You Seem So Happy
By Jude Samson
Our lives are almost never perfect and they rarely stay in the upswing for too long, but when you feel at peace with yourself there’s something that others can sense and will suddenly say: “You seem so happy.” Hearing these words as a trans/non-binary person seems like a long shot because so many of us grapple with dysphoria and battle to fix the imbalance that is our entire existence – the very body in which we live.
“FOR MANY OF US, THERE COMES A TURNING POINT WHEN THAT MAGICAL DAY FINALLY HAPPENS.”
For many of us, there comes a turning point when that magical day finally happens. That day we’ve dreamt about and fought so hard for – Our E/T Day. While HRT isn’t a requirement and there are plenty of TGNC folks who are happy without HRT, many of us find that it is a vital step to righting a lifelong wrong. While it is far from a cure-all, it is such a monumental step for so many that it can go a very long way in quelling some of our angst and dysphoria.
As the HRT begins to work its wonders and changes become more evident, many trans folks, including in my own personal experiences, have a sudden weight that seems to get lifted from our shoulders. We don’t necessarily feel it as we’ve become so accustomed to its burden, but it can manifest itself in physical traits like a slumped appearance, being reserved or shy, not smiling or smiling half-heartedly. As our physical appearances begin to align with what our brains are telling us, those traits seem to fall away.
I didn’t even really notice I was exhibiting these traits and then some through the years as I struggled to figure out why I always felt so out of sorts with myself and the world around me. It wasn’t until around my third year on HRT/Testosterone that I began to really accept myself and feel like I was finally well on the way to whom I was meant to be. Family members began to say: “Wow, you seem so happy, like for real happy..” and even strangers in line would say “Wow, you have such a big smile, it really lights up your eyes.” While these things are always lovely to hear, it made me realize I never heard them before in my life. As I’ve gotten to know other people who have taken this step in their journey they, too, are reporting that those around them are noting a more relaxed, sated, and content sense about them.
“FOR THOSE WHO ARE TRYING TO GET STARTED ON HRT, I DO WANT TO POINT OUT THAT IT IS NOT MAGIC AND WILL NOT FIX EVERYTHING.”
For those who are trying to get started on HRT, I do want to point out that it is not magic and will not fix everything. It is merely one tool, one step, in a transition process. You don’t have to take this step at all or you may want to only do HRT and never consider surgery. Whatever you decide is fine because it’s whatever makes you happy with yourself, but it will not make everything better, and it may take some time before this type of “ease” settles on you.
There were plenty of things I had to change in my life, in how I see the world and choose to interact with it to become more “zen” with my life and the world around me. It was not entirely due to the HRT, and it took many years (some of it is just getting older and wiser) and many mistakes to reach this point of comfort I have in my life. Without the HRT, though, I think I would have still been struggling because I would still be feeling out of sync with the world. It always felt like I was living with my feet in two different worlds, and both worlds were trying to push me out because I never truly belonged in either. I have some surgeries coming up soon that will help click more pieces of the puzzle together, but if it came to pass that I couldn’t, for whatever reason, get the surgeries I feel as though the HRT has done so much to not just get my mind and body in sync, but it has helped to realign and settle my soul.