I’ve been taking estrogen for nine months to feminize my appearance.
Now you know.
I do not feel any sort of hard pressed obligation to share this part of me, but I do think hearing a perspective regarding trans people or gender non conformity, etc from someone’s personal experience and not through E! Or some lifetime movie is an opportunity for an education into a topic that is incredibly specific and somewhat new to the masses. Also, shots fired at E!
I could rant for hours on my past and my goals, but I’ll try to lay this out simply and in the most succinct of manners:
I have always wanted to look like a girl. From my childhood, through my teen years, and into my twenties, there has been an unwelcomed dysphoria of feeling like I don’t look how I should. Now, here is where the specificities of my gender journey differ from many others who use the umbrella term of transgender, I don’t feel like a woman inside. I don’t think “I am a woman trapped in a man’s body.” I just want to look like a woman.
When I was maybe five years old I went through my mom’s makeup and put on lipstick and made a big mess. When my mother discovered my mischief she reprimanded me and told me that makeup is not for little boys. My mom is super open minded, but it was the 90s and she just said what she knew. Makeup isn’t for boys.
When I was 15, I convinced one of my childhood best friends who was interested in a lot of the same music as me (EMO- panic!, the used, afi) to wear girls skinny jeans to school. I was nervous to attempt it alone in my rural high school in the Bible Belt. He agreed, so I borrowed two pair of hollister jeans from a girl named Jordan and gave a pair to McGill and we prepared to show up at cow patty high with some tight ass jeans. To him, it was a social experiment or a day to wear a costume, we both dreamed of being rockstars, so it was pretend for him. For me, it was a moment of joy. A time for me to wear the clothes that touched my skin the way I longed for my clothes to do. To hug my legs and to give my butt some shape. I felt cute. My frizzy hair and acne be damned, I had on some girls jeans and it felt right.
As I grew up, I was surrounded by Jesus culture and the church. Even choosing to go to a Baptist University. I knew that my impulses to cross dress were impure and I deemed them as fetish. I begged god to take away my fetish feelings for female fashion. Never happened. I came to leave the church and dismantled my belief in a god, but I never stopped thinking of growing my hair out or buying a pair of cute boots.
After I finished tour in 2013, I had a break down. I randomly moved to Florida to stay with a family friend, because I was battling some severe depression back home and I needed a change. It was around this time that I first read about hormone replacement therapy online. It’s what trans people take to change their gender characteristics. Ftm grow beards and put on muscle. Mtf grow breasts and body hair lessens. I OBSESSED over YouTube, Reddit, tumblr. I felt like I finally had a plan. I didn’t know that meds were accessible. I thought most trans girls just had surgery and I wasn’t in a position to do that. I found out that you could buy these medicines online, black market style. So I did. I began self medicating and a few weeks in I noticed my nipples had changed while I was watching a braves game on sports south. I got scared. I stopped taking the meds. THIS WOULD CREATE A PATTERN.
NOTE: a person’s gender doesn’t reflect their sexual orientation. You can be a transwoman and want to have sex with women.
I have always liked girls. I still do 😉 I delayed transition or changing my body for fear of no longer being able to find a girlfriend. I was finally at a point where I felt like my confidence with girls was growing and I was scared to look like a “man in a dress,” and lose the girls’ eyes So, I stopped hormones.
I have always wanted to be an actor. From my childhood days of Adam Sandler and Eric Cartman impressions for my friends to now my days of auditioning for USA and HBO. It has always been my passion. I was scared that I wouldn’t get acting jobs if I became a 6’2″ girl with the voice of a man. So, I stopped hormones.
Over the next three years, I would start and stop HRT (with the help of a knowledgeable and loving doctor here in NYC) three times. I stopped for my ex when we broke up. I gained 20 lbs and started tindering my face off. IT DIDNT MAKE ME HAPPY.
Fucking with your hormones can mess you up. I shed a ton of hair, my skin freaked out for a while, my emtotions and anger were rollercoastering. So, in July 2016 after a trip to Europe, I started Hrt again for a third time. I committed to myself that I wouldn’t stop because of a girl again. I told myself that no matter what, I would make it work for my acting career.
That was nine months ago. Many of you have noticed my headshot with eyeliner. Or you’ve a seen my hashtags and you’re like “whats going on with him?” Well, I’m still me. Still intense, still goofy, still playing guitar in my room, still cocky, still ZTB. Only now, I do it with mascara and leather pants. I am pursuing authenticity. Maybe it’s the artist in me. Maybe I am tiredof hiding. I hope that I look even prettier in another year. My acting career is really heading in the right direction, and I’ve got loving friends and family supporting me. I am grateful for all of the kind words and sweet sentiments that you all share with me on the daily.
If the idea of me in a dress makes you angry, 1. Fuck you 2. don’t be my friend. It’s easy. 3. Stop listening to David Bowie.
Id love to have more conversations about this with others who are curious or are harboring the same closeted feelings I harbored for twenty years and want to talk about how to be true to themselves.
Im Zach. Z. Zee. Boy.girl. Genderqueer. Genderfluid. Androgynous. It’s all semantics. And when I was a skinny teen with athletic legs, a popular cheerleader once told me she wished she had a body like mine and i held onto that for YEARS. It validated me.