I have long lost count of the number of blood tests I have had to have over the past few years. On average I think I have probably had my blood tested every 6 or 7 weeks. Not only do I need to regularly monitor my levels of testosterone, estradiol and luteinizing hormone, amongst others, but I also need to closely watch my liver and kidney function as cross sex hormones may place undue pressure on them. Every change in hormone, dose or application method has required a before and after test to monitor the effect.
Most visits to the phlebotomist have passed without note. If I was lucky, I received a friendly smile or a concerned frown to break the utilitarian nature of the visit, but most visits consisted of a 15 to 20 minute wait followed by 5 or 10 minutes of friendly chit chat as my blood was being withdrawn.
One visit in July 2018, though, was a little more pivotal. It provided a lovely random moment that was hilarious at the time, but ultimately introduced a lovely new human into my life.
I was 2 years post Epiphany. I had been taking cross sex hormones for 16 months. I had been known as Roxy socially for about 6 or 7 months. I had only received my new birth certificate 5 or 6 weeks earlier. Medicare had been my second name change (after the Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages update). More significantly, though, it had been my first gender marker update. My shiny new Medicare card had only arrived a week or two earlier, so I was pretty keen, though also quite nervous, to show it off.
My 15 to 20 minute wait passed without note. My name was called out. I followed the phlebotomist into their room and sat down. The phlebotomist looked startled when he saw my Medicare card, which made me a little uneasy. The following exchange then unfolded:
Phlebotomist (with a quizzical look on his face): did you have that Medicare card yesterday?
Me (slightly puzzled): Um … I have had it for about two weeks I think?
Phlebotomist (very puzzled): you didn’t use it yesterday though?
Me: um … no … I didn’t … use it yesterday…
Phlebotomist: I meant … did you use it HERE yesterday?
Me (very puzzled): I wasn’t here yesterday.
Phlebotomist (now very confused): …
Phlebotomist (becoming less puzzled): Then you must have a twin out there!
Me (shocked and surprised): a twin! Cool!
Me (now even more shocked and surprised): um … a trans twin?
Phlebotomist (relieved we had finally sorted that out): it appears so!
Me (laughing): what are the chances of that? I would really like to meet them!
Me: (reconsidering): actually maybe that’s not a great idea … maybe the universe will fold in on itself if we meet?
Both of us chuckle.
Over the next 6 months I occasionally thought back to that morning, wondering if I would ever meet my Trans Twin. Our town isn’t that large, so it was fairly likely, but maybe the phlebotomist got it wrong? Maybe we weren’t similar in appearance? Maybe they weren’t trans? Maybe I would never meet them? Or if I did, maybe I wouldn’t realise it was them? That thought made me a little sad, so I tried not to dwell on it. I really wanted to meet my Trans Twin.
Six months passed. I found myself another new friend on Facebook. She was also transitioning . I looked forward to having a close friend that understood intimately the emotional, social, familial and physical upheaval that I was experiencing. A day or two after becoming Facebook friends, my new friend mentioned how many people had been addressing her in her daily life as Roxy. I was briefly puzzled … then it suddenly dawned on me … I had found my Trans Twin! Or more accurately, she had found me. And the universe hadn’t folded in on itself. Winning!
Nearly a year has passed since our first online meeting. She is now firmly embedded in my life as one of my dearest friends. It is an absolute privilege, and the utmost honour, to watch her blossom to become the woman she was always destined to be, sans any filters sometimes employed for conversations about transitioning with less intimate friends. I simply can’t imagine walking this journey without her and I am so very happy that we are able to be there for each other through this most difficult and easiest of journeys.