I feel demonstrably worse since I started on hormones. One reason is that, absent the levies of the closet, years of repressed longing for the girlhood I never had have flooded my consciousness. I am a marshland of regret. Another reason is that I take estrogen — effectively, delayed-release sadness, a little aquamarine pill that more or less guarantees a good weep within six to eight hours.

Like many of my trans friends, I’ve watched my dysphoria balloon since I began transition. I now feel very strongly about the length of my index fingers — enough that I will sometimes shyly unthread my hand from my girlfriend’s as we walk down the street. When she tells me I’m beautiful, I resent it. I’ve been outside. I know what beautiful looks like. Don’t patronize me.

I was not suicidal before hormones. Now I often am.

I won’t go through with it, probably. Killing is icky. I tell you this not because I’m cruising for sympathy but to prepare you for what I’m telling you now: I still want this, all of it. I want the tears; I want the pain. Transition doesn’t have to make me happy for me to want it.