Two months down. Things are going well so far in my transition. I have been feeling a little frustrated lately because the physical changes seem to be coming slowly, but I am trying to be patient.
I have gained about ten pounds since starting T. My body is bulking up some, but it feels like it's mostly in the form of fat around my gut. I wouldn't mind the weight gain if it was muscle and not fat. As much as I hate to admit it, I think I'll have to take a look at my diet and cut back on some of my favorite foods (like Burger King). It would be nice if I could make it to the gym once in a while but that's not really likely right now. I am pretty active though, especially now that the weather is better. We'll have to see how I do with trimming some of this fat by next month.
My voice continues to change, although it's happening slowly. It seems to go up and down a lot too. I am still waiting for a BIG drop but it hasn't come yet. I just sound like I have a cold all the time.
Despite what you see in the pictures, I am growing some hair. There is more hair coming in on my thighs and upper arms, and a little on my stomach, mostly around my belly button. I also have a good amount of whiskers on my upper lip near the corners of my mouth. I'm not too concerned about hair growth at this point. I actually hope I don't get real hairy, but a little more than I have now would be nice!
I will be seeing my doctor soon for a checkup and I think I will step my dose up a little bit at that point. It seems like after the first few weeks, nothing has been changing. I would like to stay at 75mg, but inject every 7 days rather than every 10. That would put me at about 3/4 of standard dose. Hopefully then I'll see some more changes.
It's been a busy month. I finally talked to my family about transitioning on Easter Sunday. I was so scared to do this. Thankfully, my mother is pretty amazing and she took it well. She has since talked to my father and sister, as well as a few of my aunts about it. I don't think they really quite understand what it means, but they all love me and no one has been too upset. I went home again for Mothers Day, and one of my aunts said "your voice sounds funny, do you have a cold?" Umm, no. In a way I think the reality of it all hasn't set in for them. But, I am so thankful for what I have. They all love me, and I don't have to worry about losing them any more. Such a weight has been lifted off of me.
Things in my relationship are going well too. I know I have been a little more irritable at times, which is something I'm really working on. She is patient with me. I know she wants to be a part of all of this, so we talk a lot and I try to share everything. But sometimes there are things I don't want to make a big deal of. Transitioning feels very private to me in many ways, sometimes I don't want to talk about it. We are learning together what all of this will mean for us in our relationship and how to deal with the new changes that come about.
That's about it for now. I don't see a whole lot of change in the pictures, but here they are. Slow and steady I guess.
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Photos: two to three months
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I have to say that these first three months have not been the smoothest. A lot of guys talk about how once they finally start T it's like their minds clear up and all of a sudden things just make sense in their lives, but that has not been the case for me. Emotionally I have been even more shut off to other people than I was before. I really want and need time to deal with things on my own and I've had very little desire to process things out loud with other people. That's fine for me, but it doesn't work so well when it comes to my relationship and close friendships. I don't really know what to do about it, though. I've been more easily and more often frustrated by situations, other people, and myself... even things that shouldn't seem so important. Once I get into a funk like that, it's hard to pull myself out of it or just let things roll off me. I know I have not been the easiest person to get along with lately. I can honestly say that I am not happy with the emotional changes I've experienced so far in transition. I'm a little concerned about all of this but I'm hoping that after a while things will smooth out. I expect that these first few months will probably be the toughest so I'm trying to stay positive and true to myself through this time.
On a more positive note, I have not found myself feeling any more aggressive than before, which was one of my concerns going in to transition. I've just been feeling a little less patience and tolerance for things that annoy me.
For a while I didn't want to admit that certain emotional and even some physical changes were happening, or that the changes were being brought on by the T. I kind of went through this period of being like, "What do you mean? The veins have always stuck out that far on my hands" about any change people would notice in me. I lived for nearly three years as a guy before starting physical transition, and now there's this underlying feeling that testosterone is making me a "real guy" and I'm left thinking "hey, then what about those three years, what was I then?" This is something I hadn't anticipated happening. While on one hand I am welcoming and celebrating a lot of new changes, on the other hand it feels almost like I am invalidating all that time I spent living as a guy pre-T. I have never believed that testosterone is what makes someone a man, and I still don't, but it's harder to stand by that belief when I see how much it really does affect my life.
It's gotten harder to talk about being trans to people who don't know me. A big part of my job is doing GLBTQ education in the community and sometimes that includes sharing pieces of my personal story. It's something I've done for years and I've always enjoyed it and felt comfortable sharing my trans experience with other people. But lately it's felt different to me, and I've noticed very different kinds of reactions from the audiences I speak to. I have crossed a line in my life from being transgender and presenting myself outside of gender norms, to being so uncomfortable in my body that I've had to take this next step to physically transition. I am a transsexual. Fucking weird, right? This stuff doesn't feel so heavy when we as transguys can surround ourselves with safe and accepting people all the time, whether it's in real life or online or wherever we find that space. I think we need to do that for ourselves to stay sane, to not feel so alone and to learn about who we are and build community for ourselves. But, especially online, things are made out to seem so easy, like it's no big deal to transition, and that's just not true. I'm not saying it's not right, just that it's not simple. Maybe it's hypocritical for me to be cautioning about how complicated this stuff is when here I am in the middle of my own transition. And I know it's not easy to live as a non-transitioning guy, either. I just wish guys would talk more often about the hard things too and not paint everything rosy all the time.
So, after all of that, reflections on my physical changes seem almost pointless! There's actually not that much to say. Things continue happening slowly, a little more body and facial hair, a few extra pounds, a slight voice drop, a little more muscle... you know the drill. I really do have hair on my belly, you'll have to take my word for it. Also, the hair is continuing to fill in down from my pubic area and up my thighs. And sadly I've noticed darker fuzz coming in on my backside... the early stages of ass-hair. Still no chest hair and my facial hair is starting to show up in more areas but still not enough to show up in a photo. Most of the added weight must be in muscle or just bulking up, because I don't look any chubbier around my belly, which is nice. Acne hasn't been a problem for me so far. I see a few pimples here and there on my face but nothing too bad. The worst it gets is across my shoulders and back where my skin is covered all day by my binder. My skin is definitely more greasy than before but I'm hoping the acne stays under control. Body odor is a little worse than before and the deodorant I've always used doesn't work as well anymore (due to body chemistry changes?). My voice continues to change. It happens so slowly that I don't really notice it. I've been trying to do recordings every ten or so days. Really, that's kind of it. It hasn't been an exciting month for physical changes.
I had a checkup with my doctor at about 2.5 months and everything looks fine. We discussed upping my dose to 75mg/week but for now I'm going to keep it at 50mg/week which is half of standard dose. Changing to weekly injections from a ten day cycle has helped control those mood swings and it's just easier to remember. I'm glad I'm not rushing things right now, even though I get impatient once in a while. I haven't stuck by my plan to get in better shape, but that does need to happen. Summer's coming and I need to look good for all the hotties that grace the Maine beaches. Ha.
Height - 5'4"
Weight - 156lbs
Waist - 36"
Hips - 41"
Shoulders - 19.5"
Neck - 14.75"
Head - 22.5"
Chest - 33.75"
Biceps - 13.5"
Thigh - 23.5"
Calf - 16.25"
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I was tweezing my unibrow (Don't laugh. Okay go ahead, laugh... but it's better than letting the thing grow out) and I guess I'm just not usually up that close to the mirror because my own reflection caught me by surprise. I look so different, so much like my father. When did that happen? I don't notice it day to day. It makes me more nervous about going to see my family in a few weeks. I wonder if they're ready for it.
Over the weekend I was away working at a conference we put on for work. Out at a college campus with about a hundred GLBTQA young people. Many of them are people I've never met before. Everyone who didn't know me took me for a non-trans guy... a gay one, but I guess that's to be expected considering the setting. It was my first real experience passing 100% with a big group of people who didn't know my history.
What surprised me most was how uncomfortable I felt talking to new people about my trans history. I was surprised by the awkwardness and negative reactions I experienced from people within the queer community when they found out. For real... wow. I wasn't ready for that, I guess. I had a few other great guys around to commiserate with, which was really a blessing with the transphobia running rampant. I understand more now about how transitioning guys talk about no longer feeling comfortable or having a space within the queer community.
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Four months... these updates seem like they keep coming faster and faster. In fact I'm a little over a week late on this one as it is. Life's been too busy lately. I feel like a lot has changed this past month, hopefully I'll remember to write about all of it.
I don't notice the physical changes as they happen, anymore. One day I'll see something and think "well, that's new" without really knowing how it got there.
I am weighing in right now at around 153, which doesn't give the complete picture because I actually went up to 160lbs around the beginning of the month so I've dropped a good amount of weight since then. I have been working out more this month than I had been and I also think my metabolism is catching up or my appetite is slowing down, not quite sure which. I'm by no means lean but I am feeling better and better about how I look and feel. Hopefully I'll still be able to trim down a little more.
I've grown a lot of body hair this month but it's not real noticeable because it's in places where I've already had hair growing. My legs and arms have more of a covering, there is more hair on my upper thighs and upper arms (though still not a ton there). More hair is coming in on my stomach, mostly around my belly button though it spreads down and upward along the center of my body. Still no chest hair, which I am happy about. I don't want a lot of chest hair until after I've had top surgery, I think that would just make things harder for me to deal with mentally. My facial hair is coming in slow and steady. I let my sideburns grow out for about a week to see how they'd come in but they're still not full enough yet and I am not into the 13 year old boy look. But I have hair coming in all over, just not enough to actually grow out.
I don't think my voice has changed that much. It goes up and down a lot, hitting the lowest a day or so after my shot. I kind of wonder how low it's going to get, and I hope it doesn't stop changing any time soon.
I pass all the time now, no questions asked. I'm not used to it yet. It still surprises me and feels great every time. It's been interesting to be able to come out to people after having them get to know me assuming I am genetically male. I think it makes people think a more about things, and hopefully gives them a better understanding of transgender and transsexuality, as well as gender in a more general sense. I am very out as trans. Most people I interact with already know me, or know of me and know my history. Sometimes it's weird having people know such personal information. But for me the benefits of being able to represent and educate about the trans community outweigh the negative aspects of being out.
Recently I have been thinking a lot about queerness and what it means to me. I don't think I'll ever feel comfortable or at home living a typical heterosexual life. I continuously explore what my transition is all about. It's simple, really. Butch feels the most like home. For me it describes how I feel about myself, how I move through the world and how I interact with the people in my life. I am a butch who is transitioning because it is what makes me feel more comfortable with my body. It's a very personal action. It's not about making a political or sociological statement, though I know in many ways it does do that. My motivation is not to "become a man" although I know that is how the world will see me, and I'm comfortable with that. More and more I don't even know if I feel like a "man" because I don't have a clear understanding of what that means. I am comfortable with that label because it describes how I appear to other people, but I don't like all of the expectations that go along with being a man. This is not to say I feel like a woman, or genderqueer, either. I just feel like myself, and this is how that is presented. Let the world see what they want to see, and I'll continue to put myself out there, challenging some expectations along the way.
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|Measurements:||Photos: four to five months|
|Height - 5'4"
Weight - 153lbs
Waist - 35.25"
Hips - 40.5"
Shoulders - 19.5"
Neck - 14.75"
Head - 22.5"
Chest - 34.25"
Biceps - 13.5"
Thigh - 23"
Calf - 16.25"
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Last update was only three weeks ago, because I was late posting about 4 months and a day early this month. So there's not much change to report on, but oh well. A lot has happened in my life over the past few weeks. I'm not going to get into details here but I have been going through a lot emotionally and what I've noticed is that I tend to be much more quiet "in the moment" when I am dealing with a tough situation, and my thoughts and feelings end up catching up with me hours or even days later when I have more time to process things. I have always been somewhat stoic but it is even more extreme now. It's not that I don't feel things deeply, those feelings just come to me differently than before. I've been much more introverted than usual and I've craved more time to myself and space to be independent than I have in years. I think this all has to do with everything that is changing for me, through transition and in other areas of my life. I need time and space to deal with it all and understand it on my own. As a result I've really distanced myself from the people I've been close to, and that, along with other things, has had serious affects on my life in a lot of ways. I am more stone now, emotionally and physically, than ever before.
There really isn't much noticeable change in the photos this month. I haven't been working out so even though my weight continues to drop, I'm looking pretty squishy these days. I just haven't had the drive or time to get serious about working out lately. I feel good though, about how transition is going physically. My biggest frustration right now is the acne I have across my back and on my upper arms. It's driving me crazy. I've been using an over the counter medicated body wash but it's not clearing things up entirely, so I will probably talk to my doctor about prescription options next time I see him. Speaking of doctors, I am going in for a gyno exam in a few weeks. This will be the first one of my life. It's something I should have done as part of my pre-T work, but I never did because I was so stressed out about it. It still makes me really uncomfortable but I know it's something I need to just suck up and get done. It's feeling a little easier for me now that I have been transitioning for a few months and I am starting to feel more secure with my body.
So yeah... other than that, everything is the same old same old. My voice has only changed a little since last month. There's more body hair on my belly, thighs, upper arms, face. (A little bit of chest hair is coming in, too, I had really hoped that would hold off till after surgery.) I have a consultation with a chest surgeon in Toronto in a week. I have only seen a few examples of his work but I have liked it all, and I've talked to several guys who have gone to him and were very satisfied. So if I like what I see and hear from him when we talk next Friday, I will be setting a date for surgery sometime right after Christmas. More updates on that next month I guess.
I look like crap in these pics because I am stressed out and the day I took them was about 95 degrees so I'm all sweaty and pink. There's no silhouette this month because it's a big pain to mess around with in Photoshop and I don't see that much of a difference month to month anyway. And, honestly, I just didn't feel like stripping all the way down for a photo this month. I will try to bring it back for next month's big half-year update.
Height - 5'4"
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I had my first ever gyno appointment today... it's something I probably should have done before starting T but I didn't, because I really wasn't feeling up to it. It felt a little easier to do it now, maybe because I feel more secure with the changes brought about by T, I don't know.
Anyway, I called my doctor about a month ago to tell him I wanted to set up an appointment. I didn't want to go see him because I'd rather just go to him for regular stuff and keep this out of it. So I asked him if there was someone else at the office who could do it, and if he would mind taking them aside and explaining the situation to them so they wouldn't be confused or weirded out when they stepped in to do a PAP test on a guy. That plan worked out really well, and there was no confusion as to who I was or why I was there when I got to the office this afternoon.
I'd never had any kind of gyno stuff done before so I didn't know what to expect. The doc was really great though, she was probably a lesbian and more on the masculine side of things so I think she had a good understanding of what I was feeling and why. That, in a way, was comforting. The actual procedures weren't so bad... uncomfortable but not painful and having her talk me through it was good. Anyway as far as I know everything is fine, we'll wait to get the results back but I have no reason to think there's a problem. And since I am at pretty low risk for complications down there, I won't have to go back for another PAP for three years or so. I can manage that I think.
I didn't talk much about this before today because it's not something I'm really excited about chatting about, and I think it would have just gotten me more worked up before the visit. But I'm writing about it now for the guys out there who haven't gone before and have reservations about doing it. I'm not telling anyone to run out now and get it taken care of, those kinds of decisions are up to you, but if you are scared or uncomfortable or nervous about it, maybe reading about someone else's experience would help.
Six months on T is coming up in a few days, I should be making a decent sized website update then.
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It's already been six months since I started Testosterone. This time has gone by really fast. Although six months seems like it should be some kind of milestone, it doesn't feel any different to me. In fact, I feel like there hasn't been much noticeable change for a few months now. That's okay, I'm happy where I am, and in a way it is nice to just have kind of settled into things. That said, I did increase my dose from 50mg/week to 100mg/week just last week. We'll see how that affects things from here on out. Being on "full dose" may bring about some other changes that have been waiting under the surface.
As far as physical changes go, I feel like there's not a whole lot to say. Things keep changing... more hair is coming in, especially on my thighs and a little on my belly. I have no chest hair (okay, one chest hair, it's sad, really). I have darker hairs coming in on my forearms and upper arms. Facial hair is coming in, mostly on the sides of my cheeks and under my chin. There is a lot of it but it grows in slowly and there's not nearly enough to grow out. Please, anyone reading this... if I try to grow out my facial hair before it's fully grown in, stop me. I don't want to be one of those guys who thinks he looks great but in reality you can only kind of half-way see his sideburns if you look closely. Even if I protest, knock some sense into me. It's your duty as people who care about me. I still have not been working out. (I know, there's a shock.) I eat Burger King like it's my job and somehow I still am not gaining weight. I'm just going with it. My voice hasn't changed at all since last month, at least not that I can notice. I wonder if this is where it's going to stay for good. I'd like it to drop a little more. So yeah... same old boring updates. How about the stuff they DON'T tell you about transitioning? Like belly button lint. When you have hair on your stomach, you collect belly button lint like nobody's business. It's fascinating.
Really that's about it for physical stuff. It's starting to feel redundant to keep writing about that aspect of transition. For the most part it's the same thing every month, just a little more of whatever happened the month before. I still think what is more important to write about is how things have changed for me in the world outside of just the ways my body is changing. I am passing basically 100% of the time now (except for that guy the other day who towed my car and kept calling me ma'am... don't know what's up with that). I still don't take it for granted and I think about it all the time. In many situations (like at work and basically all social settings) I am not concerned with passing because I am already out as trans anyway. I love that I am able to have a job where not only is it accepted or tolerated that I am trans and transitioning, but that I am actually embraced and supported by the organization. Because of the nature of my job (I work for a GLBTQ youth non-profit) my personal identity plays into my work in many ways. I'm working on figuring out how much I can share of myself personally at work. On one hand I think it's very important to be accessible to both young people and adults within the organization, to have someone who is willing to share firsthand experiences around being trans and transitioning. On the other hand it is draining and sometimes overwhelming to feel pressure (even if it's only coming from inside myself) to be out there all the time about such a personal aspect of my life.
So anyway, I guess that's about it for updates this month. It's not too extensive, I know. I've actually not at all been motivated to write this update. I took the pictures about a week ago and it's taken me this long to actually sit down and write out the update. I don't know what that's about. I will probably start doing updates every other month from here on out. The first big and exciting changes have slowed down enough that it's feeling a little pointless to update every four weeks. We'll see. The pictures came out really dark this month, sorry about that. I think I should work on getting a new digital camera but I'm trying to put "extra" money into paying off my debts so I can take out a loan for chest surgery. A new digital camera isn't high on my list of things to buy right now.
Height - 5'4"
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Here's a little bit of a 7 month update. I am not doing a full website update this month because there are just not enough changes month to month anymore. I will be updating every two months from here on out, and eventually I will taper back from that too. I plan on continuing to update, just not as frequently.
So. What's new? More body hair, everywhere except my chest. Nice. I love that the hair has been coming in steadily and gradually, gives me time to get used to it and appreciate it. My hair also seems to be thicker and more coarse all over my body. More muscle mass in my upper body- chest, shoulders and arms. I feel stronger all around. This is (still) not from working out. I am (still) not complaining.
Last time I got my prescription filled, the pharmacy gave me T suspended in sesame seed oil rather than the cottonseed oil I have been using. Since then (about 2.5 weeks ago) the acne on mt face and shoulders/back has been the best I've seen it since about month 2. I am very happy about that. Right now my face is almost completely clear.
Most everything else is the same. I don't think my voice has changed, although other people say it has. I weigh exactly the same as I did last month, about 150lbs.
I guess I don't feel any different emotionally than I did last month. I am kind of at a standstill with emotional things in my life in general right now, for reasons mostly unrelated to transition. I mean, I feel happy, and sad, and all the things in between, but there hasn't been a whole lot of depth to my emotions lately, at least not as much as usual. Maybe I'll have a little more insight to this aspect of stuff next month.
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Okay, eight months down. Changes keep on coming, slowly but surely. I really feel like I haven't changed all that much because things have been so gradual. I am happy with that, though. My body shape seems to have changed a bit over the past few months, I am feeling much stronger and looking less curvy all around. I really enjoy seeing those type of changes. I am getting more hair all the time, especially on my arms and legs. I have freaky dark hairs on my forearms and upper arms/shoulders. Not so impressed by those, they look really out of place but it makes me laugh. The hair on my arms is creeping down onto my hands. The hair on my legs is filling in higher and higher all the time. The hair on my head feels coarser than I ever remember it. My facial hair keeps coming in steadily, more all the time. I still shave it all off although I could probably grow sideburns at this point, I am not interested though. It itches when it comes in and I hate that feeling so I shave about every other day. My voice really hasn't seemed to change much in the last few months.
I've been feeling less and less motivated to write these updates as time goes on. It's not because I am not noticing or excited about what is happening anymore. I think it has just become a more normal and natural part of my life and it doesn't seem as exceptional as it did in the beginning. I have definitely mellowed out emotionally a LOT since the start of transition. Those first few months were tough. I don't feel like a different person from who I was before testosterone, but I have noticed that situations feel different to me than before. The way I think about and feel things is a little different. My first response is usually more analytical and not as emotional as it used to be, but I still feel things as deeply as ever. I am surrounded by people in my life who are all very loving and thoughtful and emotionally intense. Being around that energy has been so helpful in reminding me about how I want to be, and encouraging me to do the work to make that happen. I feel like I am re-training myself on how I want to feel and experience life. That is one of the biggest gifts of transition, I think, is being given the opportunity to really make my life into what I want it to be in just about every sense. There is probably more to say about that but I am not feeling too eloquent at the moment.
|Measurements:||Photos: eight months|
|Height - 5'4"
Weight - 148lbs
Waist - 34.75"
Hips - 40.25"
Shoulders - 20.5"
Neck - 15"
Head - 22.5"
Chest - 35.25"
Biceps - 13.5"
Thigh - 23"
Calf - 16"
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Nine to Twelve Months:
compilation- voice progression over time
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