When I was a child, my mum made us go to church at least every other Sunday. It was mostly for appearance's sake, and I absolutely hated it. It was long and boring and hot and I had to dress up girly and nice and pretend to be a gentle, well-mannered young lady. It sucked. What made it even worse was when there was a baptism. They were usually a surprise and we'd show up expecting an hour and a half to two hours of skull-crushing boredom and then there'd be a baptism that would easily tack on another half hour to forty-five minutes. But one thing sticks out in my mind about all those baptisms that seems relevant to this particular day.
My priest had this little bit he'd do before every baptism. He'd call up all the kids to the front of the church where the altar was and have them gather around. The candidate (usually a baby) and their family would be at the altar already and the rest of the congregation would be watching from their seats. The priest would ask the children "so, what do we need for a baptism?" and all the kids all would scramble to get in an answer, rattling off the list - Holy water from the river Jordan, oil blessed by the Bishop, a priest, an altar, and probably most importantly, a baby.
This memory came back to me today as I was opening my package from Strohecker's pharmacy as "what do we need to make a man?". We need an alcohol swab, a doctor, a needle, a syringe, some carefully metered testosterone and most importantly, a transgender male. I imagine the first T shot I get (in less than two weeks!) will feel like it's own kind of baptism. I won't be reborn into the Church, but I'll be reborn into the body of a male - starting my own journey towards manhood. I won't be supported by the members of a congregation, but by a wonderful support network of family, friends and acquaintances who have committed to stand by me and respect my decision to transition.