“Tes-tos-ter-one” noun: a steroid hormone that stimulates development of male secondary sexual characteristics, produced mainly in the testes, but also in the ovaries and adrenal cortex.
MY definition of “T” (that’s what it’s called in the trans world): OMG! My daughter is going to look like a boy, right quick, another change that I MUST watch and accept.
Well, before Kam made his decision to have top surgery, he made the decision to begin “T,” or hormone replacement therapy. The first time we discussed this, I wanted to die. Immediately my thoughts raced. I knew that the way I physically saw my daughter was going to change forever!! My emotions took over and I cried for days.
Let me backup just a bit. Kam had to do many things before starting “T.” His psychologist asked him to do some research about “T.” He was asked to make sure that he knew what the side effects might be. There was a packet of information Kam studied. He was asked multiple questions to make sure he understood what would be happening, and Kam answered every question with ease and understanding. “T” was something he really wanted. It wasn’t easy for him to wait as long as did to begin. We needed to be positive that he understood what would happen to him and that he’d have to give himself a shot a few times per month for the REST OF HIS LIFE. This coming from a kid who thought having a bloody nose would kill him.
We met the endocrinologist, asked our questions and left the room for Kam to have his consult. There are a few different vehicles for administering “T.” Kam gives himself a shot, subcutaneously (directly under the skin, into fat) every 10 days. There are many side effects a person can have while doing HRT (hormone replacement therapy). I won’t go all medical on you. I will share my opinion and my experience.
Now that it has been about two years that Kam has been on “T,” I do see that he really needed it to be perceived as a male by others. Without it, he could not be who he was meant to be and see what he thought he should see in the mirror. I had to sit by and watch my child change from looking like a female to looking every bit as a male. I wanted to make sure that I saw him every day so that too much time would not go by and then I’d see him and see a dramatic change.
The first part (although we didn’t know it at the time) was when he shaved his hair off in high school, at age 17. He had beautiful long curly hair. When pulled up or back it was still gorgeous. I cried when it all came off but was also very proud of him for donating and shaving it all off. That takes a lot of courage, especially at that age. I figured it would just grow back. Truth is, he didn’t want it anymore. So he kept it very short since then. I got used to it. After his first few shots of “T” there were changes right away. I noticed his body morphing into a different-looking physique. He almost immediately had more body hair. Acne was prevalent. He never had it before. Then his voice began changing. It was getting lower. I was watching my child go into another round of puberty. I was scared for him. My thoughts were all over the place, all the “what ifs” were swirling around. What if people would stop talking to him because they were uncomfortable? What if his friends didn’t want to be around him?
What would family and friends think or say? I mean, when you are not around a person going through a transition, it is very difficult for people to see them after time has passed. Maybe at that time I was embarrassed because I didn’t quite understand why this had to happen. What would I say to people who didn’t know he was transitioning? How do I explain? Did I have to explain? Would people talk behind my back? What if he couldn’t get a job? What if people made fun of him? Would he ever find true love? What if he didn’t like the way he looked after being on “t” for so long? What if I didn’t recognize my child of 19 years? These thoughts stayed with me until I saw for myself how happy it made him and how very handsome he had become. I had a very difficult time seeing him present as him, but having pictures of “her” around the house. Slowly I began to update most (not all) of the pictures around the house. I felt like it helped me along with the changes. I had a pit in my stomach each time I changed a photo. Photos are precious and always tied to a memory. Of course those pictures are kept in a place where if or when I choose to look at them I can. I have yet to do it and maybe I won’t ever do it. But they are there if I want to. He has hair head to toe. I can’t believe how much hair he has! He grew a beard! He loves taking care of it too. He buys product for it. He loves manicuring it, and I love that he loves it so much. He never really liked the grooming that most girls like. As a male, he loves it all, the hair, the clothes, the shoes, and the shopping. When he was growing up I can remember he always felt like he never had a “style” to what he wore or looked like. Now he feels confident with how he looks like and how he dresses.
I think for the most part, “T” has treated Kam well. I may be biased but I think he looks great. And I love his beard. I still have thoughts as to what is “T” really doing to his body that I don’t know about. I try not to worry about things that might never happen, but I know taking “T” will have an impact on him having children of his own. Sometimes I wish he would have harvested eggs but that is his decision.
There are so many ways people can get “T.” I am thankful that Kam is taking his transition one step at time. I won’t know what “she” would like in “her” twenties, thirties etc. I do know that he is handsome, happy and whole. That makes me happy.

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