I crossed 14 months of hormone replacement therapy last week and it has prompted me to look back at my transition so far. I am amazed by just how much being on HRT has improved my life. Physically, the changes have been impressive. I have been looking at pictures from the beginning of my transition and I look like a completely different person. Mentally and emotionally, the changes have been even more astounding. My mental health has improved dramatically since starting hormone therapy, especially in recent months. The effects of hormone replacement therapy and transitioning have been incredibly impactful.
The most evident changes, at least to an outside observer, are the physical changes. The most obvious changes are breast development and fat redistribution. Both of these effects of HRT have been incredibly impactful and it often amazes me that I have come so far in only 14 months. I have gone from having no breasts to having 34D and they are still growing. The changes to my hips have been similarly amazing. I have gone from measuring 33 inches around at the hips to almost 37 inches around. I have had to replace much of my wardrobe due to these two changes. Since starting hormone therapy, my figure has become much more feminine due to breast development and fat redistribution.
While breast development and fat redistribution are the most evident physical changes, there have been several less noticeable changes. I have gotten shorter by two inches since starting hormones, going from 5’6 to just under 5’4. My shoe size has also decreased, going from a women’s size 11 to a size 9. A more recent change is to my face. Over the last 2 months, my face has gotten rounder, mostly around the cheeks. This has made my face much less angular and given my face a less masculine appearance.
While the physical changes are awesome, it is the emotional and mental changes that are the most personally impactful. Being on HRT has drastically reduced my gender dysphoria and has made it much easier to just live. Gender dysphoria used to be a constant burden that made everything more difficult and stressful. Not having to deal with this constant emotional weight is fantastic. I still have bouts of gender dysphoria and they suck, but it is nothing compared to what I used to deal with.
Another substantial emotional change since being on hormones is the ability to feel happy. I never knew what being happy felt like until I was on HRT. I never felt happy or joy before transitioning, I was just coasting on emotional autopilot. I was numb. This makes the happiness that I now experience daily all the more astounding. Small things like a favorite song or a good meal bring me more happiness than anything I can remember pre-transition. HRT has allowed me to truly feel emotions and happiness for the first time that I can truly remember.
A smaller, but interesting, change is an inability to deal with violent media. I was never very comfortable with realistic violence or gore in games or movies, but transitioning has made this discomfort much more severe. I am now incredibly repulsed by violent media, often to the point of nausea. I can’t handle the sight of blood anymore either, especially my own. This change hasn’t had a massive impact on my life but is something that I find very interesting.
When I started hormone replacement therapy, part of my reasoning was that I could always stop early if I didn’t like the effects. Looking back from 14 months on, it is clear to me that starting my transition was unequivocally the right decision. I am happier, healthier, and just generally more satisfied with my life than I ever was before transitioning. Even with the struggles of having to remain closeted, my mental health is still far better than it was before transitioning. I believe that starting hormone replacement therapy and my transition was one of the best decisions I have ever made.