hrt, transgender

Altering Energies, Shifting Waves

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I must be the most dour transwoman on the planet.  Please forgive me for not being excited about the new swirl of poisonous sex hormone energy coursing through my body.  Please forgive me for not being excited about finally being free and finally taking steps towards female physiology.  Please forgive me for not being very feminine, masculine, or non-binary.  I saw it the same way I did at the start, I’m an individual trying to deal with gender dysphoria, trying to not think so much about gender, trying to take out some of the sting that transition entails.  I am learning the general lessons that many who came before, and many who will come after, learn.

I’m not trying to be a downer, I’m just expressing my (fatalistic, privileged) experience. Take your own excitement and embrace it, live it, and make the world better by living your truth!

Hormone Replacement Therapy has helped me a lot, and quickly.  Nearly 3 weeks in, after the initial wave of foggy contentment and slight change things have calmed down considerably.  It’s like watching the most beautiful paint in the world dry.  In ways, keeping tabs on changes is a bit of an energy drain, checking the mirror every morning for the slightest sign that something is happening physically.  At the same time, every morning I get up and take my 2mg blue pill with gratefulness that my mental state is improving.


Recent Changes: (Disclaimer – Talk of sexual functioning)

Day 9 – Nothing.  The first phase is complete; I expect no further changes for weeks, probably months.

Day 10 – I rubbed my belly as I woke up, it is definitely softer.  Feeling the first signs of potential overwhelmingness leading to the big cry I so seem to look forward to.  Slight impatience.

Day 11 – I think I had a slightly different kind of orgasm.  It built up more and exuded itself in a more convulsive manner, which was difficult to not vocally express, although it was less physically powerful.  My brain fuzzes at points during the day where I feel more ‘female’ in thought.  It cannot be described; it is like thinking on another plane.  Males and females being so similar these changes are slight and possibly only distinguishable by subjective self-awareness. I can just tell that in ways different information comes into my mind sometimes, yet I deal with them using the exact same identified consciousness.

My skin still feels softer; it feels good but creates an awareness of physical vulnerability.  After so long being rough with my cards in the man game, I feel the slight worries beginning about my physical strength.  Socks, belts and other things leave heavier, more long lasting imprints in my skin.

I went to see a hypnotist to help with tobacco cravings, which may have impacted the affects of the next day as described below.

Day 12 – I tried to summon testosterone after waking, in the way that I know how.  It wasn’t there, the same angers and frustrations were there, but I didn’t feel that swelling call to violence and sex.  Instead of feeling properly angry, I felt disgusted.  I also felt incredibly liberated.  Some trans folks talk about the ‘veil lifting’, about ‘seeing the world in colour for the first time.’  I believe that’s what happened today.  As I looked around contemplating what felt like a pin prick of light into my sub-conscious, I noted that surfaces were brighter, physicality seemed surreal for a brief moment.

Something clicked in my brain, and I noticed I gave that look, my voice had that tone.  In my relationships with females, many times was I chastised by an exasperating look and tone that caused me to swell with male anger, I hated it, I hated how I automatically reacted to it.  Now I understand it; without the remit to generalised testosterone based internal imagery, all I’m left with is exasperation.  I put my arms somewhat to the side, squint my eyes, part my lips and with a slightly condescending, slightly sarcastic voice I say to myself, ‘What are you doing?  What are you even doing?’  I feel a minute surge of the self-respect that has been missing, and actual feeling of caring for myself.  When I went out into public, I could still summon the same cocky arrogance I like to carry at times.

I felt slightly bitchy towards the people I feel have let me down recently.  I felt like I part way understood why those harlots on ‘Real Housewives of….Blah blah blah’ are all dissing on their friends, always falling out.  Part of it is because they are emotionally and socially underwhelming, but also part of it is ‘What are you even doing?  Seriously?’  When people, especially close people start becoming emotionally or socially vampiric, being forced to call someone out for it could easily lead to fireworks, fall outs and drama. Disengage.

No testosterone but still with just as strong a sex drive.  It is less urgent, but no less desired.  I keep now a dirty unwashed top from before starting HRT with my unhindered man scent after reading a blog about how different the smell is now.  It certainly didn’t smell the same way as it did before, in fact it was a more pleasant smell.  I don’t fancy myself but it’s an interesting experiment.

I made some videos for this day: Please excuse any offense caused.  I intend only to belittle my own experiences, not those of anyone else’s.

Day 14 – Is my butt changing already?  The dimples at the sides of my cheeks seem to be filling out.  Maybe.  I don’t make a point of touching my bum that often so it’s hard to tell.

Day 15 – Again, not that I make a point of touching them, but my testicles certainly seem noticeably smaller.

Day 19 (Today) – Sex drive is still there, but sexual functioning is taking more effort.  I’m not particularly enamoured to encourage whatever strange sexuality I now possess, but the option to not act (or be able to act) upon urges is welcome against the punitive demands of my hitherto male sexuality.

I woke up in a mood I haven’t felt for…ooohhhhh, 19 days.  It felt like testosterone was trying to worm its way back into my body and it felt horrible.  The testosterone blocking injection may be wearing off, I’ve heard before that the last week before a shot can be difficult in this regard.  Perhaps in a way this will help me understand more clearly the benefits of HRT; by being reminded of how horrible it feels when the effects begin to wear off.


Over-analysis is probably a hallmark of the experience at this point.  Experiences and decisions become more weighted.

A few days ago, I decided I finally had the confidence to meet a transwoman who lived close by that I had been talking to online.  I should have used my gut instinct and stayed away, but the prospect of meeting someone a little older, a lot further ahead was too tempting an opportunity to seek advice and support.  We met at a cafe, then decided to get a beer as it was an unexpectedly sunny day.  It was pretty much fine, we chatted, nothing unusual.  She invited me round to her place later in the evening to play computer games, which I thought would be fun, you know, a new friend.

I went round to her house after dinner and she was stociously drunk.  She regaled me with much too personal stories and uncomfortably loud music, asking odd questions and for some reason affirming that she definitely thought I was transgender and asking about my sexuality, frequently mentioning that I’m so different from the other transgender women she knows in her more extensive network.  I let all this slide.  After a while she tried to get a little bit more touchy, admitted that she found me attractive and so on, then cried when I turned her down.  I hugged her because she was crying but she inappropriately started rubbing my back and touching my hair.

She insisted repeatedly that I stay over and ‘cuddle.’  I tried to explain in many terms that I wasn’t going to do that, politely expressing my own issues and concerns.  She tried all sorts of tricks, telling me about my trust issues, how I just need to ‘let go’, how I need to express myself and find out about my sexuality….but to not worry because if I wanted all we had to do was cuddle.  On a first meeting, who does that?  I made my excuses and left as soon as diplomatic opportunity arose. It felt like with a wink and a nudge she was saying ‘We’re all girls here, right?’

I’m already in a place with trust issues so this really affected me.  My real life experiences with transwomen so far have been overwhelmingly negative – from sneers, ignorance, mental incapability, emotional unavailability, unsupportiveness, to now virgin seduction I feel more isolated from the community than before I even knew there was such a thing.  It’s strange because the folks I’ve met online and through this blog have been amazing and generally very well screwed on!

In real life though, it isolates me.  My friends ask little about my transition and I have taken to offering little as I realise what I say isn’t taken on board.  There are only a few people I trust to talk about my transition with now.  The way I figure is, that if people aren’t interested in my general emotional state, then I am not going to subvert the few avenues of friendship I have with a running curiosity about medical effects.

I feel like I’m back in the closet, so few people know that I have started HRT, and it takes a lot of energy not to come clean about it, although I painfully feel that for now it is a better option to not bring it up.  Coupled with the negative experiences with real life transwomen I feel incredibly distant from what it means to be trans.  In all honesty, I would prefer right now to sweep it all under the rug, to go ‘stealth’ if the option existed.  I am sickened, because transparency was a goal when I started all this yet I feel now it would work against maintaining any emotional security I have left outside my own skin.

My energies are changing, my life is changing.  I need new avenues for my emotional well-being.  Unfortunately my general emotional and mental states are irreducible from the experience of being trans.  Unfortunately I live in a binary world where the issue of being trans is going to come up.  There is no escape from being trans, ever.  So, I have to find other ways, because I will not allow a draining rot, nor abandonment of my principles.

Now that I’m on HRT, the transitional pressures have become less urgent as dysphoria has declined.  Being a new chapter, some of the worries can fall away.  I still don’t care about aesthetics aside from the basic dysphoric effect, but now I care even less about maintaining the obviousness of my transition, aside my voice and facial hair.  I don’t need to prove to anyone that I’m female, not even myself; all I need is to find the most balanced formula to keep dysphoria at bay.

I’m not going to be going on a date anytime soon, so how I look from day to day is of little concern. In fact, it may help me blend in. Confidence and not giving a fudge seems to go a long way.

I have to move on, some of the lessons I’ve learned up until now in my transition are becoming irrelevant.  Having my gender struggles at the forefront of my life and thoughts is becoming a hindrance rather than an emancipation.  As much as being trans for a transperson is part of simply being alive, any opportunity to take away some of the pain is worth consideration.

Certain trans issues need to be dealt with as specifically trans issues (preferably with the help of medical professionals, trusted transfriends and those closest to the heart) but other issues I feel need to come back to being more a case of the general gamut of life problems.  What I mean is, I intend to try to express myself in the same terms as any cis person would, rather than making being transgender the focal point of my shown identity. My identity is already trans, I don’t really need to do anything else to confirm it, so why mention it unless it is important.

I feel as agenderly asexual as I feel pangenderly pansexual.  I feel non-binary to the non-binaries.  Thinking about gender conflict is simply a pain, the less I can think about it, and the less it affects my life interactions, the closer I feel to accomplishing my goal of living a life where gender dysphoria has abated enough that it no longer has the crippling impact it does now.

With that it means eventually disengaging from trans issues, and even from trans people.  This sounds dangerous, disingenuous, fallacious and depressingly isolating.  There must be another way, if anything to help protect those dealing with the same problems but without the same privileges I have been fortunate to be blessed with.  I have it so damn easy, yet I neither appreciate nor utilise it.

Learning never ceases.

Amy Xx

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hormones, transgender

Amy’s Hormone Adventure, Week One!


Welcome to my first hormone update 🙂

For years I read blogs and watched videos about transwomen on Hormone Replacement Therapy, repressing the cold dread of what I later came to know as ‘gender dysphoria’, lying to myself that it seemed like exactly what I needed.  Waiting.  It was all about the wait, the patience necessary to get to this point – months, maybe years, it seemed like the day would never come.

I wanted as much information as possible, what happens to your body, when?  What happens to your mind, how?

The day did come and I was ill-prepared, but I have taken the plunge and began HRT a week ago.  I want to add my version of events to the ever growing range of subjective transgender experiences for anyone like myself who has found them to be a comfort and a benefit.  The more of our experiences we share, the greater we can understand each other, and be understood from the outside.

A quick recap:

My name is Amy, I’m 29, and from Northern Ireland.  Two weeks shy of a year ago today, I finally came to the realisation that I was probably transgender.  I had twenty years of repression, which unfurled itself at distorted paces throughout the next few months.  Two days before Christmas I made the decision to go ‘full time’, and in March this year that’s what I did.  My documents have been changed and so I live my life now being known as a transsexual female. It all happened in a sort of daze, strange to think of that as being behind me, and life is basically the same.

I started this blog very soon after my revelation to get these thoughts out as part of what I consider a time capsule.  Now I move onto the next big stage in transition, medical.

I have as a starting dose to be re-evaluated in 3 months:

Estrogen – Progynova, estradiol valerate, 2mg pills to take once a day.

Testosterone blocker – Prostap SR, Leuprorelin acetate, 3.75mg, delivered by monthly intramuscular injection

Coming into this I was in a bad state, I hated life, I was becoming very withdrawn, anti-social, depressed, worse even.  I was going to take my first estrogen on a Monday, but I was too scared, I was so worried that my awful mental state would be exacerbated greatly by the hormonal shift, that it was an emotional risk I couldn’t take.  On Tuesday I bit the bullet and things began to change.


Day 1 – 10am.   Nobody I know understands, right this second I’m making one of the biggest changes I will ever make.  It is exciting and terrifying in equal measure.  Old doubts linger but they are long past exhausted.  Do it or don’t.  I ate the little blue pill and relaxed, nothing I can do about it now, let medical science take its’ course.

The effect was of relief and placebo throughout the day, just the victory of making this commitment, having this opportunity, although I can feel the foreign substance working on my body.  I felt a nice tingle in my brain, similar to other drug interactions I’ve had before.  Although these drugs can take weeks or months to take effect, I know from my own experience that I am usually quite quickly receptive to drug effects and this is no different, it hit me straight away.

It’s a thinking day, a day for wonderment, possibility, hope, fear, courage, letting go as my mind fuzzes over in waves, growing less concerned with my current daily grind.

Day 2 – I got up, starting my new 10am ritual of take estrogen, take a photo, briefly meditate.  I went to the nurse so she could stick a needle in my bum filled with testosterone blockers.  Quite quickly again I felt it working on me, with a few squeezing pains in my guts and testicles.  I had been warned I may have a testosterone boost for a few days while the drugs do their work and they were not wrong.  I went to see a good friend straight after, more or less dragging her out of the house before I tried to jump her.  It was less a feeling of being horny and more a strong feeling of biological need.  The feeling still lingers a week later, it is annoying.

We went into town as the two new drugs circulated throughout my system.  I walked through shops experiencing both genders, and neither, in a surreal haze.  I realised I wasn’t under the yoke of dysphoria.  Sure, the same worries, fears and resignations were there but the darkness behind it was lifting.  My confidence grew, my obsessing about how others perceived me began to wane.  Instead of thinking about my spirit crushing loneliness, I was thinking about my loneliness crushing spirit.

I was annoyed that I haven’t been able to tell many people about starting HRT, and more annoyed that those who did know didn’t seem curious or interested at all, even other transfolk; quickly I’ve had to understand more deeply how intrinsically personal this experience is, no matter how much I want to share.  I think quite easily I could be as single-mindedly annoying as if I were pregnant given any real chance to talk about what is changing.

I calmed later in the evening, being sure to note that my elation is still paper over the cracks of the exact same problems that were always there.  I felt fine, jovial even, but my emotional triggers were still firing, they just didn’t have any impact.  I felt like a paper tiger, that any moment this initial elation would wear off and I would be back in the mind gutter.  I decided that this is a grace period, a chance to deal with some of these lingering issues whilst I have energy.  Regardless of how much more uplifted I feel, my goals are exactly the same.

Day 3 – Still rolling with the testosterone, sore guts and testicles again for a few hours.  Various aches.  Emotional changes in the same vein as emotions I’ve always had, feeling grateful to have a bit of any kind of feeling again for a few days.  Usually I wake up and I start thinking all sorts of garbage, all sorts of dysphoria, but the past couple of days I haven’t, I’ve been, like I said, fine.

I feel the physical buzz of the changes in my brain chemistry, but nothing discernibly new.

Day 4 – Still no dreams.  I woke up with various pains.  Maybe I’m going crazy, but my skin feels the tiniest bit softer.  When I rub my fingers up and down my spiky haired arms there is much less resistance, surely imagining it, though I’ll take the boost.  It doesn’t feel like it’s something I’m really doing, this is an express art of subtlety.

At my voice lesson we pin down the issues with my articulation, intonation, prosody and accent. I feel like I’m going backwards again. As much as the lessons have been enjoyable this week, I’ve done something wrong in my practice that will be hard to remedy. If I knew how I sounded at the end it would be easier, because not knowing how I’m supposed to sound makes it difficult to sound like that. All things aside, it is my voice that will ruin me.

I can’t deny making a few more masculine seeming actions in my swagger.  Without the dysphoria drill in my forehead I’m less ill at ease with myself, I don’t feel I have to try as hard, but I’m careful because the triggers still go off.  I went shopping with my Mum and didn’t get needlessly frustrated the entire time which is quite rare.  I was calm enough around the shops, though I did man it out a bit.  I had a funny thought, watching all the people, that for years I tried to resist fitting into the man slot I never wanted to fit into, and now I’m fighting against the female slot that I don’t want to fit into either.  I’m not rejecting gender, I’m rejecting extreme gendering.  For being gender expansive, fluid even, queer folks like me can’t waste energy trying to fit into boxes that cannot contain us.

I look in the mirror and I see beard.  Whatever is going on around, that’s fine, but I have facial hair.  I can’t cover it with make up and I’m not going to try.  I’m not going to up my femme because it makes me feel dysphoric, so I feel stuck middling for a few more weeks until laser starts again. I won’t use a public bathroom with hair on my face, sorry.

Feeling way too calm.  The buzzing is becoming a druggy head rush, coming in waves.  I’m excited for the next pill tomorrow.  I try not to overanalyse any possible changes in the differentiation of my thoughts.

Day 5 – The morning wood sex drive thing bugs me.  I wonder what will happen when the day comes that part no longer works anymore, possibly like the sadness of losing a long term bad friend. It felt slightly different this morning, warmer, less mechanical.  I put no thought to it; I have lots of different moods.  My skin feels the tiniest bit different again today, I can’t deny I’m getting softer.  Being softer is strange, from being used to the brusque skin of a male, this slight change challenges my concepts of vulnerability and potential fragility.  I thought I had a little change on my nipples, but it was falsehood.  I anticipate a lot of time staring in the mirror asking myself if anything has changed in the past hour.

I feel more in tune with myself than I have done in maybe a couple of years.  My heart is growing, dysphoria is a vague shadow.  My voice seems the slightest bit softer, my throat is less sore, probably because I’m more relaxed.  Later into the day the drugged feeling of the past few days started to tone down.

Day 6 – I had an entire phone call with my mother without getting irrationally frustrated.  That’s a big deal, I love my mum, but there’s just something about talking to her on the phone that drives me nuts almost every time.  Not this time.  It definitely feels like things are slowing down after the initial hit, testosterone levels should be coming down, and the little bit of extra estrogen will still be scouting out my body, building silos and power plants.

I had a workout and didn’t get quite the same buzz off it I’m used to doing.  I still enjoyed it just the same and pushed just as hard, but it was missing that testosterone rush that made me feel really good about my strength and how I could destroy things with it.  I didn’t have a shower for a while afterwards and realised that I didn’t stink quite so much as I should, even my feet were bearable.

This medication does something to my guts.  Another girl I talked to on estradiol did warn me about flatulence and possibly diarrhea. Also I’ve got a few spots.

Day 7 – 10am is the highlight of my day.  An alarm goes off playing ‘Fluff’ by Black Sabbath and I take my pill.  Somehow I’m still riding a high, even with not nice dreams and not nice thoughts.  The numbness seems to be wearing off, thought my content mood persists.

Day 8 (Today) – I look the tiniest bit cuter, only enough that I would notice.  My skin is brighter and I noticed my cheeks properly for the first time I can recall.  My reflection makes me smile, facial hair and all.

I only wanted to try estrogen to help with the mental ailment of dysphoria, so far it is doing that, but I’m under no illusions that something will hit.  I still feel the fizz fizz fizz in my brain, I’m not scared of it, I’m not going to lose myself like I feared, though I can imagine some of the neurological changes in time.

HRT may change my emotional composition somewhat, but it won’t initially or perhaps ever change how I actually deal with emotional issues.  For whatever ways our experiences have moulded our triggers and reactions, hormones don’t seem to be changing the thought process, rather it seems to be changing the information that is fed into the process, piece by piece.  I will still react in the same way, which may be challenged if a differing way of experiencing emotions comes to the fore.


For all that waiting to attain hormones, now comes the waiting for the hormones to do their work, if any.  Still I will maintain a fatalistic position, that each little change is the last, but still that I can be happy with what I am on the path towards. I’m still more worried about my voice and my facial hair.

I don’t want my HRT experience to be the focal point in my life until I start thinking about surgery.  Obviously it will be, as I celebrate and share all the little changes that make so much difference, but now that I am secure in my regimen, I want to start looking forward, past the all encompassingness of being transgender and moving back into everyday reality.

My blog is an attempted exercise of transparency and sharing.  I still remember how I have felt over the past while thinking about hormones, waiting for hormones, waiting some more, waiting, wondering what might happen, reading incessantly.  I want to help out as best I can, so if anyone has questions, requests for things to keep an eye on, philosophical interpretations to impart, please get in touch at unexpectedamy@outlook.com.  I also have an awful vlog if you want to put a face to a name.  Any way I can help, let me know, I try to be an open book for the community.

Finally I would like to promote a new website and vlog called Happily Ever Trans.  This site is run by a girl called Angie, who I believe is an amazing advocate for trans youth.  She’s very well spoken, super confident and doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to personal trans issues.  I recommend you go have a look, can never have too many resources 😉

Thank you all,

Amy Xx

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