Going Stealth – Future thoughts (Monday 13th March 2017)

Transgender people live in three different way (in terms of transition), they are even out and proud- everyone knows they are transgender and they are extremely open about it; they live stealth- meaning no-one knows they are transgender unless they have to know; or they have a sort of mix- they are out to some people in their lives but not to others. At the moment I live a mixed sort of life, the majority of the people in my life know, either because they knew me before I started to transition or because I have meant them through transgender groups.
I am in two minds about I would like for the future, on one hand I want to be completely stealth so that only my family medical professionals know about it. I feel that once people know you are transgender they treat you differently, it might be the way they look at you, the way they talk to you or the things they say. I don’t want to always be ‘that transgender guy’ ideally I would be ‘that guy’ the fact that I am transgender shouldn’t never be an issue, a topic of talking point.
On the other hand I feel like as a part of the transgender community it is my responsibility to showcase the fact that I am just a normal person. That being transgender doesn’t make me special or different – I am the same as everyone else my life has just been another way.
One thing that makes me unsure about if I should be stealth is if I have a child(ren) with my wife as I’d like to. I want them to always know about it, so that it is never some dramatic bomb shell, I realise to do that I would have to be open about it with everyone because children talk about their lives and if something is normal to them they think nothing of telling people. I don’t want to feel like I am lying to my child, but I also think that you don’t tell your child everything about your whole life from birth, it is something they learn over their whole life. Maybe it would be better to ‘keep it from them’ until they reach an age where they can understand what it means, and why they shouldn’t tell everyone they meet because not everyone is a nice person.
Being stealth is something that I can always stop doing by telling people, but being out is something you can’t stop unless you cut ties with anyone who knows. It is just another difficult thing that proves that being transgender doesn’t just stop after transitioning stops.
-Honest Trans Guy

Using public bathrooms (Sunday 5th March 2017)

I am 11 months on testosterone and still rarely use public male bathrooms. I didn’t use a male bathroom till I was already almost 9 months on testosterone because I was worried that I would be harassed, I have spoken to people around the world, including inside the UK who have been verbally and physically harassed when using the male bathroom because the cis males inside don’t think they are male. Honestly even pre-t I tried not to use public bathrooms full stop. The times I have used male toilets they are been empty, the first time that was purpose it was a way to be able to use the male toilet but do it whilst ensuring that I was safe. I try and push myself to use them whenever I am out, if I can’t I never use the female bathroom, I use a gender neutral bathroom. After top surgery I have promised myself to only use male bathrooms, to build my confidence so it becomes second nature.  

First month on Testosterone – Aggression. (Feb 22nd 2017)

-Honest Trans Guy

Most unexpected change since starting testosterone (10th Feb 2017)

Before being approved for testosterone my gender specialist told me the sort of things I could expected to change, I had also done a lot of research beforehand. I knew that my voice would drop, the potential for facial hair, that I would get acne and many more things. There were however a few things I didn’t expect or that I expected but didn’t realise would change so much. Two of those things are growth to my private parts and my increased sex drive – both of which I will talk more about at length in a later blog.
The one change that has been most different to what I expected has been a decrease in my energy level. I was told that I would be more tired but I was completely unexpected for how much more tired I have been since starting testosterone. I started testosterone 10 months ago now and I have gone from sleeping for maybe 5-6 hours a night to sleeping 8-9 hours a night, in fact when I was 16-18 I could survive on one 3-4 hours a night. In the first 4 months on testosterone I also needed to nap for about an hour during the day or I just couldn’t make it through the day it has been ridiculous. Thankfully I can down get through a 15 hour day without feeling like I might fall asleep at any point, I would still like to get to a point where I don’t need to sleep for 9 hours to function the next day 7 would be enough for me. 

Worst Changed since starting testosterone (3rd Feb 2017)

When transgender males (well most transgender males, some do not or cannot) go on testosterone it put our bodies through a second puberty. This means that all the things cisgender males go through as teenagers we go through, for example acne, voice deepening and facial hair. There are changes that trans guy look forward to when we start testosterone things such as voice change or facial hair growth. There are also a lot of other changes that the community as a whole doesn’t even talk about and that aren’t so fun. Personally I have experienced a few different changes I would have rather not. The worst changes I have experienced on testosterone would be hunger and smell.
-Hunger, since starting testosterone I have been hungry all the time! It isn’t just normal hunger though, when I started testosterone I was just hungry all the time, no matter how much I ate, it was very annoying. Now 10 months on testosterone it has changed instead of being hungry all the time now I can go hours without being hungry and then suddenly I will feel sick with hunger out of the blue.
-Smell, since starting testosterone my body odour has changed, it is now stronger and muskier. It isn’t a big deal as it is controlled with using more deodorant but it is still an annoying changed that I would have rather not gone through.
That said the worst change of transitioning since going on testosterone so far for me, without doubt has been dysphoria. Since starting testosterone in March 2015 my dysphoria has gotten both worse and better. Dysphoria for things such as passing, my voice and body/facial hair have decreased as testosterone has masculinised thing within my body, my voice has gotten deepen, I have body hair everywhere and I pass in public almost 100% of the time now.  However my chest and ‘private parts’ dysphoria has gotten worse, which make my depression worse as well.

Feelings about Top and bottom surgery. (27th Jan 2017)

DISCLAIMER!!! All medical information is right to best of my knowledge! Apologies if any turns out to be wrong

For a transgender male having ‘Top surgery’, breast removal, is almost a guarantee (for example I am part of a number of group contacting me with over 15,000 transgender males around the world and I have never spoken to a single one who didn’t want their breast removed. Like most Trans male I want top surgery and it is something I can’t wait to finally have, to have flat chest and not worry about it. There are a couple different ways to achieve this. The most common are; 


1) would Peri-areolar which is for guys with a chest size of B cup or smaller – in the UK. 
During this surgery the breast is removed through a small incision at the bottom of the areola, the nipple itself is left intact.

2) Double incision this procedure is ideal for medium to large chested men. During this procedure, the skin on the chest is opened along two horizontal incisions, at the top and bottom of the pectoral muscle. The skin is pulled back and the breast tissue is then removed, Nipples are removed, re-sized and grafted on the chest, this often leads to the person having little to no sensation of the nipple.

3) The Inverted-T Top Surgery procedure is ideal for medium to large chested men who wish to retain the most sensation possible in the nipple. The procedure is similar to Double Incision Top Surgery: skin on the chest is opened along two horizontal incisions, at the top and bottom of the pectoral muscle. (The muscle itself is not touched.) The skin is pulled back and the breast tissue is then removed.



Bottom surgery on the other hand is very different. I would guess that worldwide less in 50% of transmen get any form of bottom surgery. A big reason Trans men don’t get the surgery is the cost (roughly £50,000 for all stages), I would also guess that in countries, like the UK, where there is more funding and help to pay for such an expensive surgery the percentage of guys getting it would be much higher. There are two types of bottom surgery Metoidioplasty and Phalloplasty, they are both very different.

-Metoidioplasty (known as Meta for short) take advantage of the fact that testosterone causes a Trans males clitoris to grow longer. By cutting the ligament that holds the clitoris in place under the pubic bone, as well as cutting away some of the surrounding tissue, the surgeon is able to create a small phallus from the elongated clitoris. In order to further enhance the result, fat may be removed from the pubic mound and skin may be pulled upward to bring the phallus even farther forward. It also includes a urethral lengthening procedure to allow the patient to urinate through the penis while standing. Depending on the goals of the patient, the vaginal cavity may or may not be closed or removed, this is known as a vaginectomy. A phallus created by Meta would not be able to penetrate during sex.

-Phalloplasty (known as Phallo for short) come in a two different forms depending one where one the person’s body the skin comes from, it can come from the forearm or groin.
-Forearm Phalloplasty is the most common, this procedure is considered by many to produce a more realistic-looking,
 and the forearm skin is shaped into the new penis and grafted into place on the groin, where the nerves and blood vessels are connected. Some surgeons will connect the brachial nerve of the forearm to the pudendal nerve of the clitoris. A urethra is typically created using tissue from the labia shaped into an inverted tube. The clitoris is usually left intact near the base of the penis; the exact placement of the base of the penis with regard to the clitoris should be discussed with the surgeon. Usually, a flexible rod must be inserted into the penis or an implanted pump device used in order to achieve an erection. The vaginal cavity will be closed, in a vaginectomy. Phalloplasty is comprised of three stage, most men also have a hysterectomy during the second stage of Phalloplasty.

 

Here in the UK we have the National Health Service (NHS) paid for by taxes that means that treatment is free, something we are extremely lucky to have. So when I have top surgery it will be on the NHS and thus free for me, however it is still possible to going privately which is the same quality service but normally quicker but at a cost. The same will be true for bottom surgery, so for me the question of money is THANKFULLY not an issue. Things I need to consider are if I want to be able to pee standing up, penetrate during sex and generally have a penis. I discussed the topic at length with my wife, obliviously the final decision would have to be my own as my wife and I could separate and I would have to live with the decision I had made. At this point in time I have decided that bottom surgery, forearm Phalloplasty, is something I do want to have, there is the chance that, that could change but at the moment I don’t see that happening.

 

-Honest Trans Guy 

Sexuality and Being Perceive as gay. (Jan 13th 2017)

Coming out as transgender at 21 meant that I had already lived all that time as a cisgender female, being raised as a female and following stereotypes that the world puts on females. That means that I have many of the mannerisms associated with females, I use my hands when I talk, I find little animals cute etc. This means since coming out and starting to pass more and be seen as a cisgender male by most strangers now, those mannerisms mean people perceive me as gay. This Perception doesn’t bother me, I don’t see being gay as a negative thing and I am happy enough for people to assume whatever they want.
I have been told multiple times that I come across as gay, or that I should act differently because I could be perceived as gay. That to me is stupid, is isn’t an insult to be assumed as gay so why should I go out of my way to make sure everyone knows I’m not, it’s ridiculous. I am secure in my sexuality, I make no secret of the fact that I am happily married and that is enough for me.
I consider myself a Queer person, I am a man married to a woman however I would be open to a relationship with people of any gender in the future should my married not work out (however unlikely I feel that idea maybe. It isn’t important for me for everyone to know my sexuality as I think it is a very small part of who I am and as long as the people that matter know, it is no-one else’s business.
-Honest Trans Guy
Queer defined; 1) an umbrella term used to define the entire LGBT+ community. 2) An alternative word some use to in place of labels such as lesbian, gay etc.
—It is important to remember that some people find the word offensive.