Slowly, he pushed down the syringe until it was empty. It is important to move the molasses-like substance slowly as it is foreign to the human body, even if it belonged there in the first place. The needle was removed, dumped in the hazard box, and the night moved forward.
On surgery day, he was ready and he was proud. His bathroom mirror now reflected something unfamiliar but welcome, a slim chest and torso. He was relieved to finally feel control over his own body. He got dressed like everyone else, wearing whatever he wanted, and went to work. The world talked to him differently now, using words like, “dude,” “man,” or “bro.”
The minor discomfort was worth the end goal. He was approaching his true physical self, the one that had always been present on the inside. Once again, the weeks following his shot were long and difficult, but soon it was time for another. Sitting on the toilet seat next to his box of needles and fresh jars of testosterone, he repeated the process as he would every other week for the next few years.
Still, the mirror reflecting his shirtless body became an enemy. With breasts that felt as though they were not his, his naked self didn’t look right. Eventually, he acknowledged them and went through top surgery, the act of removing both breasts.
He had to learn, almost all over again, to be confident. His surgery was optional, of course, because what makes a man is not just his body, but his breasts had caused a dysmorphia too strong to handle.
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