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So scared to start HRT I'm considering not doing it....


Gil83rt

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Hello. I'm new here and really quite desperate at the moment so I hope no one minds me just jumping straight in with some pretty intense stuff. I also write alot, so sorry as well for the super long post.

 

I'm FtM, 25yo, came out 6 years ago after a period of consideration and have been living completely socially as male (name, pronouns, presenting etc.) since then. I pass pretty much all the time, mostly thanks to my total alopecia so I have no hair including eyebrows etc. Makes for a pretty masc first impression!

I identify as a gay man, and I'm also asexual. I have never experienced sexual attraction towards another person, and very rarely indulge in anything myself; if you catch my drift. 

 

I'm very close to starting on T and am seeing an excellent therapist for a number of reasons, including my transition. I was so excited to start physically transitioning until recently. When doing research and discovered the only thing that has ever made me consider not starting HRT - that the majority of guys find their sexuality changes once taking testosterone. 

 

This had a profound effect on me because I'm in a very healthy, committed and loving relationship with the man of my dreams, whom I'll be proposing to soon. Seriously, I cannot express in words how much I love this man. As cliché as it sounds, he is my soul mate and I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with him. He is perfect, and he feels the same about me which is just insane. He is cis and we met long after I came out so he sees me as male and has never known me any different. He is incredibly supportive of my transition and can't wait to see me finally physically become the man he already sees me as. He is the only person I have ever wanted to be sexually intimate with, and although I don't really experience arousal when we are intimate, I love exploring his body and giving him pleasure, and the general feeling of closeness and trust that goes along with it. I have never felt any kind of attraction towards female presenting people at any point in my life. The closest I'm able to get to arousal has always been exclusively based around other men. I have found that the more masculine I feel or look (this has increased over the last year from a strict exercise regime) the more I'm able to enjoy looking at explicit pictures or videos of men and I've also been enjoying the feeling of my partner pressed against me or in my hands/mouth etc, which is a nice change but I still don't think that feeling is 'arousal'?

Enter, T.

This is what my brain is now saying:

"You're going to start taking this hormone and immediately become a -excited- teenage boy. You won't know how to cope with this new feeling and you will inevitably end up overwhelmingly attracted to women and have to break up with the partner you love so much. Once you take this hormone, when you look at him you will no longer feel love or attraction or think he is handsome or cute, you will just wander around staring at women's arses and be forced to leave the man you love in exchange for quick thrills with random girls in clubs because now you're pumped full of drugs and have no control over your thoughts or actions. You will be so insatiable you will be unable to go to work because you'll have to spend the whole day jerking off and thus will end up single, jobless, homeless and miserable. But hey, at least you'll have the voice you've always wished for and your hips will be the right size."

I know that this is an unreasonable, unrealistic and unhealthy thought process, but the more I try to tell myself it will all be fine, the more I panic. Now I'm making myself look at women in the street because I'm trying to confirm to myself that I don't feel attracted to them (which I don't, and genuinely never have) but I've now convinced myself that the above will come true because "you already check out girls, so when you're on T every time you see them you'll go crazy with lust" even though it's actually a conscious choice I'm making. 

 

This irrational fear has gradually worsened over the last few weeks and now I'm struggling to sleep more than a few hours at a time, when I do I'm plagued by nightmares, I have no appetite, my hands are constantly shaking, I'm always sweating and I'm unable to keep down food. In short, I'm making myself physically ill worrying that starting HRT will turn me straight and make me fall out of love with my partner. Every post and study I read seems to confirm my fear. "I was straight but after T I'm into guys now" or "I thought I was bi, but then I started T and that totally changed" etc. And therefore I conclude that my fear is founded in reality and the cycle begins again. 

 

My transition has already cost me my family, and causes all kinds of dysphoria, turmoil, confusion and worry. I refuse to let it take my future husband from me too. It's starting to be enough to make me consider not medically transitioning; but then that thought causes me pain also, as in every single other way I know it is absolutely the right choice for me, and the alternative of living as I am currently for the rest of my life is just... More depressing than I can say.

 

Please, can someone/anyone offer me some reassurance. I know the dangers of confirmation bias but right now I just need to hear from people who can tell me it's going to be okay. I can find thousands of testimonials to the contrary, and I value the experience and information but that's not what I need right now. I just need to be able to get some sleep and stop throwing up every time I think about my future. Please help me. I love him so much, and I don't want to think of him any other way than I currently do. He is so handsome, so kind, so funny (his **** is magnificent) and the connection we have is the deepest I have ever felt with another human. I won't give him up, not in exchange for being randy and straight.

 

Please someone help me, I don't want to feel like this anymore.

 

Thank you so much for reading ❤️

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@Gil83rt thank you for sharing your thoughts and worries. Having a caring therapist is vital and I'm glad to hear you do. I can understand your worries and fears and that is natural. Fear of the unknown happens to be a trait of humans so you aren't the only one. Wonderful to have a loving relationship as well. That helps. Coming here is also a positive. There are many in your age group and FTM's (I'm the other way and older but can relate to you - believe me). 

Share your thoughts and worries and you will receive unconditional love here and will receive comfort and advice based on experiences and although everyone is different - you will find commonality and things to consider and things to help defuse some of your fears. 

Keep working with your therapist as openly as possible and that will go a LONG way to determine if you should go for HRT or hold off and explore yourself more. All in all you need to do what you know deep inside is right for you and believe it or not - it will and has been hard - but it will come and the right path open up to you.

Heather Shay

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  • Forum Moderator

Salutations @Gil83rt! Welcome to Transpulse! It's a pleasure to meet you!

 

Fist bump. I've got alopecia universalis. I had my eyebrows tattooed on. No eyebrows just looks weird. I'm looking into options for my eyelashes. Most people don't notice, but it bugs me.

 

As to HRT and sexuality... I'm not any less gay. I identified as a gay woman before I started HRT... Now I identify as a VERY gay woman. That said, you may find yourself feeling more sexual attraction to your preferred gender. T is powerful stuff. My sex drive is considerably reduced on estrogen from where it was on T. It had no effect on my orientation though. I think that "orientation changes" have more to do with having a pass from society to do what you wanted to do anyway. With a couple of notable exceptions, guys didn't do it for me before I transitioned and they still don't. I think your attraction to your partner will more than override any impulses that might arise from the T.

 

Hugs!

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@Jackie C.

A fellow alopecian! Wild that the very first time on the forum and I've already met a fellow AU warrior ❤️ fun fact, I went 4 years without looking at my head in a mirror cause losing my hair was so traumatic, but I finally overcame that fear 2 weeks ago! #killingit #baldfolksUnite 💃 

Thank you for sharing your experience and the reassurance. It really does go a long way. 

 

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@Shay, thank you so much for the kind welcome and support. It's such a nice feeling to know there are kind, supportive people who will listen and share their experiences and advice. It means a lot.

 

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Fortunately for me, I was heavily into dysphoria and denial when it started back in 2009. I gave ZERO hoots about my appearance. It was wrong. My body being more wrong didn't change anything and honestly I was counting down the days until my doctors promised me my body would self-destruct anyway. (When I was twelve, I my doctor said, "Yeah, this kid is going to be dead by 40." I was 49 when I had my GCS surgery in February 2020. Take THAT Doctor Kushner. I celebrated my 50th birthday in March as a complete woman. One who was in considerable pain still, but complete none the less.)

 

There are some days now when I really miss it though. It was chestnut-auburn and wavy. Like naturally 70's hair wavy. It feathered and did all that great stuff all by itself. Sigh.

 

On the plus side, wigs are fun. Being modular has its perks and I probably saved a million dollars in electrolysis fees. As autoimmune diseases go, it's less awful than the asthma and the (ugh) eczema.

 

Hugs!

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@Jackie C. Wow go you! Nothing better than proving a doctor wrong and becoming your true gender at the same time! You're awesome :D

 

I feel you though, mine was a white blonde afro... It was a work of art tbh. The day I took the plunge and cut it short into a masculine style was the first time I was correctly gendered by a stranger. I was beyond happy. The very next day I found the first patch. 3 weeks later I was totally bald. Bloody horrible! 😤

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Oh, that must have hurt. Guys can look so damn good with short white-blonde hair. Well, women too. It's a crushing experience to most everyone. Mine took, oh, about a year to completely fail. I fought like heck in the beginning, but my dermatologist eventually fired me because, "We've tried literally everything. Nothing works and we feel bad about taking your money."

After it was done with my head, I started losing it everywhere else. About a year later: Naked mole rat.

 

That's not completely true. Prednisone injections directly to the scalp three times a week worked. That's no way to live though. Prednisone is a heck of a drug.

 

To Irish AU Warriors! (I'm like 4th generation on my dad's side, I had an uncle in the Queen's royal navy as recently as 1920.)

 

Hugs!

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@Jackie C. 

Ah yes the good ol' scalp injections. Oh and that acid stuff. And the light therapy. The steroids. The immunosuppressants... Geez it's all pretty horrid! 

I'm unfortunately Half English, Half Scottish and living in Ireland, but fist bumps to all the bald Irish folks too! (Yes, my accent is a mess, in case you were wondering 🤣)

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Heh, and I'm a 4th generation Scott on my mother's side. Great grandma Mimi came over when she was fourteen. Solidarity!

 

Hugs!

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@Jackie C. You made me laugh with "Naked mole rat." Anyway your wig in your icon photo looks amazing with your skin tone.

 

Hi @Gil83rt
Obviously your current situation is untenable and I'm sorry you're dealing with such severe anxiety.

 

I can't make you promises, but I will suggest a thought exercise.


Worst-case scenario this treatment. What if your fears aren't irrational? What if you become completely straight and also become interested in sex?

 

Stop there, don't go on until you've answered that.

 

One of the upsetting things I saw people saying all the time on another forum I frequented for a while was: "Well, turns out I'm gay, also, I'm not attracted to my opposite-sex spouse anymore, guess it's time to break up." And they were using the homosexuality as an excuse--sometimes to break up, and even worse, sometimes using a newfound bisexuality to cheat. But there were always long-term problems in these relationships. And number one that you know had to be a problem was: they equated the value of marriage with sexual attraction. That is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard.

 

One of the things I respect about many of the people on this forum is how they understand that relationships take work and have several layers and nuances that require attention over time.

 

I've been married for twenty-four years. Physical intimacy is a choice and a practice. It is not always about feeling it first, all the time, and I, unlike you in your current situation, do have a high sex drive. 

 

Attraction changes. Have you talked to your partner about this?

 

Also, you already know this, so it's probably redundant coming from a stranger on the Internet, but: you will not become a sex-driven monster. You have choices. You might be turned on a lot, and very often, but that happens to non-trans people at various points in their lives, too, and not only during puberty. If it happens, learn to do that personal activity you've indicated you don't do very often--and make sure to do it twice a day, so you can think and focus the rest of the time. If sex drive becomes a problem, make dealing with it part of the treatment program, a sort of self-therapy.

 

If you do become sexually attracted to women, it's okay to notice and appreciate that and let it go. You can also find out if it's okay with your spouse if you let him know when you find someone else attractive. In any case, women are beautiful, there's no reason to judge yourself negatively for noticing it! :)

 

Hopefully someone here will have helpful advice that comes from experience. I hope you feel better soon and that everything goes well.
 

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@DonkeySocks thank you for taking the time to respond. My partner and I have discussed all of our fears in great depth and when we examined the worst case scenario option his repsonse was "I'd rather you be whole and happy even if it means we can't be together" and the moment he said it my heart broke. I don't ever want to be without him, I don't ever want to not find him attractive and unfortunately I think I would be willing to sacrifice my transition in order to keep it that way. I know that sounds like an unhealthy attachment but honestly, it's just the sheer depth of my love for him. I think the thing I'm struggling with the most is that I have never had even a passing interest in women. I'm seriously, honestly not in a closet. Like, I'm not even just saying that out of denial or for the sake of the internet or anything, I have honestly never even considered being with a woman _in any way. Period._ So then I'm really creeped out by the thought that I could just wake up one morning and be into women. And I'm accepting of sexualities changing over time etc. but the whole concept is so widely foreign to me that I can't even picture it. Add to that the fear of him letting me go so I can go and pursue some kind of new heterosexual interest and it makes me crumble. I just can't wrap my head around that a single hormone could make me do a total 180° against my will and miss out on _the person_ I want to spend my life with. I'm so angry that being trans comes with so many issues and heartbreaks and problems and now just the act of becoming myself could take away my favourite person and turn him into "just a friend". That thought disgusts me, it makes me feel sick and I think if that happened, unfortunately, I would probably consider ending my life. It's really messing me up that much. I just can't comprehend being straight, it's simply not who I am inside. But I guess when I start T I won't have any say in that. 🥺

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Seriously sweetie, I'd expect you to have a raise in your sex drive and that's it. Don't worry yourself into a knot for something that has about the same chance of happening as, say flipping a coin and having it land on it's edge. T makes you build muscle faster. Sure, it'll re-wire your brain a little, but not to the extent where you'll be lusting after women all the time. It's OK.

 

I've been attracted, physically, to other women from time to time (and Tom Ellis because OMG that man is hot). It doesn't mean I have to act on it. With or without T in my body. With T coursing through my veins, I was more irritable (but more because I was deeply unhappy), there was some mental static (because I'm trans and my brain runs better on E), my emotions were less nuanced, I wanted sex more often (but not to the point where I'd be assaulting anyone, more of a "You know what would be good to do today?")... I had less of a sense of smell...

Nothing that would have me leaving my spouse. We've been together since 1990. Married since 1992. She's considers herself straight. We're still together and stronger than ever.

 

Hugs!

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5 hours ago, Gil83rt said:

Please, can someone/anyone offer me some reassurance. I know the dangers of confirmation bias but right now I just need to hear from people who can tell me it's going to be okay.

Welcome @Gil83rt, Nice to have you in our forum. I understand your worry relating to the effects of T on your relationship. There are things it can not change unless you willingly allow it. Your loyalty, empathy, and love for your partner may be enough to carry you through in the unforeseen event that your sexual orientation changes slightly in the direction you fear.  My wife was worried about what a few people posted online about changes in my sexual orientation. I told her I was bi and I can appreciate the finer things in both men and women but just because there are more viable options out there for me it would NEVER affect what we have together.

 

I know in my heart, that even if I became suddenly totally straight, my feelings for my wife will never diminish in any way. Your love to see your partner happy and fulfilled can overcome many things. Yes, this is just an opinion but love is a very powerful thing.

 

Warmest Regards,
Susan R🌷

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@Gil83rt Welcome!

 

Ok, let me be the tough love brother here.

 

If you love him so much, why do you doubt that love?

Why do you think atraction overules love?

T could give you more of a sex drive. That doesn't turn you into a monster.

T could (maybe, maybe not) make you feel attraction to women. That doesn't mean you need to act on it. We all see atractive people around, may feel atraction to them, and we don't assault them.

Love is not a feeling. Love is a verb. It means choice and acting accordingly. You can choose to be with the person you love and care about, no matter if you feel some atraction elsewere.

 

And if you are ready to give up HRT for him, reading how much you need that treatment, wouldn't it be way easier to give up on some superficial physical atraction?

 

And then whyever would you do something that hurts you?

Being with him (or not) will ALWAYS be your choice.

 

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Welcome Gil,

   While i may be on the MTF journey rather than the other way around i will add that having been on HRT for 9+ years now has not changed my physical attraction.  My wife and i have continued to love each other and while 51 years of being together(49 married) has "taken the bloom off the lily" we have a wonderful loving relationship.  Your sex drive may change but a truth remains that gender and sexual attraction are different.  

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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@Susan R, @Gabriel

Thank you both for the warm welcome and taking the time to respond. I suppose I'm most frightened that once I start T I won't be able to look at him and find him attractive like I do now. I love kissing him, holding him, pleasing him sexually and he's the most handsome man on the planet to me. I don't know what I'd do if I still loved him this deeply but was so repulsed by men that I can't make myself hold his hand or enjoy kissing him etc. I adore cuddling with him and lying in bed with our noses touching and stroking his hair and sometimes it makes me nervous how handsome I think he is. I don't want to lose that attraction I have for him. And from most of the comments I've had on forums etc. it seems to be the general consensus that 'yes, T does change your orientation and you probably will like women afterwards' so I don't really have much hope it will be different for me. I don't think I'd mind if I was just generally more interested in sex or even found the passing woman attractive, as long as I was still able to be attracted to him, you know? Love is a wonderful thing and I have no intention of ever leaving him, but it would be really really miserable to just wake up one day and not be able to be intimate with him cause he doesn't have boobs and somehow beards now turn me off. 

If that happened, do you think stopping HRT would allow me to revert back? It sounds like another depressing option I know but I might be more comfortable if there was some evidence that it is purely a hormonal thing and if I stop the T I will be able to see him the way I do now again. And then I come back round to how things are perfect just as they are (apart from me being in the wrong body) and maybe that's just the sacrifice I have to make in life in order to be with the one I love. I hate this. It's driving me mad. 😭🤦‍♂️

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@Charlize Thank you so much for sharing. So wonderful to hear that you and your wife have been together for 51 years! I hope I will be able to comment something similar when my partner and I are in the same position :)

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10 hours ago, Gil83rt said:

it would be really really miserable to just wake up one day and not be able to be intimate with him cause he doesn't have boobs and somehow beards now turn me off. 

If that happened, do you think stopping HRT would allow me to revert back?

I can’t speak for what “might” happen to you specifically as I’m taking E and not T. In addition to that, everyone’s experiences are so different that it’s futile to speculate on something that has so many variables that can affect the outcome. 

 

I can share with you what happened to my sexual orientation over the 2+ years of taking Estrogen. Growing up I always had interest in men but my desire for them was not nearly as strong as it was for women. I had experiences with both and enjoyed both types of experiences equally. Reducing my T to almost zero and increasing my E to female levels has NOT affected my desire for women in a way or my desire for my cis wife. So what has changed?  My desire for men and women are fairly equal these days. IMHO, it just opened up a few new neural pathways in my brain but thankfully did not close off any previously opened ones.

 

That being said...your outcome will not likely be anything like mine. Any changes in sexual orientation will also take time to occur. I don’t think you’ll wake up one day and your sexual orientation will be changed. It’s a relatively slow process. But even if sexual orientation was reversible, the other major affects of T aren’t without a huge financial and mental cost.

 

Susan R🌷

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey @Gil83rt!

 

I really appreciate your post. Going into my medical transition I had a few similar questions. I am biromantic* and demisexual so I questioned my sexuality a lot going into my transition. My questions were more along the lines of "Do I just think I'm demisexual because I need the emotional connection to feel like my partner sees me for more than just my body?" though. I have experienced sexual attracted to one guy and one non-binary person before starting T. I had willingly been sexually intimate with two people, one who I was sexually attracted to and another I wasn't. I am only 3 1/2 months on T, but so far nothing has changed with my sexual or romantic attractions. Over time maybe the way I lean has fluctuated a tiny bit, but I think that's fairly normal for bi people. Either way I have not lost romantic or sexual attraction to those I have felt it for. Since you said you have never experienced sexual attraction I'm assuming you don't feel sexual attraction towards your partner right now so what do you think would change if you did start finding girls attractive? Are you more worried about romantic or sensual attraction changing? 

 

Until your post I hadn't seen anything about sexual or romantic orientation changing. The only thing I'd seen about "sexuality changes" was changes in sex drive. I have heard that stopping birth control may alter sexual orientation to some degree (it was on TikTok though) so maybe it's similar to that process. However, that claim hasn't been scientifically supported in a peer-reviewed article, or at least not that I've found. I feel like it's probably a rare thing if it does happen, but maybe it's a time dependent thing. Maybe you could try T up until that critical period and then stop just before that point and get the benefits that come before then and not have to worry about romantic/sensual/sexual orientation changing. In the time I've been on I already had lots of great changes including a considerable voice drop, general broadening (e.g. shoulders, wrists, etc), facial hair growth, and more.

 

Onto your concerns about sex drive: For me personally there wasn't much change in that department, but I already had a high libido. If you are really worried about it you could even start working on impulse control now. Try cutting out something you crave or at least severely limiting it. You could also try meditation or yoga. Learning how to focus the mind and block unwanted thoughts could be exactly what you need to control sexual urges. Enjoying yourself is okay, but if you feel it is getting to an unhealthy amount work on impulse and thought control and maybe talk to your therapist. 

 

Medically transitioning is a huge step and it is completely normal to be nervous and have concerns. It's very easy to get stuck in your head about your concerns and snowball especially if you don't have people who have gone through something similar to put those concerns at ease. Just know that we are here for you. Everyone's transition is different. There is no one size fits all option and it's okay to not want to go on HRT if you don't feel comfortable with it. You don't have to make a decision right now.

 

Best,

SL

 

*I use biromantic as the umbrella term. It's probably more like panromantic. 

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Hi Gil83rt, 

 

I feel for you. 

I am supposed to start HRT this Friday and I am afraid my sexual orientation is going to change entirely. 

Mind you, even after having come out this year as trans I am already beginning to note changes. 

You are not alone with your worries. 

I guess, in the end we can only accept who we are and move forward with that..... 

 

Take care. 

 

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    • Heather Nicole
      (I know I'm nerding myself out with this answer, and most won't get the reference, but...) Major Kusonagi has a way via advanced prosthetic shell, but you have to live in a futuristic cyberpunk fiction. Upside though, is you also get invisibility. I'm on the waiting list.   In other news...I've now joined the trans-ranks and decided that face masks are seriously awesome ...I was just at the grocery store earlier this evening, I wasn't even trying to pass, but I still got accidentally correctly-gendered!!! I guess my long wavy hair (definitely my favorite feature right now by far...heeehee), zircon earrings, overweight "moobs", and face mask covering up most of my beard must've been enough to tip the scales. Considering I've been feeling rather self-doubty/impostor syndrome this week, that surprise just absolutely made my day!   I was in the checkout line, nobody behind me, just one guy ahead of me but he had already paid and was putting his bags in his cart. As the cashier (a really adorable college-aged young gal) was scanning my items, another employee came by to start bagging my items. I guess the bagger must've gotten confused and started trying to hand my bags to the previous customer because as I was going through my wallet, I heard the cashier girl say "Oh, those are his"...but then she quickly stopped and corrected herself..."Er, I mean hers".   "Hers"??!?!?   There was nobody else around she could've been talking about except me. My heart just about leapt out of my chest and I was just on cloud nine all the way out to the car, like I'd just won the lottery or something. Of course, all of a sudden I couldn't bring myself to use my voice any more than absolutely necessary. Instant voice dysphoria, but you know what, in this case, I'll take it!   @ElizabethStar OMG, congrats so much on all that validation!!! 🎉  And also on your birthday, too! 🍰   I may be technically "out" to my mom, but I still haven't felt like I'm at a point yet where I'd feel right asking her to switch pronouns for me. So I can imagine just how special getting a card like must be. So happy for you!!!  
    • ElizabethStar
      It's too late for coffee but.......   For some reason I was compelled to check the mail today. Not surprising there was a birthday card from my mother. I just figured it was the normal everyday card but it wasn't. The first word I read, in a big scripted font was "Daughter". Right there in front of me, a card from my mother, to her daughter. Honestly I didn't really know if my mother would ever truly accept me. Now...I do. I really wanted to cry (not in front of the wife) but I will cherish that card forever.   Before dinner I found myself out getting lottery tickets. The jackpot is somewhere around 6-700mil. The ATM is broken at the first store I went to (closest to my house) and won't let you pay for 'em with a debt card. A random customer piped-up and suggested where I could go. I headed out. The cashier there was extremely friendly, very helpful and kind of cute. When I was checking out he looked at me, in a sweet little voice, said "I know *****'s no your name, what is it? I just replied "Elizabeth". He then tells me what beautiful name I have. After he said that I did hear anything else. Holy crap! Did I just get hit on? or was he just flirting with me? When I told my wife she used what is becoming her standard reply, "This is what you asked for". What I asked for? Yeah...well, we'll talk about that at a later time. If it's what she has to do to settle with my transition so be it.   After dinner I got another happy surprise. For kicks I checked my work email. There was a message from HR. He asked me if I wanted my new insurance and benefits cards to have Elizabeth on them. We can do that? I'd love that. There have been a few things getting to me lately and I needed some love.
    • JustineM
      Well I’m sitting here trying not to ugly cry. The calls to my Dad and brother went amazingly well. My brother said it didn’t bother him and he was glad I was taking steps to be happy. Dad almost immediately offered to help cover therapy and HRT med costs. Said he loved me and that would never change. He did say that he wouldn’t stop calling me his son, though given his age and the way he was raised I didn’t really expect him too. 
    • Carolyn Marie
      https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/transgender-man-fatally-shot-puerto-rico-n1254313   There have been seven killings of trans people just in Puerto Rico in the last 12 months.  May Samuel rest in peace and justice found for his killers.   Carolyn Marie
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