Tips for young trans boys going on HRT [From two dudes already going through it]
Ok so since not everyone is actually fortunate enough to go through an actual Gender Service, I’m going to write some Will and Probably Won’t things that come with going on T. For ref, I’ve been on T a year and my bf has been on for two. Let’s start;
You’ll wake up one day and sound like Morgan Freeman.
Going on T will deepen your voice.
For some people it may happen quite suddenly, for others gradually. Most likely you’ll sound like you have a bad cold for a while and then it’ll even out and be different. If you like to sing, be aware of voice cracks and suddenly being unable to sing as high as you used to. Some guys get lucky and still retain singing prowess, but be aware there’s a high chance you won’t.
Each person’s vocal change is different. My voice cracked literally after the first injection, whilst my bf had to wait a while for changes. Don’t be worried if it appears your voice isn’t changing and be aware it may not go incredibly deep. It will probably be more noticeable to others than you and eventually it’ll feel like your normal voice. Your pets will recognise your voice, they will always come to know you.
Face shape will change drastically to become more masculine.
After a while on T, you may experience some change in face and body shape.
A lot of trans boys I know seem to believe they’ll wake up one day and just have the perfect masc face. Everyone is different, I can’t stress this enough. You may experience a huge change in the face, you may experience almost nothing. My bf always had a very round ‘moon’ face and his cheeks have started to slim down but his facial shape is more or less the same. As for myself I’ve not noticed anything too considerable yet.
The same goes for the broadening of the shoulders. If you’re very slender to begin with, you’re probably never going to be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but you might experience some changes. Again, don’t be disheartened, everyone is different.
The fat in your breasts will break down from going on T and make you look a lot more flat, if your chest is small you may not even have to wear a binder.
If you have A cups, then maybe the breakdown that happens with T will mean you don’t have to bind. However, the breakdown from T alone is very small unless you’re on it for years. Also be aware that a lot of the fat in your body in general is going to start focusing on your stomach. It’ll become easier to gain muscle once on T, but if you don’t exercise, the weight you lose from other areas will go to your stomach. But also, muscle weighs more than fat, remember that. You may drop clothing sizes, which can be a pain if you’re already quite small and have trouble finding masc clothes to fit you, trust me I know.
Also a note on binders: Do not use bandages or cheap binders. Do not. Binders can cause damage after prolonged use when you’re using a proper binder nevermind anything else. Bandages are made to contract and not let in moisture, they are not good for being tight around the chest! Cheap binders are also usually not breathable and will hurt more than they should! It could cost a lot, but forking out for a proper binder from places like lesloveboat is really going to be worth it. There is the sports bra method if you can’t get a binder because you’re not Out yet and couldn’t justify getting a binder to your parents etc but even then it’s not as safe as a proper binder.
Any binder shouldn’t be worn for longer than recommended, and will most likely rub especially when the T starts to make you sweat more. There’s also going to be an increase in acne on the chest around where the binder fits. If your chest ever really starts to hurt, find somewhere to take the binder off. I don’t care where you are, if you’re getting huge chest pains, take the damn thing off. If you damage yourself the chance of being able to get surgery reduces drastically, not to mention a whole lot of health problems you don’t want to deal with. It’s harsh, but it’s a lot better for you. Get a binder in the next size up and try again.
My periods will stop immediately and I’ll never have them again.
Eventually your periods will stop, though you may spot occasionally whilst you still have the necessary organs.
Though everyone is different, don’t be disheartened if you still have a period or two after starting T, you’ll stop eventually. You could also go a while without a period and then spot before stopping again. If the spotting continues for a while, or if you start to experience severe cramping, go and see a doctor.
I’m going to get angry and aggressive a lot when on T!
Your emotions will be doing a whole lot of different things. Your may get angry, and you may also find your sex drive increases. You might also get upset more often or at things that never upset you before, or aren’t necessarily sad. I cried listening to that Chick Chick song, it’s ridiculous. It won’t last forever, be patient with yourself, there’s nothing wrong with you it’s basically just puberty (again).
Last things -
Hair growth all depends on the person, the face being the last place that will probably grow hair and even then you’ll probably only have a tiny fluff for a long time, unless you’re lucky. My bf is experiencing hair in places now that I started growing extremely quickly right away. It could be to do with my having dark hair and him being a redhead tbh. But you will grow hair, all over. All over. Be prepared for that. You will get hair in places you never had much if any hair before. I have hair on my chest now. Not a whole lot but it’s there. The stomach is another hotspot for hair growth on T.
You will get acne, you will start to stink, sweat more and you may get growing pains. Look up Male Puberty, seriously, it’ll give you a good idea of some of the stuff that will start happening to you. Until your hormones calm down, your acne will not ultimately improve even with skincare. If you’re under 21, you might grow a little and the pains will be considerable. I gained like maybe an inch so I’m still short af but that’s something.
Your clit will start to get bigger. I know talking about the female genitalia we have is a big dysphoria bomb for a lot of us, but you need to read this. Your clit will get bigger, maybe considerably, maybe so much that the lips won’t hide it any more (if they ever did). It will rub against your underwear and/or your packer. For me it’s just mildly irritating, though for my bf it actually hurts (stings) him. It will be really sensitive either way. Be aware of that.
Some people you don’t see every day or aren’t very close to may not recognise you when considerable changes occur. Use this to your advantage! Reintroduce yourself!
If you self-inject, be prepared to mess up. There will be pain, swelling and bruising. If you have a nurse to inject you (like we do) there’s a change that they too might occasionally catch a nerve and you may bruise. Do not inject directly into a vein.
It’s perfectly fine to cry because of growing pains, pain from rubbing etc. You can be a man and still cry and complain but at least be aware of what to expect.
Most changes will be so gradual that you’ll never look in the mirror and see a stranger, it’ll be like this was always the way you were.
If you do however, start to become really distressed by the changes or start to see nothing but a stranger in the mirror, please reconsider whether HRT is the right thing for you. The last thing you want is to be stuck with changes that are actually distressing you. It’s ok if you thought you wanted/needed this but then realised you didn’t/don’t.
Last (gosh this was long). Every guy is different. Some changes come fast, some don’t. Some may be huge changes and some only small. Don’t compare yourself to other trans guys especially your own friends/loved ones. Every guy is different, be proud of your changes as they come and don’t let anyone bring you down just because those changes aren’t ~*significant*~ to them.