What “T” means to me

Adam Livingston

By Adam Livingston, Special to The Chronicle

A four-hundred-milligram testosterone injection weekly. That is normal for me. Every Friday morning, when I get up, it’s the first thing I do besides maybe getting a cup of coffee. 

I grab the syringes, the two sets of needles, and the small vile, which holds one dose of my injections. 

From there, I head to the bathroom to start my Friday morning ritual. I get myself situated in a comfortable spot where I can sit with my knees at a 90-degree angle. I have to keep my legs at a 90-degree angle. Otherwise, I can nick a vein or nerve in my leg and cause bruising or even heavy amounts of blood. 

I then sit there for a second. Usually, these few seconds are me hyping myself up to finish the process. Each item is wrapped carefully in plastic to help keep them sterile. The syringes already have a needle. That’s the needle that I have to put in my leg. It is not the needle that I draw the testosterone with.  

I remove the needle on the syringe and replace it with a new needle. This needle is slightly larger, making it easier to withdraw from the vile. From there, I take the syringe and withdraw the testosterone from the vial. I leave enough air space in the top before removing the used needle, put the cap on it, and place it in a safe, hazardous container. I then grab the original needle and put it back on the syringe before removing all of the air from inside of the syringe and prepare to put it in my leg. 

After that, I clean an area on my upper thigh where it is the fattest, pinch the skin on my leg, and hype myself up to inject the needle into my leg. 

NeedleI used to have a deep fear of needles growing up, but then I started taking Depo shots to get over this fear. Then it went from the Depo shots to doing testosterone shots, and I can say that I don’t have a fear of needles anymore. 

Now, reading about the process, it seems like this can take forever, but it’s maybe a five-minute job. But that’s five minutes every Friday, every week, for the rest of my life. Or until I’m comfortable with where I’m at with my body. 

Unlike cis-gender men, I was not born with the amount of testosterone that a man is usually born with.

Before I was on testosterone, I despised every ounce of my being. I wanted nothing more than to rid myself of the body that I was given, whether that meant life or death. Finally, on my 16th birthday, my mom gifted me the ability to take testosterone. For two years, I have consistently taken testosterone every week of my life. While it’s an annoying process, I’ve had to adjust my schedule several times because of missing a dose. I would never change a thing. I have never felt more comfortable with who I am as I am now. I can finally see myself in the mirror and see me, Adam, not a shell. 

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