Week 157 – Three years of HRT


While three years of continuous HRT have just passed, setting a hormonaversary date isn’t so easy for me. My first hormone course was May 2011 through December 2011. It included two brief breaks; one was for a medical scare and the other was to self-check if I was doing the right thing. By that December I decided I wasn’t ready to continue and paused until February 6, 2014, when I started again. And here I am.

The ‘here’ is a curious spot. It’s a milestone but not a destination. It’s easy to see how far I’ve come but harder to see where I’m going.

Gender things that looked like they had simple answers six years ago have turned out to be complex and the things that looked complex have been relatively simple. Back then, gender transition milestones looked a lot like video game experience points. Collect enough, and I’d be a woman and be happy.

Leave the house dressed for the first time, +10. Put makeup on and not have it look like total shit, +15. Get ma’amed, +20. Start electrolysis, +25. Start hormones, +50. Grow tits and an ass, +150. Grow hair out, +75. Part-time transition, +250. Full-time transition, +500. Legal name change, +200. Gender marker changed on identification, +350. Facial feminization surgery, +1,000. GCS/SRS, +5,000. Plus a zillion bonus multipliers like getting hit on, a bra fitting, skirts, dresses, ears pierced, and so on and so forth. More woman with each goal level achieved!

But it really didn’t work that way. With each new milestone came a growing awareness I wasn’t so much building myself to be seen as a woman in other people’s eyes but stripping the man off of me, layer by layer to reveal the me that’d been hidden from view the whole time. My thinking shifted from an externally validated, ‘I need x, y, and Z to be seen as a woman by others,’ to an internally validating, ‘What do I need to do in order to bring the woman I see in the mirror into comfortable focus?’

This shift was gradual, and I didn’t really notice my perspective had changed until a few months ago. Like when most of my beard was gone and the realization of how much having facial hair had been driving my gender dysphoria, having most of the guy gone has made me realize how much woman I am, if that makes any sense.

And long-term happiness? I’m still working on that. I am massively happier than I was before transition. To be free of a large chunk of my gender dysphoria has brought a great happiness to me. To be in the final phases of dismantling the last, larger vestiges of it is a great relief. It shrinks them to size in my self-revelation process versus being separate, outsized goals with huge emotional freight attached in a vain attempt to create something that was already there.


About cistotrans

A Seattle-area trans woman seeking a happy spot to stay at along the path of transition.
This entry was posted in coming out, gender transition, HRT, observations, personal history, self-acceptance, transgender, transition and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Week 157 – Three years of HRT

  1. Izabela says:

    That’s an interesting thought about the idea of stripping the man away. Right now I’m in the double life twilight zone area and have to spend much of time in the man shell. In some ways it brings me great joy when I get dressed up and do a decent job with the makeup, but then great sadness when I have to remove that and eventually slip back into the guy shell.

    A result of that is that sometimes I find myself feeling very frazzled and angry some, at myself, at the world, at the little miseries and insults that life tends to inflict on anyone and everyone. That’s kind of scary some and sometimes I almost fear that the guy shell might go off some in a bad way towards others. I’m so tired of feeling like that my life has been all about presenting a façade and I want to get to where I fully transition full-time.

    Gotta have patience. But it helps to keep me on course to read the experiences of others so thank you for the records you have put online for us to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cistotrans says:

      I’m still working through internalizing that I was never really a guy, but someone who lived as a guy. I remember that phase of having to shell yourself up again – it got pretty bad some days. 😦

      Best wishes moving towards what you need to be yourself! I’m glad to hear that you get something out of reading my blog. Thank you! 🙂


  2. I think the greatest step for me came at the one year mark. I stopped thinking about passing and moved to just being. I am a very large woman. I have a low voice. These things grated on me. Yet, in looking around, I noted I was not alone. I noted many ciswomen who were about the same size and build. I noted many who had that lower voice range, Angie Harmon, Susan St. James, and Bea Arthur to name a few. I stopped worrying about passing and just be. Seems to be working as I get ma’amed all the time. It is nice going to a restaurant with my wife and getting, what would you ladies like? I went to First Event this year and presented a workshop where I shared these insights with others. I had people coming up to me days later to tell me how it has inspired them. I can only hope it brings them strength, just as following your journey has helped me on mine. I am at 15 months HRT. Still have to wear forms, but growing. I was told it would take two years for most of the changes to take place. I am giving it the time before going to any surgery or augmentation. Now if I can just get the belly to become hips and boobs. LOL. I wish you the best on your journey. Thank you for sharing.
    Lady Emma

    Liked by 2 people

    • cistotrans says:

      I’m coming up on one year in April. Due to my extended part-time life, by the time I transitioned, I only had a couple of months where I worried and now I’m like, ‘pssht!’ 🙂

      I’m so glad to hear that you could share your experiences with others and that my blog has helped you in some way. We really do have to help each other – I don’t think it’s possible to transition without the support of our trans sisters.

      Best, H

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I too hid behind a beard though it must have looked strange on a long haired femininely dressed guy. I thought that getting rid of the beard would relieve the dysphoria and to some extent it did though it also opened up the possibility of completely removing the dysphoria…

    Liked by 1 person

    • cistotrans says:

      When I had long hair, a beard, and dressed femininely in the late 90’s/early 00’s, people thought I was in a band. lol

      Ditching the beard is very much the gateway drug to transition, imo. Once I was able to get away with not shaving much/using only light coverup, I was itching to transition, though I knew I was already on that path.

      Thanks for stopping by and reading! -H


  4. Connie Dee Ingalls says:

    It was also my realization that “unlearning” the male behavior was much more effective than trying to affect the character of a woman. Transition, for me, was necessary when I could no longer portray myself as male after I had let go of enough of the behaviors that had allowed me to be a convincing man (both to myself and to others).

    BTW, vain attempts are in order when one is too vain. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beth says:

    I really needed to read this. “Stripping the man off me, layer by layer” captures it perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

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