It seems that I have reached an odd stage in my transition. Recently, several people who are aware of my transition have told me that I look more feminine. I don’t see it. Aside from my longer hair, I still think that I look the same when I dress as a man (Admittedly, I do dress in a way that conceals some of the physical changes). However, two incidents over the past month have made me question how I perceive my progress. In both situations, strangers expressed confusion about how they should gender me. In both cases, they gendered me ambiguously and in one case switched between male and female pronouns until I spoke. Then it was all sirs and mr.’s. It isn’t perfect, but I guess it’s partway to being gendered as a woman.
The primary change these past few weeks has been continued breast development. I don’t tend to notice how much my body has changed until something happens. I typically use a sports bra to conceal my breast development, however, this hasn’t been necessary for several months due to the cold weather allowing me to wear a heavy jacket. The other day I had to wear a sports bra for the first time in a while only to find that it didn’t fit. None of them did. I had outgrown not only that sports bra but all of the bras that I own. I have gone up two cup sizes since purchasing those previous bras around 3 months ago. When comparing myself to pictures from back then the change is obvious, but somehow I had failed to notice the extent of such gradual change.
I have also experienced a couple of rarer changes. I had my height measured the other day and found out that I was two inches shorter than I was when I started HRT. I had thought that I had lost around an inch of height a few months ago, but it feels good to not only have that validated but to see that it has exceeded my own expectations.
The other odd change has been decreased shoe size. I knew that my feet could shrink on HRT, but my research indicated that it was fairly uncommon. I have seen trans women who say that they had no changes while others report massive decreases in their shoe size. I didn’t think anything of it until the other day when I realized that not one, but all of my shoes were quite loose. I seem to have gone down 1-1.5 sizes, which I am quite happy about. It was quite difficult to find women’s shoes in my previous size and this decrease in size should make it slightly easier to find shoes that fit.
On a less pleasant note, I have been experiencing some knee pain on and off for the last couple of months. I assumed that I had injured my knees while exercising, however neither rest nor time made it go away. I came to believe that it is an effect of the hormones and my HRT provider has confirmed the possibility. Apparently, the changes to the ligaments and muscles from HRT can result in joint pain. Hopefully, the joint pain should go away with more time on HRT.
I am actually quite happy to see that I am getting harder to gender from my appearance alone. I am not currently doing anything to change how people read my gender, so it is encouraging to me that HRT alone is doing so much. The effects of HRT are even more impressive than I had allowed myself to hope for. I hope that with more time and some additional effort on my part, I may be able to move from being difficult to gender to being read as female.