Part One of this writing exercise is here.
Below the waist. My feet, like my hands, are slightly bigger than I’d like, hairier than I’d like, but I can’t really complain. They’re not huge, it’s occasionally obnoxious to find shoes in my size but never impossible, and hair removal has thinned much of the worst growth. I still have some patches around my ankles that I need to shave when I shave my legs, but no body is perfect. My legs rival my chest and face for the most dramatic success of hair removal. I shave my legs, much more in warm months, but don’t grow the same thick brambly forest that I used to. As of today, I haven’t shaved my legs in at least a month, and while they’re hairy compared to my shaved-this-morning face, they’re night and day compared to when I was in high school, pre hormones and hair removal. My legs are, like my arms, places of strength. I don’t run – it hurts my knees – but I bike and walk and swim and climb ropes and trees and lovers. I’ve been working on strengthening my hips, something a physical therapist said would help my knees, but don’t have much to complain about.
At the same time, my legs and arms have shrunk the most over the course of my transition. I joke that, since going on hormones, I’ve gone up two cup sizes without gaining any weight. All that mass, my previously mentioned boobs, had to come from somewhere – lots of it came from now-departed muscle mass in my arms and legs. I’m still stronger than lots of my girl friends, who knows whether as a result of testosterone or simply genetics, but decidedly less strong than I was before hormones. I’m not complaining, however, other than the occasional struggle at circus or the gym. But no pain, no gain. Or something.