Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Choosing testosterone ~Sevan

The bigender girl by Anibunny
This post comes with all the normal warnings about this being my experience and only my experience and of course, I don't speak for anyone but myself.

In today's episode, I attempt to explain what motivated me to start HRT testosterone. We'll see if I can explain this in a way that makes sense to anyone but me.

Around October of 2009 I discovered the language surrounding non-binary identities. Before that, I didn't even know that anything outside of male/female binary existed at all. Cyndi had come out just a month before as trans feminine and I was looking for spouse support online. What I found instead was a section for "androgynes". That was such a HUGE "ah-ha moment" for me. Then came the few months of trying to figure out what to do with that information. I struggled with concerns about being accepted, being seen as a "freak" should I choose any transition action.

I was (and still am) adamant that I am not male and had huge concerns about being perceived male. Due to that, I was quite sure that testosterone wasn't going to be for me. I looked for transitional paths to follow, what worked for other genderqueer/non-binary people but struggled to find much information at all. I didn't know what I needed, but I was pretty sure that what I was doing wasn't working. I had a very hour glass shape and large breasts and ass. These features made it near impossible to dress androgynously. I also didn't like many of the styles that were considered androgynous. It just wasn't me. I like skirts and tshirts, and I'm still genderqueer when dressing that way. I tried to bind but found it extremely uncomfortable and unsuccessful. Binding seemed to make me more aware of my chest, not less. As a result, I rarely if ever wore a binder.

I planned to have a breast reduction and knew that it was gender based for me. I thought I'd be able to bind more once I had a smaller chest, which may well have been true but I found I just didn't need to bind. I was ok with my breasts after surgery. (That was a whole process, it wasn't just waking up from anesthesia and being ok. But I don't want to get into that tangent.)

My main support network was a group of transsexual women online. There was a great deal of talk about hormones and how people felt on them. The great sense of peace they experienced sounded wonderful. I started to think that maybe testosterone might be what I needed in order to find that mental peace. My mental state was unraveling from dysphoria. Knowing what was wrong, but not being able to do anything about it was a pain that was terrible. I looked everywhere for information about what testosterone might do. I found a few genderqueer people who had gone on T for short time and had success with it to get a more masculine appearance, but that wasn't what I wanted or needed. My search was wholly mental. I didn't hear anyone talk about that aspect of their transition with T.

Prior to Cyndi starting to transition medically she was prescribed T. The doctors said she had low T (go figure...) and could do well and have more energy on testosterone. She had some left over when she went off T and started estrogen therapy. It was so tempting, just sitting there on the shelf.
Finally, one day in early February I'd had enough. I was forming suicide plans and they made too much sense. Testosterone, with potential side effects were far better than suicide. I went and got the gel and started T. I thought perhaps it would prove silly, and not be worth it. All that hype, surly for nothing.

I looked through my journal and found this quote from when I first started T:

"Finally got dress and out the door headed for work. In the car I felt....almost hyper. Actually rather happy. I'm rarely happy on my way to work. Time to think means time to be depressed. But today I just bounced down the road singing along with my Ipod....having a very peppy drive. Huh.

Does this mean I'm a confirmed FtM now? I don't think so. Still me. Same person I was yesterday. Though it does seem that my body responds well to testosterone. So far. And that's all that means."

I had convinced myself that with a low dose of T I wouldn't see any physical changes, but would only experience the mental peace that I needed. That, was not true at all! I absolutely experienced physical changes. My voice lowered quickly, my emotions shifted, my dysphoria lessened significantly. My face structure shifted in ways I can't really express.

Here is a link to an article that does a wonderful job of talking about low dose T in more general ways: Click here to see Neutrois Nonsense