Magic Pills

God help me, I’m just like every other transperson.

When I went to the doctor to talk about hormones, I wanted the damn magic pills, or patches or potions, whatever.

What I got was a list of what they wouldn’t do and a recitation of the risk factors, many relevant to me.

Of course, this was no surprise to my thoughtful mind.  I knew the limits of exogenous hormones in the late 1980s when I first decided that they didn’t hold enough magic for me.

My wishful bit though, well, it’s always looking for magic.   As long as we are breathing, we have at least a flickering hope of magic changing everything for the better.

I was talking to someone whose long time neighbour committed suicide this week.

“She seemed hopeful last week,” she told me.  “What happened on this day to make her want to stop hoping, to give up, to make the choice to call game over?”

Last week, there was still a hope that magic would come.  And then, then there wasn’t.  She let the vodka and pills take her away.

In the middle of my appointment, one marked by a serious blood pressure spike, I realized that’s what I was looking for: magic.

I knew the pills couldn’t change my bones or my vocal chords, knew they wouldn’t remove all the pesky hair I don’t want and regrow the hair I do want, wouldn’t make me younger,  wouldn’t make me more sexy and attractive, wouldn’t make my body all curvy and perfect.

What they might, do, maybe, was help give me peace of mind, give me some renewed optimism and vitality.  They might contain some hope.

The PA I saw was used to transpeople wanting instant magic.   She sees a lot of that.

She wasn’t used to, though, someone who has been out as trans for over 30 years.   I knew the answers, knew what she needed to say.   I have known it for two decades now.

Yet, still, somewhere inside me I want the damn magic.

At one point ShamanGal was so obsessed with hormones that she made her mother bring them to work after she missed a daily dose.   Waiting until she got home was too much.

After a few periods off hormones to prepare for orthopedic surgeries, though, she has learned they aren’t magic.  Sure, she’d rather be on them than off, but the anti-depressants she resisted for so long have helped her much more to see clearly.

One reason I went, though, is because my primary care doctor didn’t want me to go.  He doesn’t think intervention is a good idea, doesn’t believe in emergence.  He called a patient who had a vaginoplasty “he.”    Not safe space, and not going to help much.

I need, I want, I crave magic.

In my case, I don’t crave magic because I am unwilling or unable to do the work of facing the world as it is, of understanding the situation, of working through my own emotional issues in order to get clear.    My ability to do that is proven, recorded in excruciating detail.

The magic I need is invisibility or invulnerability, the power to walk in spaces without stirring fear or the power to not have people’s fear responses affect me.

Operating out of the bubble, dropping the armour, walking with confidence and grace in the world in spite of the crippling scar tissue built up over the decades, the effects of stigma that wanted to keep me small and neutered through imposing a sweeping binary onto me, well, that seems impossible.

All the PA can offer, though, isn’t very much, she agrees, just the same limited protocol that medicos have prescribed for fifty years now.   For those with the right body, changes can be made when supplemented with silicone, but it is not magic and she knows that.

Somehow, the magic I crave goes right to the strapline; I need something for the loneliness, something to make me found in community rather than being lost.

Where is the moment when one no longer has the wherewithal to hold out and wait for the magic, to hope for that transformational revelation which brings comfort, safety and the chance to stop having to hold your breath just to get through another day?

Every human hopes for magic. (1995) Some of us, though, need it more than others, need to believe that we will find a place where we are seen, understood, valued and cared for rather than facing struggle and the fears of others.

I understand the way of the world.

But damn, I would like some lovely magic.

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