Many transmen who use testosterone as part of their transition often document the changes.* The truly brave ones post video clips of their before and after progress. Since Transman hates everything about his “before,” he won’t be doing that here. Don’t even ask.
Body hair–Transman had been a furry sort before testosterone, but now his legs have enough hair to double as a sub-zero insulating layer under his jeans. The light blond hair on his knuckles has darkened up and there is hair on the backs of his hands. Knuckle-dragging apehood can’t be far behind.
Transman’s body hair used to be straight, but now he has cowlicks on his forearms.
Transman is still waiting for more hair to sprout on his chest. The dozen pre-T hairs are waiting for friends so they can give the leg and arm hairs a run for their money. The happy trail has leapt north of the belly button border and spread out to east and west, so Transman is holding out hope for his own fur shirt in a couple of years.
Face shape—the other day Transman’s son reached over and jabbed two fingers into Transman’s face.
“You have a chin now,” Transman’s son said. “Your father is going to be so proud.” (Transman has an Eric Clapton chin—or he did before starting testosterone; Transman’s dad always tells him “Stick your chin out!” without acknowledging that one has to have a chin to begin with.)
Transman’s jawline is squaring up and his face looks a bit wider. Transman is fascinated by his increasing resemblance to his grandfather. All he needs is plaid pants and a white leather belt that matches his loafers and the look will be complete.
Facial hair—Transman won’t be Grizzly Adams anytime soon, but he has enough dark fuzz on his upper lip that he shaves so as not to arouse suspicion at work where he’s still in the closet.** While Transman doesn’t have 5 o’clock shadow, there is a subtle darkness to his skin where the beard will eventually come in.
Body—Transman’s biceps, shoulders, and neck are getting bigger. His suit jackets are getting tight in the arms. Transman can carry heavier loads, too, but don’t ask him to come move your piano for you.
Vocal changes—the sound of Transman’s voice hasn’t changed much. He mostly sounds like he’s getting a cold or fighting off allergies, but he gets these weird sensations every couple of weeks and then his voice gets a little huskier. The sensations are hard to describe; they feel like Transman has swallowed something that won’t quite go down and like there is a pulling or stretching in his throat. The sensation isn’t painful, but it is distracting.
When Transman tries to speak louder in group settings, the voice gets a little raspy and out of control. Transman doesn’t exactly squeak, but when he speaks, he imagines everyone in the room is hearing Jeremy Freedman.
Transman’s laugh sounds different. Weirdly, the laugh has more resonance than his speaking voice.
Self confidence—Transman used to second guess himself and worry about making other people happy. Now, he doesn’t care too much about what others think. His confidence isn’t obnoxious cockiness; it’s more of a comfort with himself and belief in his abilities that wasn’t there before the right hormones were in his bloodstream.
No more tears—Transman used to tear up a little at Hallmark commercials and the like, but he’s sort of on emotional cruise control now. He still feels bad when his kid pouts about having to go to school and sheds a few tears when separating from his Transdaddy, but Transman no longer finds it as difficult to give the lad a hug and hop back in the car and head off to work. Transman still hasn’t put his testosterone-fueled self to the Old Yeller test, so this might all be speculation.
* Some of the changes that transmen go through involve more intimate parts of their bodies and emotions; to read those, you’ll have to wait until Transman publishes his memoir because he tries to keep the blog PG-13.
** Transman is out in most places in his life, but is waiting to come out on the job until his position is a little more secure. He dresses in male clothing and carries himself the same as he does everywhere, so he’s a source of office speculation—”is X gay?” and often scares people from other departments when he walks out of the bathroom (more on the weirdness of work some other time.)