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

10 thoughts on “Back to Business

  1. What did taking T do to you that you weren’t expecting?
    It changed the way I respond to conflict. Pre-T I would go over an incident again& again before- if ever, responding. Now I respond& it’s over. I watch the way I do so as to avoid offending or coming across in an undesirable way; to me this is a good thing.
    What undesirable effects did it have?
    Increase in appetite. I knew my appetite would increase& I don’t mind the weight gain but it can surely be pricey for a full time college stupid.
    How did it change you psychologically?
    Psychologically I’m much more assertive& confident. Because some situations have shown me I’m impatient, I have made it a goal to become more patient; I’m not sure if I was this impatient pre-t or not.
    Were you in a LTR? What effects did the T have on that, and how did your partner react?
    No, I wasn’t in a LTR. For folks I have dated..(those who have known I’m a transsexual male)they really didn’t link any of my behavior to my medical transition. I remember one person saying I was immature but that’s more of how my overall personality could have been perceived whether pre-t or now..
    What were your fears or concerns when you started T, and how did they pan out?
    A fear before starting was that I would gain a massive amount of weight..a bad thing because I have screws in my back. This didn’t happen; I’ve gained some weight but have found as long as I exercise& eat somewhat decently I’m fine.
    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 person taking T?
    There’s the weekly injection& since I don’t have a car I walk often& try to watch what I eat.
    I’m very satisfied with my decision to be taking Testosterone. It has helped me immensely with my predicament of the biological sex not matching up with my gender identity. I feel much more comfortable with the way I look, feel& am perceived. There’s this wholeness in knowing my body is much more of the man I am on the inside..if that makes sense.

  2. Good: boost in confidence, calmer, more focused, harrier. Little things don’t bother me anymore. I can tune out a lot of the things, too.

    Bad: The appetite of a teenage boy without the growth spurt–unless you want to count the spare tire. Also bad–because I’m on T and I see the hair on my belly and chest, but the voice hasn’t deepened much and the facial hair hasn’t come in, I’m sometimes eve more dysphoric than before starting it.

    Ugly: zits, discovering my inner-sexist pig where my eyes seem to wander to women’s breasts during boring meetings, and wow, the body odor can be unbelievable (and not all of it comes from the arm pits).

  3. If I was being wholly honest (which I am) I’d say I didn’t do enough research before starting T about what the negative effects could be. Because of that, going in the only fear I had was needles. Not really a good place to be for a guy choosing injectable T.

    My transition due to T has been very “successful” as far as what most people are after when they start. My voice is plenty deep, I had good growth “down below”, and I’ve got body/face hair for days. I can’t grow a very cool mustache though, and I wouldn’t be sad if I had less body hair. I’m Italian, so I was already hairy before T.

    As far as cons for me:

    I HATE NEEDLES. Lord, I hate them. When I first started T my partner was an MA, so very experienced with giving injections. She did my shots for me at home, but it was generally accompanied by AT LEAST a half an hour of me freaking out first. Eventually that got better. Until we split up, then Wife had to take over which didn’t go well. After just a bit of this I toughened up and started doing it on my own. I still do it by myself, and still freak out every time, but not as bad. My hate of needles has resulted in plenty of missed shots over the years though, and there have been periods where I’ve gone for multiple months without a shot between the anxiety and finances.

    I’ve been diagnosed with “fatty liver”. I can’t place the blame solely on T, but it’s definitely a factor. My weight and other medications have contributed as well.

    As far as physiological, I’m definitely a lot more assertive and confident. I’m also less patient. I prided myself on my patience previously, and am sometimes surprised at my temper and lack of patience. I also have a much harder time dealing with and sharing my emotions. My family isn’t very emotionally open, so it’s not a surprise.

    I’m totally glad to have gone on T, and there have been plenty of rad effects, but there have definitely been downsides as well.

  4. What did taking T do to you that you weren’t expecting?
    I tried to read materials on what to expect while I contemplated going on it, so I thought I was prepared well-enough, but! lo and behold… I wasn’t. I was not prepared to deal with being diagnosed with a liver disease shortly after starting T. It’s non-life threatening, but it is something I have had to be careful and conscious of. Also, heart-palpitations (a-rhythmia) are now common with me. They were mild before starting T, but now way more common, which was also unexpected. M asthma (which has been dormant for 17 years?) has seemed to return, too, which is a bit troubling. Oh, and, allergies have surfaced that I did not have prior to starting T. I now have allergies and did not have them prior to transitioning/starting T. I’m not sure if that’s due to T or getting older and developing them myself.

    What undesirable effects did it have?
    See list above. My anger also was increased, but I seem to get over things quicker now than before T. I am, however, more violent than before at given times depending on what’s upsetting me and to what degree. That’s been undesirable for sure.

    How did it change you psychologically?
    Psychologically, I don’t feel I changed too much, but I do have a different way of viewing the world than before. I’m more reflective and analytical and spacial than I was before T. I think in systems more often than in individual people. I am also, I feel, less creative, but more direct in processing ideas (as far as writing is concerned). I’m also more blunt than I was beforehand and seem to say what is actually on my mind instead of hiding it like before. I suppose I’m more vocal, now, in some cases.

    Were you in a LTR?
    I had to pause for a minute and figure out what that was, haha. I was in something long term, yes.

    What effects did the T have on that, and how did your partner react?
    My girlfriend at the time was generally excited for me, but really upset that I was still so young looking after starting T (though that was not my fault and her insecurity). We didn’t see each other often so every time she saw me (once a month, if that), there was something new to examine about me for her, which was thrilling and attractive to her. My sex drive, also, was a bit high for her immediately after starting, but she had a high one as well, so it wasn’t that big of an issue. Overall, she received my transition well and was excited for my new self to fully come into being.

  5. What did taking T do to you that you weren’t expecting?

    No big surprises from those widely documented in the literature (I’ve been on T about 6 months now – 4 months on gel before moving to subcutaneous injection). Early on I experienced pretty severe ankle pain and then learned Max Wolf Valerio wrote about this in his book “The Testosterone Files.” I also get more muscle cramps in my legs and feet – especially at night.

    I am putting on muscle and my body fat is redistributing from my hips to my belly. I started a strict diet (Primal) and exercise routine just before starting T so it is impossible to use the scale as a fitness indicator so I go by body fat % and waist size. So far I’ve lost about 6 inches in waist size and 4 % in fat.

    My upper body strength is much better (I can hit a golf ball almost twice as far now and do “real” pushups). I have much more stamina to do squats and my legs are gaining muscle faster than my arms.

    I need less sleep – not sure this is a documented side effect but I’ve gone from dragging on less than 9-10 hours to popping up after 6.

    Body hair is “creeping up” the abdomen but the facial/chest hair is making a much slower appearance. Luckily no hair loss on the head (yet).

    My voice dropped fast and is still dropping. I have been taking recordings and posting them on my blog (iwillnotcomply.com).

    What undesirable effects did it have?

    Other than the ankle pain, my blood lipids got worse (not great to begin with so I finally broke down and started a statin).

    I am getting some cystic acne on my chest, shoulders and back. I’m glad it’s not on my face (yet).

    Body odor is definitely changing – for the worse. 😦

    How did it change you psychologically?

    I wasn’t patient to begin with so I didn’t have much room to get worse in that department. 🙂
    It’s harder to cry even when I need to.
    I may be a tad more assertive but still don’t like conflict.

    Were you in a LTR? What effects did the T have on that, and how did your partner react?

    My prior partners were primarily lesbian-identified. Some have reacted positively (acknowledging I am less dysphoric and more at peace with who I am). Others have been quite negative and see me as abandoning “the tribe”.

  6. I know you have made your decision on this, and I am a little behind. But I am going to write a post on this and answer your questions according to my experience so far. Soon.

  7. Pingback: Dr. Miller and the Floppy Receptionist: A Hormonal Love Story | My Life Without Tits

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