Twenty-five years ago, in a Boston hospital, my parents gave me a name. Twenty-two years later, in an Oakland courthouse, I legally took another. Despite being addressed by that name for three years, despite the careful consideration that went into the choosing of it, I left the courthouse lacking. For the first time since beginning my transition from female to male, I felt true loss.
When I began testosterone replacement, I was giddy and excited. Surgery made me anxious, but I was relieved when it was over. And now: nothing. The elation I expected never came. I had rejected the most basic gift from my mother and father — I had declared myself someone other than the daughter they had welcomed two decades earlier.