20 Trans Women And Men Share The Most Surprising Thing They Encountered While Transitioning.
1/20. Clitoral growth. Once again heard about it, but not about how fast it happens, or how else it changes. Today, after 6 months on testosterone, it's about 2 inches, which I didn't even think would be possible on hormones alone. Also, did you know that they can get erections as well? Because I sure didn't. I sure had a few fun times in class where my pants would rub against it and I would have to shift around in my chair to adjust, lest I be distracted by the inadvertent pleasuring.
2/20. Other girls asking me for tampons, and then literally never having one to spare.
3/20. Arousal changes in the weirdest way to describe idk if this is what genetic girls feel like or if its just a random surprise for trans folk.
As a normal guy when I'd get aroused it would just be " oh I feel my dick getting hard, i wanna press it into stuff!" feeling. On estrogen as MTF its super weird when you first get it, instead of being focused on your genitalia completely I get like a tingly feeling from my stomach all the way to my butt and it gives you a kind of 'achey' feeling, the first few times I thought I had to pee.
When I first noticed it was driving around for my job and my mind would wander to something sexual and id feel the tingle feeling and id be like 'oh i must have to pee' only never did. Took me several several times before i finally pinpointed the difference, when something feels a certain way for so long then it suddenly changes like that its so surreal. Also nipples go from feeling like your elbow to like someones touching you 'down there' so to speak. Which is a pretty bizarre connection?
It's like someone scratching your arm and your feeling it in your toes. Only nipples and genitalia.
4/20. I didn't expect all the support I got. When I started transition, I was attending high school in a conservative, religious suburban town in the Deep South. I was worried that I'd be bullied or attacked, but everyone was awesome. The administration didn't give me any problems about bathrooms, my classmates used my new name and pronouns without a hitch, and students I didn't even know came up to me in the hallway to congratulate me. I was blown away by how positive the whole experience was.
5/20. I wasn't expecting hormones to change my sexuality. I was hot for any gender going in, but now it's like 99% guys. Getting 2 inches shorter (changes in the curvature of the spine) was also a surprise.
6/20. My skin produces much less sweat/oil now. I used to smell myself after a few hours if I forgot to put on deodorant, but now it hardly matters. I still try not to forget though, just in case.
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7/20. This is definitely less about overall trans experience and more about my personal situation, but I was not expecting how very "Boys Club" it would be.
Old men keep shaking my hand. The hell.
8/20. I haven't seen this mentioned so...
EFF THE COLD.
I used to be fine with cold weather. If I had something to do outside, and it was 15F, I'd still be fine walking out in shorts, a t-shirt, and flip-flops. In the winter I would usually set my thermostat around 63 when I was awake, lower when asleep.
After 7 months on estrogen? Fuck that! Anything less than 67 and I NEED to be wearing long pants and a jacket at the very least. Temperatures in general feel about 10 degrees colder than they used to, but in addition to that, it's almost like my body has gained an entirely new and completely unpleasant sense. Cold feels totally different now and it's TERRIBLE.
9/20. I'm not rich, but I work and volunteer in positions that frequently have me in contact with very well-off people. I also live in an area with a mix of rural low-to-mid income and high-income places.
As soon as I started presenting as a guy, it's like everyone got friendlier. Rich, poor. They've all got some easy conversation to start with me. It's a real nice kind of socializing, I think, I mean I like it...except everyone assumes you share their views.
Being white and interpreted as a straight, monogamous, cisgender, Christian (or Jewish, I get that a lot) young man is like having grease on your wheels, if you know what I mean? I mean I can go anywhere and people assume I belong.
10/20. I was completely unprepared for the emotional changes. Once I began treatment I became incredibly sensitive and empathetic. Ever giggle at girls that cry at commercials, gifts, a cute kitten? Yeah that's me now. I was nowhere near this emotional before, but now, even years later, emotions just seem more powerful.
11/20. Male to Female here
The main thing I wasn't expecting at all is having to re-learn how to be friends with all my old friends - a lot of them felt like my personality changed a lot, even though I was really just acting more like my actual self.
I wasn't able to be the rock when my friends were upset as well, because I felt so emotionally connected it was draining.
I had a long period where I was acting SUPER bitchy from hormones, and didn't realize it, even saying that I knew when it the hormones and when I was rightfully upset (I did not) until a friend sat me down and was like "dude, its the hormones and that's okay, but stop"
I wasn't expecting to find myself attractive in pictures before my transition, that's a super awkward feeling to admit lol
on that same note, I feel like I sometimes miss that person that I used to be and I wish so much that that person could still exist in some form, just not me? An odd feeling.
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12/20. Sexual harassment and catcalling: I went into this knowing full well that women experience sexual harassment, including catcalling on the street. All my female friends had warned me. All those hashtags like YesAllWomen flew around the Internet like wildfire. I thought I knew what I was going into.
13/20. I'll try to be careful since talking about gender stereotypes can be a touchy subject, but I've seen a lot of changes from the way men and women relate to me. A lot of this could be contributed to being in the Southern United States, where we might be more traditional in gender roles and behavior, but here are some things I think changed after I transitioned.
-People seem generally more eager to help, like when I got a flat tire, or if something technological isn't working.
-Women in general seem more eager to talk about how stupid men are when none of them are around.
-There's always that one guy/kid that sends a suggestive message after hearing my voice in a video game.
-No one lets me walk around at night anymore, like it's suddenly some death wish.
14/20. Boobs hurt! They're uncomfortable as fuck. Wouldn't trade 'em for the world, but I can't even sleep face down anymore without piercing pain.
15/20. Dudes, even average/shrimpy dudes, you don't realize how much testosterone helps bolster your physical strength until you lose it. When I was still pretending to be your average college-age dude, complete with average stature and average strength, I could lift and carry basically anything I wanted within reason. TVs. Furniture. Whatever. Then I decided to nuke my T from orbit. My strength evaporated in a matter of months, to the point where when I moved out of my dorm, my brothers and dad had to do all the heavy lifting of furniture and heavy boxes. Kind of embarrassing, to be honest.
I've gotten some of it back through hard work and constant training for roller derby, but it feels like a sisyphean task at times. Trying to keep even the barest amount of muscle is like
Oh, also people keep asking me if I used to play basketball or volleyball in school. I get that I'm kinda tall for a lady, but I'm still under 6 feet. Yeesh.
16/20. When you go on hormones, with the extreme changes, you become very, er, emotional. I was told about mood swings but smashing your cellphone with a wrench and then crying about not having a cellphone is something you need to live through to understand.
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17/20. Post operation trans woman here. No one told me I needed to learn to pee again. Seriously, I don't know how this wasn't explained to me. It's hard to describe but when you're peeing with a penis you have to focus your muscles forward. When you have a vag, you need to focus down. It took me days to get that figured out.
18/20. Wasn't expecting my dad who previously identified as a Republican who went to a Bible college to be the one to accept me and my mom who was liberal and an interior decorator with many gay friends to be the one to reject me. (She came around 2+ years later, but it was a full cut off until then.)
19/20. Not that I wasn't expecting it, but I didn't really understand how it feels to really be comfortable in my own body. I haven't been on hormones for toooooo too long at this point, but everyday it feels like things get a little bit better, and my acceptance of myself and my body grows with it.
It's definitely been an awesome change in a positive direction!
20/20. I'm still in the early stages, but I right now I get a lot of, "Why are you wearing makeup?" "Because I like to." (Haven't really come out to EVERYONE yet) "Oh, that's cool, bro." That's how to conversation goes 99% of the time. It's way more nonchalant of a topic to talk about for younger people. The other 1% statistically has been that awkward conversation where some older person asks about my looks and just doesn't quite get a good hold on what I saying.
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Whoops. That snip was just a hair too far....
Your first bad haircut probably made you want to die a little when you looked in the mirror. Imagine how the person cutting your hair must have felt. Although, maybe they didn't care at all, as evidenced by the bs excuse they gave you when you finished in the barber chair.