The 1st two or so years on T, each shot was cherished. They brought on changes or maintained them. Then, each shot was a reminder of my non-existing testicles, my dependency on my family doc (there was some abilism in there, not just dysphoria), and so on.
Demonstrating to myself that enough of my changes were permanent, even if the apocalypse happened tomorrow and I was cut off T forever more, my body would remain more or less “as is”. I’m not promoting going off T indefinitely, but I believe in harm reduction, and reasonably concluded that going off T temporarily my bone health would be fine. I still cycle on and off hormones organically at this point, I do as I feel. I get regular blood work done, my bone health remains fine, and my mental health is better for it.
I stopped documenting changes to my body. Also, I stopped framing parts of my body as surgeons’ work. Changes to my body at this point are as much if not more the product of time and aging as they are to testosterone flowing through my veins. On a related note…
If surgeries are brought up, I focus on the social end of things, and I keep a critical lens on surgeons’ relationship to trans communities. They’re making a living off of our bodies, literally. Sure, they provide life saving procedures, but that doesn’t make them benevolent divinities. They remain flawed human beings, and sometimes they don’t know what’s best for trans people’s lives. I also reframe how people approach my body. None of my surgeons created me out of thin air. My skin was always mine, ditto for my veins and arteries. They reconstructed what was there and/or removed parts that didn’t make sense for me. But I’m the foundation of my body, I made the decision to get surgery, chose the surgical team and healed. I retain ownership of my body.