Transitioning Isn’t Just a Checklist of Cause and Effect

As a person that grew up mostly male, I didn’t expect to have some big transition. I barely did more than change my name initially. I already “acted” male, wore male attire, and mostly presented male. I started hormones about six months after coming out, and they presented me with this list of typical side effects. I spent hours researching through the internet, Tumblr, Youtube, and Facebook groups to hear about people’s experiences. I thought the more I read and learned, the less that could surprise me.

I grew up in a small, redneck town and I had never even heard of a female-to-male transgender person let alone met one. I had no people physically around to ask transition questions or to know what to expect. I was excited to finally have answers to why I was different and to slowly be able to more closely align my body to a masculine figure. I became the excited teenage boy as my douchy stubble came in. I grew more body hair which took awhile for me to notice. My tenor voice started to drop, and I felt like things were falling into place. But then the emotions came.

Every person I had ever listened or talked to through the internet had spoken of dulled emotions. They had lost feelings. They cared less. They couldn’t cry. All those typically stereotypical male views on feelings. That’s not what happened for me. I had never been particularly emotional. I’ve always had a big heart and cared deeply for people, but I didn’t experience a lot of feelings. A few months into hormones and I felt everything. It was like everything had suddenly been awoken. All of my emotions were more intense. I didn’t know how to stop them. I still don’t, actually. I just recognize them now.

To make matters worse, despite having a high sex drive already, I’ve been struggling with that a lot. I don’t know how to talk about it, and I don’t want to push people away. I know exactly what it’s like to be used for sex, and I never want to be that guy to someone. I can spend days trying to explain my feelings, but I’ve come to the conclusion there are some things that people will never understand without having been through them.

I’ve been struggling with the idea of stopping hormones over the last month for this reason. My hair growth, my voice, the possibility of increased muscle growth, all make me delight in my transition. The feelings and the lack of patience or understanding people around me have, as I try to get used to them, makes me want to stop. I want friends again. I want people to talk to about what I’m thinking about. I don’t expect people to understand, necessarily. Even my trans brothers haven’t had the same experience with emotions and don’t understand. Many of them are torn and beg for feelings back. I’d trade them in a heartbeat.

Overall, I’ve found transitioning to be the loneliest journey of my life. I’m reminded of the constant abuse and bullying I received as a kid and try to keep my head up when I see how far I’ve come. I watch videos and see pictures of people further along in their transition who have leveled out from many of the effects they didn’t like, and I try to find hope in that. I just don’t ever want to be viewed as an asshole, cause I’m just a guy that got “blessed” with feelings.