I’m about 9 days away from hitting my 6 month mark on T (!!) and, in the past month or so, I’ve noticed a couple of random things that I’ve wanted to comment on, but keep forgetting to. So I thought I’d post them here now as a rambling kind of post. I’m hoping that, next week, I’ll have time to write up something about being 6 months on T, including the actual T changes, life changes, and how I feel about everything.
1) A few weeks ago, I went to the dentist and had to get x-rays. Despite the fact that the nurse knew she was supposed to be having an appt with “Sara” but then got who the receptionist introduced as John, I was surprised that she didn’t ask the mandatory question, “is there any chance you could be pregnant”. It made me feel good, honestly, because I’ve always (even before understanding that I was trans) felt extremely uncomfortable and embarrassed by that question.
2) I’ve noticed that, in the fife and drum world, people seem to take me more seriously as a drummer than they used to. A true fact - it’s rare to see a female drummer. And, in the fife and drum world, there still are a lot of older minded people out there who see drumming (and sometimes fifing as well) as a male dominated thing. Whereas before I might have gotten “hmm you’re pretty good” and nothing more, now I find a lot of the older guys taking a few moments to take me under their wing and give me pointers. They’re more open to just talking to me without me starting a conversation. It’s really great, though saddening to know that male privilege exists inside this hobby.
3) All the guys who I spend time with who know I’m trans (which honestly is almost all of them) really could care less. I’ve found that girls are more likely to accept it and then ask a lot of questions. (And, since I invite people to ask questions, I don’t mind at how prying they are.) Guys, on the other hand, seem more to accept it as fact, and treat / continue treating me as a guy. A couple of them even tend to forget I’m trans, which I like actually. The only real question I get from guys, if any at all, is them wondering how bottom surgery works / how I have sex.
4) For the most part, I really like dating someone who never knew me before I started transitioning and who has limited knowledge of the trans* world. She thinks of me only as a guy, because that’s all she’s ever known me as. Plus she’s always known me as a couple of months on T, so I’ve always looked very male to her. I guess the reason I like this is because she doesn’t make a big deal about it. She doesn’t really ask questions, because she knows that I’ll tell her anything she needs to know. She doesn’t walk around egg shells when it comes to anything - I’ve never really talked to her about dysphoria or things in that nature - so I guess that makes me feel like she’s never hiding things or lying to make me feel better. The only thing I’m working on now is figuring out how much / often to talk about trans related things and when to just leave them alone. Being trans is a big part of my life, at least right now, and I want to be open about it (she also wants to hear about whatever I want to tell her), but I also don’t want to make a big deal out of it. There are somethings that I’ve decided aren’t really that important to bring up.
5) It’s very strange to be referred to as Sara now. I don’t respond any more and sometimes forget that was my name. This weekend, I met up with some musicians who knew me before. The first one came up to me and asked if I was Sara, to which I said, “No, John”. She was like, “oh, ok” and we moved on. Then the older drummer in the group came over to me and also addressed me as Sara and so I corrected him, then he got confused, and so I tried to explain it as easily and bluntly as possible. Basically it went:
Me: “No, My name is John.”
Brad: “What happened to Sara?”
Me: “Well my name used to be Sara. But I legally changed it to John.”
Brad: “So you are Sara?”
Me: “Well I was. But now I’m on hormones. And I’ve changed my name to John.”
Brad: “Ah… I think I get it.”
And for the rest of the weekend, he referred to me as a male and by John, no slips on his part at all. Later that day, strangely, one of the fifers who I remembered but she didn’t remember me commented that I looked just like that one drummer they played with a few years ago and she briefly described me when I still presented as a girl. It was kind of awkward because the fifer who originally called me Sara was the one she was talking to - the fifer didn’t really say anything. And my friend Tom was there; he’s really just mastered the name and pronoun change, so he seemed kind of awkward. And then I didn’t know whether to say that was my sister to explain the resemblance, to explain that I’m trans, or to leave the matter alone. I went with the latter, but there were a few brief seconds where I wasn’t sure what was best.
6) I still have random moments where I feel overly feminine. And not in a gay boy kind of way, but in a I feel like I’m in a female body sort of way. It’s very disorienting and uncomfortable, but thankfully the moment of dysphoria only lasts briefly. Most of those moments take place when I’m getting dressed or showering, because I still feel like my torso is very feminine looking, which I hate. On the same line of thought, I also occasionally panic because I worry I must be close to having my next period, before remembering that I don’t get them any more.
7) I haven’t particularly noticed any mood shifts related to taking T. I didn’t notice an increase in anger, aggression, frustration, or irritability. I’ve never really been one to cry and don’t find that I cry any more or less, or more or less easily, than I used to. Some guys talk about their mood shifting down just before they take their next shot; I only experienced that once and that was right before my second shot. That was also when I got my last period, so I think in general my hormones were all over the place. I do have to say that, on the whole, I’ve been much happier but I credit that to a mixture of things - a general self-acceptance, a mostly stress free summer, and having a girlfriend.
8) I had a random experience when talking with my girlfriend and a mutual female friend of ours. They got onto the topic of their periods and I felt genuinely grossed out. I mean, it seemed strange to me because hell I’ve had them! I’ve spoken with friends about them, ect, ect. But now that I don’t get them and now that I feel pretty removed from their existence, I would prefer to never really have to know about a girl’s cycle ever again. It’s a strange change, but true.
9) I’ve been noticing random “male posturing” habits. Thanks to my sister who loves animals, I hear all the time about animal instincts and so forth and we talk about how they relate to humans and how humans have adapted them, ect. I’ve also learned about some of it in psych. So I have to say it’s interesting to look back and notice that I do some of it now. Things like sizing up a guy interested in Nicole, mostly as a protective instinct, but also somewhat in a jealous kind of way. I also noticed it a lot just before Gabbie and I started dating. I feel like I had those instincts a little bit before, but knew that I was no way capable of acting on them; whereas now I’m a bit bigger and stronger and it’s a bit more socially acceptable for me to act on them.
10) I’ve noticed that I get a bit jealous now, where before I never did. Although, honestly, I think it’s more that I feel inadequate next to many other guys.
11) Sometimes I look at my face and don’t really recognize it, or get surprised by how different it looks. So far, I really like how’s it’s changed. I definitely feel like I look older (maybe more 17 or 18, rather than 15 or 16). I like how much more defined and square my face is. I really like my sideburns and I’m loving the stubble look - though, I need to learn about trimming, because I don’t really like shaving, especially since it makes me suddenly look younger.
12) My body keeps changing a lot and it’s changing how I fit into clothes. I’ve filled out small shirts and think I look pretty good in them now, but my mom and sister think mediums fit me better. So now I’ve got a couple of medium shirts to add into my wardrobe. I also grew out of my binders and have to wear a medium tri-top now. I used to wear a 30 waist but now that’s confused - my thighs slimmed down, my hips slimmed down, my stomach gained some muscle and some flab, and I’m not sure what my butt is doing which, at the end of everything, makes me fit into 30 shorts and 32 waist jeans.
13) My appetite / how much I can eat varies. Sometimes I could eat two meals in one sitting or spend all day eating, and sometimes I’m not really all that interested in food at all. I definitely ate a lot when I first started T. On this topic, something I’ve noticed, is that people expect me to eat more all the time. So, when I have dinner with Gabbie’s family, her mom expects Barry and I to finish all the left over food.