I. Estro Junkie
In which nothing happens and I get a bit sleepy.
The most dreaded four words in the trans community? That’s easy: “Your mileage may vary.”
11:35 a.m. Your spirit comes through a drafty open window and saturates the room. I put on a sweater and then screw my iPhone into the Bluetooth tripod. I check the framing. The shot looks liquid and cozy; the lavender velvet couch sends a soft curve through the side of the screen. The blue wall swallows up the space behind, easy and a little soporific. I move to the couch. Off screen, on an ottoman, I’ve left a five blade razor, a small mirror, a tub of shaving cream, a 32 gauge hypodermic needle, a 5ml vial of Delestrogen, a container of water based lubricant, an unrealistic purple silicone dick (7½ x 1¾), and a book of poems about lesbian sex. I sit down on the couch. I don’t get undressed. Only semi-surgically, I stick out my face to shave it delicately, as if it were detached from the rest of my body in its communion with the mirror. The only sound in the room is the soft slick of razor upon cream and skin. It turns out I only have a few hairs left, after all the laser sessions. I was labeled a trans woman and this is still very much evident in the reflection looking back at me in the mirror.
The Delestrogen comes in a small vial that looks like medicine, not anything else. I clean my leg and the vial with an alcohol pad before measuring my 0.5ml dose and pulling it, gently, into the syringe. I brace myself a second before plunging the 1-inch needle into my skin and the slight muscle below, before slowly pushing the plunger and then withdrawing it. Not even a drop of blood appears.
I look at the camera, then the hormones, and then the purple dildo. I decide that this was all kind of anti-climactic and I couldn’t imagine why injecting a little estrogen would make me want to lube up this dildo and fuck myself, let alone extrapolate such an act into some kind of gender dissident micro-politics of some sort of hyper-porno-pilled-up-trans-left-ology.
Putting estrogen in my body every week isn’t especially political. Testosterone, on the other hand, is a molecule associated with great passion, intensity, aggression and power. T makes the new masc eager to fuck, or get fucked anew. Ready for his new anarchic attitude, full of the blissful pleasure of rakishness, as if that were the magic of a gel and not the intoxicant of white masculinity.
I think perhaps the foolish part is that the white masc must discover their power anew, every single time, with no memory for whence it came. We non-men, by contrast, are all memory. All history.
There is no such thing as an estro junkie, I think to myself as I get a little sleepy and turn off my phone, lying down on the couch for a nap. I just want to get softer, rounder, and dreamier. There will be no radical politics and queer hagiographies conducted in my name, or my body. The trans woman is too literal, too old-fashioned, too female, for such matters as politics or subversion. Those are a (new) man’s game.
Your milage may vary does not a politics make.
II. Progesto Junkie
In which the science is unclear (hot), all bets are off, and the trans girl might get her revenge.
But wait, I have a second chance. Here we are in unsanctioned terrain, without the bludgeon of “peer reviewed longitudinal study.”
How can I explain what is happening to me, when I puncture the small round progesterone ball with a different needle, before lubricating it and stuffing it inside my ass? What can I do about my desire for it to make my boobs go from Cs to Ds? What can I do about all the years I defined myself as a fag feminist? What kind of feminist am I today: a feminist hooked on progesterone, or a transgender body hooked on feminism? I have no other alternative but to revise my classics, to subject those theories to the shock that was provoked in me by the practice of taking progesterone. To accept the fact that the change happening in me is the metamorphosis of an era.
Except, it’s not. There is no real change in my feminism, merely its tactical defense from the bad faith fascists who send me death threats in its name. There is no revision of my classics by the mundane fact of putting a hormone oil capsule inside my ass each day so that it can be absorbed directly, bypassing the liver. There is no shock, there is no era inaugurated. I am still the trans woman, the relic and the uninspired figure for a trans tipping point that cares not for my well-being.
My breasts may be swelling and my libido running hot, but that was also true before I started progesterone. Yes, I can fuck my boyfriend hard, and nearly indefinitely, with my girl dick. Castrated as I am, we can even share the intimate pleasure of me cumming inside him without any of the usual anxieties. But no era is born of this congress. There is no progesto junkie either. Good sex is its own reward and I am far more concerned that the flat fact of my taking hormones to maintain this body is reason enough to be treated as disposable, expendable, and contemptible by those who have nothing better to do than visit hate upon the marginal to secure their station.
I give up trying. Trans is not a thing you are and then do as politics. It is at best a thing you do because you want it badly enough to do it. The trans woman’s politics are not derived out of her estrogen or her progesterone, but rather her knowledge of self as the impossible of a history still in progress. Read as mere allegory, reduced at the same time to the too literal, she is what has no space in which to mean, and so she knows, more than the merry testo junkie, what materialism really demands.