2nd Tranniversary

Hey everyone,

Yesterday I celebrated the second anniversary of my first testosterone shot by going to brunch with a few close friends. I am very lucky to have these people in my life.

Time sure flies when you’re going through second puberty… Anyway, I’m glad I made voice videos for the majority of my first year of transition. It’s always fun to go back and see how far I’ve come. It’s also abundantly clear that I was really depressed when making most of the videos. I was feeling the weight of having to constantly reinforce who I was and how I was going to be treated while silently hoping that that the changes were going to be what I imagined. Luckily, as time has gone on the testosterone has taken effect, and it has greatly alleviated my dysphoria. Honestly, there are very few weeks that go by that I don’t catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and have to fight back tears. I feel strong and handsome in a way I never have before.

People have asked me which tranniversary this is for me, which is a fair question. I guess I could have five: one for my coming out as transgender (6/3/15), another for my legal name change (12/2/15), another for my testosterone shot (3/25/16), another for my top surgery (12/13/16), and another for when I got my gender marker changed on my license (1/20/2017). All these events obviously are significant to me, but the anniversary of my first testosterone shot is particularly important.

I don’t mean to glorify my ability to medically transition, and I recognize the immense privilege I have in being able to transition, given the just the costs. Also, it’s important to reiterate that I was no less a man the day before my shot. While July 3, 2015 was when I first told the world who I am, March 25, 2016 was when I first felt like the most me. Obviously it would take months for the changes to become apparent but having that first shot gave me so much hope for the future–hope that the world would see me as I knew I was and hope that the man of my dreams could be the man in the mirror. As a side note, March 25, 2015 was the day I found out I was accepted to Georgia Law, so the day is especially… special.

All the best,

Harris

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Growing Pains

Hey everyone,

It has been a minute, hasn’t it? Well my GPA survived last semester relatively unscathed, which was a miracle given the trials and tribulations of those months. Now I have one semester left. More accurately, I have half a semester left. Then I suppose my name will change again. This time, it will be Harris R. Mason, J.D.

This semester, I’ve been running myself ragged in an internship with a local Superior Court Judge. Interestingly enough, until this past Friday, I have no reason to believe the Judge or her Staff Attorney know I’m trans. I didn’t tell them, at least. I thought it would be interesting to find out what it would be like at a job with no one knowing. It’s been interesting and relatively uneventful. Trans issues have popped up a few times, but luckily everything has worked out in a way that didn’t make me feel like I needed to out myself, or conversely, nothing about my own gender entered the equation. But perhaps they’ll find out after reading the article the School published…

I’m on spring break now, and honestly I’m feeling a little lonely. Yesterday, I went to the Athens Trans Support Group meeting. We went around the circle and shared what we wanted to add into our lives for the upcoming spring season. I said I’d like to start writing my blog again. So here I am.

Tonight, I watched Paris is Burning for the first time. I miss my trans people. It was really nice to go to the meeting. There were quite a few trans guys there, and we had lunch together afterward. They invited me to go to Sister Louisa’s for drinks. I planned to go, but then I didn’t feel like it when the time came.

So I was featured in a little write-up that was in an e-newsletter published on Friday. I talked about being the first openly transgender man to graduate from the law school–about how emotionally draining it has been to educate people on transgender-related issues. I also talked about the support I’ve received over the past 2.5 years.

It’s more complicated than what made the published product. I realized I haven’t been able to forgive like I thought I had before doing this interview. I can’t help but still be a little hurt and angry. There have been many wonderful people help me on this journey. But some of those wonderful people have hurt me badly too. No one has ever meant to hurt me, but ignorant actions still hurt. I’ve found it has been helpful to remember that the problems I’ve faced have been systemic, rather than individual biases against me. It has helped me come to terms with how I’ve been feeling lately.

I’ve also slowly been realizing that empathy and understanding aren’t just for people of less privilege than I have. To make change you have to meet people where they are. This has been really hard for me to do, because meeting people where they are usually means prolonging my hurt until they catch up to where I need them to be. But they’re called “growing pains” for a reason, and one day we’ll get to where we need to be.

Until then, I can focus on the fact that the University of Georgia School of Law published an article celebrating the graduation of an openly transgender person, and that’s something to be proud of.

All the best,

Harris