It’s society that needs to transform, not my nonbinary body
I stopped taking testosterone recently. I think it was a little over a month ago, but I’m not sure. I don’t keep track of that kind of thing. Unlike many trans people, I don’t recognize a “T date” that marks when I began using hormones. I’ve never posted videos tracking how my voice has changed or photos cataloging how wide my shoulders have gotten. For many trans people, such record-keeping is celebratory and affirming. That’s great! It just hasn’t ever suited me.
I’m nonbinary, and I have always used hormones very inconsistently. I put Androgel on my body sometimes, other times I don’t. I’ve had months-long stints where I applied it every single day, and I’ve gone half a year without applying it before, too. Sometimes I alternate days. Sometimes I use hormones to make my period lighter. Sometimes I skip them to clear up my skin. The decision has never felt consequential or symbolic.
The prefix “trans” comes from the Latin word for “to cross”, but for me, moving into a new category has never been the goal. The categories, and the need to fulfill them, were always the problem. I will never “pass” as anything in particular; I want only to be comfortable as myself. Clothing, hormones, haircuts, and even pronouns are tools I can use to be recognized as the person I am, but I sometimes hate that they’re necessary. It’s hard to untangle whether I’m using them for myself or if I’m just trying to become easily comprehensible to cisgender people.
The truth is, I was just as nonbinary when I had a long curtain of blonde hair as I am now with a short, messy shock of dark brown. I was nonbinary when I used to shove my triple D’s into a Victoria’s Secret push-up bra. I am nonbinary now with a too-tight sports bra squishing my chest. I was nonbinary long before anybody recognized that fact, but was trying desperately to convey it. And I will remain nonbinary even if I stop trying to capitulate to cisgender stereotypes of what being trans “looks like.”
But what if I stopped capitulating to expectations? What if I grow my hair out, or put a dress on?