When prompted to write about my favorite color and why I chose that particular color, my inclination was to write about more than one. Not because I was being feisty. To me, there isn’t just one. Like me, there is a spectrum of color so vast and broad, picking just one felt awkward and narrow. Colors of an actual rainbow; that of the LGBT flag. Colors of the subtly striped blue-pink-white-pink-blue trans flag that I’ve newly adopted as my own.
Colors of a vibrant sunset and of the shirts that line my closet. Polo shirts. Ones I no longer am inspired to wear, shirts that reveal my breasts. Purples, oranges and pinks. My choice of shirts now and have been, I suppose, all along, loose button downs; baggy to cover what I don’t want seen. The shirts I buy at the Goodwill are all men’s shirts, of course, and ninety-five percent happen to be some shade of blue. Odd.
My striped socks are rainbow colors. The flowery, pink undergarments go completely against my notion of what a masculine person ‘should’ wear. A past rebellion of an early non-conformist, I wear what I want, always have and always will. A fellow colleague wrote to the prompt from a male point of view, his view specifically. It went something like this: because I’m male I choose the colors, if in fact they’re colors, black and white. It was noted white is the absence of color.
Monday I took part in a bio-social-psyche intake at the LGBT clinic. It’s a necessary form to be filled out prior to being administered hrt. I fielded questions from my social worker as in, how would you describe your gender and sexual orientation and what do you see as plus/minus sides of receiving hormone replacement therapy. As in choosing a color, I leaned toward more than one answer. The form was not complicated and I did my best not to make it so. Not given actual choices, I answered like I was taking a test with multiple choice segments.
Gender queer and queer for the first two. Check. The questions that followed were reminiscent of those presented on the consent form given me by my P.A. on Wednesday. Other necessary inquiries, about plus and minus sides of taking hrt, i.e., male pattern baldness, drop in voice and other side effects that are permanent, required more depth. Suddenly, I was at home, swimming in a sea of color and bursting with genuine emotion.
My soul will be whole, I said. My hormones, physical state and mind would meet for the first time since puberty. When PMS set in. When the hospitalizations began. The suicide attempts made. When the breasts’ growth and menses took over my life and I imploded. No puberty blockers to be had, I suffered till I was fifty with the worst symptoms imaginable. Psychosis, requiring over thirty inpatient stays at psychiatric institutions. One time, as an adolescent, for five months straight. Powerful medications from the age of seventeen. Not one practitioner in the field put together I had my period every time I was admitted.
Got that out of my system. On to the next question: When did you come to realize you were gender queer? Probably since I was a toddler. Not an uncommon reply. There was a blur and I continued to swirl in color. This time murky like waters stirred form a wicked storm. I was twenty-one. I researched and met with a transsexual therapist somewhere in Allentown. It was the early eighties. Before the completion of the intake, I was dismissed as having too many emotional problems to continue treatment. I was sent home and lived my life in the closet until April, 2015. There’s no looking back, once I’ve gone through the hoops placed before me. I’ve picked up the ball dropped so long ago.