Yep, it took a whole bunch of time and way more hassle than it should have, but I had my first injection of testosterone hormones today.
So now that’s begun, let’s talk about what it actually means.
Doesn’t matter how much I know I’m doing the right thing for me, it’s more than a little scary.
It means going through another puberty, of sorts. Over the next weeks and months and years, the testosterone alone is going to cause a lot of changes, and right now I don’t know for sure which changes or how much. I do know that some of them are likely to seriously weird me out for a while.
So what I’m getting is Sustanon, which is a compound formula of 4 testosterone hormones, balanced to release over the course of 3 weeks. I get an intramuscular injection every 3 weeks, and regular blood tests, taken just before an injection, for the clinic to see the lowest point that my t hormone levels drop to – they can then change the dose as necessary, and check I’m still in good health.
What that actually means is:
No more periods!
There are trans guys and non-binary folk who can embrace their menstruation as a part of themselves, which is ace. To me, they’ve never been anything but a regular invasion to be tackled with as much calm and as little actually thinking about it as possible. They never fit. They have no purpose for me. Even if someday I were to decide that actually I’d like to be a parent, I don’t want to give birth. Menstruation? Not for me. There’s a chance of continued spotting for a few months, but essentially I should be write it off. And soooo happy to do so.
My vocal cords should lengthen, so my voice should get lower – there is a surgical option here is necessary, but as my voice isn’t high to begin with I’m hoping to avoid that. Can only wait and see.
I have a question mark over what it might do to my singing voice – I love to sing (though I rarely do it in company). On the other hand, if people at day job will just stop calling me “love” over the phone, I’ll be much happier (of course I have a whole other patronising misogynistic issue with that, but it doesn’t apply here, so I’ll let it go for the moment).
Body shape is going to change. For one, oestrogen causes fat to be stored more in the thigh and buttocks. Testosterone stores it more around the stomach and waist.
My centre of balance is likely to shift from my hips to my shoulders. I’ve learned to shift this artificially when I walk, but it should become more natural.
I’m going to have more muscular definition, based on my build I have an idea what to expect, but I can’t wait to find out.
It’s possible that my chest will get smaller, and I’m really hoping for this. It’ll be a little while yet before I can have top surgery, so I’m currently stuck with binding my chest. And I don’t have a small one.
Again, many trans guys and non-binary folk love and embrace their breasts. I’ve always done my best to pretend they don’t exist.
Hair will happen. More of it, and coarser. How much and where, I don’t know yet.
I have a feeling chest hair will be one of the things that makes me do a total freak at first, especially as it’ll be combined with breasts for a while. But anticipating it should make it easier to handle.
Facial hair? I don’t know. Even if I can ever grow a beard of anything, it could be a few years. Or I may never be able to.
Head hair – I may actually lose some of. There’s the chance of pattern baldness, of course, but also a testosterone-based system tends to have a more receded hairline. I like my hair, so I hope to keep it, but if I don’t, it’ll be ok.
My metabolism is going to increase, which should be interesting. I may have more energy. I may put on some weight.
I may grow a little, my bones might thicken, my facial shape might become more masculine.
Basically, my body is simultaneously going to look both the same, and completely different, for a while.
I’ve never really seen it talked about, but can you imagine those changes happening on your body, after a lifetime of trying and failing to accept the one you got put into? I can’t help but wonder if my body dysphoria going to be coupled with confusion every time I look in the mirror.
It good, and it’s what I know I need, but there are some things I don’t know, and can’t predict – and they’re not just about the changes that’ll happen to me.
And what of the other people in my life? They’ll see these outside changes. Will they be confused too? Will they see me differently? Treat me differently? As I change will the people I love change towards me? Will I change towards them?
Will I ever feel able to fall in love? Will anyone ever be able to fall in love with me? Will I ever look at myself and not see a freak trying to be a person?
What if the person on the outside never quite matches the person on the inside?
I have fears about what’s going to happen, but at the same time I no doubts that this is the right thing for me to do. I think too much – that’s one thing I can be pretty sure will never change.
The rest of me, though? I’m as excited as I am terrified to see what’s ahead. I have hope. I know this is the way I need to go. I trust the friends I have around me. The rest belongs in hands far greater than mine.
I took a photo this morning. I’m going to take one, if I remember, before every injection. Here you go.