As an AFAB transmasculine enby, I do sometimes think about whether or not I would want to start taking testosterone, and I have sometimes weighed up the pros and cons of possibly starting – but for the moment, I have no current desire to start T, simply because I don’t want to. But that could change, and that would be OK.
But before I give my pros and cons of taking testosterone, I want to state what testosterone is – Testosterone is a hormone that is produced in the testicles for AMAB folks and the ovaries and adrenal glands for AFAB folk – for AMAB folks, it contributes to growth and stereotypically masculine characteristics. For AFAB folks, it comes in smaller amounts.
- Distribution of body fat to a more “masculine” figure: I don’t mind my body shape, but I do wish it were a bit more masculine. So if I were to start HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy), I could feel more euphoric about my body shape – I say “could” rather than “would” because I am unsure if this would actually be the case. As T also reduces the amount of fat around the hips, it would definitely reduce the amount of waist dysphoria I currently have – plus I would look more masculine in appearance.
- Growth of facial hair: Honestly I do sometimes think of what I would look like if I did have facial hair, so this benefit would just be an aesthetic feature – but it’s still a fun thing to think about from time to time.
- Menstrual periods Stop: This would be the biggest benefit for me, as shark week gives me major dysphoria, so I think taking testosterone would definitely alleviate some of that dysphoria. So this is the biggest as to why I would want to start taking Testosterone.
- Increased growth, coarseness, and thickness of hairs (arms, legs, chest, back, & abdomen): I already have hair on my legs, arms armpits etc, so the idea of starting testosterone wouldn’t really help me in that respect – plus I’m not sure how I would feel about having chest and abdomen hair.
- Voice Cracks: Honestly, I quite like my voice, so the idea of having a deeper voice doesn’t really appeal to me at the moment. It also helps that at my choir, I’m an Alto, so voice dysphoria doesn’t really affect me. But then again, I would sound more masculine, which would be nice? Right?
- Oilier skin and increased acne: I don’t want to have to constantly worry about the constant state of my skin, as I think I would feel self-conscious about it (especially in the first months of starting).
- Increased sex drive: Combined with the oilier skin and increased acne, it sounds like I would be going through puberty all over again, which is something I don’t want to do the experience again.
So it’s clear to say that the cons outweigh the pons at the moment, but this could all change at some point – which would be totally OK. Honestly, I’m a bit scared about the idea of changing my mind and possibly starting testosterone – but it’s mostly because I don’t know if it would be the right choice for me. But hey, I’m still exploring what the term ‘transmasculine‘ means to me, so who knows what will happen.