When I look back over the past year, it’s almost hard to believe it’s been a year already, but so much has happened and changed that it really does feel like a lifetime. It also took me almost a year after accepting transition before I started hormones so, when it finally happened, it felt like a long time coming.
The changes have been unbelievable. I’ve seen my face develop softer features and more prominent cheekbones. I’ve seen new growth along my hairline. I still hate my hairline, but it’s better than it was. I’ve also noticed my hair strands are slightly thicker. My body hair growth has slowed and almost entirely stopped on my back. I never had oily skin, but it’s definitely even drier than it used to be and I no longer get even the occasional pimple anymore. Obviously, I’ve got boobs now, but they haven’t grown nearly as much as I hoped they would have. They’re still barely there. Though, I have developed a slight bit of a waist. It’s not huge since bone structure doesn’t change, but you can tell it’s there. And finally, one of the most noticeable physical changes has been the reduction in strength and how much of a slower runner I am now.
Taken together, it’s pretty impressive. I look in the mirror now and see the woman I always felt I should see staring back at me. On good days, I even feel pretty.
Most importantly, though, have been the mental changes. Where I used to just feel “off,” like an engine running on the wrong type of fuel, I feel “right” now. My head feels much clearer and 95% of my dysphoria is gone. I feel how I always thought I was supposed to, how everyone else feels.
There have also been a lot of other random changes that I didn’t expect. I started liking most of the foods I used to hate and I fall asleep quicker at night. I’d never heard of either of these things happening before, but I’m not complaining!
The only real negative aspect of HRT I’ve experienced has been my weight. I’m really struggling to keep under control. At first, I lost about five pounds and was nice and steady there. After five months of taking estradiol as a cream I decided to switch to injection. Since making that change, I’ve gained those five pounds back, plus another four. I try to keep better tabs on how much I eat, but it never seems to be enough. It’s a constant worry.
Overall, I don’t think there’s much else to say that I haven’t said already. Transition is a life-changer and hormones are no joke. Next month will be six months live as Me 2.0 (full time out as Amelia), I’ll have more to say specifically about that then. I just felt like this was an occasion I should mark in some way.
I’ve don’t think I’ve given an update on my overall cost of transition in a while, so here’s where it currently stands after 22.5 months since accepting it…
- Hormones: $2,208.73. This includes all my hormones, labs, and doctor’s visits. My doctor simply charges $400/year to cover everything you do though them. My payment for my second year is included in this amount. My Spironolactone (testosterone blocker), Avodart (Dutasteride), and progesterone cost $60/month and my estradiol and syringes cost about $50 for three months.
- Clothes: $3,095.89. This is my entire wardrobe including running clothes and shoes, but not including most accessories. Things purchased with gift cards are included here, but not all gifts I’ve received are (some items my wife purchased for me are, some are not).
- Therapy: $3,083. This is 20 months of therapy at an out-of-network therapist. My last session was in January so this is not currently an ongoing expense. If my count is correct, this is for 27 sessions.
- Laser hair removal: $734 (face) + $448.25 (other). I’ve had 16 laser sessions done on my face and have probably reached the extent of what laser can do there. The rest of the money is for three sessions each on my chest and stomach.
- Freezing and storing sperm: $1535. We’re rather sure we don’t want kids, but just in case we thought it would be a good to make sure we still can. This includes the process of collecting and freezing sperm and two years of storage.
- Legal: $528.03. This is my name change, driver’s license, and new passport (which I needed to pay to be rushed).
- Other: $1,687.76. Everything else. Things like makeup, purses, and accessories, as well as all new snowboarding equipment (board, bindings, jacket, and pants) which I felt like I needed.