As a gender-confounded person, I used to be curious about gender and sexual stereotypes in Western culture and I found an admittedly biased way to explore. As a transsexual man, I have lived as a supposed female for 47 years then as a male for 9 years. I am arguably now a testosterone-fuelled bloke.
I have a direct personal experience of my own gender and sexuality as nature or nurture. Perception is everything in some situations, but testosterone is a powerful hormone that affected me in ways I did not predict. Presented here are my subjective observations about my own experience during and after transition to male.
My transition included both hormone therapy (testosterone) and surgery, and these are the changes I noted in myself.
More on my body and face, less on my head. I spend more time managing my hair now than I ever needed to before transition.
Dropped by itself, but my pitch was thwarted by old vocal habits.
Became more densely packed, with no effort on my part. My organs seem bigger or harder, or both. There are no longer any parts of my body that feel soft (except my earlobes).
About the same. I was always very muscular with wide shoulders and a masculine body shape and definition. My body has generally thickened and I put on another 10% body weight.
Radically altered by testosterone. My sexual habits changed almost overnight and at first, I had urges frequently, suddenly and at inappropriate times. I no longer required as much foreplay or sexual affection and immediately after sex my mood switched. I also changed orientation, against my will.
As my body became more congruent with who I was and how I dressed, work became easier to negotiate. I inadvertently joined the boys club and men behaved differently towards me. There emerged a secret bond amongst us to which I had not been privy — a mutual support. I received greater respect and assumption of competence. I was expected to have a voice of authority.
Women mostly showed me greater respect and deference. They let me cut in in traffic, expected me to be decisive and show leadership and they flirted with me. Some women seemed more aggressive or self-protective, at work or on the street, where they would more often cross a road to avoid walking near me at night.
In public, parents more often called or hugged their children to them as I passed, particularly if I was alone.
Ran deeper, like the aching tug of an ocean current, but I had more difficulty in expressing them and much more difficulty squeezing out a tear. I lost the sensation of being on an emotional roller coaster.
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