In this piece for The Guardian newspaper, Cadance discusses why hormone replacement was so important to her.
I forgot how to cry as a man. Laying in an economy box at the end of the funeral home was my departed grandmother. Flowers my mum had chosen hung from a borrowed vase. I sat with my family, numb. I knew I should feel something about her death, but I was empty.
I wanted to cry. I knew I should, but I couldn’t. I hadn’t cried in years. At that point, I barely felt anything, and it seemed like a betrayal of my grandmother’s love. But I was as dead inside my male body as she was inside the box.
A decade later, I’m a transgender woman. Thanks to hormone replacement therapy – or HRT – I feel again. There is a lot said about the obvious changes from HRT. The changes to secondary sex characteristics – skin, hair, fat and breasts. There is too much said about primary sex characteristics – that is, genitals. But for me, the real value of HRT is existential. It’s putting the right fuel in your engine, like filling up with unleaded instead of diesel at the pump.