Trans FAQ


Are you looking advice on how to support a trans person in your life, a curious ally, just someone who wants to learn more- or even trans yourself? Well, you're in the right place to learn!

This site is still being created so much more is yet to be added- check back for more soon or suggest something you'd like to see!

The Basics


So what does transgender mean? Let's learn about gender, sex, expression and how they relate and differ- and discover trans vocabulary!

Transitioning


How many elements are there to transitioning? Socially, aesthetically, and medically are the three big groups of options! Let's check them out.

History


Trans people have been more widely visible and represented within the last decade but they have existed for much longer throughout our history.

Discrimination


The trans community has faced and continues to face hardships socially and legally just based on their gender, causing immense harm to trans youth and adults alike.

Dos And Don'ts


Navigating trans language and boundaries appropriately is an important first step to being a strong trans ally, and to set a good example.

How to Support


Ready to step up and show your support for the trans community? Here's some of the perfect ways to do your part and help out as an educated ally.

Am I Trans?


Gender identity is a unique experience for all of us, and for us alone to decide, but discovering what presentation and labels fit best can be a confusing journey.

Trans Resources


Here's some additional resources for trans people to help with various aspects of their lives and transitions.

Frequently Asked Questions


Still didn't find what you're looking for? Check through the FAQ or submit your question to get answered and added to the site.



This website serves as a collection of information all compiled by one transmasculine person to hopefully make learning more about trans people easier- and inspire new allies or even those unsure about their feelings on trans identities to educate themselves further. Because this is all compiled by one person, this will likely take quite awhile to finish, and will be rough around the edges for awhile as it is built.

I am not a medical professional, please consult a medical provider for specific and the most accurate information.

Have further questions, suggestions, or critiques? I'm open to hear them!


Last Updated 04/18/2021

Site Map


Work in progress! Come back soon!

The Basics

Transgender, cisgender, sex, intersex, gender, gender identity, nonbinary, trans man, trans woman, gender expression, gender dysphoria, gender nonconformity.


Transitioning

Gender euphoria, social transitioning, stealth, passing, aesthetically transitioning, medical transitioning, hormone replacement therapy, surgery.


Social Transitioning

Coming out, deadname, name change, gender marker change, updating documents.


Transmasculine Apparel

Binders, binding, packers, packing, STP, stand to pee.


Transmasculine Medicine

Testosterone, t, injection, patch, gel, contraceptive, how to start.


Transmasculine Surgery

WIP


Transfeminine Apparel

WIP


Transfeminine Medicine

WIP

Transfeminine Surgery

WIP


History

WPATH, Stonewall riots, Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, STAR, Transgender Day of Remembrance, trans flag, International Transgender Day of Visibility, Laverne Cox, Caitlyn Jenner.


Discrimination

transphobia, transphobic, transphobe, TERF, gender binary, cissexism, cisnormativity,


Dos And Don'ts

Pronouns, gender neutral language, they/them/theirs, s/he, misgendering, deadnaming, outing.


How to Support

WIP


Am i Trans?

WIP


Trans resources

WIP


Frequently Asked Questions

WIP

The Basics


TRANSGENDER adjective

trans·gen·der | \ tran(t)s-ˈjen-dər

: of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth

Yep! It's really just as simple as that, transgender means someone's gender is different from their assigned sex- which makes the opposite cisgender (sis·jen·dr), someone whose gender is the same as the sex they received at birth.

In the United States, an estimated 1.4 million adults are transgender.

In order to really understand what that means, let me tell you more about sex and gender!

One's sex designation is assigned at birth based on external reproductive organs or chromosomes. This can be:

♂️ Male - Assigned Male at Birth (AMAB)

♀️ Female - Assigned Female at Birth (AFAB)

But, sex isn't as simple as this. Naturally occurring biological variations bring into question the true usefulness of the labels, especially when one cannot be defined as either.

⚥ Intersex - a general term to describe someone who may not match the label male or female because of unique reproductive anatomy, hormones, or chromosomes

It is a naturally occurring variation, estimated to be as common as 1-2 out of every 100 people in America. It includes a wide variety of conditions, some noticeable at birth, some not apparent until puberty, or even ones that go completely unnoticed for most of life. Intersex people may or may not identify as transgender, it is important to ask what language each individual feels fits.

More About Intersex:

Gender is the concept that differentiates masculinity and femininity. Someone’s gender identity is how they personally perceive their gender.

Someone can feel like one of the binary genders, man or woman, but may identify with neither, making them nonbinary. The term nonbinary is an umbrella term encompassing all genders that aren't strictly binary.

Well, how does this all tie together? Let's have a look!

Someone who is assigned female at birth and identifies as a woman is a cisgender or cis woman. Someone who is assigned male at birth and identifies as a man is a cis man.

Someone who was assigned female at birth but identifies as a man makes him transgender or a trans man.

Someone who was assigned male at birth but identifies as a woman makes her a trans woman.

Someone who was assigned male or female at birth but identifies as neither can make them nonbinary, and they can use the label nonbinary or another term more specific to their experience.

Each trans person has a preference on what terminology suits them best, so it's good to ask and listen to what each individual feels fits.

trans womantrans femininetrans man
trans girltrans masculinetrans boy
nonbinaryenbygenderqueer
agenderdemiboy/girl/gendertwo-spirit
bigender polygendergenderfluid

And more!

Gender expression is how someone expresses their gender through things like appearance, behavior, and interests based on stereotypes.

Masculine gender expression can be things like confidence, aggression, tall, muscular, pants, short hair, sporty attire.

Feminine gender expression can be things like kindness, emotional, short, curvy, dresses, makeup, long hair .

If someone's gender expression is androgynous, it is an ambiguous combination of masculine and feminine traits.

People can express their gender in many different ways, not always corresponding with their gender identity- called gender nonconforming, since their gender expression doesn't conform to typical stereotypes.

Dressing like the opposite gender is known as cross-dressing, which can be a style choice, hobby, or profession. This is not the same as being transgender because cross-dressers can still identify with their birth assigned sex. Anyone can cross-dress, cis or trans!

People will sometimes argue that they believe gender should be determined by one's biological sex. This is unfair because biological sex isn't as simple as male and female, and gender stereotyping can negatively impact cis and trans people alike.

Some cis men are shorter or cannot grow facial hair. Some cis women are muscular or have small breasts. Judging someone's gender based on these factors is discriminatory, cis or trans.

Some people assume trans people transition to alter their sexuality, leaving them confused why someone would transition to still like the same gender. Sexualiy and gender identity aren't correlated, so a trans person's sexuality isn't relevant to their gender. Reducing someone's transition as a means of sexuality ignores the fact that transitioning is done to empower oneself and gain comfort, not change one's sexuality.

Trans men who love men are gay men.
Trans men who love women are straight.

Trans women who love men are straight.
Trans women who love women are lesbians.

Nonbinary people who love men are androsexual or toric.
Nonbinary people who love women are gynesexual or trixic.

Bisexuality (the attraction to more than one gender) encompasses all trans identities. Some people will also use the reclaimed term queer to express that they experience attraction that isn't heterosexual. Trans people who are only open to be with other transgender people are Trans for Trans aka T4T.

You might wonder why someone would not identify with their birth assigned sex, and there's a good reason for it! Many trans people experience gender dysphoria, a conflict between the sex they were assigned at birth and their gender identity.

Some trans people receive a gender incongruence diagnosis by a medical professional, as it may help or be required to take steps to transition. The criteria requires experiencing 2 or more of these symptoms for at least 6 months:

  • A marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and primary and/or secondary sex

  • A strong desire to be rid of one’s primary and/or secondary sex characteristics because of a marked incongruence with one’s experienced/expressed gender

  • A strong desire for the primary and/or secondary sex characteristics of the other gender

  • A strong desire to be of the other gender

  • A strong desire to be treated as the other gender

  • A strong conviction that one has the typical feelings and reactions of the other gender

These feelings are not the same as:

gender nonconformity (expressing your gender in a way contradicts traditional gender stereotypes. Someone can be gender nonconforming regardless of being cis or trans)

body dysmorphia (a mental illness where there is an obsessive focus on a believed flaw in appearance. This isn't the same as gender dysphoria, but trans people can experience both)

severe self hatred (gender dysphoria can make someone have feelings of self hatred or suicidal thoughts, but it is not required or true for everyone)

or mental illness
(being trans isn’t considered a mental illness, but gender dysphoria can cause symptoms of mental illness or worsen existing conditions symptoms)

Gender dysphoria doesn't always feel the exact same for each trans person, and dysphoria levels can fluctuate over time. Some days it isn't even noticeable, some days it's crushing, and some trans people feel little to no dysphoria after taking steps to alleviate it. It can manifest as personal or social dysphoria.

Personal dysphoria is a discomfort based on the difference of how you are versus the gender you identify as.

This can relate to your perception of yourself as a whole, or specific traits like your voice, thoughts, mannerisms, and body. It can manifest in ways like:

Moderate Severe
Some discomfort being nakedNot being able to shower, change clothes, or look in mirrors
Being self conscious of your voice/speaking patterns, doing voice training to help alter your voiceUnwilling to speak because of discomfort with voice
Wearing mostly clothes that match your genderRestricting your fashion to only clothes exactly that match your gender
Wearing prosthetics/transitional garments out as often as possiblePushing your body to its limits in order to appear more like your gender
Anticipating doing more to affirm your genderPersistently comparing yourself to others who have done more, feeling discouraged

Social dysphoria is a discomfort based on the fear of what gender other people perceive and treat you as.

This has a lot to do with social environments and obligations, relying on your surroundings and those you are coming into contact with. It can manifest in ways like:

Moderate Severe
Being nervous at or not going to events like swimming parties because of revealing clothingMinimizing leaving the house at all out of fear of being judged
Entiring the restroom while it is empy, or opting for single stall or gender neutral restrooms Not using any public restrooms at all, opting to wait until you are home
Going into changing/locker rooms with a trusted friendAvoiding changing/locker rooms entirely
Comparing your mannerisms and appearance to cis people’sNot talking to those of your birth sex to avoid association, while also fearing those of your gender due to not being cis
Being nervous in situations where your birth assigned name will be used, or your birth sex may be revealedCompletely avoiding all possible situations where your birth name and sex could come up

Sometimes dysphoria won't be an issue until it is triggered by an outside factor like being misgendered (being referred to with the wrong gendered pronouns or titles) or deadnamed (being called your name that you were assigned at birth).

Dysphoria can cause great discomfort, so it is important for trans people to alleviate it by doing things to affirm their gender through a process called transitioning.

Transitioning


Transitioning is the process of taking steps to affirm your gender in aspects of your life to alleviate the discomfort of gender dysphoria or feel more like yourself.

Not every trans person transitions the same way, the goal of transitioning is to alleviate your specific dysphoria symptoms and make you feel best, so each transition takes its own unique steps. There is no way to transition right or wrong, and a "complete" transition is different for everyone. Trying to appear exactly like a cis man or woman or completely androgynous is never a requirement, transitioning's only goal is to find harmony with oneself.

While transitioning, trans people can experience gender euphoria, a strong feeling of comfort or satisfaction with one's gender.

The process of transitioning can be very time consuming, costly, and stressful, so it isn’t an immediate option for everyone. Age, parental permission, and social environment can prevent someone from being able to safely transition.

The three ways to transition are socially, aesthetically, and medically. Some people only need parts from one or two, but some may do aspects of all three.

Socially

This is the process of coming out to those around you as trans and living as your true gender openly around other people in social settings.

  • Changing your name and pronouns that you go by

  • Getting your name and gender marker legally changed on identifying documents

  • Using facilities (bathrooms, locker rooms, changing rooms) that correspond with your gender

  • Joining teams/clubs/groups that are for your gender

  • Choosing to come out and be openly trans, or “stealth” (not openly disclosing that you are trans, done for safety to avoid transphobia and harassment)

Methods like aesthetically and medically transitioning can done to help "pass", which is appearing like cisgender people of your gender. This is sometimes a goal to help alleviate dysphoria, or to "blend in" as cisgender to avoid potential harassment. "Passing" relies heavily on gender stereotypes and outside perception, making it a very confining expectation of trans people.

Instead of saying "passing", saying cis-assuming, coined by Angelica Ross. This phrasing helps to show that the idea of "passing" is actually centered in cis assumptions, rather than trans people's appearances.

The culture of requiring trans people to "pass" to earn respect is discriminatory, since it greatly ignores that these methods of transitioning can be hard to access, or might not be what the trans person wants and feels best doing. It can also create a double-standard, if cisgender people don't have to look a certain way, then why must transgender people?

Aesthetically

This is the process of altering your outward appearance, wardrobe, and accessories to present in accordance to your gender.

  • Getting a new hairstyle and grooming body hair differently

  • Buying new clothes and accessories that affirm your gender

  • Using hygiene products that are marketed towards your gender (scents, shampoos, soaps, deodorant)

  • Working out to help change body shape

Many trans people also choose to use special made transitional apparel and prosthetics to alter their appearance. Click the buttons below to learn more!

Medically

This is the process of taking medical steps to have the physical bodily characteristics of your gender.

In order to take these steps, a gender dysphoria diagnosis from a health professional like a therapist or psychologist can be required.

  • Taking hormone blockers to prevent puberty or reduce hormones

  • Starting Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

  • Voice coaching or therapy

  • Plastic surgery

  • Gender confirming surgeries

The processes that transmasciline an transfeminine people go through in order to medically transition are very different, so click the links below to learn more.

There's no such thing as "the surgery", a common myth that there is one all encompassing procedure to fully medically transition. In actuality, there's many affirming procedures that trans people may choose from to suit their exact needs.

Hormone Blockers


precocious puberty

Social


Coming out as trans is a nerve-wracking but important hurdle to cross to begin the journey of transitioning. It's a very vulnerable time so being prepared for how others will react is important.

Before coming out, think first about yourself:

  • Are you mentally prepared for a serious or difficult conversation? Pick a day where you aren't stressed, or may have to go into a stressful situation right afterwards.

  • Prepare something to help relax afterwards, like spending time with a friend, watching a movie, going out on a walk.

  • Do you have a name chosen yet, or any name ideas? Do you know what pronouns you prefer?

  • What things do you want to do to start your transition, and how easily accessible are they?

  • How long have you felt this way, and what specific things have made you realize you are trans? Are you comfortable talking about these things?

  • What are some things those around you can do to help your transition? What things should they avoid saying and doing to respect your transition?

  • Do you know anyone who will support you if the conversation does not go well? Will you be at risk, and do you know resources to access if you need them?

Then consider who you are coming out to:

  • Do you think this person may be accepting or may have a harder time accepting you? How do they view LGBT people? Consider coming out to those who will react best first to build up a support network.

  • Is this a good time to tell them? Do they have anything stressful going on, or are they focused on other things? Pick a time where you are both ready and are able to focus.

  • How do you both communicate best? Would a conversation face to face go over better than a letter? Do they prefer phone calls over video calls? Even if you do decide to just email them, it's likely they will contact you with questions.

  • What do they know about transgender people? How much will you have to educate them on? Make sure you are able to answer questions they may have, or have resources you can direct them to.

Coming out can really come as a surprise, which can take people off guard and lead them to react defensively. To help avoid this, you can try supporting them through the conversation by saying things like:

  • "I want to share this with you because I love and trust you."

  • "Having open communication is important to me, so I don't want to hide this part of me from you."

  • "I know this is a lot to take in, but I want to do my best to help you understand."

  • "This will be a difficult journey for both of us, but we will be stronger together because of it."

  • "I want this to bring us closer, so we can better understand each other."

  • "I'm the same person you have always known, just happier and more true to myself."

If you think you can be put into risk by coming out, like homelessness, loss of financial support, mental, or physical abuse, it may be best to wait.

It's very difficult to predict how coming out will go, but preparing what you are going to say and educating yourself can help you go in with more confidence. Sometimes people will be extremely accepting, but they can also be confused or even upset. It can take time, persuasion, and education to get people to come around.

You may have known you are trans for a long time now, or you might be desperate to have everything change quickly- but social transitioning can take time. It may take people awhile to adjust to using a new name and pronouns, so be sure to correct them.

Coming out resources:

For a trans person, a name change is a very personal and affirming process to pick a name that accurately portrays who they are. Even if they had a gender neutral name, for some it is important to distance themselves from their birth gender by updating their name.

Finding a name different from your birthname (commonly called deadname, since the name is dead, or no longer in use) can be a stressful process but some important things to acknowledge are:

  • Is the name common or unique? Common names can help blend in but may not be as fitting, but unique names may attract unwanted attention. Some names are considered "stereotypically cis" or "stereotypically trans" which can have an impact.

  • How similar is the name to your old name? For some trans people, changing their previous name to be masculine or feminine can be familiar, especially if the name has important meaning, but it can lead to more frequent slip ups from others.

  • Would this name be considered androgynous? Some names are used equal in frequency by men and women, so they don't have a set connotation to any gender. This can be a desirable effect for some, but some binary trans people may not want this effect in case the name is interpreted as the wrong gender.

  • Does this name have any meaning? Do you know anyone with this name? Relative, celebrity, historical figure, fictional character, old friend? Will this cause any issues in the future because of the added meaning?

  • What nicknames can this name have? Does it have any abbreviations at all? Some nicknames can be androgynous or mocking, so think about how people might use these names. Will it bother you?

  • Is the name culturally appropriate? Make sure you know the cultural origin and importance of the name, and consider if its use is appropriate. Claiming a name from a culture that is not your own can have harmful and offensive implications, so check to see the dominant demographic use of the name.

Compiling a list of potential names and taking them on test-drives can be an important part of being confident in your choice. Practice writing the name, calling yourself it, using it as a screen name or in a video game, and try it out with people close to you to see how you feel. Getting used to a new name will be difficult at first, so don't become discouraged!

Name choosing websites:

Try out name and pronouns options to see how you feel in the Pronoun Dressing Room!

Once you are content with your choice, you can look into a legal name change. Click here & here to learn more about the requirements for legal name and gender marker change for your area. Click here for a helpful checklist of name change steps.

After changing legal documents, be sure to update everything that includes that information such as:

  • Social security card, birth certificate, driver's license, passport, voter registration, car title, and registration.

  • Resume, work, W2 forms, 401k, insurance, will, and doctor's office.

  • Checking account, checks, credit cards, property titles, deeds, trusts, mortgages, loans, billing accounts, and utilities.

  • School transcripts, clubs, store rewards programs, social media, online accounts, email, and voicemail.

Many trans students who have yet to legally change their name struggle with persistent emails and letters from colleges with their deadname- so to avoid this, when taking a standardized test, be sure not to opt in to sharing your information with colleges.

If you already have, and want to opt out, try:

  • Contacting your school administrators to make sure they aren't sharing your information with colleges

  • If you took the ACT, opt out of their contact here

  • Removing yourself from the student search here

Transmasculine
apparel


binders

These are compression undershirts that flatten the fat on the chest to appear more like pecs.

They consist of a stiff fabric panel at the front, and stretchy fabric on the shoulders and back to provide a secure hold while still being breathable.

Not all trans people are able to bind because of their health, wish to not bind due to chest size, or are not able to access safe binding materials.

Binding Tips:

Make sure to size your binder appropriately, rounding up not down if you are between sizes. Check size charts carefully and resize yourself before going to buy another.

Use a proper binder bought from a trustworthy website, and check reviews before buying one for yourself. Binders labeled "costume" or "cosplay" binders rather than marketed for trans people aren't always made to be worn for long periods of time. Rule of thumb, if it looks too cheap to be true, it unfortunately is. It should look similar to a tank top with shoulder straps, there shouldn’t be zippers, buttons, or clasps.

Never bind with unsafe materials that aren’t meant for binding. Unsafe binders, too small binders as well as ace bandages and unsafe tapes don’t allow the rib cage to expand and hold the skin in unnatural positions, harming your body that could affect top surgery results in the future. (People with top surgery often wear ace bandages immediately after operation and for a few weeks afterwards, which is medically advised by surgeons to assist healing. This is the only situation binding like this is recommended)

DON'TDO
Double up bindersTake frequent breaks any chance you can
Bind more than 8 hours dailyLayer clothing or wear baggier shirts to increase effectiveness
Machine wash your binder (unless manufacturer says it is safe)Regularly hand wash and air dry your binder every few days after use
Bind while sleeping or working outRegularly confirm you are still the same size
Keep binding if you experience pain or shortness of breathGive yourself at least one day off a week from binding

After a day of binding, be sure to stretch, cough hard a few times, and take deep breaths to readjust your lungs and check for any unusual pain.

There is no extensive research on binding, but sticking to these guidelines puts you at the least risk for potential adverse side effects. Unsafe binding can come with severe risks like rib bruising, rib fractures, and skin damage that can effect top surgery results. More information on binder safety can be found here.

The most common binder brands are:

gc2b


A trans owned and operated brand that is renowned for its breathability and comfort.

$33-$43

Underworks


A shapewear brand known for its secure bind that works well with larger chest sizes.

$17.99, $29.99

Packers

This is a prosthetic worn in the underwear to create a bulge to mimic a flaccid penis.

There are many variations of packers based on shape, size, and material for the desired effect and comfort.

Packers are not meant or made to be used as a sex device, just as a cosmetic prosthetic.

Packer Types:

Fabric Packer:

A balled up sock or a DIY crafted packer from materials around at home is good for those on a budget.

Tutorial on how to make your own

Foam Insert:

A simple foam bump that plainly provides a bulge without the realistic penis shape.

This can be good for younger trans people, those looking for a more subtle effect, or if you have sensitive skin.

TPE Packers:

Packers commonly called "soft skin" or "super skin"are made from thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), and generally fall under the $20 price range.

These packers are good on a budget, but tend to have shorter durability, and can cause irritation from prolonged contact.

Packers like this are not suggested to be worn swimming because of the porous material reacting to chlorine and holding germs.

Clean with warm water and mild soap, then let air dry. Pat down with packer powder or cornstarch to reduce moisture and sticky feeling. Do not boil.

Silicone Packers:

Packers made from silicone are durable, detailed, and easy to care for- but do fall on the higher side of the price range.

At a higher price, many come in advanced styles with painted details, adhesive, and multi-function uses.

Clean with warm water and mild soap, then let air dry. Sanitize by boiling for 3-4 minutes, or put it on the top rack of the dishwasher.

Packing Tips:

Get a packer size that suits your situation best. Consider your height and build when buying- bigger isn't always better.

If you are worried about your packer shifting during the day, especially if you plan on swimming or exercising, secure it with a packing harness or pouch of some kind such as:

STP

This is a prosthetic used to stand to pee (STP) while using the restroom.

STPs consist of a bowl for the urine to collect, and a hollow shaft to direct towards the toilet or urinal.

Some STPs can be multi-functional and work also as a packer.

STP Types:

Discreet Design:

These are ambiguous STPs that are made just to get the job done, not much more.

Advanced Design:

These are meant to mimic the look of a penis without being completely detailed.

Authentic Design:

These STPs go down to almost every detail to replicate the look of a penis.

STP Tips

Always practice at home before using your STP in a restroom. Try in your shower, then at your home toilet in your underwear, then at your home toilet with your pants on.

Transmasculine
Medicine


I am not a medical professional, consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Hormone Replacement Therapy for transmasculine people consists of taking Testosterone, often shortened to "T" to achieve masculinizing effects and minimize feminine characteristics. This triggers a literal second puberty, bringing forth physical and sometimes emotional changes, similar to that of a cis man.

Testosterone comes most commonly in the form of injections, gels, and patches- injections tending to be the most widely used option due to affordability. Some people may change methods over time to suit their needs best.

TypeDescriptionPros & Cons
InjectionTypically a weekly or bi-weekly injection subcutaneously (into fat) or intramuscularly (into deep muscle) at either the thigh, stomach, or buttocks.Fast acting, tending to show changes faster than other methods, safe to swim after with no worry of transferring to others. Low points before next shot can cause irritability, hot flashes, and lethargy.
PatchA daily patch applied typically to either the back, abdomen, thighs, or upper arms.Offers a consistent hormone levels. Comparatively very expensive, adhesive can cause skin irritation, may fall off, must be covered while swimming.
Gel A daily gel typically applied to shoulders or upper arm.Offers consistent hormone levels. Comparatively very expensive, skin-to-skin contact can transfer this to others, needs to wait 2-6 hours before swimming or showering.

There is also an implant option, typically is inserted subcutaneously around the hip, inserted every 3-6 months. Oral testosterone isn't generally used because of negative risk for the liver and lipids.

Testosterone therapy is a continuous lifelong treatment. Though some methods are more gradual, all will eventually result in the same changes.

Physical EffectChanges beginFully developed
Skin oiliness/acne1-6 months1-2 years
Body fat redistribution▴▴3-6 months1-5 years
Increased muscle mass/strength6-12 months2-5 years
End of menstrual cycle 2-6 months-
Vaginal atrophy 3-6 months1-2 years
Facial/body hair growth▴3-6 months3-5 years
Deepened voice▴3-12 months1-2 years
Clitoral enlargement▴2-6 months1-2 years
Scalp hair loss▴variable-
Infertility▴variable-

▴▴ reversibility varies
▴ irreversible

Mental changes like quicker irritability, depressive mood swings, increased anxiety and heightened libido can also happen, so therapy is generally recommended to ease into the changes. Things like pain, temperature, and orgasms can feel different. You will also sweat more and smell different, hot flashes being a possibility. It is not likely that T can change bone structure, but subtle changes have been noticed in some.

These changes can vary based on dosage and can be slight or strong, there's no way to tell exactly what changes to expect, and will take years to fully see. Sometimes looking at cis men biologically related to you can give you an idea of what changes you might see based on family genes. Changes cannot be picked and chosen, all of the possible changes have the potential to happen, but the extent varies from person to person.

There are common starting doses, but not everyone starts at the same dose or dose frequency based on their needs. Taking a higher dose than prescribed does not guarantee more results- it can actually increase estrogen levels, cause serious complications, or even forfeit your prescription. Testosterone is considered a controlled substance because of athletic misuse, possession without a valid prescription can result in fines and jail time. Never alter your dose without consulting your doctor.

Though it causes decreased fertility, testosterone alone is not an effective contraceptive.

(Options like condoms, copper IUDs, and Progestin-only birth control like the implant, hormonal IUD, shot, and some pills can prevent pregnancy while not interfering with HRT)

Trans people who may wish to get pregnant in the future can freeze eggs, utilize in vitro fertilization, or surrogacy. In order to carry a pregnancy, testosterone therapy must be stopped.

Overall, testosterone therapy is considered to be safe and beneficial to transgender patients. Research on long-term health effects for transitional use is lacking, so not all risks are fully understood. Some that are currently known are:

  • Potential increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, especially in those who smoke, are overweight, or have a family history of heart disease.

  • If the dose is too high, the blood can become too thick, elevating risk of stroke, heart attack or other conditions.

  • Those with autoimmune conditions and migraines could be impacted by the change in hormone levels, so discuss risk with your doctor.

  • HRT has been shown to have a positive mental health impact, but those with mental health conditions are recommended to consult mental health providers.

There isn't a clear link to increased cancer risk, but transgender patients are still recommended to receive appropriate screenings.

Doing regular bloodwork, taking the recommended dose, discussing you and your family's medical history, regularly attending check-ups, as well as following any lifestyle advice your doctor suggests helps to make HRT safe as possible.

Further reading:

How Do I Start T?

Find a doctor:

Since transgender hormone therapy works differently than hormone therapy for cisgender patients, it's important you find an informed provider. Many licensed health professionals can prescribe hormones, especially endocrinologists (clinicians specially trained in hormones), but make sure they understand transitional care. You can ask your primary care doctor or local LGBT groups for recommendations or search for some here:



There is also the online subscription transitional program Plume for $99/mo.

Know the requirements:

Some clinics will require you to have diagnosed gender dysphoria from a licensed mental health professional, or even require a referral letter to schedule an appointment or start treatment. Many letters and clinics follow WPATH guidelines such as requiring:

  • Persistent, well-documented gender dysphoria

  • Capacity to make a fully informed decision and to consent for treatment

  • Age of medical consent, or if a minor, consent is given by the patient and caretakers (sometimes biological parents) who are willing to support the transition

  • If significant medical or mental health concerns are present, they must be reasonably well controlled

Be sure to ask up front about what steps are expected of you, especially for those who cannot access a mental health provider to get a prior diagnosis or referral. In that case, finding a clinic that accepts informed consent (agreeing to the risks and benefits through a signed contract) may be the best option for you.

Schedule your appointment:

Before your appointment, you may need to get blood work done for the doctor to go over with you. They will want to go over you and your biological family's medical history, especially any instances of cancer, cardiovascular issues, or liver disease and want to know if you smoke or drink.

Your doctor will likely ask you what you know about the changes testosterone will cause to ensure you know what you are agreeing to. They will also ask about your transition, some questions may be uncomfortable or personal but it will help give them a better understanding of what you are looking for in HRT. Some questions might be:

  • When did you realize you were trans?

  • How long have you been openly presenting as your gender?

  • What parts of your body cause you the most dysphoria?

  • Do you want to be a parent in the future?

  • How might transitioning affect your social life?

  • Do you have a support network?

  • What changes do you want the most from testosterone?

  • What changes are you worried about?

Generally, you will not start hormones on your first appointment so your doctor is able to assess your current health beforehand. Once your doctor is satisfied with your overall health and you fulfill all of their requirements, you should receive your prescription.

TESTOSTERONE TIPS

Work in progress! Come back soon!

bloodwork, low dose, how to read syringe, syringe accounts for t that is wasted at the top, troubleshooting, how to dispose of sharps, bleeding and leakage normal, contact doctor if you experience severe bruising bleeding or pain

Transmasculine
Surgery


I am not a medical professional, consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Work in progress! Come back soon!

There are a series of gender conformation procedures that a transmasculine person can undergo to surgically masculinize the body. These procedures typically take extensive amounts of time to get because of medical requirements, submitting claims to insurance, and raising money to fund the procedure.

Top surgery (double mastectomy)

https://www.topsurgery.net/procedures/
https://www.uclahealth.org/gender-health/bottom-surgery
https://www.plasticsurgery.org/reconstructive-procedures/gender-confirmation-surgeries

Transfeminine
apparel


Tucking

This is the process of minimizing the contour of genitalia to offer a flat look by holding everything back by tucking.

Tucking can be done by using either medical grade tape, a gaff, a special kind of thick compression underwear made for tucking, or a combination of both.

Not all trans people tuck because of their health, do not feel the need to, or are not able to access safe tucking materials.

How to Tuck:

Start by having your supplies ready, and the underwear you want to use ready to be pulled up once your tuck is in place. Shaving the area 1 to 2 days before you plan on tucking with tape is important to prevent pain when untucking. Using a small cotton square or tissue to wrap your genitals can prevent chafing, touching the adhesive on tape, and contact with the anus. Practice tucking first at home to make sure the tuck is comfortable and secure.

DON'T DO
Drink less water to avoid bathroom tripsUse the restroom before tucking and have backup tuck plans
Keep tucking if you experience pain or discomfort, or for over 8 hours daily Take days off, breaks, or tuck loosely while wearing loose clothing (skirts, dresses, baggy pants)
Tuck too tightly with too many tight layers causing painWear an additional gaff or pair of snug fitting underwear over your tuck
Rush or force anything in a painful way to complete your tuckTry taking breaks having a cool bath or shower and carefully pushing everything in place
Forcefully remove tape that is securely stuckGently loosen adhesive with warm water or medical adhesive remover

After a day of tucking, be sure to thoroughly wash the area after undoing your tuck. Regularly using antifungal powder or cream around the area can help to prevent infections and odors.

Tucking is considered to be beneficial for trans individuals, but it can pose some risks if done incorrectly. There is a potential risk of decreased fertility, pain, torsion, skin irritation, urinary tract infection, superficial fungal infection, and dehydration, many of which can be avoided by following tucking guidelines. More Information about tucking safety can be found here.

Tape

Using medical grade tape will give a tight and secure tuck, but it is also difficult to undo and re-tuck when using the restroom. This makes using tape a better method for special occasions, rather than consistent daily use.

Using medical tape or tape specifically made for tucking is important, as other tapes not intended for skin use can cause excessive irritation or skin damage.

The brand Unclockable makes tucking tape specifically marketed towards trans people. Searching for athletic, sports, surgical, or medical tape at your local store or pharmacy can also provide other options.

Gaff

A gaff will be more breathable and functional when using the restroom, but may not provide as flat and secure results as tape. This makes wearing a gaff most practical for daily casual wear.

Commercial gaffs can be costly, so tight spandex underwear like shapewear can be a cheaper alternative, as well as homemade options.

Some popular gaff brands are: LeoLines, En Femme, Origami Customs

Further reading:

Breast Forms