I was on testosterone for 5 years and at first it was perfect, I felt a lot more confident – especially in public, and I got the muscle growth, body frame and energy I always wanted. For the first two years I was at the point I wanted to be at, but I kept getting more masculine. I started having dysphoria on the other side of the scale, about body hair and face shape and weight gain. I gained 50 kg in a year – I had always been around 50 kg and suddenly I was double that, it was a huge shock to me. Suddenly I no longer saw myself as attractive, when I had just gained body confidence. I decided that despite that, socially, it was still much better for me to be percieved as male rather than female. I didn’t have to deal with men hitting on me in the street, people took my opinions seriously, I was safe to walk at night, my wife and I were perceived as straight and didn’t have to worry about homophobia, and those that loved me didn’t care that I was trans.
Then my hairline changed, and half my hair fell out. My thick, curly hair was the one thing about my body I have always loved, and it is much thinner now. I think realising that, if I continued, there was no turning back to being able to present in a way I would be satisfied with ever again was what finally pushed me to stop taking testosterone.
I am still trying to decide if I want to go through with top surgery, as that is one thing that I have wanted since I was 18, and now my breasts are covered in chest hair, but I am afraid that I will regret it.
I do not regret taking testosterone, it was a part of my journey I needed in order to find myself, and most of the changes have been beneficial to me, but I’m still struggling with the sudden change in my self-perception as ‘stereotypically attractive woman’ to ‘fat, balding man’. I still have a lot of inbuilt 'fat is bad' mentality, new dysphoria and self-acceptance I need to work through.
I do love my deep voice, square shoulders, stronger frame, and general strength and energy gain and I dont hate the body hair or bottom growth. I’ve gained a confidence and insight into myself and gender presentation I never thought I’d have.
I just hope going foward that my hair will stop thinning, and my features will soften again. There is a lot of whiplash from the sudden change that is still new to me, and there are not many other people I can talk to that have experienced the same. I still identify as non-binary but now more woman/nb than male/nb.
I’m afraid of telling people about detransitioning and being used as proof of the rhetoric that ‘trans men are just confused butch lesbians’ or as evidence against hormone use or the trans community. I’m also not sure how to tell my friends and family, it seems embarrassing somehow to ask them all to accept me as male and then take that back again.
That is another thing I will have to accept, moving fowards.
I should clarify, I am scared of my identity being used to invalidate trans peoples identities because many of my friends are trans. I know trans men exist, I am just not one of them.
I am scared of my detransition being used to justify tighter regulations on testosterone, as I believe it was those very tight regulations that stopped me from exploring my identity fully in the first place.
Where I used to live, if you expressed any doubt about transition, you may not get hormones. I had to pretend to be 100% certain of being a cis trans man, or even the possibility of transition, if I decided I did want to take it, could have been taken away from me.
I wish I had been able to explore all of my feelings about transition fully with a psychologist. I wish I had been allowed to be non-binary in that space without the fear of doors being closed on me. I mourn what could have been. Perhaps I would have gone on a lower dose, would have stopped sooner, or decided all I wanted was top surgery and not testosterone. Back then you could not get top surgery without hormones, you could not be non-binary and have either, but now you can.
I think if I had been allowed to express every doubt I had, every aspect of myself, I would have only had top surgery, and gone on hormones for a short time, and I would be much more comfortable today.
I dont want to be used as an excuse for people to hurt others, or do exactly what hurt myself in the past.
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