Today a young shop assistant remarked on my red finger nails, and how she wished she could achieve the nail length I have. I smiled and thanked her, but admitted that I need to use shellac polish as the hormones I am taking cause my nails to be extremely brittle, and that they otherwise too readily, and too often, peel, shatter and split past my quick. Despite my extensive reading beforehand to search for all possible outcomes, I don’t remember reading any references to the possibility that a drastic reduction in testosterone could interfere with my body’s ability to lay down keratin in my nails. My hormone specialist has promised to trawl the journals to try to find a solution for me, bless his little cotton socks. It is unlikely, though, due to the dearth of studies on cross hormones and transitioning.
The shop assistant replied “oh … the hormones my boyfriend takes cause his nails to be really hard, so he struggles to trim and file them”. It took me 0.25 second and several blinks of my eyelids to realise that she had just very probably told me that she has a trans boyfriend experiencing the effects of vastly increased testosterone. I wanted to ask, but there were others behind me waiting to be served.
I left the shop, sat down in my car and promptly started crying. I shed tears for how comfortable she was in telling me … someone that she sees for a matter of minutes not even once a week, and someone who’s name she doesn’t know. I shed tears for the joy that future generations of trans folk, generally speaking, in Australia at least, will have vastly improved and much more fulfilling lives than those that have beaten this path before them. I shed tears because … well that’s just who I am now.
THIS IS THE LEVEL OF TRANS OPENNESS WE ALL NEED TO FIGHT FOR!