One Year on Testosterone

This is not a personal journal, so I don’t intend to log my everyday life here unless I’ve been to an interesting event or had an experience worth discussing in a sociological or historical context. That said, there are a few things that I want to share with the world.

I am a transgender man. I came out as trans in September 2015, and began hormone replacement therapy in March 2016, a year ago today. In that time, I’ve gone from barely functional to reasonably successful. Since last March, my mood has improved hugely. I don’t have awful low or angry moods and panic attacks any more, and I’ve stopped taking antidepressants. Either because of my mood or because I’m not taking antidepressants, my sleep pattern has improved as well. I’m thriving in university, and I’m taking an extra Japanese language course on top of my anthropology modules.

I still have bad days, I can’t sleep sometimes, and I struggle to find time for hobbies, but those issues are incredibly common among all uni students. I’m also on the autism spectrum, and transitioning isn’t going to change that. Part of the healing process for me has been getting used to the fact that ups and downs are part of successful lives too.

I want to share this because of everything that’s happening in the world recently. After achieving so much towards equality, some of the most progressive parts of the world seem to be at risk of taking a step backwards. I can’t say for sure that I would never have had mental health problems if I’d transitioned earlier, but it looks likely that I wouldn’t have been so ill for so long. According to my mum, I began expressing gender dysphoria at three years old. It’s now being proved that transition is the best treatment for transgender people, and that trans kids who are allowed to transition are as mentally healthy as cisgender kids. It should now be obvious that trans and other gender-nonconforming people need to be supported in their choices.

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