This is my loophole: My doctor was one of the women who came to talk with Changeling about trans health issues. She was all, well, we've already had half this conversation! So was the therapist there, who I'm also supposed to talk to about all this.

That's a really good thing, because I was fairly disconnected. The LYRIC/Dimensions figuring-things-out-together relationship allowed us to discuss options in a much easier, more open-minded way than we normally might have.

I decided anti-estrogens were a bad idea. Most of them increased estrogens in some part of the body, and the one that didn't seemed like it would only go well with testosterone and I didn't plan to take that till after I'd gotten to observe my hormone levels. Of course, then she said that it would cost a LOT to do that many tests. By that point, I was thinking "she'd give me hormones! And I have wanted hormones for a year and a half - and I want to transition now! I want to start hormones!"

We're checking my testosterone/DHEA levels first: I was interested in what they were and she thought they might be high because I'm getting a lot of results from the rogaine.

I have sort of a funny taste in my mind now from going around to so many medical professionals and taking such a big step. I talked to like five or six people there, from the receptionist to the woman who drew my blood. (She was really good; she used a very fine needle and kept me distracted with chitchat about my tongue-ring. She told me she'd never seen anyone with plastic balls before!) I had lots of good interactions like that: they replaced the bathroom signs with genderqueerly decorated unisex ones; the intake nurse and the needle lady were really pro-trans-services; the intake nurse put a big circle around all the "M, F, M/F" options for "people you're attracted to" on their form, and wrote "transgender" next to the "bi" space for me; the doctor dished with me about the FTMs we knew who were pregnant....

I'm tempted to say that this experience could only happen in San Francisco, but I know that's not true. I think any small queer clinic with a willingness to be transfriendly could offer a similar environment, and I've certainly had REALLY transphobic experiences in S.F. at even trans-specific clinics.

I have my 15% minoxidil prescription now, and an appointment to come back next Thursday to get the bloodwork results and talk to the therapist. I have a lot more work to do, though: this is an inner spiritual journey as much as an outward transformation, and I want to think about what this can mean about the rest of my life. It should be fun.
i like my body when it is with your

i like my body when it is with your 
body.  It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body.  i like what it does,
i like its hows.  i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss,  i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh . . . . And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you so quite new
e. e. cummings

An epilogue...