A friend recently mentioned that they were happy that I still play around with my physical presentation even though I am on testosterone. What a funny comment to make… funny peculiar not funny ha ha. Has the world been holding it’s breathe waiting for me to turn into a different person while on HRT?
The fact that I am on HRT doesn’t fundamentally change who I am as a person. If anything it has brought who I have always been into clearer focus. I am more me than I have ever been with all the quirks and eccentricities that I have always encompassed. Hormones play a surprisingly large role in regulating your emotional landscape, hormones may affect the way you interact with the world because of the way the world perceives you, but hormones will not suddenly turn you into a different person. I am still me!
I can understand that my physical changes may be challenging for my family and friends as it challenges the way the world has interacted with me up until now. The world has always gendered me as female, sometimes I could carry that, sometimes it crushed my spirits. My discomfort with being gendered as female has always caused me a certain amount of distress which presented as social awkwardness, introverted behaviour and embarrassment. I did a lot of work on myself to move past my social awkwardness before I ever considered HRT. Working on my own issues around my gender will only take me so far and my gender dysphoria is still very central to my existence. Being on HRT gives me the opportunity to better align my physical body with the way I experience myself in my mind. If that alignment brings me more comfort in myself and presents as more confidence then that is a result of my alignment not the hormones themselves.
Being on HRT is not suddenly going to make me any more masculine than I was previously, as my body starts getting perceived as more masculine I will likely start dressing far more flamboyantly as I no longer have to compensate for being disagreeably gendered as female by society. The style of clothing I wear has changed since I started hormones. I am far more likely to wear form fitting clothing now as I am no longer hiding under baggy layers trying to disguise and hide my body. Is it the hormones? No! I like my slimmer hips, I laugh at my pot belly, I want to show off my more muscular shoulders.
I am still cranky in the morning before coffee. I am still short tempered. I am still a warm and loving person. I still laugh easily. I still wear make up. I’m still a difficult partner who doesn’t apologise as often as I should. I am still having to scrutinise the parts of my personality that make me easy to love and difficult to live with.
If anything HRT has lifted the burden of gender dysphoria enough for me to start focussing on other areas of my self examination and self growth that haven’t had enough attention in recent years. My growth game is strong, I am not the same person I was 10 years ago, I am not the same person I was even a year ago, I will have changed more in a year from now. Hormones won’t have changed me as a person, they will however be the tool I use to be a more accurate representation of who I am.
I will continue to be the playful, genderfluid unicorn that I have been until that no longer fits me and makes me happy. If you’d like to follow my exploration of gender presentation, feel free to follow me on Instagram.