Five years ago today (22/02/2012) I got my first shot of testosterone (T) And today (22/2/2017) I’ve not long returned from the GP surgery for my testosterone injection, yes exactly 5 years after my first one.
I remember the appointment for my first T injection rather clearly.
My GP at the time really wanted to do my first shot and not a nurse! I also remember her asking me several times if I was definitely 100% sure I wasn’t pregnant! And then within a minute or so all done and I had officially started T.
It felt rather surreal. At 21 years old I was at the beginning of puberty, again, but this time it would be the right one.
To actually know that at long last my physical transition was beginning was really important.
This is me pre T, it would have been about 6 months before I started T.
[image description: a white non-binary trans man aged 20, with short brown hair, wearing a grey shirt, black tie, brown waistcoat and a black jacket. He has a strap of a bag over one shoulder and going across his chest. End description]
The first few weeks were interesting. I experienced non of the (rather common) first symptoms. These are usually: increased sex drive/sexual arousal, increased appetite and eating more. I didn’t experience them then and never have with T levels increasing. This complete lack of any sign that T was in my body caused me to freak out. I became extremely paranoid. I was convinced it was a fake injection. That I hadn’t been injected with T at all. I then started believing that I had poison in me and was freaking out as I couldn’t get it out of me. I must have come out of this psychotic episode after a few weeks as I went back 4 weeks later to get my second shot.
After a few months I began noticing changes and got very obsessive about them. My voice was breaking, my periods went rather random and eventually stopped, I was starting to get hairier (starting with more leg hair, then stomach and chest hair) My hairline recedded to a more masculine shape, my hair is much thinner now. It was very thick previously.
Testosterone helped to reduce quite a lot of my dysphoria. However, it also increased dysphoria in some ways. When my body hair grew on my chest it made me even more dysphoric about my chest (which I was already very dysphoric about) My pre surgery chest caused a great deal of dysphoria, but when it becomes hairy it increased the dysphoria. It made the mismatch even more extreme.
Five years is certainly a long time. My body now is vastly different due in a large part to testosterone. My body actually feels like my body now. I still certainly have parts I hate and I wish were different, but these aren’t about gender dysphoria for the most part. I used to try and separate myself from my body as best as possible. It felt completely alien to me.
Now it actually feels like my body. Now there are many more aspects of my body I do like. I think before it was just my big feet that I liked! Being a size 11, meant I had to wear men’s shoes since I was about 16/17 and before then they were over the biggest size most women’s shoes came in, or girls shoes. Now I see my face with a beard and like it, my deep voice sounds like I expect it, a hairy chest, stomach and legs actutally make sense to me and my brain isn’t trying to distance itself from them.
I will be on regular testosterone injections for the rest of my life, but I’m ok with that, for me it means my medical transition is never really over and personally I’m glad of that.
Changes now are hardly noticeable, my beard fills in more and more over time and after my hysterectomy my stomach hair grew back rather quickly. But now T injections just keep my level of T at a level they should be.
Five years is a long time, but it’s nice to not hate every aspect of my body, except my big feet!
This is me a few months ago, can certainly see some changes!
[image description: white non-binary trans man aged 26, with short brown hair and a dark haired beard. He is wearing dark tinted lenses wrap around glasses. He is wearing a checked shirt, which is white, maroon and black. He has a brown tie on which has a rams head sewn in near the top of the tie. End description]