Food, eating, self regulation
One thing that seems to have happened with HRT is that my sweet tooth calmed down to something reasonable. Not gone, just... Proportionate.
Used to be there was no limit to my craving for sweets and nothing in me telling me I've had enough. I have a new capacity for moderating my sugar intake, and I'm just like "huh, no, I'm good."
In fact, this seems to be true of food, generally.
Almost like my endocrine system is working the way it's supposed to, for a change.
Here's the thing about progesterone: it didn't just give me a libido, it fundamentally transformed my experience of arousal. Arousal is now an overwhelming, whole body phenomenon.
If you try to tell me that my new, consistent experience of being physically overcome by sexual longing so powerful that makes it difficult to walk or think is a placebo, and not a physiological consequence of the hormone, I'm going to find it hard to take you seriously about anything HRT related.
So yeah, now I have the uncertainty and stresses of being a late-transitioning trans person, but they are distinct and understood and manageable.
In contrast, the inchoate, chronic stress of performing a gender that gave me social dysphoria *wasn't* easier, even despite being known and familiar. It added up year after year, and got harder to cope with, not easier.
In fact, I was coping all the time, and that wasn't living.
Thinking about how ten years ago I had somewhat of a detailed thought process about how if I was 15 years younger I might have transitioned—but at that point my choice was sealed and it was "easier" to stay a straight cis guy and "play the hand I was dealt."
Only to realize, after another decade of anxiety and uncrecognized effects of gender incongruity, how wrong I was.
The voice that suggests it's "easier" to be cis passing is ignoring all the consequences of accumulated gender incongruity.
It is a little peculiar that the major "negative" side effects of HRT, i.e.:
• lower libido
• loss of muscle mass/strength
• reduced physical stamina
besides their other problems, seem to presume a certain baseline that at least in my case was unreasonable to assume.
If you're depressed and suffering from dysphoria, relief from those things could very well result in a net improvement in any or all of those things (as they did for me).
One of the things I had to face down was a new, uncertain, and unfamiliar sexual landscape. The status quo was not great, but it was familiar. Fortunately (?) I could see that my relationship with sex couldn't get much worse, and there was a good chance it would get better.
Holy cow did it ever. And not just immeasurably better (more coherent, more fulfilling, more integrated), but it has given me a new perspective on the "familiar" stuff that vexed me my whole life.
New scarf new scarf!! Thanks @t54r4n1 you're the best
""I find trans women hot because we are anything but docile or demure. In order to survive as a trans woman, you must be, by definition, impervious, unflinching, and tenacious."
God isn't that the truth. I don't enjoy conflict, and I have spent most of my life just being as small and quiet and inconspicuous as I can. But it's clear that I don't have that luxury now. I have to be assertive and insistent on my own behalf seemingly constantly.