Hormone Replacement Therapy

My journey with HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) has been a rocky and shaky journey. HRT has been distributed by the medical community to the Trans Community (and Cis folks with low hormone levels) for decades. Although there is a lot that the medical field can generalize about HRT, and documented research, every person is different and every doctor isn’t an expert in understanding their patients. Because of the ups and downs I have experienced, as well as being non-binary, I may end this portion of my transition soon. HRT is a step in the transgender community for many to replace certain hormones given at birth. This process helps build, form and shape the ideal body, mind and balance. This process is one of the many processes one takes to become themselves, but is not for everyone nor does it make someone more Trans than the next person. HRT is not the only option, nor is it a right of passage. If you are reading this and have contemplated HRT but aren’t sure, you are the only one that can decide what will work best for you. If you decide to take the medical route I do suggest you talk to a counselor beforehand to really make sure this decision is yours and not a quick thought brought on by fear, someone else's transition, or peer pressure. And in some states, documentation from a counselor is required to be prescribed hormones.

I started my transition journey in 2014 when I started dressing, being called and sharing who I was with the world. I didn’t start my medical transition till two years later. When I decided to medically transition it was a quick decision that I made because I was around a lot of people who were on them and at the time I was brainwashed into thinking that this is the cycle that you have to go through in order to be a woman. I started counseling to get some baggage off my chest, and where I lived it was also a requirement in order to start. I didn’t really give counseling sessions the full time and thought that they fully needed because all I was focused on was that Hormones was the end goal. So I rushed through that and officially started taking estrogen and testosterone blocker pills everyday in the hopes that my body would slowly start changing to be something I always wanted. At the time I had a really narrow tunnel view of what a woman's body should look like and that view has been shifted, changed, and reimagined. I also thought there were only two genders, so if I wasn’t a man then I must be a woman. And if I was a woman then my only option was to increase my estrogen levels. By rushing this process for myself I set my body up for failure. I did actually accomplish some of what I wanted but I wasn't doing it for myself; peer pressure took hold of me in the worst way.

I've been on hormones for 4 years and there have been little to no change with me physically besides the little bit of breast tissue that I developed over the years. My voice has remamined the same, my body fat did not redistribute and my sex drive severly decreased when getting on hormones. Testosterone blockers suppressed the taste and urge for those interactions that I had before starting HRT, and estrogen just makes me not want to be touched. Although my body fat didn’t redistribute, my appetite sky rocketed so I've gotten thicker in a lot of places and I’m not mad about that. The only change for me internally was that my emotions can change in a heartbeat. I am much more emotional than I have ever been in my life and have had to get more comfortable with tears - sometimes for no reason.

As I have continued my journey within the medical transition I have realized that I miss certain things about my old body. Recently I’ve added progesterone to the picture, which as a pregnancy hormone adds an extra boost to estrogen. It did redistribute my body fat a little more, however it heightened my anxiety, depression, cravings, and emotions. Still here I am with the conflicting question “what do I want to do next”. I’ve been playing around with getting off of them. I still have surgeries coming up to change little things about my body that will make me more comfortable; things that I can’t get with hormones. But hormones have suppressed the energy to gain efficient muscle and have drained me mentally and emotionally.

I'm currently heading down the direction of getting body lifting and muscle training back into my heavy performance schedule. I am not sure exactly what that means for myself on hormones and what I want for my body.  I don’t necessarily need to be on HRT even though they do have certain advantages. Again, this will be a life long journey as everyone’s is, but as I've become more comfortable with my body and I am not trying to conform to one ideal of what society deems I should look like. I am sure a decision will be made soon. But for now we wake up and take our meds and go on about my day.

So this is the fork in the road I am at currently, but I have been pondering this decision for a while. I still want certain changes to my body that will just make me comfortable with my body externally. Due to surgeries I have had to stop hormones for a short time before the procedures and I have enjoyed seeing my muscle change without them, but I want my hips. Each day I am just trying to find a happy medium.

**Note: for anyone thinking about starting HRT, please know that the decision fully rests in your power. Even if you meet with doctors and they are willing to prescribe you HRT, it is still okay to leave their office and wait to give yourself time to think about what YOU actually want and need.

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