Now I have some decisions to make.

I’ve talked about the concept of hormone replacement therapy with K and J, and both of them seem to be supportive. But they’re also in the same boat I am: they want to know more.

It scares me a bit. On the one hand, I look at a picture like the one up above—yes, that’s me—and I think my bottom half looks pretty damn good. Why tinker with that? But on the other hand, there is the rest of me, and there are the changes I would love to be able to make, like facial and body hair, muscle structure, etc. Right now I’m off the mind that the risk is worth it.

Sex is a question that keeps coming up for me. I’d still have my male bits, but would they work? I kind of need them to in order to have a family, and it seems, if nothing else, leaving the infrastructure in tact means something could be figured out.

But then there’s the question of how I would be able to please K and J. Sex itself would come to mean something different for me, and that’s admittedly a bit scary.

Something else that made my heart stop for a second was the thought of the public restroom dilemma. I already get oddly looked at sometimes for going into the men’s room (go me on looking actually femme with just clothing, hair, and cosmetics), but what happens if I do HRT? I would look increasingly female but still have the male bits. Where do I go. Where would you go?

That brings up all sorts of other issues. Do I legally change myself to female? At what point would I do that? At what point do I start going by Evi Buell? Is it less real that it’s a name I’ve picked myself? Is my potential middle name too stripper sounding?

Oddly, in addition to the whole concept of it, I worry about the name change the most with my family. That I’d be abandoning my family name in the process. But I think it’s an important distinction. Just like moving across the continent here to Nevada, going from the right-side time zone to the left-side, I’ve kind of rebooted my whole life. I’m free.

I’m listening to Eric Prydz’s remix of Rio’s song Adventure at the moment. The lyrics resonate with this, just the same way spring does: “I’ve been down so long…” I’ve become me, and I’ve done it away from family, away from my old life. It’s why I want Buell to be my new last name. I’ve completely started over. In fact, K is about the only person from my old life who is still there.

That middle name bit? I’d like to take Mirage as my little name. It’s appropriate for my new life in the desert, my view of my old life receding below the horizon, and it just sounds good. There’s one other minor reason, but I don’t want to reveal my actual identity too much. Let’s just say I’m turning some things upside down.

This is all terrifying. And exhilarating. I don’t know what to make of all of it yet. I’m still giving myself a year to be sure, but I’m getting more and more sure as time goes by. It will take some major red flag in my research to put a complete stop to this.

My name is Evi Buell. I might say that to you in person one of these days. Maybe sooner than I thought. And maybe I’ll become who I am.