One Year on T
I’ve been injecting myself with testosterone every week for one year.
Here’s the link to my six month post, so you can track the differences from six months ago:
Facial hair is coming in, slowly. I have chin hair that trails down my neck a ways, and a really bad Bieberstache. I’ve been keeping everything trimmed to a 1 or 2, so it doesn’t look like I’m homeless, but I can still continue my scientific experiment of monitoring hair follicle development. For the record, shaving the back of my neck really isn’t as fun as I thought it’d be.
I have belly hair. I have foot hair. I don’t have much forearm hair, but I can see it struggling to come in. It seems as if my hair was seeded below the navel, and is slowly growing upward.
I don’t “pass” on the phone, unless I tell them my name first. It’s still hard to enunciate, project, and inflect. I have to slow down, but that’s always been hard for me to do. I’m considering booking a speech therapist appointment, because an author who isn’t intelligible seems as if that would be a potential problem, and I’m fucking exhausted from repeating myself.
Shoulders are more defined. Legs are fantastic. I used to hate my thighs. Even in the summer, I would cover them up, and wear capris or something–never shorts. But now I love my thighs. I love the hair, I love how much stronger they are–I love everything. It’s weird to have a complete turnaround of how you feel about a body part, but that’s what happened.
I’ve had to go to the chiropractor for my shoulders, upper back, and neck for odd “overuse” injuries I really shouldn’t be getting. I’m linking this to everything moving around.
I have lost some “girl fat” on my hips and ass, which makes me feel better–like things are actually working–but this has been a recent development. I’ve been experimenting with diet, and I have a personal trainer.
I used to have a “witching hour” of around 1300 to 1500 (that unfortunate timing landed me in quite a few school restrooms growing up), and I still have that, but now I also have a 1000, a 1700, and a 2200 hour. Fantastic. If I’m busy, I can ignore it, but if I’m not… I sometimes allow myself a lazy day… or two.
I pass about 60% of the time, depending on circumstances. In general, it seems as if men see me as a man, and women see me as a woman, which I actually take as a hopeful sign, in that both sexes want to put me into “their club”. There’s a certain feel of inclusion there, even if it misgenders me sometimes. So far, I’ve only corrected people about my gender if we’re having some sort of argument. The husbear still refers to me as “Mommy”. We’re working on it. I think he’s leaning toward calling me “Papa”. Life is weird.
Currently I don’t use male restrooms. The bathroom bills made me nervous, but after my top surgery I plan to start. I also need to begin the name change process, which will help my confidence in places where I may be challenged.
I wear a jogging bra when I work out, not a binder, and I don’t hide it. I also have no problem with this. I tried running once without a bra, and my nipples bled. Yeah….
The other day I was running across the crosswalk, and someone hollered at me. I was blasting house techno, so I have no idea what they said, but I smiled and kept going, and something important occurred to me in that moment. I’ve been hollered at by people in cars for years while I’ve run. People yell encouragement (I understand it better if they fist-bump or something), kids race by and laugh and shout out their windows–because that’s what kids do–and none of that has to do with me being trans. It never did.
In my transmen running group, a lot of guys complain about getting cat calls or harassed, and while, yes, people are jerks, sometimes I wonder if we assume the worst. Perhaps that guy at the crosswalk had yelled something unflattering, but because I didn’t know for sure, I assumed he was just like most of the other drivers I’ve encountered, in that he gets his yahoos from shouting at runners. *shrug* Everyone has to have a hobby.
I’ve only cried once since I started T, and that was after I’d found out I’d developed an infection from being assaulted by my physical therapist. I didn’t cry after the event itself, but rather after I realized I had developed something lingering. The difference between this kind of sadness and depression, is that with sadness, I’m sad for a reason, and then I get over it. I haven’t been depressed since I’ve been on T, and that’s a huge win.
A lot of trans guys worry about anger issues and T, and honestly I have to say I’m less angry. There was a bit of time in the beginning where I was pretty grumpy, but I was still pumping out E, and I think that was making me more irritable than the T, because I’m feeling less cranky as time goes on. I’m smiling more.
This year I’m undergoing top surgery and a total hysterectomy at the same time, but I’m not sure when. My letter is in, and my insurance approved the hysterectomy and top surgery, but I haven’t heard back from my doctor. So I wait.
The waiting is actually the hardest part. I want it to be over already, and healing, but I’m in an awful limbo. I’ve been drinking too much, and I’ve been sick more times in three months than I have been in three years. I’ve tried to keep up with running, but it’s hard to have athletic goals when you’re planning a huge surgery–although please take that with a “runner’s” grain of salt, because I went on an eleven mile run a few weeks ago, and I’m going on a nine-miler tomorrow (and I went on a 6-miler today). Anyway, I’m working on it. I’m still writing, and that seems to ground me and it makes me feel as if I’m doing something worthwhile. So I write, and I wait.
All said and done, I think everything’s progressing as I thought it would before I started T. I’m on a low dose compared to other trans guys, but that’s because my red blood cells took a dramatic leap, and we had to cut back a bit, so it may take me longer to see changes.
I’m starting to recognize myself in the mirror, but with that joy there is also sadness. I had an identical twin sister, but she died during labor. We were mirror twins. I started out left-handed (but switched in kindergarten, because I’m versatile… in so many ways), and I am left eye dominant. My theory? When I looked into the mirror, I saw her, not me. Although it could have been dysphoric to not see my own reflection, I think it was worth it, because I had a chance to say hello to her. But now I don’t see her. I just see my ever-changing reflection, and I part of me mourns that. It’s bittersweet. And I think that sums up transition in a nutshell. There are good things, there are bad things, and it’s never simple.
(I took the picture below before I posted.)