I’ve decided that I want to go back and start tagging my entries with things like “testosterone”, “my gender identity”, “articles”, “gpoyw”, etc. to make my blog easier to navigate, but I’m not sure how to do that. How should I go about doing this? I have hundreds of posts to add tags to.
I noticed this post yesterday in the FTM Livejournal community and asked the author if I could share it on my blog. There seems to be a lack of personal accounts regarding taking a low dose of testosterone for more than a few months (as in, it seems like most people are only on a low dose of T during the very start of HRT because their doctors have them wait a certain interval of time before increasing to a full dose) and I thought that this was a valuable source of information to share.
Hi everybody. I’m Jack, and I’ve been around this community for about a decade. Though I don’t post much, I always read, and I’m grateful that this place has been continuously active and alive for as long as I’ve needed it.
It’s been a little over a year now. I started on .25 mg of Cipionate every two weeks in September of ‘09. I was 33 years old then, and I’m 34 now. What follows is an account of what I’ve experienced in the last year on a low dose of T, under the care of an endo. I’ve included rough time-frames of the emotional and physical changes that have happened so far. I wanted to share my experience because this is the kind of information I wanted to hear before I started, and there just wasn’t much out there about transitioning at a snail’s pace.
I’m not sure if this breaks the milestone rules for the comm, but I’ll gladly take the post down if necessary.
I struggled with the decision to start T for about 8 years before I finally took the plunge. My reasons were varied: a) I don’t completely identify as male; b) I’m uncomfortable with being percieved (by the rest of the world) as gender-normative/heterosexual/cismale for a lot of personal reasons; c) my last long term relationship completely blew up because I wanted to come out as trans-identified instead of lesbian-identified.
After much consideration and many years of gazing longingly at the changing bodies of the folks who have been on this journey before me, I decided to try a low dose of T to see how it felt. I found an excellent endo here in Austin who understood that I wanted to masculinize, and take it REALLY SLOWLY. She handed me the prescription on our first visit and I got my shot the next day. The whole ordeal was a lot cheaper than I expected, though none of it was covered by my insurance.
The first few months, I really struggled with keeping my temper under control. Before T, I was normally a pretty high strung, emotional person. I cope daily (some times are better than others) with generalized anxiety, and I have all my life. My anxiety definitely skyrocketed the first three months, and my usual means of controlling it seemed to fail epically. I’d say that it took about 3 months for my emotional range to settle back into a recognizeable pattern, but I still struggle with anger a lot more than I ever did before. I don’t get violent or anything, but I’m less likely to back down when I’m challenged verbally. This has yielded both wondrous and disastrous results. I’m a lot more in touch with how to step back and regain control, but it’s taken some work.
I lived (and still do) with a 12 year old boy just entering middle school and not really dealing well with the stress, and sometimes it felt like my responses to him were that of a fellow 12 year old instead of an adult. I had a harder time measuring myself with my students (I teach high school), as well.
It was pretty difficult those first few months, and I often wondered what the fuck I was doing, but I do have to say that the minute the T entered my body, I felt an inexplicable sense of relief. This relief seemed to be at direct odds with my anxiety. Frankly, that aspect is still a bit mysterious to me.
My partner has been patient and understanding. She gave me space to run the emotional gamut, and she was often a nice sounding board when I wasn’t sure if my reactions were irrational or justified. My sex drive, expectedly, spiked. After about 6 months, however, it returned to about where it was pre-t. The only difference is that I require a lot less foreplay, and I am now an avid consumer of gay male porn. I’m still mostly attracted to queer women (my partner is a queer-identified woman), but I entertain a truckload of gay male fantasies on my own. I don’t notice a real difference in orgasms, but it’s nice not to need so much warm up.
My voice started dropping within the first month, and it has continued to drop over the course of the year. That’s been amazing.
I’m terrified of losing my hair (since every male in my family was pretty much bald by the age of 25), so I regularly use Rogaine and I haven’t seen any major hair loss or even the beginning of a receding hairline.
It’s a weird thing to be concerned about, but since I’m really sensitive to smell I was afraid I’d become less attractive to my partner scent-wise. That has not happened - though my scent has changed considerably. I don’t smell unfamiliar to myself, though, or to her. Perhaps this is because the change has happened so gradually, but I’m not sure. I have zero knowledge of biology, so I’m not even going to guess.
I dealt with crazy acne from day one until the six-seven month mark. I tried a shit-ton of products, but finally settled on a combination of Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash, Thayers Witch Hazel Toner, and finally, a prescription strength dose of metrogel. That really worked wonders, but I didn’t have that until about the 5 month mark. I have some scruff, but I’m mostly still hairless. I shave every three to four weeks.
The bad news is that I still get my period. Sometimes it’s really light, and sometimes it’s not, but my doctor switched me to a topical compunded cream and increased my dosage two months ago when I asked her about it. I’m now on Testosterone 10PC Cream, and I apply .5ML for two weeks a month, and then 1ML for the two weeks before my period. I’d been experiencing some crazy PMS two weeks before each period. I felt like a hormonal battle ground. The upped dosage has done away with the bone-crushing PMS, but I’m still getting my period on schedule. I’d like it to cease completely.
I pass as male about 20% of the time, but I’m okay with that. I’m not interested in passing full time. I’m lucky that I live in a city and have a job where I’m not threatened because of my gender ambiguity, though I have been harrassed a few times on the street and in bathrooms. But, you know, who hasn’t.
My shoulders are more muscular, and I see better results faster when I’m working out regularly, but I’m not that differently shaped. My arms are thicker, my hips a bit less fleshy. My face has not changed much, either. I was going to post comparison pictures of my face, but I looked at them tonight and realized that I still pretty much look the same. I’m not disappointed, though. This has been a slow process, and I wanted it to be slow. I can choose when and to whom I feel comfortable disclosing, and in Texas, that’s a boon.
I feel like a different person. I carry myself differently, and am much more at home in my body. I love my voice. I have not had top surgery, but I am saving for it and hope to be able to afford it in about two more years. This has been an intensely personal process for me, and I’m glad I made the decision to stick with a low dose. It’s not for everybody, and I’m not advocating this route over any other. I have watched so many strong folks in this community over the years, and I know that everybody has a different story, a different body, a different identity. That’s a good thing.
This is just exactly the information I wanted when I was considering (lo those many years) whether a low dose could work for me.
Hey, guys. First of all, this website is great and I look at it all the time. Second, I am planning to move from Southern California and I’m curious as to how the trans community in New York compares to that in San Francisco. What do you guys think? Thanks!
Hey there - I think the communities are compatible in size and visibility (someone correct me if you think I’m mistaken). If you’re looking for resources and trans-friendly events in NYC, let me know.
I am reblogging this from my friend’s Livejournal. She is a male-to-female (MTF) transgender person.
Weird situation tonight - I went to MoMA with my roommate, and my brother and friends of his. Was fairly unremarkable, alright enough, until we were on the train on the way home, when we were near a group of fairly Jersey Shore looking kids. I’m leaning against a pole, and one of them from behind taps me in the small of my back and says “Hey, I want to know, are you a boy or a girl?”
I half turn around, eloquently suggest “Oh, shut the fuck up,” and turn back around to ignore him. He says “What? If there’s a problem here, let it be known.” I continue to ignore him, hoping for him to just shut up, as my brother/roommate back me up by staring him down and informing him how rude he’s being. But then the fun part happens, where his friends start acting really embarrassed (his girlfriend, especially), telling him what an ass he’s being. He protests with gems such as “It’s an honest question! I’m a curious guy. If it’s a tranny, I want to know,” and so on, but they continue to very embarrasedly tell him his behavior was Not Okay. After a few minutes, he gets fed up with the lack of support, stands up, and decides to get off randomly at that stop (according to my roommate, he was glassy-eyed at that point). As he’s leaving, one of the friends makes eye contact with me and sincerely apologizes for his behavior.
Win? I still feel like shit, but I guess that’s about as best-case as it could get. I am definitely glad that (a) his social group included several girls, and (b) I was accompanied by two cis dudes. I guess this “makes up” for the time I was alone, hassled, and crotch-grabbed by a group of kids on the train a couple years ago. I guess?
It’s very upsetting that something like this happened to her - again.
I have put the word “tranny” in bold because the circumstance in which it was used is a blatant example of why I do not use the word “tranny” to refer to myself or any transgender person. As a transmasculine person, it in not my place to try to “reclaim” the word as countless transfeminine people are being called it as a slur. This isn’t to say that transmasculine people aren’t called “tranny” in a disparaging manner, as well, but the people predominantly targeted by it are transfeminine folks.
(Firstly, I’m sorry that your formspring got cut off. This keep happening on mine. Anyone know how to fix this?)
I am indeed a reader of Dan Savage. While there has been some controversy about how he has handled transgender issues in his column, I do think that this new project is a really, really wonderful thing and applaud him for creating it.
You find find a link to an article about “It Gets Better” here and the actual Youtube channel can be found here.
Thanks for the message!
kneeonraindrops replied to your post: So, have you come out to your mom about you being trans as yet? I remember some blogs ago, I think you said that your mom said something along the lines of “I can understand that you’re gay, but not when you try to look like a guy” correct? >.
I remember those! *was right* What’s it like keeping this from your mom? Are you really close?
It feels uncomfortable to be keeping this from her, but I think it’s the best thing to do right now. I love my mom, but we’re not terribly close.
To be honest, I don’t bottom to anyone. The last time I tried, I wound up crying and feeling really confused as to why my eyes were tearing. Dysphoria? Maybe. I’m still not sure what happened.
No, I haven’t come out to my mom as trans, and yes, she did say that. These two posts (one and two) basically explain why I don’t feel comfortable coming out to my mom. If/when she notices any changes from the T, I will surely come up with some elaborate short-term excuse for said changes.
I am inviting you to participate in a survey that I am conducting on faking orgasm. I am a student at SUNY New Paltz. The survey is for a research project on faking orgasm. It has been approved by the Institutional Review Board. In the survey you will be asked a few questions on your own experiences and feelings on orgasm and faking orgasm as well as some general questions on the topic. It is not necessary to have faked, not faked, or even to have had any type of sexual interaction before. This survey is aimed to get the opinions of everyone. It is open to the public only requiring that those who take it are 18 years of age or older. Participation is voluntary and all responses are anonymous. It will take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. If you feel uncomfortable, you may stop at any time. All responses will be very appreciated. Thank you
for your time!
*The reason I am specifically posting here is because I have received over around 1000 responses, and in my work I would like to have a decent amount of representation of people from various sexualities. I currently have responses from 749 self identified heterosexuals, 29 homosexuals, 62 bisexuals, 21 pansexuals, 16 who are unsure and 16 who claimed another sexuality. As you can see the number drops very drastically. My aim here is to obtain more responses and hopefully more sexual representation within my study. However, this is just a side note. Thanks for your time and enjoy !
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please contact me at: NPorgasmresearch@gmail.com
Below is a link to the survey:
SUNY New Paltz Orgasm Survey
Reblogging this from Livejournal. I hope you guys can contribute and add to the diversity.
Unfortunately, there is no way to pick and choose what changes you experience on testosterone and to what degree you experience them. What I can tell you, though, is that one of the earliest changes that people tend to notice when taking T is genital growth (as well as increased sex drive, increased appetite, and acne). Some people have spoken about noticing genital growth less than two weeks after their first shot. However, a change that tends to come much later in transition is fat redistribution. Some people can experience fat redistribution after a couple of months, but by that point, you would most likely also have more body hair, muscle mass, and a deepened voice. For other people, body fat redistribution can take years.
My advice for your friend is firstly, to be aware of the fact that the changes one experiences when taking T really do vary from person to person and it’s a bit of a gamble for you to hope that you will undergo some changes more than others. One person on a low dose might experience voice depending within six weeks while for another person it may take three months - it’s really unpredictable. Secondly, if hir does decide to take T, a low dose would probably be best so that hir can really monitor how hir body is changing and reacting to the T. In terms of the method of delivery, T creams and gels tend to produce changes much more gradually then T shots. The downside, though, is that T creams and gels tend to be more expensive and must be applied daily.
Live in New York City and looking for trans-friendly health care providers? Fear not - NYAGRA Transgender Health Care Provider Directory is here to rescue you!
I have acquired two new, unopened Babeland Silver Bullet vibrators that need a home! They sell for $15.00 each, but I’m giving one of them away for free and trying to think of a creative contest idea for followers to win the other one.
To participate in this giveaway, just “like” this post. On Saturday, I will write down all of the names of the people who clicked the heart on small pieces of paper, throw them into a hat, shake the hat, and then pick out one piece of paper to reveal the winner’s name. The winner will be announced on Saturday via a video post.
Shipping is free if you live in the United States. You just need to provide me with your shipping address.
You’re welcome! Best of luck to you on your journey.
I actually kind of have a fear of answering this question itself, haha. Part of me thinks that if I post what I fear, someone will hunt me down and torture me with said fears.
I will admit that I have a fear of needles, especially when used to draw blood. It makes me squirm and feel nauseous when I think about it.
You’re probably going to hear me give responses like this often, but it totally depends on the person. Genetics play a large role in how much genital growth one will get from testosterone. Some people supplement growth with pumping and applying DHT cream to their genitals, but it is debatable whether either of these practices produces long-term or permanent results.
I know that for cismales, there are some statistics that say that the average size of a penis is between x and x number of inches. As far as I know, there have been no such statistics produced for FTMs that are undergoing HRT.
There are a few sites that can show you the variety of genital growth that guys get while taking T. One site is XTube. There are many FTMs on there who have uploaded erotic videos and photos. Doing an photo search for “ftm” gives you lots of results. There’s also Ray’s Page-o-Pricks and a couple of Livejournal communities. As you can see, there are lots of different sizes in terms of length, girth, and mass.
From my experience, my cock has become more sensitize to tactile stimulation with growth, but I only experience slightly more of a “presence”. I think the presence aspect has to do with the fact that because it’s more sensitive (and the head is more exposed), I can sometimes feel it rubbing against my underwear when I walk or sit down. I don’t feel like I have something noticeable new weighing between my legs, though, like when I pack.
You’ve probably heard tons of people say this already, but the changes one experiences when taking T vary greatly from person to person, and there’s no formula for predicting the sequence or intensity of these changes - as in, there is no “If I take 50mg of T per week, my voice should start to change at around 5 weeks”. It would totally amazing if you could control which changes you experience, but unfortunately, there’s really no way to predict that.
That being said, I could tell you that from my own experience and from reading other’s experiences, it seems like noticeable genital growth is one the changes that appears very early in transition - commonly before voice change and facial hair. The amount of growth and how quickly it grows is totally variable.
Regarding your voice, there are some ways to manipulate your voice without taking hormones. You might know this already, but male-to-female transgender folks do not experience any voice changes by taking estrogen; to obtain a voice that is perceived as feminine, they have to manipulate their voices by changing their pitch, resonance, and intonation. There are some techniques that one can do to make their voice sound deeper. While I am not very familiar with them, Tristan Skye, the founder of TransQueer Nation, has transitioned without taking T and has found ways to make his voice be perceived as more masculine-sounding. Here are some links to his resources: Deepen Your Voice Without T, Lower Your Voice and Public Bathrooms Parts 1 (video), Lower Your Voice and Public Bathrooms Part 2 (video). A Youtube search for “lower your voice” also seems to yield lots of results. Whether these techniques work for everyone and whether they are safe to use long-term, I am not sure. (One of the things I hope to learn more about as a speech-language therapist is voice manipulation, especially for people wishing to sound more masculine. I’m going to be attending a workshop in NYC on the 27th for people wishing to feminize their voice, but the director said that if there’s enough interest, she may create a group for people desiring a more masculine-sounding voice. She runs http://www.transgendervoice.net/)
The Australian site is legitimate and can provide you with different percentages of T cream. Your dose is based on how much of the T you put on. For instance, let’s say that 5 pea-sized dabs of 1% cream is equivalent to 1 pea-sized dabs of the 5% cream. You would probably want to get the 5% cream because it will last you longer and you won’t have to put as much of the cream on your skin.
If you do decide to take T, you can talk to your doctor about taking a low dose and stopping once you feel like you’ve gained the changes that you were seeking. That’s basically what I’m doing right now. If money wasn’t an issue, I would probably be using T cream, as the changes tend to be more gradual and there are no “spikes” in your hormone levels as there are with injections (as in, less mood fluctuations).
I hope that I’ve answered your questions. If you have any more inquiries, feel free to message me.
Janelle Monae puts on a fucking awesome live show. She’s on tour with Of Montreal right now - check ‘em out if you get the chance!
I survived the Brooklyn Twister of ‘10.
No problem :)
(You can make free phone calls in the US and Canada on Gmail via “Call phone” on Gchat if your computer has a mic and speakers.
Because you touch yourself at night.
Haha - thank you!
I can’t believe this hasn’t popped up on FYFTM’s yet. It’s completely amazing.
White Matter Microstructure in Female to Male Transsexuals Before Cross-sex Hormonal Treatment
BACKGROUND: Some gray and white matter regions of the brain are sexually dimorphic. The best MRI technique for identifying subtle differences in white matter is diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether white matter patterns in female to male (FtM) transsexuals before commencing cross-sex hormone treatment are more similar to that of their biological sex or to that of their gender identity.
METHOD: DTI was performed in 18 FtM transsexuals and 24 male and 19 female heterosexual controls scanned with a 3 T Trio Tim Magneton. Fractional anisotropy (FA) was performed on white matter fibers of the whole brain, which was spatially analyzed using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics.
RESULTS: In controls, males have significantly higher FA values than females in the medial and posterior parts of the right superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), the forceps minor, and the corticospinal tract. Compared to control females, FtM showed higher FA values in posterior part of the right SLF, the forceps minor and corticospinal tract. Compared to control males, FtM showed only lower FA values in the corticospinal tract.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that the white matter microstructure pattern in untreated FtM transsexuals is closer to the pattern of subjects who share their gender identity (males) than those who share their biological sex (females). Our results provide evidence for an inherent difference in the brain structure of FtM transsexuals.
Abstract reprinted from: Rametti G, et al., White matter microstructure in female to male transsexuals before cross-sex hormonal treatment. A diffusion tensor imaging study. J Psychiatr Res. 2010 Jun 8.
I have the urge to yell HA!
On the rare occasions that I’m read as male, it’s always as a young pre-pubescent male. The last time this happened, a cashier referred to me as “lil’ guy”.
It makes me feel like a creepy, deceptive person when this happens, causing the event of “passing” to be bittersweet.
(Okay - the pun is totally intended)
Judging by people’s pre- and post- transition photos and videos, I do believe that T causes the nose to grow. I don’t find that many people mention it while talking about the changes they are experiencing - in fact, I, too, have only known one person who explicitly discussed the growth of his nose.
I haven’t noticed any changes in the size of my nose yet. I do hope that it gets a little bit less narrow, though.
Wednesday marked two months on T, so I thought I’d make an update about the changes I’ve been experiencing. For those of you just tuning in, I’m taking 50mg every other week, which is about a quarter of the “standard” dose. These are the differences I have noticed since last month:
-The zits on my face have traveled to my chest and some of my upper back. It’s nothing drastic, but it’s visible to me.
-Slight increase in cock size
-Slight increase in libido
-My voice still sounds the same as it did pre-T (at least to me), but it cracks to higher pitches more often
-Two or three short, fine, dark chin hairs
-Upper lip hair is coming back a little quicker after shaving
-Slightly thicker eyebrows (I think, haha)
Luckily, I haven’t experienced any heart palpitations this month.
I’m enjoying the changes I have been experiencing so far, and also am content with the slow, gradual pace of them.
If you have any particular questions, please feel free to ask.