Case Study 2: Evan

A classic pre-T video by a young Canadian transman, this documents Evan's first visit to the endocrinologist who prescribed him his first T. As is evident, and as is common with many FTMs who manage to find access to the hormone, Evan knows his stuff. He knows he wants intramuscular T (as opposed to T deployed by skin absorption) and can even distinguish between various chemical formulae and kinds of T. The discussion of the gauge stems from the fact that T is supplied in a thick oil-based medium; to draw it out of the vial, the consumer uses a large gauge (low number) hypodermic, then switches needles to a higher gauge to get it into the muscle. Both needles, however, are much larger than those seen in flu shots, for instance, and therefore almost always cause a certain amount of anxiety in the FTM transmen who often inject themselves as Charles did in the first video in this essay. If Evan ever did document his first T-shot as promised in this video, I was unable to find it during my data collection.

Evan also describes himself as being "an eight year old boy" when he was pre-op and points out that his clothing is (still) basically boy's clothing (skull pajama bottoms and a Pokémon t-shirt) though he is 18 at the time. While this is clearly chronologically impossible, his point is that he dealt with his gender dysphoria by locking himself into a hugely delayed pre-pubescent state. If he can't become a man—his thinking was—he could remain a boy indefinitely. As his doctor pointed out, the T, however, will fix that by simulating male puberty, and he is conceptualizing the changes brought on by T as a greatly desired and much delayed puberty that will lead him into an adult masculinity at last.

NOTE: Canadians are often seen in these T-diaries because Canada (at least at the time of the data collection) paid for gender reassignment surgery and hormones through their socialized medicine.

This video takes place ten weeks into Evan's T-therapy and he details what is happening to his body, including where hair is and is not growing, and acne—a common side effect of T-therapy. Evan also notes that T has helped "people can see me for who I am" because "of how I look and sound now," and that he now passes for male one hundred per cent of the time on the street. He, more than many of the T-diarists I have archived, connects T with performance specifically, as when he notes that his current vocal pitch level makes it harder for folks to continue to refer to him as "she" whereas when his gender performance was entirely constructed through behavior, he often had people at work and school referring to him as "her" because it's hard to believe (he says) someone is male when they are speaking in a high voice (which he imitates in this video as he works through this issue), the change in pitch after only ten weeks of T is something that is clear to any watcher of the two first videos. He also details his emotional life: he notes that his sex drive is out of control even though his girlfriend Jess (who was his girlfriend before his gender reassignment) has no or little sex drive. As he notes, leaving her just because of a gender shift was not reasonable or necessary for what he described as "a little thing."

Here—at Evan's girlfriend's request—Evan details the changes that continue to affect his body including body hair on his rear, belly, and chest. He also mentions that the blond hair on his arms (which distressed him badly in the second video) has now turned dark. That is, it has become clearly visible. He also describes himself as "very hairy" which he loves in the case of his "treasure trail" but hates on his "butt." Still, as he notes, this is "just part of the territory."

Interestingly, he then moves to a discussion I found fascinating—what happens when he puts on makeup. It seems to be a given to Evan that even though he identifies as male and has used testosterone for fifteen weeks he will use makeup such as eyeliner. Indeed, he says he uses it more than he did pre-transition. His complaint, however, is that doing so makes him "look just as I did when I was pre-trans." Why he wants to use makeup is not disclosed in this video, though I assume it's part of being a club kid—what is clear that it makes him distressed because it instantly wipes out the effects of T over the last fifteen weeks except that his eyebrows are now straight and "not arched" and his voice is permanently deeper, so much so that he couldn't imitate a woman's voice if he wanted to.

NOTE: The last two videos are fragmentary, probably an artifact of when YouTube had upload limits.