Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More than either you, or perhaps I, asked for.

So some of my friends have evinced some interest around my trannying out, like “what’s changing, exactly?” Interestingly enough, much of the curiosity has not been entirely prurient or puerile or even other P words, but seems to be more about behavior, brain function. For this I am extremely grateful, for as intoxicating as it is for me to chat in depth about my bits and pieces (which with some of you I am only too willing to do), what is more amazing to me is, well, the other stuff.

I got the testosterone in May. It comes suspended in sesame oil, which makes it terribly viscous* and a bear to suck up with your needle. Hence, the intramuscular needle is ENORMOUS. Fat and long. That’s the only time I’ll type those words together, I promise. You squeeze up a nice handful of, if you’re me, your ginormous working-class Euromutt quads and jab that juice deep, every other week. My therapist wants me to go on T every week to minimize the hormonal swings that injections give, and which I have to say, I suffer from. Try getting your period right after your shot, Dude. It’s like the battle of the Visigoths and the Huns right there in your own head, only the Visigoths are actually ladies, and they’re trying to hold their book club and look after the children at the same time that the Huns are riding bareback through the village with torches. These bitches have no fear. Menses is like "you can mess with my Oprah approved chick lit but don't fuck around the kiddies!" Huns be like "What."

Much has been written of the libidinous effects of testosterone. Suffice it to say, free internet porn is now my new best friend. Without the leveling effect of my new friend, I might truly be a vicious asshole. Kind of like PMS but not at all.

Several weeks after my first shot I noticed this almost yearning to wear dirty t-shirts. As a woman I was clean – not neat, but definitely clean. I would chuck a shirt for a stain or smell, even if I’d worn it for a few hours. I liked clean laundry.

But all of the sudden, I wanted to wear dirty clothes. Not just wanted: desired. It was an URGE. I wanted to wear the same shirt all week long. I wanted to feel it soften and ripen on my torso…smell me….delicious. It made no sense to me, but I did tell some people “now that I’m a dude I can wear the same shirt for days at a time!” Women were horrified. The only thing that could break my mandelusion was my sponsor reporting frankly, “Women don’t like that.” That’s something a guy can wrap his dirty laundry around.

Perhaps even more than libido detonation, rage has been touted as a side-effect of hormone injection. This has not been the case for me. Some guys say it even chills them out – therapists refer to it as the “Teflon effect.” My observation is that it may be the guys who, as chicks, were pretty tightly wound – now they’re way less confrontational. They’re more confident, less interested in proving a point, because the point is made. They have, as a man, a voice. It’s just a given. That’s my theory anyway. For me, the anger piece surfaces as impatience. I bark at people from my driver’s seat, something I rarely felt impelled to do BT**. But nothing like rage, just barking. My fuse is shorter. Lines and human behaviors in them can disturb me, and that’s new too. Fortunately, the program of alcoholics anonymous has rewired me. When I get fussy (that’s what it feels like, like I’m a fussing baby) I usually crack up afterwards. Nothing untoward has happened yet.

*Viscous and itchy. My ex used to call me her “itchy boy” because I’m generally kind of allergic and itchy anyway, but this is crazy. A guy told me the itching was actually the fat cells redistributing themselves, which they do on T. You get "male pattern" fat distribution. When I told my therapist this she cackled. “It’s the sesame oil it’s suspended in – you’re all allergic to it!” Fat cell redistribution is so way cooler.

**Before Testosterone.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing! I really am fascinated to hear what struggles and new joys you are facing and how many different ways they seem to be manifested.
    Keep us posted!
    (and I had NO IDEA you were 47?! wowsers - you look fabulous! wonder how that testosterone affects aging?)

  2. Congrats to you wonderful brave man! I am on a journey becoming something new too and while it isn't quite as physical, I feel the wars in my head too. Thank you for your wise humor. You are right, we want to know. I really look forward to more! Much love and support to you.

  3. I love your Menses vs. Huns analogy :)
    Thanks for creating this blog!

  4. I'd like to congratulate myself for forcing you to do this blog... bravo me!! You too Sam. Love it! Keep it up.

  5. Oh Sam!! Your writings are delightful and so eloquent. I am so proud of were a woman of action before, and now a man of action. I like you no matter what, but I am so glad that I get to be a part of your life! Thank you for sharing your experience with is indeed so very interesting.

  6. Good one Sam! We should compare notes sometime. I wish you the best.