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A Blurb

Welcome to Homegrown Boy,  my name is Sigh. I am a 20-something afab transmasculine person living in Western Sydney, Australia.

I am starting this blog in the hope that it fulfills two main purposes: for me to document/record my transition, and for it to be used as a resource for other trans people in Sydney who are looking for help in their journey.

When I decided to transition I scoured the internet for information. Firstly I found that most resources for trans folk are very American-central, now this doesn’t effect much when talking about aspects of social transition but in terms of the whole; “Where do I start?”- for medical transitioning, it falls flat. Australian specific resources however are scarce, lack in depth, and can sometimes be contradictory, especially as so many of our states don’t have matching laws.

This is not intended as a instructional how-to, but more a guide that will showcase my personal anecdotes of how my experiences in transitioning, as well as a compilation of what Sydney, Australian specific resources I can find.

🌱 Enjoy 🌱

Voice Transition

Here are some videos of my voice from pre-t, two weeks on testosterone and then one month on testosterone. When I play these back I can really hear a big difference, I still get misgendered based on my voice, but I think its actually a lot deeper than pre-t. I’m excited about what to expect as months go by, my dad and brother both have deep voices. I’ve always had bad dysphoria around my voice, but I’m liking it more and more.

Pre-T

I didn’t record my voice in the Voice Pitch Analyser (an app you can download on android and apple) before I had started T, but I played some videos of my voice into it and the reading is still fairly accurate in my opinion. I’ve always been told I had a very feminine voice, I also have a lisp which I think also softens and “feminines” my voice. I always got gendered as female over the phone before testosterone as well.

Two Weeks on Testosterone
One Month on Testosterone

I am very happy with this result so far! In only a month I have gotten my voice pitch down to a male range. I hope it can go lower, I am still being gendered as female just by my voice, over the phone and in person. My voice has always been something I have been very dysphoric about. Since starting T and hearing that my voice get lower I have been very content, it feels good.

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One Month Update

I have been on testosterone for a month now! So I thought I’d make an update. Especially because I switched from testogel to reandron a few days ago and figured others might like to hear of my experiences.

So first here is a side by side comparison of my face pre-t and now. There’s not much difference other than my eyebrows are a little messier and my head hair has grown and faded. And I think I can see a tiny, scraggly mustache! But maybe its just wishful thinking?

Emotionally I am happier because I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere in my transition. I do think I am more touchy/moody, I feel like I get frustrated a bit quicker than I usually might. I sleep regularly still, at least 7 hours. As for physical changes, they are minimal, but I’ll still document them cause there are some things, however small they seem to me.

My throat has been scratchy, it feels like I am getting a cold but I’m not. I keep needing to clear my throat. I’ve got some videos of my voice (which will be posted soon) and I can hear a slight tone difference. I am very keen to start being squicky voiced because I’ll know then that my voice is breaking. My facial hair looks a bit more darker and noticeable. I’ve always had light hair on my face, and it just seems like the hair thats already there is darkening. I think I smell different, my BO and my urine, like its so funny that your pee once smelt familiar but now it doesn’t. Also TMI: bottom growth happens quickly, and is probably the only thing that I can for sure say is changing. I also had my usual period which I expected, but also kind of hoping I wont have my next one.

That covers all the changes I think I’ve had so far!

I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m now completely out at work, not much has changed honestly. Its a little disheartening, but I’m trying to get better at correcting people for misgendering me. I think as time goes by I’ll get more confident, and I hope that the onset of physical changes will help my colleagues get more used to using male pronouns/terms for me.

I was on testogel when I first started T, but I decided to change to reandron shots. Just the process of having to apply something everyday, its so exhausting. I had to set reminders on my phone or for sure there were some mornings I would have forgotten. I really am a “set and forget” kind of guy, so it made more sense to me to change to a long acting shot.

My Dr was fine with me swapping over, we’d discussed the possibility of this changing to this testosterone method already. At my appointment I got my blood pressure recorded (130/90) its apparently high average. My nurse (Robby or Robbie) was so nice, like, he made the whole experience so comfortable. I hope I continue to get him. I then had blood taken, they can never find a vein unfortunately so I have blood drawn from my hand. I then went and got my shot from the pharmacist downstairs and my nurse administered it for me.

Fun video featuring my butt getting shot up

I laid down, pulled my pants a little below the top of my butt, exposing the upper part of my butt. The injection was administered into my left buttocks, the pain from the pierce of the needle wasn’t bad at all. However after the testosterone was fully injected that when a mild but sharp pain began. It felt hot and sharp, but repetitive, like someone was pricking me over and over in the same spot. This pain lasted all night, but I fell asleep maybe 2 hours after the injection so I’m unsure if it would have lasted for any longer than that.

In the morning I felt fine, and went about my normal 8 hour work day without feeling any pain, however just before my shift was over I think I banged my butt against some railing and the pain was back for a little bit. It felt a little tender a few days afterwards but there is no pain now.

Although more painful than testogel, I am already feeling very happy with choosing reandron.

I am also very happy with the progress I have made in my transition! It kind of blows my mind that I’ve gotten this far, and that I still have so far to go. That things are starting to feel like missing puzzle pieces falling into place. It took me a long time to decide that medical transition was the next step I needed to take. And now everything is starting to feel more right. I know its cliche, but testosterone just feels like is doing everything my body wants it to be doing?

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In A Bind

I am now 16 days on testosterone! There’s not much to report as of yet, so instead I decided to make a post about binding, as its a very important to me at the moment.

I’ve talked in previous posts about gender dysphoria, and that some trans people experience it. For many transmasculine people, one source of physical dysphoria can be our chests, our bodies have already gone through an oestrogen-based puberty and have developed breasts. It can be common for afab trans people to have a disconnection to their breasts. To alleviate this dysphoria many seek compression methods to flatten their chest into a more “masculine” silhouette.

A common, efficient and safe method of compression, are binders. Binders are usually made from durable nylon and/or spandex. I’ll link this page for more in depth information about binding, in this post I am just going to talk about my experience with binding. In particular the two (arguably most popular) binder companies; GC2B and Underworks.

I have had a disconnect from my chest since puberty, but I just assumed everyone felt how I felt, and that we all just had to deal with it. I’ve spoken about this a little in previous posts, but while in high school I became more involved in my local LGBT+ community. This was initially due to becoming more involved with my cosplay community. Cosplaying is the act of dressing up as a characters from pop culture. Through cosplay I had an excuse to try out male characters, which meant I was able to have a reason for buying a binder.

So I was around 16, give or take a year when I started binding. I only binded for special occasions, like cosplay events and outings with friends where I could be myself. My first binder was The Ultimate Chest Binder Tank from Underworks, unfortunately I cannot remember the size I got. It is a full length tank, which I wanted because I had some dysphoria about my hips and my stomach. The aim was that this would compress my breasts, right down to the top of my thighs. The material is unpleasant and the seams dug in quite painfully. I found the length way too long and I was often folding the excess up to double layer over my chest (Please don’t do that! It is not safe! And it didn’t really look anymore compressed than usual.) If I did wear it long; the material would roll itself into a tight bunch around the top of my thighs which was painful and awkward to fix. Later when I was deciding on whether to get a new binder, I tried to repurpose this one by cutting it into a crop. This was adequate for a few more months as I waited for a new binder.

My next binder was Nude No.5 Half by GC2B, I got it in a size 3XL. I can’t remember exactly when it was bought but it was at least, 3 years ago. I have since loved this binder so much that I bought two more in a size 2XL. Those last two were bought 6 months ago when I decided I wanted to bind full time as I had come out at work and wanted to be seen as male by society.

I love this binder, I’m not perfectly flat, but with being a bigger person, with saggy bulky breasts I think its as comfortably flat as I will be able to get without surgery. I wear these binders for 6+ hours a day, they are very comfortable and easy to put on and take off. One thing I do find is, especially with long time wear, my breasts move around and I can end up with mass of breast in the middle of my chest. This can be resolved by wearing a undershirt, like a light tank, or a full material sport bra. I have a tonne of these stretch cotton sports bra’s from Target, which help keep my breasts in place under the binder.

The material is fairly breathable, the back panel is thin and contours and smooth my back. The straps are thick and don’t show noticeably under shirts. I put this binder on like a T-shirt, over my head, keeping it as flat as possible. The longer I stay in my binder the more uncomfortable I become. I do get constricted and breathless often, and my back also can hurt after a few hours.

I really hope in the near future I will be able to get top surgery (a bilateral mastectomy and male chest reconstruction) but for now my binder gets me as comfortably flat as I can get. Stay tuned for a T-update, and a post I am working on about surgeons in Australia who can preform top surgery!

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Pre-T

Its kind of unbelievable to think, but I am now two days on testosterone! My start date is Saturday the 16th of March, 2019. I’m amazed that within 6 months of pursuing the hormone process I am finally able to say I am no longer pre-T. Here I am going to accumulate some pre-T photos. This includes chest photos of myself, which will be at the end of the post under a read more, so please if you don’t wish to see that, do not click it. This is purely for personal reference, as well as education for other trans people with similar body types who want to know what testosterone might do to them.

First set of photos are face pictures. My eyebrows are fairly light, and thin. I have a chubby and round face, with no jawline definition. I have a pretty full head of thick hair and my hair line is straight. I have a bit of fluffy baby hairs on my cheek and chin, and slightly darker hair above my lips.

Hairline and Eyebrow Close Up

Next set of pictures are for general body hair growth. The hair on my forearms is very light. The hair on my legs are darker, and seems more dense, I have hair growing on the top of my foot and on my toes as well. The tops of my thighs have very light and sparse hair. My underarm hair is dark, long and dense. You can see that I have some cysts and acne as well.

Okay under the cut is torso photos of my body without a binder, you will see my chest exposed, but there are little hearts covering my nipples for censorship guidelines.

Continue reading “Pre-T”

Psychologists

When you decide you want to pursue medical transition, and want to be prescribed hormones you first need a referral letter from a clinical psychologist. This can seem like a daunting task, especially for nonbinary folk who are worried about gate keeping. But as a nonbinary trans male I will tell you my exact steps and some alternate routes that may also work for you. This is specific to Sydney, NSW.

First Step

You can just see a psychologist without a referral from your GP, but its usually more expensive, and honestly why not save yourself some money while you can. This process adds up, and being trans doesn’t come cheap. So go to your GP, have them write for you a Mental Health Care Plan. This entitles you to 6 sessions with a psychologist that you can get a rebate for. You can get 4 more sessions if you go back to your GP for a review, this makes a total of 10 sessions in a year. Explain to your GP that you are trans and wish to see a psychologist, it should be very simple.

Second Step

You will now need to see a psychologist, have one in mind when you ask for your mental heath care plan as the GP will address it to them specifically.

Transgeneral lists two psychologists who are trans friendly:

  1. Dr Michael Scott from Neutral Bay- Also listed by Reddit TransgenderAU
  2. Dr Matthew Davies from around the Hurstville/Kogarah area.

ANZPath also recommends some psychologists and psychiatrists:

  1. Dr Elizabeth Anne Riley who works primarily out of West Ryde
  2. Dr Patrick Toohey in Darlinghurst- Reddit TransgenderAU has him listed that he may be gate keeping towards nonbinary identities
  3. Catherine Wilson works out of Mascot and Redfern
  4. Dr Stephan Koder in Bondi Junction- Also listed by Reddit TransgenderAU
  5. Rainer Jardin in Summer Hills- He is listed by Reddit TransgenderAU as someone who has an in depth understanding of gender identity. He has also been recommended to me by word-of-mouth by many trans people.
  6. Dr Yolandi Goodyear in Cooks Hill- I believe she is only a child and adolescent psychiatrist
  7. Georgina Whelan in Bondi Junction
  8. Dr James Morandini in Hurstville

Reddit TransgenderAU is a great resource, although some articles are a few years old. Users have compiled some pages on transition information, and many of the psychs already listed are supported by users in TransgenderAU.

When I began my transition journey I was recommended a fair few of these psychologists, but I ended up going to Imanadari Counselling, as their values made me feel very secure. They are based in two locations, Ultimo in Sydney and Murrumbeena in Melbourne.

I saw Janet Doubleday, I found her very nice and professional, I saw her twice before I got my referral for hormones. I intend to see her after I have started hormones, and will hopefully also see her to pursue a referral for top surgery. She provides a sliding scale of payment based on income and circumstance. I paid $160 and will be rebated $124.50, so I’ll be out of pocket $35.50 per session. It has been two weeks since the first appointment and I have am still waiting for the rebate, so I’d advise to not be budgeting for the rebate money to come through very quickly.

Janet was understanding of nonbinary identities and didn’t gate keep me even though I don’t fit the “criteria” of a traditional trans male. The first session we spoke mostly about my past, how long I had been questioning my gender, how long I had been living publicly as my gender and general information about me. It was not a hindrance to have previous mental health issues. I told her about my history with depression and borderline personality disorder, but stressed that due to not pursuing hormone treatment I felt that my mental health was declining. I stated that I have a good support network at home and that my mental health is otherwise managed and under control. I have history of self harm and I was asked about it, I honestly said that I hadn’t self harmed in over 3 years.

The second appointment, which was only a week after my first appointment, we went through the DSM-5 Criteria for Gender Dysphoria, she was empathetic that some terms within this criteria, and even the criteria itself is out of touch/not up to date with what the trans community use.

That being said she said I would need to meet 2 of the criteria out of the list of 6:

  1. A marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and primary and/or secondary sex characteristics
  2. A strong desire to be rid of one’s primary and/or secondary sex characteristics
  3. A strong desire for the primary and/or secondary sex characteristics of the other gender*
  4. A strong desire to be of the other gender*
  5. A strong desire to be treated as the other gender*
  6. A strong conviction that one has the typical feelings and reactions of the other gender*

Of these 6, I met the criteria for 5. I believe that there are trans people who do not experience gender dysphoria and instead experience only, gender euphoria, although not listed in the criteria I believe many of the criteria express a gender euphoria, I asterisked (*) them.

I spent the last half of my session talking about coming out at work and how I would go about it. I intend to come out this week so again, I’ll keep you updated.

I was advised on my first appointment that I should research who I would want to go though to get prescribed hormones, I decided to go with Dr Rick Franklin at Taylor Square Private Clinic in Surry Hills. Janet wrote my referral letter to Dr Franklin, and sent it to me via email, five days after my second appointment. I was then able to print it out and give it to Dr Franklin at my first appointment.

Seeing Janet was a very comforting experience and I look forward to seeing her again as new things come up in transition.

I hope this post helps! And if you would like to recommend any psychologists please comment, I’ll add a word-of-mouth recommendation list.

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I Want Hormones

So I actually haven’t written anything in a bit because I have been busy pursuing the process of being prescribed with testosterone!

Are you excited? Because I definitely have been!

For those of you keeping up at home, many trans people will seek out hormones so that they may experience changes best associated with that particular hormone. We call this Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT, (I’ve also seen it called ‘Cross-Sex Hormone Therapy’- I don’t really like this wording, I think it erases intersex people, and because it implies that trans people want to ‘change’ to the ‘opposite’ gender this also erases nonbinary people.) For transmasculine individuals in particular, we use the term Masculinization/Testosterone Therapy.

The most common way to administer testosterone is through injections (short and long term), or patches, gels, and tablets are also available. I will probably only ever have experience with testogel, a gel that can administer testosterone, and long acting Reandron injections.

As I type this post I have completed my initial appointment with Dr Rick Franklin from Taylor Square Private Clinic, I had my blood taken and talked about what my options. I have another appointment booked in two weeks times where the process looks to be; if my bloods come up fine I can start on Testogel, then once I have finished a full dose of that I will be able to get Reandron injections. I wont go into too much detail about this appointment and the steps leading up to this, as I want to just focus on these two ways to administer testosterone and the changes associated. I will do another post later about the process so stay tuned.

Testogel

This is a clear, colourless topical gel that contains 1% of Testosterone, it can come in sachets, but I will be getting it in a pump bottle. I’ll update this with the actual dose (because I forgot but I think it was 2 pumps, which is the equivalent of 25mg but watch this space because I might be wrong.) It also does depend on your individual description, I’m obviously not a Dr and I’m just speaking on my own experience. I have been advised that it smells “like pure alcohol.”

Testogel is recommended to be applied daily at the same time, preferably in the morning. Before using the pump for the first time, you can prime it up by pushing down on the pump 3 times. Then spread a thin layer of Testogel onto clean, dry, healthy skin preferably over the upper arms, shoulders or stomach.Once applied allow the gel to dry for at least 3-5 minutes before getting dressed, wash your hands with soap and water. Its recommended that you do not shower for 6 hours after applying the gel. Do not use more than is prescribed.

Reandron

This is an intramuscular injection, containing testosterone undecanoate, which is described as a clear, yellowish solution that’s oily, so that it can slowly be absorbed into the body. It contains 1000mg of testosterone at 4ml, is administered every 3 months (10-14 weeks.) It is injected in primarily three locations, butt, thigh and hip. The muscle stores the testosterone, and gradually release it into the blood stream, allowing for a softer peak and trough period. Reandron is administered by your Dr.

What To Expect

For someone assigned male at birth, normal testosterone levels range from 240 to 950 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) after the age of 19. For afab’s, normal testosterone levels range from 8 to 60 ng/dL. So when going on hormones, the goal is to increase the amount of testosterone in an afab persons body to the level of an amab person.

You might have heard the phrase “second puberty” among trans people who decide to take hormones. This is a very accurate way to understand what will happen to you. You are changing your hormone levels quite drastically, expect that your body has to make some changes, but at the same time, know that those changes will not happen over night. A normal puberty can take several years for the full effects to be seen, as is the case for second puberty as well.

Here’s a table about what changes to expect and when:

Testosterone increases your skins thickness, pores become larger and sebum (oil) production increases. This causes acne to increase, ranging from mild to severe, there are many different treatments available to help control this new influx of acne. I am a bit nervous about increase of acne, I already have quite bad acne, and when I was going through my first puberty I had very bad cystic acne, so I wonder how bad this next lot of acne will be.

You may experience more sweat, and it will also smell different apparently. Another thing that will change is smell is your urine, so I hope you aren’t particularly attached to your odour. Fat redistribution will take you from a hourglass/pear shape to a more square/apple one. This means that your hips will slim down, and your waist will fill out. Your face will lose some fat as well, giving a more angular masculine appearance. Gaining muscle will be easier and the results more defined, strength increases too, but lots of this can be dependent on your individual diet and exercise regime.

Vocal cords will thicken as well, pushing out your Adams apple and causing the voice to deepen. It will feel scratchy at first, sounding hoarse, next it will begin to break as it settles into its new tone. Body hair increases substantially, chest, back, butt, stomach, arm, legs, everything grows thicker darker hair. It will usually take much longer for facial hair to grow in though. While all this new hair is growing you may notice a decrease in head hair, usually thinning and receding around the temples and the crown of the head.

Libido increases along with clitoral growth (usually about 1-3cm). The vagina will experience dryness, and and many trans people may be more open to explore their sexuality. Currently I identify as bisexual/pansexual, meaning I experience sexual attraction to all genders, and I am in a monogamous relationship right now.

Along with the confidence you can experience when being on hormones, there are some mood swings you may also get. This is usually due to the highs and lows that testosterone gives. After the initial application of testosterone your levels are high, but before your next dose those levels begin to decrease causing for some a change in moods. Many people on testosterone report feeling a “narrower range of emotions” and find it harder to cry to situations where they would normally be emotional over.

I am really looking forward to, my voice deepening. I have a lot of dysphoria around the sound of my voice, and sometimes I feel like I am able to pass physical, but as soon as I open my mouth I feel like I “give myself away.” I am keen to keep you all updated on my voice progression, and I am weirdly excited for all the voice cracks I’ll inevitably get.

One thing is for sure, I cannot wait for this experience. I cannot wait to see how long effects will take, and how they will look on me.

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Change of Name

So I’ve been a bit personal up to now, but I still want this blog to be a resource so here is a post about how to begin the legal process of changing your name.

Bare with me because although I live in Sydney I was born in Victoria, meaning my birth certificate is Victorian. So I can only comment my experience in regards to Victoria, but I will still include the process for New South Wales.

New South Wales

If you were born in NSW you will need to apply for a change of name with the Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages website for NSW (linked above). Assuming there’s no reason for you to be a “restricted person” the process is very easy. They really encourage you to apply for the name change via post rather than in person, which I count as a positive. By post you will need to print out and fill in this form. Within the form you will need to provide a reason why you are changing your name.

I wrote that I was transgender and that my birthname caused me dysphoria and stress. I also included that I had been using Sigh socially for a few years and that everyone in my life/and at work now knew me as this new name.

You must include with this filled out form, your original NSW birth certificate. You also need a photo copy of a few documentations, the photo copies are then signed by a Justice of the Peace for verification and included with you application. The first thing you need is something that shows a link between your photo and your signature. They give you a few options but the best two to use would be an Australian passport or drivers licence, I used my passport. Next you need a copy of something that is evidence of name usage within the community, again a few different options, easiest ones to include would be either your medicare card or credit/debit card, I used my medicare card. The last document you need is to prove your residential address, I would recommend Australian drivers licence, utility account (electricity, gas, water) or current tenancy of lease agreement. I used my drivers licence for this one.

Okay so fee’s! So it is $190, and you will have to also pay for a envelope to post your application to and from.

Victoria

For Victoria the process is exactly the same, forms are just a bit different and the fee is less. As I said above, I handed in my original birth certificate, and had a JP sign the photo copies of my passport, medicare card and drivers licence.

The fee is $107.90 and I paid $7.80 for an express envelope they would send my corrected birth certificate back with. I then also had to pay for a envelope to send it down as well. So I don’t remember the exact day I sent everything down but the fee of (collectively) $115.70 was withdrawn from my account on the 27th of November, I would gather that this is the day that they started to process my name change. It took about a week for the money to actually clear and I received my new birth certificate I think on the 19th of December. The website approximated that it would take about 20 days and I find that very true.

It does still list my birthname, I believe if I ever am ever able to change the sex listed on my birth certificate my birthname will be removed, but as of right now that is not able to happen unfortunately.

After

Don’t think that things are now going to be changed instantaneously. If you’re like me it will actually take you some time to update all your details. Also please don’t think that you will never see or be called your birthname now that you have legally changed it. I hate to be the downer but its basically impossible to change your name on literally everything you have ever used. Just when I think I have updated everything I get an email from my car insurance provider, or an election comes up and I remember that I have to update my details. I find that if you anticipate that your birthname is still going to come up it doesn’t catch you off guard as much. Then you just update things as you become aware of them.

Obviously get the necessary ones done first! Things like, drivers license, medicare card, bank accounts, work details, passport, electoral enrollment, car registration, insurances, and utility accounts.

I’ve not had much hiccups in updating my name on most things. The RMS (Roads and Maritime Services) NSW did stuff me around a little, due only I think to the fact that I had an interstate birth certificate, and maybe a little of them not ever really having to update the first and middle name of someone, rather than a last name. I did get asked some awkward question as to why I was changing my name by the person who updated my details for my bank account. But I think this was more to try and make small talk, and they were a bit shocked when I candidly just said, “Because I’m transgender…” The only thing I am still having trouble with is my phone provider really.

Other than that it has been pretty smooth to update my details. I still sometimes find things my birthname is still attached to, but as I said, its expected.

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What’s in a Name

As I said in my last post, one aspect of social transition is taking on another name. Changing my name was the first big drastic step I took that really affirmed to me that transitioning was the best thing for me. I don’t hate my birthname, though many trans people do, but seeing and hearing it, especially when its applied to me creates this gut wrenching feeling within me. I have always felt a disconnection from my birthname and used to go by different nicknames, or shortened versions of it just to avoid it as much as possible.

Changing my name was a really emotionally hard experience. I was worried that my parents would be very disappointed in me. I worried that I might choose the wrong name and need to change it again. I worried about everyone’s willingness to change the name that some had been calling me all my life and if I would be strong enough to correct them if they accidentally called me my birthname.

The name I now go by, what I refer to as my “actual name” is a sort of pet project that started when I was in primary school. I used to do lots of creative writing and I had a short story where I was the main character. Or at least, the main character was this 30-something, skinny queen who had the power of Autumn and I thought someday I could be that cool. This created the name “Signda” a name I used as my username for various social medias throughout my adolescent life. This eventually evolved into my name now; Sigh.

Two main catalysts helped me finally take the plunge to change my name. The first, was the fact that my partner is super loving and supporting used Sigh effortlessly for me at home. I would spend my whole day at work being called my birthname but it was all okay because when I came home my partner would go out of her way to validate my actual name. This juxtaposition made me realise just how upset and uncomfortable my birthname made me. It really pushed me to commit to changing my name.

The second push, funnily enough was the release of a gay romcom called Love Simon. The main character, Simon, is nicknamed Si by his close friends. Hearing using this name, with he/him/his pronouns, for someone visibly masculine?It just drove home how right this decision was.

My birthname was, and always had been, a placeholder for my actual name. A gift I had outgrown, one that had served its purpose but it was just time I moved on. I did receive some push back from friends, family and co-workers, but even for all the troubles, I am glad I changed my name. I am much more confident as Sigh. Its who I was meant to be.

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Transmasculine?

There are many ways to be transgender, many genders, many experiences, you’re here to hear about mine in particular. However if you’re curious, I encourage you to seek out information that I might not cover, especially if you are currently questioning your gender, or just want to know more about all the wonderful trans people that live on this planet with you.

For clarity, let me state that I am assigned female at birth and identify as a transgender man. In this blog I will only speak on and about experiences pertaining to being a trans male/transmasculine.

To make my posts as accessible as I can, I will endeavor to provide descriptions or links to resources, where you can read more about words/topics I may discuss but ultimately gloss over. One word that may have stumped you is “assigned female at birth” or “afab” as you will see it written from here on out. TransWhat?- A Quide Towards Allyship describes the “assignment of gender” as;

The way that we assume a child’s genders based on their bodies. When a child is born they are thought to be either male or female exclusively. We “determine” the child’s “correct” gender based on a quick outward visual assessment of the appearance of the child’s sexual organs, and we do so by following a specific dichotomy. A vulva-bearing child is typically assigned female at birth (afab). A penis-bearing child is typically assigned male at birth (amab).

For many trans people, this contention between our actual gender and the gender we were assigned at birth can cause huge distress that impacts our ability to live happy healthy lives. This is why many of us, and certainly me, pursue transition. Its important to note not all trans people transition, and while some may some transition, others may only pursue certain aspects involved in transitioning.

I break up transitioning into two categories; social and medical. For me I need both the social and medical transition to live my life comfortably, but others may only do one, neither or both.

Social transition in my experience meant that I employed a number of changes that purely affected my social life and situation, I chose a different name, I used different pronouns, I dressed more masculine, I asked friends and family to see my as a boy from now on and to act and address me as such.

Medical transition, which I am largely seeking now as I have mostly successfully completed my social transition, refers to medical actions taken to be seen as a male. For an afab person, this means being prescribed the “male” hormone; Testosterone, and the completion of sex affirmation surgeries such as “top surgery and bottom surgery.” I will go into all of this in separate posts however, for this post I would like to focus on my gender identity.

As I have previously stated, I identify as transmasculine which gender.wikia defines as a term afab people use to explain how they may identify with masculinity to a greater extent than femininity. Transmasculine can be an umbrella term that covers trans male, demiboy, some gender fluid people, and other nonbinary identities. It can also be used as an identity in its own right.

I mostly refer to myself as a trans male for simplicity. I use he/him/his pronouns and only want for masculine terms to be used for me. Here is an example of how you would use my pronouns:

Mr. Sigh has a some tattoos on his arms. He looks very handsome with piercings and coloured hair. He does not like it when people are rude to him by not respecting that he is a boy.

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