To T or not to T

I want to thank all of you who took the time and made the effort to respond to the questions I posted here a few days past, when I inquired into your experience with T.  I respect your personal journeys, and think of you all often when I am considering my body, my choices for my body, and wonder what other people have struggled with before me when facing these same choices.  In some ways you folks are my family, and I really take your opinions seriously.  I am so lucky you took the time to give those thoughts to me.

I think that I am giving myself one year to lose a few pounds (I am a healthy weight, it’s more of converting 5 lbs of fat into muscle, rather than losing weight, that is my desire) in order to have a good exercise routine in place before I start taking a hormone that is going to drive my appetite through the roof.  Biologically I am a 34 year old female, and my metabolism is not that of a 14 year old boy.

I don’t feel a great deal of dysmorphic struggle, the kind that would put me on T now, like right now.  I outlined the pros of it for me in my last post, but there are some real cons (liver trouble?  acne?  weight gain?  loss and growth of hair?) that give me pause.  For me, the risk of acquiring new health issues directly related to taking T are not worth the physical benefits of taking T.

So, for now, I am going to take a year to reflect with my therapist, talk to an endocrinologist, and work on getting this body into the kind of shape my current hormones allow for: I can build muscle, I can slim my waist a bit, all without T.

So someday, if down the road I decide to take it, I will know I did everything I could to attain good physical and psychological health before introducing additional hormones into my body.

Thanks again for your opinions and support.

Be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli

Back to Business

Hello!

Remember me?  I’m Eli, the trans guy that started this blog about his tranniness and has, of late, been watching Netflix and getting all wrapped up in work and moving plans.

Well, I’m back.  Let’s talk T.

Or, more directly, let’s talk about T in all the ways I don’t see many trans guys talk about T. I’m not on T, but I am thinking about it.  My plan is thus: When K and I move back to Chicago in two months, I will seek out an endocrinologist, a trans-positive one, and get the scoop from a medical professional on the pros and cons and options for a trans guy considering T.

But first, why do I want to take T?  Well, in short, for these reasons:

I want a deeper voice.

I want more muscles.

I want fat redistribution.

I want to be read as male more frequently.

Some facial hair would be nice, but it’s not an end-all goal.

Am I willing to risk my long-term health in serious ways for those things?  No.  So, I want to hear from you guys: on the blogs, dudes only talk about wanting T wanting T wanting T getting T getting T getting T feeling awesome and manly and everything is shinier and radder.

But really, what I am interested in is this: what did talking T do to you that you weren’t expecting?  What undesirable effects did it have?  How did it change you psychologically? Were you in a LTR?  What effects did the T have on that, and how did your partner react? I know I’m asking for your dirty laundry, but I am also offering a safe space in which to air it.

I found recently when I discussed my post-op depression, that lots of trans folks experienced it too, but I had a hard time finding examples of it on the web.  Well, I wonder if there are dudes out there on T that had some surprising experiences but haven’t had the space to write about them, or maybe just hadn’t had anyone ask them for that particular story. So, I’m asking.

Sure, tell me your good stories too, unexpected things that you were glad to have happen are always a treat to read about, and are important in getting an on-the-ground honest assessment of the pros and cons of T.  I am trying to get a fuller picture here of the effects of T, and while I have heard lots of glory stories, or bragging, which is great, I have not seen so much complaining.  So start your bitching here!

And not to put too fine a point on it, but I would love to hear from you, and you, and you, and you, because your opinions I hold in high regard, and your stories have meant so much to me as we have gotten to “know” each other via WP.  I wonder, what were your fears or concerns when you started T, and how did they pan out?  What kinds of maintenance routines do you have to go through besides the shot or cream in order not only to maintain your T levels, but to maintain your health as a trans person taking T?

I know this is a lot of private information to ask of you, and of course if I don’t hear from anyone, I understand and respect that choice.  Thank you.

Be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli

Sometimes I Just Don’t Have Anything to Say–

but then it occurs to me that not posting on my semi-popular blog is disrespectful to the people who like to read it.  So first, I am alive and I am sorry.*

So, when I have no good thing to say, I have decided I will post a poem.  In another life, not so long ago, I was, ahem, into poetry.  I let it consume me.  Suppose I was a poet.  I was, like, won-awards, got-shit-published good**.

But I don’t write them anymore, and so…Well, so that doesn’t mean I don’t still know a good one when I see one.  Here is a good one.  I hope very much you enjoy it.

Snow

Every time it starts to snow, I would like to have
sex. No matter if it is snowing lightly and unseri-
ously, or snowing very seriously, well on into the
night, I would like to stop whatever manifestation
of life I am engaged in and have sex, with the same
person, who also sees the snow and heeds it, who
might have to leave an office or meeting, or some ar-
duous physical task, or, conceivably, leave off having
sex with another person, and go in the snow to me,
who is already, in the snow, beginning to have sex in
my snow-mind. Someone for whom, like me, this is
an ultimatum, the snow sign, an ultimatum of joy,
though as an ultimatum beyond joy as well as sor-
row. I would like to be in the classroom — for I am
a teacher — and closing my book stand up, saying
“It is snowing and I must go have sex, good-bye,”
and walk out of the room. And starting my car, in
the beginning stages of snow, know that he is start-
ing his car, with the flakes falling on its windshield,
or, if he is at home, he is looking at the snow and
knowing I will arrive, snowy, in ten or twenty or
thirty minutes, and, if the snow has stopped off, we,
as humans, can make a decision, but not while it is
still snowing, and even half-snow would be some
thing to be obeyed. I often wonder where the birds
go in a snowstorm, for they disappear completely.
I always think of them deep inside the bushes, and
further along inside the trees and deep inside of the
forests, on branches where no snow can reach, deep-
ly recessed for the time of the snow, not oblivious
to it, but intensely accepting their incapacity, and
so enduring the snow in brave little inborn ways,
with their feathered heads bowed down for warmth.
Wings, the mark of a bird, are quite useless in snow.
When I am inside having sex while it snows I want
to be thinking about the birds too, and I want my
love to love thinking about the birds as much as I
do, for it is snowing and we are having sex under
or on top of the blankets and the birds cannot be
that far away, deep in the stillness and silence of the
snow, their breasts still have color, their hearts are
beating, they breathe in and out while it snows all
around them, though thinking about the birds is not
as fascinating as watching it snow on a cemetery, on
graves and tombstones and the vaults of the dead,
I love watching it snow on graves, how cold the
snow is, even colder the stones, and the ground is
the coldest of all, and the bones of the dead are in
the ground, but the dead are not cold, snow or no
snow, it means very little to them, nothing, it means
nothing to them, but for us, watching it snow on the
dead, watching the graveyard get covered in snow, it
is very cold, the snow on top of the graves over the
bones, it seems especially cold, and at the same time
especially peaceful, it is like snow falling gently on
sleepers, even if it falls in a hurry it seems gentle,
because the sleepers are gentle, they are not anxious,
they are sleeping through the snow and they will
be sleeping beyond the snow, and although I will
be having sex while it snows I want to remember
the quiet, cold, gentle sleepers who cannot think of
themselves as birds nestled in feathers, but who are
themselves, in part, part of the snow, which is falling
with such steadfast devotion to the ground all the
anxiety in the world seems gone, the world seems
deep in a bed as I am deep in a bed, lost in the arms
of my lover, yes, when it snows like this I feel the
whole world has joined me in isolation and silence.

-Mary Ruefle

Be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli

*This state is common for most people, I assume.

**I am not bragging here, as being good at poetry is not something a person brags about.  This is merely a reference point for you to understand my other-life love for poetry.  I was serious, is all I am saying.

6 Weeks Post-Op!

The Update:

Today I did yoga for the first time post-op.  It was a gentle class, done at home, focusing on yoga and illness (I have been fighting a summer cold for a few days, the first cold I have ever had in the summer in my life).  It felt really good to do some child’s pose, some forward folds, some legs up the wall.  Stretching my arms above my head was a challenge, and I went easy on it, but it still felt good.

I am still numb, mostly around my nipples, and I can feel scar tissue under my skin when I rub the incision lines–there is hard tissue over my pecs concentrated between the incision lines and the new nipples.  K has been working to massage my chest in those areas a bit, God love her for it.

The part that hurts the most, oddly enough, isn’t the incisions, or the nipples, or even the front of my chest.  It’s the area on my torso under my armpits: I can’t even hold a piece of paper under my arm, it’s that tender there.  And I still feel slightly numb just below my clavicle–but otherwise lots of sensation is returning to my chest.  I still also feel a bit swollen under my arms, I can tell they don’t sit against my body like they did before the surgery, and this may still change.  But I also notice this swollen area is hard, like the scar tissue area under my nipples, so this slight bulge on both sides may be worked away over time with massage.

Some Pictures:

Full frontal

Right side close-up. This nipple I named Cody.

And lefty, because he is perpetually erect, I call the Sargent.

And one last artful shot, for the connoisseurs in the audience:

Untitled.

Last week marked my triumphant return to work.  The folks there were happy to see me, and the few who asked where I had been (I had told many people why I was going to be out for a month, and word spread organically, which is how I wanted it) were supportive, or at least awkwardly polite.  I have been on what we call transitional duty.  This will last for two weeks, where I will be facing the shelves and greeting customers, and generally making myself look busy without doing any actual work.  It’s boring, but temporary, and at least I’m not sitting at home on my ass.  At least I’m getting paid.  And so, friends, I will leave you with a picture of me in my work shirt, without tits.

Another fantastic example of my graphic design ineptitude. But at least the trendy grocery store chain I work for won’t sue me for using their name in my trashy tranny blog.

Be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli