Dead Week of fall quarter is always an interesting time for me. Fall quarter Dead Week of sophomore year, I was going through the whole aftermath of coming out to myself — the shock, terror, elation, depression, disgust — basically every emotion you could possibly feel, switching from one to another literally every half hour or so. On Dec. 5, 2008, a day I see as my trans birthday, I finally came out to my best friends as transgender and decided that I would live full-time as Cristopher starting winter quarter. You know, it’s pretty difficult to focus on finals and essays when you’re going through perhaps the biggest self-realization of your life. Even now, two years later, it still hurts to think about.
It’s strange to think how far I’ve gone, almost exactly two years later. On Thursday, I’m finally heading over to the Superior Court in Fremont to get my legal name change finalized. I’ll officially be Cristopher Marc Soriano Bautista, and it’ll say so on my school ID, my school transcripts and my driver’s license. I’ve waited a long time for this, and to know that I’ll finally be recognized as me by the state — to say the least, I’m pretty excited.
It’s also two months since I’ve started T. (I did my last injection by myself. You can’t call yourself manly until you’ve stabbed yourself in the thigh with a rather menacingly long and thick needle.) In terms of physical changes, I can’t really say much at the moment, besides that I feel hungry all the time (which was cool at first, but now has gotten kind of annoying). But I’m pretty much still waiting for the testosterone to really kick in. I’m expecting my voice to break by the time winter quarter starts. (I’m also hoping to sport a wicked soul patch soon, but that’s probably not going to be for a couple more months. Sadness.)
Things are getting really frustrating, too. My brain is rewiring itself. I find that my mental processes are different, more intense. Everything’s still there, I’m sure of it — but I feel the T is rearranging everything in my head, so I’m not very sure where everything is anymore. It’s going to take me a while to get used to it again. In terms of schoolwork, things are exasperating because I just can’t <I>focus<P>. I don’t think the same way anymore, and I have to get used to things. This isn’t a very good mindset to have, especially with it being Dead Week and finals. But hopefully, I’ll get through it in one piece.
Looking back on this quarter, I probably would have changed a couple things. To say that I was overwhelmed this quarter would be a huge understatement. In terms of my transition, this is perhaps the busiest couple months in my life — legally changing my name <I>and<P> starting testosterone were both huge events. Not to mention I was also a resident assistant of an all-frosh dorm and took 18 units. Should I have dropped a class or two? Yeah. Should I have taken a back seat when planning dorm events? Maybe. At times I wonder if I should have taken the quarter off altogether. But then again, despite how stressful this quarter has been, I’ve met so many great people and done so many things that honestly, I probably would do the same thing over again if I had the chance.
I’ll admit that part of the reason why I wrote this column was so I would be making goals for myself that aren’t just on me, but on everyone else. If I told not just myself, but all of Stanford, that I was going to the superior court to file my name change paperwork, then hell, I have to go to the superior court. If in one column I promised Stanford that I would take testosterone, then I have to schedule that appointment at Vaden before my next deadline so I could write about it.
To you as my readers, then, I have to thank you for keeping me on schedule. I wouldn’t have taken this many steps if I had just myself to account for. It’s strange that in writing 800 words a week, I’ve gained a greater support network than I could have ever imagined. Thanks for all the e-mails. I might not have been able to answer them all, but I’ve read them all, and they’ve gotten me through some tough days.
It’s been a crazy ride. Thanks for everyone for being there for me, and a special thanks to everyone outside of the Stanford bubble who’s reading this column. I don’t think I could have a better trans birthday present. Have a good break, everyone. See you next quarter.
Send Cristopher some birthday wishes at [email protected].