Today, I am writing this as someone who is getting closer to loving himself. I am finding the paths in life that will lead me to destinations I thought were unimaginable to reach. In three weeks I will be one year down the path of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – a journey that was painfully long awaited and truthfully worth the wait. I reflect back to where I was about a year ago and see how oblivious I was to how much my life was about to change. I am still impatient about certain changes that I want to go through at this very second, but then I remind myself that patience is how I got to this point in the first place.

Loving myself has not been something that I often found in my personal dictionary. I still wake up and feel as dysphoric as before HRT, but I guess you can’t help but find a couple rough days in the year. It’s been even more complicating that I do not have anyone to talk about it. The only way I release what I feel is through this article.

With my transition, I start to see how privileged I’ve become. Because I am an FtM, I am treated better than a lot of MtFs or even cis-women in some cases. This is not right and should not be tolerated, but I still recognize that I get some advantages. I also get to be a hidden warrior against the ignorant, especially in my everyday life. I am sure people give second thoughts to me, but I am sure they just think I am gay. Most people don’t figure me as a trans person. While I am not completely sure why that happens, I am just grateful that I am able to pass.

This past year has had its difficulties. I remember first starting HRT and looking for changes every day. I wanted a mustache so bad, and now I have the mustache of a 12 year old. It’s better than the peach fuzz that I had though. I hate the way my body is shaped because I am still 15 pounds heavier than where I want to be, but then I remember that I will still pass because my voice has dropped.

I try to find new ways to be kind to everybody because I often feel as if we are stuck in our angry bubbles every day, just building up emotion. That was me for nearly two decades. The pain I went through was unimaginable. All of the long nights and rapture days that passed by before I could learn to love myself felt impossible to get through, but it happened. One thing that I wish I’d known before starting hormones is patience is still the key. I was very impatient when first being on testosterone. It was hard to be patient when I was finally starting to be able to be who I was.

The most insane part of this all is that I have been going through this transition right in the eyes of the unknown. In other words, I have been changing in front of people I see every day, who have no clue. Luckily, with my age group, it barely slides as a very late puberty but that’s alright with me. Because of this, most people never think twice about it. But, because of this, dating can be tricky for me. Somehow, I have found that all of the girls that I have wanted to be with are bisexual, so it is not as much of a problem. I usually just try to refrain from dating for the most part for right now. It has nothing to do with me being trans, but more of a personal preference.

With my one-year date creeping closer, the overall picture that I have gained is that loving myself will take some time. I am taking it one day at a time and know I will find the safe haven I seek. The progress that I have made is more than I can ask for even if I am not where I want to be yet. I must remember that all things require time and that I should not think of what others think of me, but of who I know myself to be.