunch of that.

My friend Lindsey came over and sat with me. No question, just turned up at the door in her pjs with a smile and a strong shoulder. I laid out my gear like a druggie. Rolled up my pants, drew up the T into the syringe, prayed. Laughed at myself, shivering. Prayed again. Gulped, sighed, pushed the needle into my thigh. It doesn't hurt if you do it right. Emptied that illegitimate hormone into my muscle. Pulled it out - no blood, no leak, thank goodness - slapped on a band-aid.

There's no sudden rush. It's not an upper. But endorphins are an amazing thing, as is the satisfaction of simply having finished a hard task. My muscles relaxed. Lindsey hugged me tight, we said goodnight, she headed home. I feel quiet and pleased and a little as if I've fought fiercely against a familiar foe.

I have a few more shots' worth. If I do this again once a week for a month, I'll be okay until the next time a friend hooks me up. My voice will stabilize or maybe even drop some. I'll be alert but more even keeled. I'll stop bleeding, bless us. I'll be horny as hell. More active. I can't wait.

Manhood in the modern age.

20 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I love you. Your support and the sheer supportiveness of our family is the backbone of my life.

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    2. It's so easy for us. We just love you and want you to be who you are because, well, we love who you are. Pretty simple, really.

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  2. You are one brave man, Hank. But that crack must have scared the shit out of you! I'm so sorry that things get tough for you in this way.
    Thank god for friends like Lindsey. I'm so glad you have her in your corner. You have me in your corner too and if I could be there I would have done the shooting for you...I'm quite good with hand/eye coordination.

    Keep up the fight - the world needs that deep velvet voice ♥

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    1. It wasn't a big crack and no one noticed, but I felt it. I sure appreciate the offer. If you were here, I would have let you.

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  3. I feel sad and angry that you can't get the hormones you need. I am on hormones because I went into perimenopause and wanted to off myself. Not joking and not funny. It was really bad. I had tried everything medication wise and had made up my mind if the hormones didn't work I was done trying. Thank god for a pharmacist that sat with me over coffee and took compassion on me, did a saliva test and got me on the right stuff. I now have a progesterone cream and a testosterone. So that brings me to the question ff a testosterone cream would work for you? My guess is it wouldn't be enough? Is there a drug plan that would pay for your T? I don't think that would happen even in Canada. I pay for mine and they are really expensive. (Our damn government still doesn't pay for birth control either but that is a kvetch for another time.)
    I am glad you have friends that help you out.xo

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    1. The cream and gel are expensive and don't bring your levels up enough. Also, if I use it that way and sleep with a woman, I have to wear a shirt so it won't rub off on her, and I'm all about skin to skin contact. Drug plans generally won't pay for T or, even more expensively, blood tests, and I have yet to find a doctor here who won't treat me like a pain in the ass. It is what it is. I'm super lucky to have my friends.

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  4. I am sorry you can't find a good doctor. You are not a pain in the ass. It is what it is but is shouldn't be.

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    1. Trans people are often regarded as such by doctors. Not always, but far too often.

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  5. Not to brag Hank, but this is why I'm glad I live in Canada.
    My son has been on T for six months now. Blood tests, all covered by our system, endo appointments- free. The T? Covered by our drug plan. There's an injection clinic on Thursdays so he goes there and gets his shot in the arse and he is good.
    As a mom, it is my fear/concern that he won't always have these things that he needs, but as things change and move forward, his treatments will continue to be his rights here in Canada.

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  6. I'm sorry it's a pain to get what you need legitimately but so glad you have the family and friends you have.

    You make testosterone sound down right enjoyable ('cept for the shot)

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    1. It is. It makes my system seem right.

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  7. Oh man. I know that awful gut feeling you get before you give yourself a shot. I do it once every other week now, and I still hate it. Sometimes I take a shot of liquor first and that seems to help. Hah!
    You're brave, Hank. I love you. And I'll be back in one week and can help you out next time you need the shot. I'll be glad to do it if you want.

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    1. I was just wondering when y'all will be back! I might take you up on that. I sort of feel like it's something I should mostly do myself, but why be like that if letting you do it sucks less? Love you.

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    2. And you know I could/would do it too. Not a big deal. My right wrist still works pretty well.

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    3. I just felt like I needed to do this one myself. No idea why.

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  8. Yeesh, Hank. It ain't easy. I am sorry it has to be such a struggle.

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