Trans Field Guide
Trans Man's Transition Timeline
Updated: Aug 5, 2019
(originally aired on 1/19/19)
So you're thinking about transitioning and you don't know what to do or what to expect or maybe you know someone who is transitioning and you want to understand what they're going through will today's episode is going to get your nice groundwork to start with welcome to the Trans Field Guide
First let me preface this episode with the disclaimer that today we're focusing on the trans masculine experience for medical transition. Next week's episode is going to focus on the trans-feminine side and we will be doing episodes later focusing on the more non-medical aspects. I will also be using medical terminology for private body part so discretion is advised if any of those terms are triggering or make you uncomfortable. Also I am not a medical professional and therefore I am not qualified to give you medical advice. Always turn to a trusted professional in the field when you can. Each step on the checklist will be covered in more depth in later episodes but if you have any specific questions you can send them to us at Transfieldguide@gmail.com.
So let's jump into it. The first thing that you're going to want to do is talk to a psychological professional. This person will be your lifeline on your journey for a wide variety of reasons: you will need letters from them in order to get hormones and surgery etc, and they can help you work through the emotional soup that comes along with transitioning. The American Psychological Association has a great locator on their page go to locator.Apa.org to take advantage of that resource.
Once you have your brain doc you're going to want a hormone doc. There are clinics that specialize in hormone replacement therapy for Trans people as well as endocrinologist. However, if you find the right person, you can get your hormones from a general practitioner as well. I personally am going that route, and from my experience has been very convenient to have one doctor that knows all the things that are happening in my body, so that if I go in with a question not directly related to the transition he knows to check how it may affect or be affected by the testosterone that I'm on. Your doctor will talk with you about your options for getting the hormones, which for Trans guys usually means either a gel, a syringe, or an implant.
The hormones will cause a lot of changes to your body. Some things are growing other things are shrinking, and there are reasons why they call it the second puberty. One thing that your doctor may recommend is regular blood donation, as testosterone therapy can cause some people to have higher red blood cell count, and too many of those little guys can have negative side effects. At some point during all of this you will likely want to consider getting a legal name and/or gender marker change. This process will be kind of time-consuming but will make you feel so validated once it's done. You may also consider exercising in the form of body sculpting to help the testosterone along in making you have a more masculine appearance. You can actually start this before starting the hormones, but the testosterone will potentially speed things along. Make sure to check with a physician before starting any new exercise plan. We don't want you to get hurt.
After a year or so you may decide that you want to have surgeries. There are two common categories: top surgery and bottom surgery. Top surgery is a mastectomy, or the removal of the breast tissue. Bottom surgery can be a phalloplasty, metoidioplasty (meta) surgery, any form of hysterectomy, and or vaginectomy. There is also a third category of surgery that you may end up considering, and that is facial masculinization. During the whole process make sure to have a good network of support around you. This can be in the form of friends and or family that you trust, but it can also be in the form of local and/or online support groups. In the end, you may decide not to follow all of these check-boxes, and that's okay. This is your journey, I'm just here to give you advice. However, I do recommend at least getting a good mental health and physical health professional, since this will not be a walk in the park, and these professionals will be looking out for your well-being. So did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments, on Facebook, or send an email to Transfieldguide@gmail.com. Please remember to subscribe to keep up-to-date on new episodes. Check out our resources page on transfieldguide.com. Stay safe, and know that I am proud of you.