I am afraid. So, so afraid. So afraid, in fact, that I nearly sleepwalked into making a terrible and irreversible decision.
I do not want testosterone. I am an individual like anyone else, and I deserve to have my needs and desires respected. I do not need a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to my body. My body, my rules.
And yet the gatekeepers say otherwise.
The following is from the Daventry GIC website:
“At present this service is not commissioned to provide treatment for persons not identifying as male or female, or wishing to present for treatment in intersex states. We would not decline a referral, as assessment and formulation of an individual’s gender disorder may be more complicated than it appears to the referrer or indeed the service user. We may still be able to signpost an individual to another service.”
Daventry GIC have not, in the last five years, referred anyone for top surgery without testosterone. Which is worrying, because that’s where I’ve been referred to. They have said that they would consider it, but that it would depend on the reasons why they would not take testosterone, such as an older patient who could not take it for medical reasons.
There is no known medical reason why I should not take testosterone. There is only my happiness and my bodily autonomy. Why this should matter any less, I am unsure.
The reasons testosterone are inappropriate for me are well-documented here. But I nearly got pushed into taking it by the fear of not getting top surgery. I nearly gave up my body to a foreign substance out of desperation.
The arrogant thought that “the formulation of an individual’s gender disorder may be more complicated than it appears to… the service user” is revolting. I have been in this body for 24 years now and I know it very well indeed. Do not presume to tell me how I am supposed to feel about it.
I am a fighter. Metaphorically and physically. I have faced people who have punched me in the head with everything they had. Black belts with years more experience than I have. And this is way more frightening. The stakes are so much higher.
I have come within a whisker of dislocating my jaw in a fight, and that is nothing compared to the thought of getting turned away from Daventry.
I can argue until I’m blue in the face on this one. For one, does Daventry want to define an “intersex state” for me? Because I’m sure it treats patients who want a vagina *and* a penis all the time. It’s a common enough option for patients seeking metoidoplasty.
It is my legal right not to have to be sterilised against my will. Guys on T usually have hysterectomies within two years- some of those being emergency hysterectomies. I cannot take that risk.
I don’t know why I’m still arguing here. I suppose I want to prove that I can do it, prove the fact I know my mind and my body better than anyone, prove that I deserve that top surgery referral. I have a long time to sit on the waiting list, a long time to sit here still having things on my chest that mean I can’t do karate without having to wear a compression shirt and plastic armour.
And I fear the gatekeepers. Because they hold my life in the palm of their hand and they can destroy me at a whim. I fear them so much.
P.S. My lipoma removal went well. I now have a kickass scar on my spine to lie to my children about.