So I’m going to do the thing that a lot of trans folks do and document my process through surgery/transition. I didn’t really do much for when I started taking hormones, but I’m going to do it for my experience with surgery.
To kick this off, I’m going to talk about that time before surgery when I had to go off hormones. Yep, go off hormones. Before undergoing bottom surgery so I can get a vulva, I had to be off hormones for 3 weeks. I endured 4 weeks because my hormones ran out and I couldn’t be bothered to buy a single week’s worth of hormones.
One thing that people don’t talk about enough is how bad this time is without hormones can be. Going in, I was terrified. There have been times when I haven’t been off hormones. I think my record was a week. (Due to scheduling issues and spoons). By the time I reach about day 4 of being without hormones, I start experiencing mood swings and become lethargic. The prospect of going for a whole month without hormones was terrifying if after a week without hormones, I felt like going mad!
Obviously, I’ve survived it since I’m writing this blog post in the first place.
When I ran out of hormones and began the process of coming off them, it was fine. At least for the first few days. Then I caught a cold and that took all my energy. The cold was a blessing in disguise. While I was busy being sick, I didn’t have the energy to have my moods fluctuate all over the place. But when I got better, the mood swings began.
I describe the experience sorta like condensed third puberty. My mood roiled and ran amok as my brain chemistry started re-calibrating to the testosterone/poison running through my body. I couldn’t stand looking at myself in the mirror because all I kept on seeing was a man looking back at me unless I had a full face of makeup on. I was fortunate that I was able to suppress most of my mood swings from impacting most other people. Especially at work. I was lower energy, but that was to be expected. I managed to contain the crying to my bed and talk out most of my frustration and pain to people around me. One night, I posted in Facebook group for trans women who’ve been through Brassrd how much agony I was in with the heightened emotions and distress over feeling wrong in my body.
At the same as the mood swings, my brain started masculinizing again. Namely, my sex drive become unmanageable. My junk gained a life of its own and began misbehaving again. It felt like body horror. My body felt really weird and strange once again. It felt like another being was inhabiting it and trying to claw its way out.
[Taken from: https://www.tumblr.com/search/body%20horror%20=
Description: a black and white drawing of monstrosities. There are a lot of sharp teeth and disembodied eyes and the one vaguely lizard-looking head.]
My lizard brain kept on noticing and analyzing what I could sexually do to any guy that I passed by. Even if I didn’t want that kind of sexual contact or with that person, my lizard brain kept on insisting it would feel good. That was one thing I didn’t miss pre-hormones. I miss not having to constantly battle my lizard brain in order to maintain control over my bodily autonomy. I miss having my sex drive as an active part of my life, but not devouring it.
Orgasms stopped being quite as explosive and enjoyable. Instead of being like a supernova, it felt more like a small, contained bomb at best. It also was a thing to release tension instead of a thing that was fun and good exhausting. I also developed a refraction time again. My junk got sore after an orgasm which was something I didn’t miss either. But interestingly enough, the time before an orgasm got more intense. I shook with how much I needed to orgasm. I was so unbelievably aroused all the time I thought I’d go mad. And then there were the mood swings and decreased energy levels on top of all this. I still don’t know how I survived this whole ordeal.
During this whole process, I realized that the universe wanted to remind me of one more lesson before I went off for surgery. I was reminded of the male/masculine mysteries of sexuality. Even if it was painful, I was reminded of how anything, even things that make me uncomfortable can be sexualized and appreciated in that light.
Even while my mental self was busy writhing in pain unable to find any way to make it stop, part of me spent time wrapped in a cocoon of raw sexuality. Aka porn, fan fic, and roleplaying with chasers on Kik. I felt like I was back in the shoes of that gay boy that didn’t survive the systems of oppression. But I was older, more confident, and sensual.
After spending so much time with a frozen heart from trauma stuff, it was nice being so unabashedly sexual even if it was for myself. For a little bit, I was able to better embrace my desires completely without judgement. Filthy dirty kink that’s not polite to talk about on this blog? Hells yeah! Get off to it and enjoy it for what it does for me. I guess it was my own way to grieve for the boy that never really was… It didn’t fix everything, I still felt like I was starving for human contact, but I was able to find a silver lining in the situation.
I’m still grieving the boy that I left behind. My relationship to gay boys will always be complicated. As I go into this surgery and undergo the most focused on symbol of womanhood (ugh, weird gender feels), I can’t easily let go of what it meant to grow up identifying as a gay boy and leaving it behind. I still consume fan fiction that depicts sex and romance between two guys (rarely trans women…) I’m entrenched in queer community and the prospect of leaving it for a cishet dude frightens me. I still understand my sexuality queerly and not like a cishet woman. I haven’t stopped grieving the boy and will continue to do so even post-surgery as I head into recovery.
Here’s hoping for a good experience going into surgery in a few hours.