For me hormone therapy has been the first major defining moment of my transition.
Having done over 200 hours of support work with transgender client’s I know that I’m not alone.
Once we start the whole process of HRT, be it testosterone for the men or oestrogen for the women, things seem to settle psychologically. It’s as if the real transition has started. That’s my sense of this anyway.
I personally have been on HRT for over 4 years now. I did a thing that many of us do as well. I knew I was going to transition and nothing was going to stop me so I started buying hormones from the internet. I know that sounds crazy, but I researched dosages and medicines. Sought out the advice of others on prescribed medications and I monitored my BP frequently.
Like most trans people I was determined once the decision was made. I’m not saying that this is the way to go.
It had risks, and I was prepared to take them. I’m lucky in that once I did register with a GP and I had moved to Bournemouth they were willing to prescribe me hormones and monitor my health until the gender clinic referral had come through. I’m one of the lucky ones.
Many of the transgender clients I’ve had dealings with have not been so lucky. Some have had issues with their GP’s prescribing medications after the GIC guidance has come through.
This is all backstory, but nevertheless, you now have an idea of the importance of HRT to transgender people.
As I’m about to embark on the final part of my physical transition (surgery), I’ve had to stop taking hormones due to the increased risk of DVT post-surgery.
I haven’t had the go ahead for surgery yet – I have an assessment this week and all being well I’ll be given the green light.
So for the first time in over four years I’m no longer on oestrogen.
I anticipated it would have a massive psychological effect on me. I’ve told those close to me at work to expect me to be different.
Two and a bit weeks in and the changes are barely noticeable. At least to me anyway.
I’m a little more quick tempered than I was a few weeks ago. Part of me thinks that this has as much to do with the appointments I have to get through than anything else.
It’s funny in a way because I thought I would have real issues with not being on hormones and the truth is I’m not. I was always a rather outgoing, friendly, person prior to my transition. That hasn’t changed.
I was a firm advocate for equality for all, and not just gender but LGBTQ, ethnicity and disability as well. That’s no different.
I think the main reason I’m not as concerned is because physically and emotionally I’m in a far better place now, than I was pre-HRT, pre-transition.
You see now I’m living as Debbie, physically I have a very different body. I’m now in a life where everyone relates to me as me. And I’m able to express myself as a female. As a woman, and I am accepted as so.
My not taking hormones is one more step closer to the end of the physical change. I’m more concerned at the moment about the impending surgery than my lack of hormones.
I know this is going to hurt.
I also know that the recovery is going to be a one with a lot of adjusting both psychologically and physically. I’m going to have to get to learn how to do things all over again.
I’m looking forward to the fun side of it all. Sex. Of course I am. Who wouldn’t?
I’m also so excited about being able to look at a mirror and feeling like everything is finally matched as it should be.
But I understand physical trauma enough to know that it is going to be a painful and difficult journey. I’m going to be writing about this and how I’ve found it for Planet London and I’m really looking forward to sharing that with you over the coming weeks and months.