CREATIVE NON-FICTION

What I Didn’t Pack for the Journey

Because you think most about what you should have brought

Logan Silkwood
4 min readJul 10, 2022

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Last week, Leonora Watkins tagged me in an article asking what I pack when traveling.

Coincidentally, I was reading this article while traveling to the other side of the country I live in. In that moment, I was most aware of one item that I hadn’t packed.

Needles

As a medically transitioning trans man, I’m dependent on being able to inject Testosterone into my thigh muscles once a week. Having no notice for this emergency trip, we had thought we were only staying for a few days, though we had bought one-way tickets to fly. Just to be overly cautious, I’d packed a vial of my medicine, knowing that it was irreplaceable.

My wife had said we should bring needles. I was worried about having them even in our checked bags. I was nervous enough about carrying a passport with a picture that looked so different from my current face and a deadname that I needed to acknowledge. I didn’t know for sure whether I’d be read as having a gender that matched the name on my ID, given my new voice and body shape. Having sharp objects packed in one of my bags, even if checked, made me afraid of having anything extra to make me stand out for additional searches and scrutiny.

Having sharp objects packed in one of my bags, even if checked, made me afraid of having anything extra to make me stand out for additional searches and scrutiny.

I had wrongly assumed that, in the unlikely event that I needed it, I could waltz into a pharmacy and easily purchase the correct needles. In North Carolina, where I live, this is legal to do. A quick google search suggested that California has similar laws regarding syringes. I technically wouldn’t even need a prescription, though I’m used to being asked awkward questions.

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Logan Silkwood

I’m a polyamorous, non-binary trans man (he/him). I edit for Queerly Trans, Prism & Pen, Enbyous, and Trans Love & (A)Sexuality. Twitter: @logan_silkwood.