Tag Archives: Testosterone

15 Weeks on Testosterone and Video

So it’s 15 weeks!? I haven’t been the best about posting — what with guests an existential crises at hand…

Additionally, my doctor says my testosterone is STILL too high. I’m really lost as to how this is possible, but I’ll have to ask him since he moved my next appointment up by two months. I’m on the lowest dosage of Androgel, and I’m nervous about getting much lower.

I have been extremely emotional for the past couple of weeks. Mood swings are reminiscent to estrogen fluxes related to menstruation and it’s unnerving to think that my estrogen levels might be creeping up. Still, I need to learn to let go of anxieties related to my hrt – it’s hard to trust doctors, especially when it seems their main motivation is to legally protect themselves rather than worry about my body. At our last appointment, the doctor’s explanation for decreasing my testosterone levels had less to do with maintaining my health and more to do with lawyers. 😦

Anyhow, I’ll ask more pointed questions (I hope) at my next appointment.

Also I don’t think my voice has actually dropped any (maybe a little) since the last video, but it’s good to check in!

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I Made a Video

This is a (sort of bad) introduction video. I haven’t made one before, but I wanted to get started (gotta start somewhere).

Enjoy 🙂

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Testosterone Update: 12 weeks

 

So, this is 12 weeks on Androgel. Actually, it will technically be in 4 days, but who can wait for that? It’s Sunday NOW. Also, Father’s Day. Also, today I shaved for the first time (I sort of didn’t need to, but I was definitely over the shadow-stache)! I also shaved my unibrow (which I immediately regretted, but it will grow back!) I usually have a shaving addiction (I love the sound). It’s best to err on the side of caution.

Now for some unflattering mugshots followed by some more flattering selfies:

Face-shot before T and now.

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Repeat-photos — Pre-T (Left), 1 Mo. (Center), 12 Wks (Right): 

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(I think my eyebrows got darker)

And one picture of my fuzzier side-of-face (which I refuse to shave):

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OK no more pictures, I promise. Although I do have a muscle photo…. This is the last one, I swear. I’ve been doing some intense yoga. The Hawaiian shirt helps (lol):

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I have a doctor appointment tomorrow, which is going to be awesome. I remain on the one-pump-per-day Androgel dosage, and that is going swell. I still have mild hot flashes, but nothing ridiculous. I like them, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before. So the newest stuff is moar body hair (I’m no longer a fish). Menstruation has stopped (mostly), but I think last month was the sad, sputtering last hurrah (hurrah!). I’m feeling more confident. My chest has not shrunk, but the shape has changed as muscles develop. I don’t think I’ve changed weight, but I cannot say for sure since our fitness center’s scale is broken (likely for the best!). I did take measurements, but the only changes are I’ve gained 1/2 inch around my waist (to 29.5″), lost 1/2 inch around my chest (to 35″), and gained 1/8 inch around biceps (to 12″). 

I think my voice is getting deeper, as well. My counselor asked me if it was last week (I don’t know if she was just trying to boost my mood). I have noticed that it is even more full and round and boomy. I’m more likely to speak too loudly now, rather than speak too quietly. I can also sing in a range previously unreachable to me, although singing in higher ranges that used to be comfortable are a super struggle. I keep having dreams about it cracking. Maybe that will happen in the next couple of months.

I’ve not been posting lately because I’ve been quite depressed, but I think I’m finally coming out of the funk. It’s summertime and my partner and I have been doing fun stuff in the city lately, indulging in my childhood dreams. We saw a dinosaur exhibit at the local science center, went to Cahokia Mounds, etc etc etc. My counselor gave me homework to attend a donation-based yoga class. She offered to attend one with me today, but had to cancel because it’s Father’s Day (which makes total sense). This has been my homework assignment for 3 weeks now, but I still haven’t had the courage to do it. Afterall, what the hell should I wear!?

Anyhow, I will update again after my doctor appt on Monday, or sometime afterwards. I’ll wait and see if they call me about my dosage. It’ll be a blast.

 

 

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Testosterone 8 Week Update (3 Days Early)

So I am going to be travelling over the weekend and I won’t have time to make the 8 weeks on Androgel update on the actual 8 weeks day (Friday the 23rd). Here it is now instead!

I’m re-doing photos from before starting HRT. The one on the left was taken about 1.5 years ago (age 23). On the right I am 24 (current).

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Stats.

Height: 67.5″

                Pre-Testosterone                                 1 Month                             8 Weeks

Weight:    132-138 lbs                                              136-139 lbs                        139-142 lbs

Chest:      32″                                                           32.5″                                   35.5″

Waist:       27-28″ (27″ 27 March 2014)                    27.5″                                   29″

Hips:        37.5″                                                         37″                                      37″

Bicep:      10 3/4″                                                      11 3/4″                               11 7/8″

Thigh:      19 1/2″                                                      22 7/8″                               22 3/4″

Wrist:       ~6″                                                            6″                                       6″

Neck:       11 1/2″                                                     12 3/8″                                12 1/2″

               New Stats @ 1 Mo.              @ 8 Wks.

Calves:             14″                                   14 1/8″

Foot Length:     9 1/2″                                9 1/2″

Foot Width:       3 1/2″                                3 1/2″

Hand Length:    6 3/4″                                6 3/4″

Hand Width:      3 1/8″                                3 1/4″

Updates since 1 month.

So not much has changed. I think my voice is getting gradually deeper – very gradually. I can sing songs with male vocals that I struggled with or couldn’t do before. That is super exciting. Not so exciting? My smell is definitely changing. I can smell myself, which is a weird experience (especially since I apparently never went through this the first time I went through puberty? — or else I blocked that memory out — it was a shitty time). My partner has commented on how I smell ‘like a man’ and I am really self-conscious of my smell at work particularly. I want to shower frequently (although I really hate showers) so I am certain I don’t stink (though my partner has not said I stink – yet).

Anything else? Oh, there is getting to be more hair. They’re all blonde little suckers, but they’re getting longer and more frequent. I’m getting fuzzier along my jawline and sideburns as well (all peachy and blonde). I think I’m developing a uni-brow which irks my sense of vanity. I went for a summer with no eyebrows voluntarily, but I become squeamish at the thought of them joining together into the harmonious union of the uni-brow.

I’m also getting every so slightly more vein-y. In places where a couple of veins stood out before new ones are rearing their tiny heads. Nothing drastic, just more slightly so than last time.

I have had 3 deep zits on my face in the past 2 weeks. That’s more than I’ve had in the past 2 years. It’ll probably get worse, but I’m holding out.

Also, testosterone-brain is for sure aggravating my Aspergian inability to communicate with co-workers (and relate some-what emotionally with my partner 😦 ). I keep floundering around in social situations, throwing out gems like “your new perfume smells good” completely out of context in the middle of running samples while staring off into the far distance. I explained to my co-worker that I am socially encumbered due to ASD and she said it helped to know it. This was all inspired by an interaction in which I completely cut her off in conversation and was apparently demeaning towards her – made her frustrated with my apparent dis-ingenuity and lack of emotional insight. She forgave me easily, though it was embarrassing and I felt pretty ashamed. I blame it all on my newly aggressive approach to social situations – no more hiding behind silence for me! Unfortunately that makes it much harder to not appear like a complete bumble-head.

It’s all for the better.

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Testosterone and ASD

First, can we just talk about how it is approximately A MILLION DEGREES everywhere? Even when the thermometer reads 50oF – I am burning up underneath my clothes. Heat collects as if I were a human radiator. A stinky human radiator. Ugh.

Now to business – Previously I mentioned that after starting testosterone I felt an initial boost in self-confidence that alleviated the backlash of some of my ASD stuff (particularly social stuff). I also noticed an overall sense of motivation and, interestingly, newfound clarity/presence of mind. Recently –over the past week or two – the self-confidence has been wavering. Last week I struggled with feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and even depressed for the first time since starting HRT.

So, needless to say, testosterone didn’t cure my Asperger’s (I don’t know why I sort of hoped it would). However, while I am still somewhat easily distracted, I don’t struggle to wade through cloudy senses and a dream-like awareness of the world around me. I’m not sure if this is something that comes with hormonal changes, but after my first dose of testosterone, it was as though I had awakened from an altered state of consciousness and I could more easily hold on to my thoughts and understand things happening in the world.

I remember I used to get angry, overwhelmed, and frustrated at how spacey I was. I would wonder if I was even awake, or if reality was actually a dream and I had forgotten what I was really doing in another reality. This led to a lot of mild self-harming impulses like slapping my face, punching myself, pinching, scratching, etc. Often, I fought the urge to wreck my vehicle by veering off the interstate into a high ditch or cornfield. “Would anything happen?” Something would. I knew it behind the fog-brain.

“Why can’t you just fucking think clearly!?”

The voice in my head would scream this as I struggled to listen to conversation, learn from presentations at work, or keep aware while driving. Now, I don’t worry too much about that. I’m not struggling with the same drudgery of constructing ideas. Maybe it’s still the same a little – it can take a while to grasp the meaning of another’s words or realize my part/expectations in a social circumstance. It is probable that this is all the effect of an increase in energy – the reversal of a previously lethargic method of thought. I can’t say precisely what it is, except that it is somehow a combination of all those things. At least there isn’t a fog anymore – and that is both good and bad.

The good part:

Because my thoughts are not cloudy anymore, I don’t become frustrated with myself.

The bad part:

The cloudy filter often softened the blow of overwhelming sensory stimuli.

So I have been having increased anxiety about people walking towards me, offering kind greetings and friendly (?) gestures. I have had SO MUCH MORE bathroom anxiety (I think I would have had that even if I didn’t have to deal with being trans). I still use the women’s restroom at work, mostly because I’m too shy to come out to everyone (though I’m out to my manager and research group). So I stealth sneak into the restroom. If someone is there, I run away, cursing, punching my stomach, and praying to the gods that they don’t chase me down like “HEY YOU CAN USE THIS, I’m done!?” And I turn around and fumble out some words and shamefully go back.

I hate them all.

Anyways. These things are happening as they always have, I just can’t disappear into the fog brain. People keep talking too loudly, moving too loudly, breathing too loudly. And I’m 100% attentive always. It’s ridiculous. I just wish my job was me alone in a basement doing stuff. It’s been good in other ways, though. I notice things more when driving since I am generally more alert. That’s good. It’s not a struggle to pay attention to the road rather than getting lost in planning how I am going to park when I get home, what I need to bring into the house, exactly what to do before going to the gym, what I’m going to do at the gym, what’s for dinner, what to watch on TV, and when I can convince my partner it’s bedtime… sweet bedtime.

I guess my conclusion is that – while I had hoped the ASD stuff would dissipate with my increasing T levels and I’d discover I really am an NT – testosterone made everything 1000% more intense. It has helped me get over the denial that I have High Functioning ASD, helped me focus on the world rather than ephemeral planning, and made my thoughts more direct than floaty. However, it has also made everything so distracting, emphasized my inability to interact socially, and increased my social aggressiveness – meaning people are now more aware of my eccentricities and strange behavior than when I was a quiet estrogen baby.

That’s awesome.

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One-Month on Androgel Update

 

In the interest of keeping it interesting, here are some before/after photos:

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Okay, so … woah. I haven’t really been paying much attention to how drastically my face has been changing. There have definitely been some changes to the length of the chin and the jawline. Maybe it helps that I’m more tan in the right photograph. Also, the haircut (I miss the Sokka hair, but I had to become an adult chemist-person).

Stats.

Height: 67.5″

                Pre-Testosterone                                 1 Month

Weight:    132-138 lbs                                              136-139 lbs

Chest:      32″                                                           32.5″

Waist:       27-28″ (27″ 27 March 2014)                    27.5″

Hips:        37.5″                                                         37″

Bicep:      10 3/4″                                                      11 3/4″

Thigh:      19 1/2″                                                      22 7/8″

Wrist:       ~6″                                                            6″

Neck:       11 1/2″                                                     12 3/8″

               New Stats @ 1 Mo.

Calves:             14″

Foot Length:     9 1/2″

Foot Width:       3 1/2″

Hand Length:    6 3/4″

Hand Width:      3 1/8″

 

So that is that.. not so many changes in terms of hip-to-waist ratio, but some! Mostly I have noticed my tendons becoming larger — places like the ankle, wrist, and neck are looking thicker and more beefy. I was a little nervous this was due to swelling, but the tissue is firm and lean in appearance. Additionally, I have been noticing more and more veins popping out here and there, especially near my ankles and wrists while I am working out. When working out (weightlifting), my arms feel HUGE since I finally have enough muscle to feel ‘pumped up.’ Previously when I was into weightlifting, I never was able to hold enough muscle to feel this, so that is neat-o.

My partner keeps commenting on the wispy blonde hairs on my jawline that keep getting longer. Also, I notice that my voice is more resonant in deeper tones. Where before it sounded forced to speak or sing in a lower range, now it is more natural but not much deeper in actuality (although I can hit a few low notes that were previously difficult or impossible for me depending on the day).

My smell has changed, as well. I now have morning “man breath” (as described by my partner) and actually stink after going to the gym (previously I smelled sort of like ‘scared puppies’ — as described by my partner). My face is slightly oilier – this is best noticed in my ears which are more gunky than usual and I have to clean them well every day.

In terms of emotions, etc, I am overall not depressed anymore. This is fantastic for me, as I struggled with lack of motivation and suicidal thoughts that I don’t seem to have anymore. I was excited to note also a spike in my self-confidence (which helped me tremendously with social issues and obsessive/compulsive behaviour associated with my ASD) for the first 2-3 weeks, but recently this has been slightly wavering. I also have begun to feel more anxious about eating, since I’m intellectually trying to gain weight but emotionally am terrified of it.

All-in-all, it’s more than I thought might happen in the first month. Generally, I notice every little detail and am very excited about it (because of this I struggle when others don’t notice all the details, but that’s just me). Altogether, every little thing piled up makes it seem like a lot has changed, but, according to my partner, the full-picture is more subtle (I keep misreading his comments about this as extreme pessimism and it annoys me a lot, but I have to realize that just because I can feel my voice resonating a little deeper -and see a tiny vein popping out that has never done so before etc etc- doesn’t mean that everyone else can).

Onward for the next 3 months!

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Doctor Follow-up

I did wind up going to the doctor three days ago. To be honest, the entire thing was pretty anti-climactic. I expected at least an increase in dosage for my T, but he only asked if I had been more aggressive and angry lately, checked my ankles for significant swelling, and sent me for a blood exam. The end.

That is all halfway my fault, though. I could’ve asked some questions instead of freezing up with anxiety. Oh well. Lessons learned.

I did manage to figure out how to refill my prescription, though. I suppose everything isn’t a loss.

Additionally, I watched some great videos by guys on youtube who are transitioning via androgel. Mel Wright (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWoe1QGa-KhQCm2t8KskP1Q) and Teddy Theodore (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqz8Z8riPA2UAmcYypXDP1Q) gave me more confidence that I am doing the right thing by transitioning via Androgel vs injectible T. My boyfriend made me feel unconfident in the decision recently, but seeing that by about 8-10 weeks some significant things can change, I am much more confident in my use of Androgel.

I think a lot of people give it too little credit since, as a method requiring trans-dermal application, it doesn’t ‘seem’ to be working as well as injectible T does. Probably 80% of that is the anxiety that the Testosterone isn’t actually making it into the body. Being someone in Pharmaceuticals, I logically know that this is not an accurate understanding of the function of the gel, but I still don’t FEEL like it’s getting in there. It really should be mind over matter, I suppose.

Anyway, that’s what is going on with the doctor, Androgel, etc… I’ll have a 1-month stats update soon.

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The Gym and Body Image

Copied from old blog

Originally Posted 22April2014

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I just wanted to state that it is amazing how quickly muscle mass can be put on with the help of testosterone. It is amazing and terrifying at the same time. I’m super stoked at seeing my arms, chest, and shoulders increasing in size, but it feels sort of uncomfortable and weird at times. Probably because it is happening rather quickly.

The weirdest is the increased size of my arm muscles, and how they interfere with the range of motion of my arm. I mean, they aren’t THAT huge, it’s just strange to feel the resistance when doing curls in the gym or just folding up my arm to itch my neck or put in my plugs. It’s a similar situation around my shoulder area and between my ribs and arms when my arms are in a relaxed position. It’s like I can FEEL them getting bigger and it’s freaking awesome — but feels like I’m in a strange body. It’s cool, though – I am TRYING to gain more muscle mass.

Another thing that I can already tell is going to be difficult for me is weight gain. I still struggle with some eating disorder-type impulses, so when I notice my body becoming more massive, I am almost always initially freaked out. Same goes with the numbers on the scale (I shouldn’t be weighing myself, but I do it anyway). Before starting testosterone, I lost about 6lbs working out in the gym. Now, a little more than 3 weeks in, I have gained them all back plus another pound. I know logically that this happened because I have gained so much muscle (my lower abdomen, butt, and legs are smaller, too), but I still freak out a little and it is hard to get myself to eat enough to sustain muscle growth. Maybe this is something I am just going to have to get over. I’m simultaneously afraid of eating too much and all of it becoming fat and of being more stocky and massive than before. At the same time, though, I’m so freaking excited about being more stocky and massive than before.

It’s such an interesting, frightening feeling to have, really. Maybe this kind of experience is something I needed to have to finally get over those restrictive thought patterns. I’m trying a new vegan protein powder, too, to keep myself motivated – new protein is some exciting shit.

Working out in itself takes some of that stress away, also. My conclusion is that it’s pretty much the best thing ever.

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Androgel Weeks 1-3

Copied from Old Blog

Originally Published 20April2014

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I began a low-dose of Androgel on 28 March 2014. I chose with Androgel as opposed to injectable testosterone at the request of my doctor and through the luxury of government health insurance (which I am covered under via my father and which pays for my hrt). I have been on 2 pump actuations of 1.62% Androgel for the past 3 weeks, and things are going swimmingly.

I want to talk about my experiences with transitioning on Androgel because I know there aren’t very many resources available that support this method. In my transition, I’m comfortable with taking it slowly if need be, but I am hoping that Androgel will wind up being as quick a transition as injectable testosterone might be.

Application Tips for Androgel
I currently apply 2 pumps of Androgel each morning after showering (one pump to each shoulder) using the palm of my hand to spread it as evenly as possible and wiping each palm on the lateral abdomen of the opposite side before washing with soap and water. I have read a lot of disdain for the product due to the fact that, for the amount of testosterone applied each day, only approximately 7-14% of that dosage is actually ever absorbed. This percentage can change based on the biology of the patient, genetics, skin dryness, metabolism, etc… There are also ways to insure maximum absorption is obtained.

It is important to use the palm of the hand to avoid getting the gel between the fingers, as this results in loss of gel after washing hands and also the absorption of the gel through the lean skin of the fingers which increases the amount of testosterone (T) that is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and estrodiol (E) (a potent estrogen). Additionally, this sort of conversion can happen if the gel is applied to the central abdomen (the chest or sternum) rather than the lateral abdominal skin. This is my understanding of articles and studies I have read (see the Androgel website or do a basic Google search to verify this information).

In addition to application sites, it is important to apply Androgel at the same time every day to maintain a biological rhythm of hormonal peaks and troughs. It is nice on your body to let it know what to expect throughout the day. You should apply Androgel within 5 minutes of showering for optimal absorption of testosterone into the subcutaneous fat layer. Application of the gel should not be in too small an area to avoid ‘frosting,’ or the accumulation of the dried Androgel on the skin which leaves a white residue and reduces the amount of T absorbed. Application of the gel over too wide an area, on the other hand, may result in the conversion of the T to DHT and E.

On the pamphlet that comes with the Androgel prescription, it states that the application of a moisturizing lotion approximately one hour after application of Androgel had been shown to increase average blood concentrations of T in cisgender male study participants by approximately 14-17%. I, therefore, apply Lubriderm to the site of application approximately 1-2 hours after my Androgel application every day.

The pamphlet also recommends not showering until at least 8-10 hours after the application of Androgel, as in studies it was shown that after 10 hours showering had no effect of the bioavailability of T in cisgender male participants. Showering at 2-6 hours, however, did decrease average blood concentrations of T by around 13%. This can be logically extended to include exercising (where heavy sweating will occur), swimming, and other contacts with moisture in that time period. I try not to exercise until at least 8 hours after applying Androgel.

Changes in First 3 Weeks

After the first day on testosterone (T), I noticed that I could think more clearly. I have had problems with this for a long time (probably since puberty), and often considered myself to be a spacey person because of it. Before T, it was as though everything I sensed was in an ephemeral state, and I had to dig through clouds to find my concrete thoughts and emotions. After being on T for only one day, I felt like the clouds had lifted, and I sensed the world with an acuity that I had been incapable of for most of my teens through early 20’s. It was exciting to feel so connected to the world.

I also noticed immediately that I had a dramatic amount of energy. I felt like the energizer bunny, just kept going and going and going. Even after coming back from the gym I no longer felt groggy or drowsy as I had often felt before. Invigorated and motivated and highly excitable are words I would use to describe myself then and now. I have calmed down a little bit, I think, but it might be mostly because I am used to having the energy now.

Sex drive is something that took about a week to creep up on me. One day about 8 days in I was sitting on the floor and then suddenly I was SO turned on. Now I am easily aroused and sometimes am distracted by it. Mostly, I think it helps me to be concentrated, though. I know that studies have been done to show that people who are turned on tend to be more focused and energized in the work place, and this is a positive side-effect that I have experienced often. Also, being turned on feels different so I am less likely to feel gross by it and thus become turned-off. The sensations are focused more on the dick (I prefer to use penis terms for what is anatomically the clitoris) and less on the vaginal area so it is more like having an erection than feeling ‘wet.’ That is a super-bonus for me sexually. I have noticed that during sex it tends to stay pretty dry down there, too. About 2 weeks in, I also noticed that there was enough growth to be noticeable to me but not my partner.

Another thing that is happening (after about 1-2 weeks) is HOT FLASHES. They seriously happen all the time, especially around 4-5 hours after my T application. They are more likely to happen when I am emotionally stimulated, doing something that requires standing for a long period of time, or if it is a little hot anyways. Sometimes they happen for none of the above reasons. It’s such a weird, interesting sensation. It starts in the neck area and goes down my center stomach to my legs. Sometimes it feels sort of prickly like a bunch of kids with boiling fingers are poking your skin. Sometimes it feels like a hot pack has been placed on my stomach and is exuding heat through my clothes. I usually get sweaty and a little nauseous.

Pretty soon after my first dose of T, I noticed that I had sudden urges to pee. I went to the bathroom at least every half hour for the first two days, and it calmed down a bit afterwards, although I still use the restroom more than I did before, even if I don’t have to go that bad.

Body changes have occurred already as well. I am a fairly active person and like to do weight lifting and cardio exercise to preserve my cardiovascular health. At three weeks, my weight has not changed but I have noticed changes in my body composition. My butt is smaller and it hurts to sit on some surfaces now. I have less fat in my hips and sides. I was already a thin-built person, but I was still slightly curvy. My partner has commented that my torso is more straight-up-and-down now. My chest and shoulders are thicker in general, and the muscles in my arms have increased significantly (even though I have not changed my fitness routine since starting T). It is amazing how much stronger I am. I can do 50 push-ups pretty easily where before I struggled to do 20. I am really satisfied with things in that area.

My facial structure has also changed (apparently). My partner has commented that my jaw is looking more square and some of the fat has disappeared in my face, leaving slightly more pronounced cheekbones. This seems really fast for only 3 weeks, but probably has to do with my fitness regime. The skin on my face has also become more oily. Although I have not developed any significant form of acne, my partner has pointed out some spots on my back and around my hairline. I have begun washing my face once or twice a day (before T I never had to wash my face — I have dry skin) and that seems to be keeping the skin rather clear.

I haven’t really noticed a change in appetite, although I have been having problems with eating anyhow, so it is probably there. I’ll keep you updated.

I have a doctor appt. in 2 days and am looking forward to seeing my blood test results. I can share those as well. I had normal cholesterol levels before starting T, and I’m interested to see how those have changed. I am vegan and take in no cholesterol by my diet, so whatever is in me is what my body has made. So, yeah, I’m excited for that.

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Pre-T Data and Exploring and Old Journal

Copied from Old Blog

Originally Posted 20April2014

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When I was 20 years old, I would record my body measurements daily. This occurred immediately prior to the discovery of my purging habits by my mother (who didn’t initially do too much to try to help) and my later admission to having ‘depression’ and request to be accompanied by her to see my GP (who referred me to an eating disorders specialist upon hearing how often I was vomiting).

So I have all this data and, since I have been on testosterone therapy for a week shy of one month, I figured I’d use it as a starting point to continue to collect and compile data regarding my physical transition on Androgel (esp. since there isn’t a lot of data about it in general).

Pre-Testosterone Data (compiled based on a range of values over about 6 mo.)

Measurements:
Height: 67″
Weight: 132-138 lbs (~136 lbs 27March2014)
Chest: 31-32″ (32″ 27March2014)
Waist: 27-28″ (27″ 27 March 2014)
Hips: 37-38″ (37″ 27 March 2014)
Bicep: 10 3/4″
Thigh: 19 1/2″

?May2010

“I told [my current boyfriend] about my gender identity issues and my sexuality. He responded quite well… It was a very good conversation that we had… I’m going to miss him. Genderqueer. Pansexual/Omnisexual. 🙂 I cannot wait to get my hair cut.”

I remember this period – I wasn’t sure about embracing my trans identity, but I had to start somewhere. I think that being genderqueer was much less harsh than saying outright that I am a man. It was difficult for me personally and I perceived it would be difficult for those around me. I was also very attracted to androgyny, so my natural impulse was to take it slow, ease in. I went to Wal-Mart with this boyfriend and he helped me pick out some masculine self-care products — like deodorant. I remember he was concerned that people would make fun of me for smelling like Old Spice Mountain Rush. I liked it, though.

“Can has headache? It is so hot. We spoke about France today. I am so excited to express my true gender. It’s the only thing I can think about. I want to go to Goodwill and get some clothes… I want a binder, need one. Maybe. It will be fun to present as a guy. I feel like it would be most natural… Well, maybe not a guy always, but mostly. Androgyny. Excited too much for my haircut. I am ready.”

My plans were to travel to France for a student-exchange program. It was the end of my sophomore year in college and I was super excited to escape my every-day reality and enter a magical land where I could be whatever I wanted with no repercussions.

While my ideas about France were brutally unrealistic, I was beginning to embrace my identity like I had never been able to before. It was like the walls of shame and guilt were being weakened in my mind from years of self-loathing, anxiety, social problems, and an eating disorder. I could finally peer easily through the cracks into the truth of my identity. It was an exciting and frightening time.

26May2010

“I have this feeling that I can do whatever I set my mind to… Except get rid of my period. Seriously. I hate it. I suppose I am glad that I am aware of myself a little more…”

I think it was around this time that I came out to my eating disorder therapist. I was still struggling with purging and restricting my intake, but everything was brightening up for me overall. I still felt isolated and alone, but I had felt that way for pretty much my entire life (due to un-diagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome). I think around this time I was more serious about identifying specifically as male, rather than somewhere in-between (although I will probably always be a little in-between).

6June2010

“OMG. I just bought my 1st binder… the Tri-Top from Underworks… only 36 bucks. 😮 Now I need clothes… Goodwill time.

I’m looking at coming out trans tips. I’m still not sure I can do it. I am pretty afraid.

Here are some ?’s to answer.

  • What do you gain from disclosing?
  • Is disclosing actually necessary?
  • How well do your parents do w/ hearing hard news?
  • What are their opinions on gender & sexuality?
  • Have they been supportive of your past personal development needs?
Bah… not a good idea. I plan on spending most of my time in France as a guy… That will be my chance to try on the gender experience full-time… See if it is really going to be alright for me.”
 
I really was relying on France as an chance to have freedom of self-expression without the baggage of family’s opinions. It’s funny looking back on it now, because merely 2-3 months previous to this entry, I was relying on France as a chance to starve myself without the interference of my family or therapists. It’s dramatic, but I remember hoping that I would die there of heart failure or simply pass in my sleep from starvation. Coming out happened just in time, but it’s sad to think that I would rather die than come out to my parents and talk directly (with especially my Mother) about being transgender. I still struggle with this issue to an extent.
 
?June2010
 
“OK… So I’m lying in bed thinking about my gender ID… Here are instances where I knew that I am male… age & specifics.
 
  • ~4yrs – Playing w/ cousin. She was the princess/mom, I was always the prince/father
  • ~3-5yrs – I.D. w/ Simba from The Lion King
  • ~4-5yrs – Would role-play w/ 2 (girl) friends in S. Carolina… Always wanted to be the tall male Animaniac.
  • ~10yrs – I.D. w/ Miguel from The Road to El Dorado
  • ~11yrs – I.D. w/ Jim Hawkins from Treasure Planet
  • ~10-13yrs – Wanted to wear boy’s clothing/wished I was male
  • ~7-15yrs – Was the “Alpha Male” velociraptor in raptor tag w/ [cousin]
  • ~15-17yrs – Self Mutilation due to body dysphoria
  • ~15-17yrs – identified w/ male goths . Androgyny
  • ~15-16yrs – identified w/ Davey Havok AFI
  • ~10-17yrs(?) – Saw a TV special (Oprah?Maury?) featuring a transgendered FTM. I was jealous, but (embarrassingly) fascinated. Didn’t look into it.
  • ~16-19yrs – Began to I.D. as gender-less “psychic vampire” due to my body dysphoria [see comments]
  • ~18-20yrs – developed eating disorder due to gender/body dysphoria [see comments]
  • ~19yrs – fell in love with C, an FTM transgender [see comments]. Still miss him.
  • ~19-20yrs – was introduced to the idea of trans-gender vs. cis-gender, genderqueer, sexualities and general queerness [see comments].
  • ~20yrs – came out as pansexual/genderqueer. considering an FTM transition.
Yeah. Nice list. =/ There were several more things (and I didn’t mention my dreams — in which I am always male or gender-less)
 
Maybe those things don’t “prove” anything, but that’s not the point. It’s more of an outline of things that gave me THAT feeling… THAT feeling being the one that is inspired by the idea of disclosing and becoming (physically) my gender.
 
I have felt the following about the previously-mentioned events:
  • embarrassed/ashamed
  • awkward
  • depressed
  • repressed
  • excited
  • overjoyed
  • comfortable
  • distressed
I knew that I couldn’t show my parents my dreams, nor transfer to them my feelings. Despite everything they taught me, I was not their daughter, but more their son. Saying it sends chills down my spine. I’m not used to admitting these things. I’m used to trying to hide them and forget them.
 
HI, I’M GAY. I’M TRANS. I’M AN ARTIST, I’M A MUSICIAN, I’M A COOK, I’M A SISTER, I’M A BROTHER, I’M A DAUGHTER, I’M A SON. I’M A LOVER, I’M DEPRESSED, I HAVE PROBLEMS. I’M A MAN. I KNOW WHAT THEY ARE. AND I AM GLAD.
 
So you can deal with it while I live my life without shame, fear, or hiding. It’s like I’ve been trapped in a box, and my legs are cramped, the world is too bright, and people are too loud for all this gayness to escape.
 
Trans man. Loves Men. Loves women. Loves people.
 
Loves Himself.
 
goodnight.”
 
Holy crap. Okay, so this was obviously a pretty pivotal point and I was pretty emotional. I cringe a little every time I describe someone as ‘a transgender’ or ‘transgendered.’ Please disregard that. Those are not correct ways to refer to a trans-person. Transgender is an adjective, not a noun. Transgendered isn’t anything. Now that that’s out of the way…
 
I wanted to bring up Asperger’s Syndrome, because it puts another light on a lot of the things I’m saying here. I wanted to mention that the ‘psychic vampire’ thing probably had a lot more to do with ASD than gender dysphoria (although being an ‘alien’ without gender was comforting to me as someone struggling with their gender i.d.). The big thing about being a ‘psychic vampire’ was that I had super-senses that were overwhelming and didn’t understand social cues but still felt a need to be around people that seemed counterproductive to me. I attributed this ‘vampire-ness’ to states of being completely overstimulated — either feeling overwhelming giddy joy/hyperactivity or anxiety/panic — and was unable to stand crowded or loud circumstances due to my ‘psychic sensitivities.’ All of these things are symptoms of ASD. Also, my eating disorder was an obsession that got out of control and had more to do with me wanting to look like a gender-less alien (as I felt disconnected with people socially) than wanting to look like a man (I did want my breasts to fall off or disappear, however).
 
In short, there were more things going on there than I realized.
 
8June2010
 
“I just got back from Goodwill/Walmart. I went shopping… and bought a new wardrobe… I have never bought so many clothes at once before. I got $48 worth of clothes, then went to Walmart and bought a pair of shoes, undershirts and jeans for $50.76. It’s pretty ridiculous. I wear size 34-32 jeans. Woot! So fucking happy right now. I have to get rid of my women’s clothing. It’s so ridiculous. I think I know who I am now. It feels right. More right than anything I’ve ever thought before. I feel hot, sexy. I’ve never felt this way. I can’t wait until my binder gets here. It’s coming. I cant believe I’ve already spent over $120 on this. I guess buying a new wardrobe is expensive.”
 
10June2010
 
“I know why I developed an eating disorder. I wanted to know how thin I could be. I always felt uncomfortable w/ my weight — always strove to fit in with the other girls. When I started starving myself, I was taking control of my life. I also wanted to be strong and powerful, so I started exercising. If the world ended… society ended… I would be fine because I would be used to having no food and needing to be physically active. When I was very thin, I felt less feminine — smaller hips, smaller breasts. It suddenly shifted from trying to please others to trying to please myself. To me it was all a conscious decision to have an eating disorder at first. I wanted this. I wanted to destroy myself. Then there was S, with whom I identified. Yeah… there was a lot of stuff in my head… It isn’t always pretty in here…”
 
I wanted to be thin to be more like a guy I liked in high school. I didn’t like my body and, since I couldn’t be hyper masculine, I could at least be very thin and ambiguous. Controlling what I ate also gave me control of my life, which I felt was pretty out of my control. I could measure and count and keep track of things that wound up really making a difference in the way I experienced the world. The pain of hunger was something I could concentrate on, distract me from everything going on around me, and it was my secret that gave me motivation to continue to be productive in school – until it became the distraction.
 
12June2010
 
“Despite feeling rather depressed, hopeless, and dead inside lately, today I feel a bit better. I realize that people don’t really care what my gender is. I realize that I can love myself no matter how people perceive me. My dream last night was a good one, about hanging out w/ M and P – being social – and it gave me some strength. I don’t feel too much like a stale cracker anymore, I’m trying not to… I do miss my friends, though. And I wish they knew me a little better. I wish I knew them a little better… I wish I knew me a little better too… And stopped being so afraid.”
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