Day 203! Really starting to see changes now!

Hey y’all, happy pride month! it’s been a while since I did an update so I figured it was about time. I’m almost 7 months on T now and my dose is now 0.75 ml every 2 weeks! I’m due for another increase in July which means I’ll be at a full dose of 1 ml every two weeks! I’ve been having some pretty noticeable changes recently, I’ve started growing some new body hair on my upper thighs and stomach/happy trail area. Additionally, my mustache is really starting to become visible, check it out!

Emotionally speaking I haven’t been struggling with side effects too much, I’m actually pretty stable and have my temper under control. My libido is at an all time high and my appetite is relentless which has caused me to accidentally gain a LOT of weight. I need to get on an exercise routine so I can shed some pounds and fit back into my pants, plus building some muscle would be nice. The acne issues are pretty much the same as before, not worse or better, although I’m finally finding some bath products that are helping me keep things better under control.

My biggest changes are definitely my voice. About half way through my 5th month on hormones my voice started changing dramatically. For a while it felt like I constantly had a cold because I was always clearing my throat and my voice would give out/crack all the time. I’ve lost some of my higher singing notes but now that this round of changes is settling out I’m starting to regain control of that part of my voice. One of my friends was very confused when she didn’t see me for two weeks and then I suddenly sounded like I had bronchitis. Here’s my speaking range analysis from yesterday:

And that’s almost a week after my last injection (my voice gets really deep right after an injection and then gets higher again as the hormone concentration depletes in between my injections). My singing voice still isn’t in the best shape, but I wanted to continue to do my video documentation of my singing voice during my transition. So here’s my cover of Fry Song from Adventure Time:

P.S. I realized upon reviewing this video and comparing it to my previous ones that I keep wearing the same t shirt in all of these videos 😂 total accident, I swear.

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Vocals update

Hey y’all! It’s been a while since I did a singing update so here it is. Not my best, but it’ll do. Cheers!

-Max

Day 100!

Just a quick update on how my transition is going.

I have been on T for 100 days now, my last injection (2 weeks ago) I increased my dosage from 0.25 ml to 0.50 ml so I’m hoping to really start seeing some major changes in the future. My menstrual cycle should stop soon, we’ll get to test those waters next month when I’m okayed to stop taking my oral contraceptives (i’ve been taking them for the past few years continuously as a measure to avoid menstrual related mood swings and dysphoria). Here’s what I’ve experienced so far:

  • Acne. One of the most common side effects of testosterone therapy is more oily skin and as a result, increased acne. I’ve always had an issue with acne, so I’d say the increase I’ve experienced so far is minimal.
  • Moods & Behavior. Overall I’ve definitely been more energetic and had positive mood changes, when I first started testosterone I experienced a couple of angry outbursts, but since then it’s been totally fine. I get some insomnia the first couple of nights after an injection, but it passes fairly quickly, i’m going to try remedying this issue with melatonin. My sex drive has definitely increased significantly, i won’t elaborate more on that.
  • Fat redistribution/weight gain/muscle growth. I’ve gained about 5-10 lbs since starting T, its hard to say whether this is from the hormones or my addiction to junk food, also this is hard to gauge because i don’t step on the scale super frequently either. I have noticed though that my fat stores are starting to move from my hips/butt to my stomach. My pants are looser- but my beer belly is becoming noticeable enough that I can’t help but think of my father. I need to work out more, but I’ve noticed that my usual arm workout has become easier since i started T.
  • Body temperature. I think my overall ambient temperature has definitely increased; this is hard to measure but as a person who was typically cold all the time pre-transition, I’ve definitely noticed that I get way too warm much easier than before and I tend to feel comfortable in spaces that my partner claims are too cold.
  • Hair growth. My mustache area peach fuzz has started to darken, my partner actually noticed this before i did, but other than that I haven’t noticed new hair or darker hair.
  • Voice. It has become notably easier to speak in a lower voice more naturally, but i wouldn’t say my voice has changed in ways that would be noticeable to someone besides myself. I’m working on some voice training exercises that involve standing against a wall and I found a great app today called Voice Pitch Analyzer that’s designed for trans people to help with voice training, so hopefully I’ll be able to track these changes more accurately in the future. As of today I’m solidly in the “androgynous zone”

Happy T-Day!

Today was officially my first day on testosterone! I got the standard injectable kind, after lots of waiting, blood tests, appointments, and doctors talking back and forth, I FINALLY got a prescription for my hormones. If you have any specific questions about the process or would like me to write a post on it, reach out and let me know. In the meantime, I’m working on documenting the changes I’m going through using periodic pics and videos. I’m a proud vocalist and had pretty intensive voice training in the past, so I’m especially interested in documenting my journey with singing in regards to my transition. That being said, here is probably the only video on the internet of me singing- please be kind ❤

Intro

Song: In My Mind by Amanda Palmer

I don’t own this.

But, why does it matter? : A commentary on “passing”

My partner and I were preparing for bed a few nights ago and xe (my fiancee uses gender neutral xe/xir/xirself pronouns) asked me why I wanted to start T. We had discusses this previously of course, but I guess I have a hard time directly expressing what it is I hope to get out of hormones. I mentioned that I wanted my voice to be lower but that wasn’t sufficient explanation; I struggled to find specific points to highlight, but ultimately I know what I want is to pass as male.

Now, I don’t identify as male, but I know that when a person meets me I want them to look at me and at least assume that I prefer to be called “sir” rather than “miss”. Passing may seem like the ultimate goal for a person undergoing transition, but it is also totally ok not to pass. There are plenty of people out there who don’t pass or whose gender expressions don’t really match their gender identity, and they’re completely ok with that! Part of me wishes I could have that attitude, but passing really boils down to personal preference/comfort level and I want to be more masculine.

When I’m walking across campus I try to observe the cis-males who are built similarly to me in an effort to learn to walk and hold myself the way they do. Additionally I look at how they dress, but this morning I realized that most of them dress about the same way that I do (maybe their clothes are a BIT nicer, but mostly the style is the same). Why is it then that I am not perceived as male? And that’s where I found my true answer to why I want to start testosterone: the physical changes to your body caused by T are essential to being read as male. Face shape, fat distribution, and muscle mass all play an important role in how people determine your gender before you even open your mouth to speak. Although I know everyone is different and I can’t know for sure what changes to expect, I’m excited to see what my body has in store for me.

-{Grif}-

Change is really hard (especially for me)

Coming out as trans has been both a blessing and a curse.

Not having to hide anything about myself is great; everyone is trying their best with my new name and pronouns and I’m surrounded by overwhelming support. But, this is also a LOT of change, and if any of you know anything about autistic people, we don’t deal with change very well.

Don’t get me wrong – this is what I want, but adjusting can be a little difficult. I’d wager that learning my new name is almost as difficult for me as it is for everyone else- I often times when speaking out loud to myself find that I use the wrong name and then have to correct myself. If people catch me doing this it makes me extremely self conscious that they will believe that I’m not serious about this transition because I can’t even learn my own name. I’ve read that this can be normal and I shouldn’t be too hard on myself about it though.

I requested an appointment to see the “queer doc” that my PCP recommended to me to discuss starting hormones. I’m very excited about starting HRT and hopefully seeing some changes that will help me be read as male by strangers. I’m apprehensive about some of the side effects included with going through puberty for the second time including mood swings and acne (god knows my face is already a freaking mess).

Using public bathrooms (especially at work) has become my least favorite thing of all. I don’t have the proper “equipment” nor do I feel I appear masculine enough to be using the men’s bathroom, but I do NOT feel comfortable in the women’s bathroom either. My work has no gender neutral restrooms and I ultimately feel forced to use the women’s bathroom despite the sideways stares I get due to my fairly masculine appearance. My co-workers know about my transness and I always wonder what they think when they see me walking out of the women’s restroom.

I’m getting ready to get a transpride tattoo in the next few weeks in celebration of my coming out, I promise to upload photos once its done! From now on I hope to update much more often and cover a diverse range of topics that connect with these posts detailing my personal experiences. Glad to be back.

-{Grif}-

So, You may have noticed I’m not very good at this

I started this blog a while back in an effort to find something stimulating to do during a very stagnant period of my life that would’ve likely had a negative impact on my mental health otherwise. And maybe spread some knowledge about topics I’m passionate about along the way. A lot has changed since then and I certainly am not lacking things to keep me busy, but I have a sudden desire for a creative outlet of my experiences. To catch you up to speed a bit: My mental health has improved immensely (with occasional relapses) partially due to discovering that I have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I received my bachelor’s degree, moved to Atlanta, and I’m now entering my second year in my PhD program. I got engaged and am trying my best to be a normal functioning adult. But most relevantly to this blog, I came out publicly as transgender and have officially declared a start to my transition. To be honest I think that last bit is what has drawn me back into blogging- I want to record the changes and emotions I will be experiencing over the next several years. And maybe along the way I can manage to entertain some people, my life is pretty wacky I will admit. For those of you who may choose to follow me on this journey, buckle up because its going to be a bumpy ride.

-{Grif}-