1. fuckyeahftms:

    My girlfriend has been nothing but amazing and supportive throughout my coming out process, I love her so much and I just couldn’t ask for anyone better. However, in lieu of my desire to start hormone treatment, she has expressed some fears and concerns about what the toll on our relationship…

    To be frank, T itself is very unlikely to cause increased aggression - studies have been done to prove that’s not the case. The one I’m thinking of specifically involved female’s (can’t remember which type of animals). Some were exposed to a higher dose of androgens neo-natally and some weren’t. Later, around puberty, some were exposed again and some weren’t. Only those exposed twice - as in neo-natally and pre-puberty - had significantly elevated levels of aggression (elevated in comparison to the group who wasn’t exposed at any point). You could probably argue that most FTM’s were likely exposed to a higher degree of androgens neo-natally, but even if that’s true, you weren’t exposed a second time prior to puberty so starting T later in life probably won’t trigger that increase of aggression.

    On the topic of changing your personality - hormones and personality have nothing to do with each other! You’re talking about completely different body systems and brain structures. The T itself cannot and will not change who you are.

    Now, with all that said, do people change while taking T? Yeah, I’m sure they do. But I personally don’t believe it’s the T itself, but rather the act of taking T. Let’s face it, FTM’s (and other trans* individuals) have a lot of issues such as depression, anxiety, rejection, humiliation, dysphora - that can really beat you down and suppress parts of your personality dying to get out. Managing to defeat all the obstacles and simply start T can do a lot to your self-esteem and the way your attitude changes about yourself and the world once you start seeing results is completely unpredictable.

    The changes can be good and they can be bad. In my personal experience, I became much more comfortable with myself and, with that comfort, I feel calmer, happier, more self-confident, and simply more self-aware. I believe that the stress, frustration, and anxiety that used to control my life has slipped away and some of that started even before hormones, just simply because I knew where I was going and that I could actually make it there.

    Unfortunately, some people have bad reactions. I’m not going to name any names, but I have known one guy in particular who became a real jackass. It was kind of like he got the confidence to finally say “I’m trans and you should all look at me and listen to me bitch and whine about being trans”. Which, naturally, was a real turn off for everyone he knew, so then he started bitching and whining about not having friends. After about a year, year and a half, he chilled out and went back to being a cool dude, but it did seem like T turned him into a dick for a while.

    There’s also a lot to be said about frustration (the kind of intense, mental frustration that can accompanies depression and anxiety and dyphoria) and how it can be expressed as anger and aggression. Another personal story: I’ve always been a very polite, reserved person. I’ve never been a real angry or aggression person and certainly never acted on any brief impulse I’ve ever had. Two summers ago, 2009, was the summer I was working through my feelings of being trans. At that point, I had been treated for depression unsuccessful and just stopped taking anti-depressants. I was trying to deal with everything on my own but the pressure of everything I was feeling - much of which many other trans* people can relate to - caused so much frustration that it came out as aggressive actions and general anger. I was not a pleasant person for that summer because I couldn’t deal with life. I suspect, though I have no proof, that many guys who go on T are still dealing with a lot of internal and external demons when they start T and a combination of mood shifts, stress, and those problems trigger what seems like T induced aggression. If that hypothesis is true, then you’d find that most guys’ aggression drops as they work through life problems. Thus the aggression isn’t a permanent change.

    I’ve never experienced any aggression personally that I would attribute to taking T and, from the dozen or so guys I’ve talked to about their experiences on T, none of them have ever felt that way either. So, to finish asking the question posed on FYFTM’s, guys becoming more aggressive when they start T is most certainly very much a case by case basis thing. From what I can tell though, it’s rare or at least it’s not a very noticeable increase. Will your personality change? No. Will your priorities shift or your confidence level go up? Maybe, it’s certainly a possibility. You really can’t tell until you start and that’s why I think it’s very important to be as mental sound as possible before starting T so you’re ready for whatever happens.

    *This is my opinion, based off personal experience, second-hand knowledge of a few other guys’ experiences, and information gleaned from my psych classes.

  2. Other News In My Life

    Let’s see:

    School, just finished the first semester of my Junior year (terrifying!). I now have to start looking into volunteer opportunities in the psych department, so I can get ready to do some research. Not really interested in this at all, but it must be done. Also have to start looking into grad schools and the GRE (next semester though…)

    I’ve decided that I have loads of time my senior year and wanted to pick up a second minor. At first I was thinking a minor in education, it seemed practical since I’m thinking about developmental psychology as my grad school program, but then I decided to go out on a limb and do a minor in something I enjoy. I would LOVE to do a creative writing minor, but we don’t offer one. :(  However, my creative writing class this semester and my newest obsession with Jonathon Young have made me interested in trying out play writing and thus led me to a theatre minor. So I’m taking play writing and contemporary drama next semester, one of which is part of the theatre minor.

    On that note, I’m having a small mental breakdown over career choices. I’ve been quite set on the psychology thing for a long time, but I’m wondering if that’s really for me. I can’t figure out if it’s more that I don’t really want to be a psychologist, if I feel like I’m not good enough to do it, or if I just don’t f-ing want to go through MORE schooling (plus all the research crap for grad school). But, despite that, I’ve been thinking more about how much I love writing and how my brain has always been hardwired for being creative in that way. I feel like I should have gone to school for a career in writing (but maybe I’m better off, since sometimes they say school for creative things actually kills the creativeness, I’m not sure how I feel about that though…). Either way, I’m looking into it more- the theatre minor is my first step towards really considering it. We’ll see how it goes.

    I’m doing better on the friend thing. I’ve got a small group of friends who I hang out with a lot. I’m well-known in Ed house, where most of my friends live. I spend a lot of time with Jules, who has the same kind of humour as me and is fun to hang out with. I also have been doing a lot with Fallon and Brigid, who like the same shows as me, so we bond over those. It’s great. I’ve really enjoyed this semester, to the point that I was pretty indifferent about coming home every time, whereas the last two years I could hardly leave fast enough. I’m even looking forward to going back!

    On the relationship front, I’m utterly confused. My girlfriend and I broke up the end of September, but have had this kind of “on-again-off-again” but not really sort of relationship. Generally, a lot of things have been going on and I’m quite confused. There’s also a girl at school who I found out has a bit of a crush on me and I kind of like her, but I’m largely confused as to what I should do about it. ::shrugs:: I’ll figure it out eventually, I suppose…

    I’m also insanely in love with Jonathon Young, the actor and writer. He’s pretty awesome, you should look him up! He’s especially epic in a Scifi show called ‘Sanctuary’.