Today marks one year since I fixed my name change. In that past year … so much has changed, yet so much remains the same.

It didn’t matter that the COVID pandemic slowed things down compared to the first time, having to do everything by mail instead of in-person. It didn’t matter that it would take time for everyone to adjust to the name change, when before I pretty much started over with a new job and circle of friends when I first came out, so that “transition” for everyone else wasn’t as big an issue the first time around, when this time it was.

Still using the same selfie after all these years, especially as it’s in front of a queer movie poster, and I feel like it best represents who I am, and what I look like.

This past year I grew a lot, especially as I went from being a staunch transmedicalist to whatever the opposite of that is, with a “live-and-let-live” attitude. And somehow with that shift in mentality, all of a sudden I found new friends, made new allies, joined new online groups, finally got on board with Twitch and Discord.

While why I transitioned is still more traditionally that of a transsexual (to live as a man) compared to someone transgender (to live authentically), I have come to accept myself as part of the trans community, with the understanding that being a man, being trans, being a trans man are all aspects of my journey, and that these aspects are not in conflict with one another. I no longer advocate gatekeeping; if someone feels they are a member of our community, while the nonbinary experience is still something I don’t understand, I embrace the diversity that is our community and welcome everyone.

I have also changed my post-op hormone regimen from a biweekly injection to a daily gel application, to improve my mental health and stabilize my hormonal levels. My mood swings are more manageable, and I find my sexuality remains constant instead of swinging wildly between horny teenager and asexual.

As much as I am able to obtain phalloplasty again as my current healthcare plan covers it, I have become more comfortable with my body, especially as the dysphoria I had with my initial name change is gone. It has taken years of therapy to cope and adapt, to come to terms with learning to live with my vagina in terms of body neutrality. I’m not saying it no longer causes the occasional bout of dysphoria, but it may be something I will pursue in time, as I am moving forward with so many other aspects of my life that was delayed to extreme dysphoria, transitioning, and healing. I am no less a man because of my body and my choices.

With a 4-day-on, 4-day-off schedule, I have rediscovered many interests, and taken up a few hobbies. I finally got over being a cheap bastard and finally bought the .com URL of my name, while forwarding all my past URLs reflecting my deadnames and nicknames to this one. I use the domain: to host a plethora of forwarding addresses for various services to point to my main inbox; to host this blog to document my post-op life dealing with everything as a man, as a person who’s trans, and as a trans man;

After attempting the all-Android life, my love for iOS is still there. Yes, that gaming FOMO still exists sometimes, but I realize I’m not a big AAA gamer. Watching game streams of too many rushed, buggy releases of big-name games make me appreciate the stability of the games my iPad, iPhone, and TV can play. There’s good quality games on the Apple Arcade, plenty of quality paid games on the App Store, that I can play that “hard-core” gamers may scoff at—but the thing is, more and more gamers are playing games on their phones and iPads, and thankfully “freemium” games are becoming passé in favor of platform subscriptions or old-fashioned once-and-done paid-for games.

I also overcame an old roadblock to pursue computer programming as an option to pursue should I ever decide to return to college, as with my reissued diploma and Selective Service letter I can now further my education without clerical errors getting in the way due to the fact I’m legally recognized as a man.

Those parts of my past I have tried to lock away, now those memories are sources of strength instead of weakness. The memories now help me find strength to continue when I see roadblocks in my thinking or my life, even if it means I get whiny for a bit before pursuing my goals. I am at the point in my life that if I need to, I will run right through those roadblocks and deal with the side effects as it’ll be worth getting to my destination.

This past year was one of growth and opportunity. Having corrected my initial name change to the name I thought it should have always been, has allowed me more than ever to live my life for myself, as the man I was always meant to be. I have finally found closure, catharsis, freedom, strength, euphoria. The only thing that stops me from here on out … is me.

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