When I was a teenager, I never told anyone about my gender dysphoria. I tried to hide it. But, it was pretty clear I was depressed. I didn’t like how my body was betraying me. I didn’t like how it was changing me. I was becoming a man. And I hated it.
I used to be rail thin. Oh, when I say “I used to be”, this was when I was about 13 or 14 years old. When I hit 15 or so, I my shoulders started getting a little more broad. And all that swimming I was doing started having an effect on my back. I also have really long arms. My arm length is probably the single reason I was such a good swimmer.
I used to be really good at avoiding mirrors. I simply looked down. That way, if I turned a corner and suddenly came face to face with mirrored glass, I wouldn’t see myself. At one point a couple of years ago, when I was really struggling with self acceptance, I was hanging a towel over the bathroom mirror.
When I go to sleep, my usual routine is to turn on some music and close my eyes and imagine that my shoulders aren’t as big. that my skin isn’t rough. That I’m not male. If I don’t do that, I struggle with sleep. I toss and turn.
I’ve been on hormones this time around for about 6 months. The psychological and physical changes have been more than welcome. My skin is somewhat softer. I’m (very) slowly losing muscle mass. And new body fat is collecting in different places. I’m also getting pretty close to having to wear sweat shirts every day. I know. Summer is going to be a bitch. I wear a shirt under my work shirt to try and hide the breast growth.
I tend to get a little paranoid about it. I realize that most people will just see this growth as muscle or fat guy boobs. But, since I’ve been riding my bike so much, I’m losing weight quickly. I do have sports bras. But, I fear that people can see the straps under my shirt.
For the first time, I noticed weight loss in my neck. I don’t quite have a second chin. I’m not THAT overweight. But, there is some fat there. While shaving this morning, I swallowed and noticed that I can see more of my neck muscles and throat than I have in many years. My counselor said this would happen. Then and only then will I be able to tell if I’ll need surgery to reduce my Adam’s apple. I don’t think it will be very prominent. From what I can feel, it’s not very large.
There are days when I can see differences in my face. But, other days I don’t see it. At my age, I really don’t expect many changes without facial surgery. But, I know I’ll most likely reach an awkward stage where I might get mis-gendered here and there.
I keep telling myself “One day at a time”
it’s times like this, when I wish there was a pill you could take to make all this pain go away.