TESTOSTERONE therapy wasn’t an immediate plan for me because I somehow believed I was already male and didn’t think I needed the hormone to ‘turn me into a man’. I lived my life as a man for two years before I decided to start a testosterone regimen, mainly because I wanted to be sure living my life this way was the right thing for me before I interfered with my body in such a drastic way.
Once I commenced on testosterone, I didn’t think it would change me very much at all, physically. I just wanted my physical appearance to be on the male side of androgynous, rather than on the female side of the continuum.
To prevent me from having unrealistic expectations, my very good psychiatrist regularly threw a ‘wet blanket’ over my belief that testosterone would make my physique more like a biological male. Unfortunately this didn’t deter me at all, for I wholeheartedly believed, despite my biological reality advertising otherwise, I was male already and that buy testosterone cypionate testosterone induced changes would confirm that.
I was ‘reassured’ by a medical professional that testosterone therapy would, at best, give me a superficial male appearance, but underneath I would still be female; that I could present as a man but the cold reality was that I wasn’t a biological man. Intellectually I knew this of course, but I was very resistant to helpful guidance like this. I didn’t want to hear it and it made me all the more convinced of my being essentially male from the inside out. I even ignored my knowledge of biology 101 that I was female. Nothing swayed my belief (which I now call delusion) that I was male…apart from niggling doubts during the stark dark smallest hours of the night.
It is clear to me now that I was psychologically locked into what I thought was an irreversible transition to a male appearance that matched what I thought was my male identity. I thought masculinising changes induced by testosterone would bring some sort of psychological relief. I couldn’t contemplate the idea that I didn’t have to continue with testosterone once I’d started. During the three years on testosterone, I sometimes secretly wanted someone to say to me very sternly, despite my protests otherwise: “look it’s ok, you don’t have to do this anymore, you can stop testosterone now.” In fact I think someone did attempt to tell me something like this many times but I seemed unable to ‘hear’ it.
One day during yet another particularly traumatic and tearful psychotherapy session I was told “look, living as a male doesn’t seem to be making you any happier.” This was the first turning point. I realised the unhappiness I had been experiencing in my life before transition was still there. In fact, transition to male was possibly making it worse, to say nothing of having complicated my life considerably.
Despite a grasp on basic endocrinology, I believed that even if I stopped testosterone I would need to take lots of oestrogen to regain a female appearance. My doctor kindly and gently reminded me that I had my own perfectly good female hormones that would kick back in once I stopped testosterone.