Every transwoman secretly harbors the Dream of the Magic Pill — that one-step, one-stop cure-all that ends dysphoria, takes away their male body, and leaves them the woman they always knew they were meant to be. Visit any transgender or transformation fiction site, or read enough stories written by transwomen on their own blogs, and you’ll encounter the Dream eventually.
It’s not always literally a “magic pill” of course — sometimes it’s a wish, or a spell, or an intervening alien, or a pair of mystical panties. Whatever the form, in the trans community it’s a trope as common as video game damsels in distress. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a way she can swallow that pill, close her eyes, wish really hard, and see her Self in the mirror instead of Him.
There’s no such thing in real life, of course. Early on in transition, when a woman is taking the first steps on her path towards Self, it’s easy to think of HRT as the Magic Pill. I think, six months ago, I was still entertaining the Dream myself. HRT seemed like this unattainable thing that would solve all my problems and make me into the person I wanted to be.
Now, on the day I’m about to actually begin HRT, my expectations are far more realistic. I’ve read the literature, I’ve talked to the experts, I’ve met women who have been on HRT for months, years, and even decades. Even our most powerful pill can only do so much for a body post-puberty, and my own body is less than ideal for even that amount of feminization. Today will be important; today will be transformative for my sense of self; but today will only be the next step in a long, imperfect process.
I can’t lie, though. When I take that first dose, when I swallow the first Magic Pill of oh so many, I will probably close my eyes, make that wish, and then see what happens. It can’t hurt to dream, can it?