low-dose testosterone for the rest of my lifePosted: July 24, 2013
I’m a janitor at a school. Also, sometimes I waltz around as a drag king (or once in a while, queen). I feel pretty masculine, but I have no plans to medically transition anytime soon – most likely, I never will. I strongly feel that I’d be lost if I were to transition and blend in as male. As far as blending in as female? That just sounds absurd in my head. No way I feel I could, even though I’m aware I’m read as female most of the time. …because it’s the default. If I don’t tell people differently, how could they know how I see myself? They can’t. I’m not a woman (or a man). I’m not a lesbian. I’m not a butch dyke. I’m not gay (er… that’s complicated). But I probably look like those things.
About 4 months ago, I started a low-dose testosterone adventure. I wanted to take testosterone long term while ideally, not going through any physical changes. I didn’t know whether this would be possible, and I still have yet to find any information about whether it’s possible, specifically. I largely feel comfortable with where I’m at in terms of gender presentation and expression. But I’d been wondering a lot if certain internal experiences could be better. Gradually, I found myself in a place where I realized, I need to try out a few things and see what works for me. I got on a really low dose of Androgel and was completely floored by how well my body seemed to connect with additional testosterone. To me, it feels like it has a whole lot more to do with my mental health than it does with my gender identity, but of course, it’s all intertwined. As of now, I plan to be on testosterone for the rest of my life if possible, while minimizing physical changes. I’m taking testosterone toward androgyny. Although, I’m already androgynous, so I hope to be transitioning (outwardly) toward more of the same, actually.
I’ve felt a lot of different shifts, but most noteworthy is that my general anxiety is pretty much gone. I spent my late teens and early twenties on a lot of different medications (antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics) trying to find some balance. None of these worked well for me. Some of them were really shitty. I just gave up and went off all medications, just tried to live with the anxiety and obsessive thought patterns. I’m now in my early thirties, and it feels like increased testosterone was the missing link all along. It is certainly significant. I feel relatively balanced and at peace, for the first time in my life really. And I owe that to trying testosterone under the unfounded assumption that maybe I really don’t have to go through many, if any at all, physical changes.
About 2 months in, I was freaking out that no, it wasn’t going to be possible, and I was going to have to stop. I had acquired a tiny moustache. My voice dropped the slightest bit, which really had me worried. But I tried a lower concentrated version instead of stopping all together, still felt the incredible internal benefits, and as more time goes on, it does seem very possible. My voice returned to the range I’m used to and comfortable with. Other subtle changes have plateaued out, and I stopped worrying so much that I was going to have to choose between coming out in new ways to people I that didn’t really want to come out to, or stopping this thing that I was falling in love with, internally.
A lot of what I write about is going to be about whether this is still possible for me or not. And I’m going to hope to gather info from others’ experiences, over time as well.