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Testosterone and Surgeries
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Me Too! Pen Pals
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Your sexual orientation (Between the sheets) is listed in this FAQ because there is a difference between gender and sexual orientation. It is completely possible, and happens quite often that you can transition and then be homosexual according to your gender and preference. Your sexual orientation is up to you to decide based on who you find yourself attracted to.
A Tversary... or Testosterone Anniversary, is the date that a transman started hormone replacement therapy. This date is often an important event in their transition.
Name Change – New York State
Fill out Name Change Order and Name Change Petition.
Go to County Clerk’s Office with the two forms, $210, picture ID, and birth certificate.
They’ll process the paperwork, make copies, have you pay, and sign a few things.
Your Name Change Petition will take approximately 5-6 weeks to process, though it may be shorter (mine took 4 weeks). Once it’s been signed by the judge, the Name Change Order will be mailed to you.
Take the Name Change Order to your local newspaper office. Within the order form, there is the outline of what needs to be published, so you don’t have to write your own thing. Just give your paperwork to the secretary / legal department and they’ll get you going. It only needs to be published once. It cost me $16, so depending on your newspaper, it will probably run between $10-$20.
After getting my payment, my ad ran two days later. This will depend on your newspaper, but it will probably take a few days no matter what. The day your ad runs, they will sign an affidavit proving that you did publish for a day. This will also be mailed to you (it took a week for me to get mine in the mail).
Take the Name Change Order and the affidavit to the County Clerk’s Office. It costs $5 to get a certified copy. The paperwork they give back to you are your office Name Change Orders that proves the name change is completely official. This is what you will need to change your records.
DMV - New License
Fill out the Driver’s License form to change your name. (If you want an Enhanced License to travel to Canada and Mexico, use this one instead.) If you also intend on changing your gender marker, check the correct one on this form.
Go to the DMV. Bring your current license, Name Change Order, the form, and $12.50.
If also changing your gender marker, bring a letter from your gender therapist / endo / surgeon.
(If you’re getting the Enhanced License, you’ll need proof of ID, citizenship, Social Security Card, 2 proofs of residence, name change order, the form, and $42.50 total. Go here for more info.)
The DMV will put your paperwork into process and give you an interim license (a piece of paper) to accompany your old license until you receive your new one. It will take 1-2 weeks from the time you enter your information until you get your new license in the mail.
Bring in Name Change Order and photo ID.
This will go a lot smoother if you've already changed your drivers license.
Change School Records
It’s best to call or email the Registrar’s Office at your own school to see what they need, as each school might have it’s own rules, but this is what my school required and I’d say it’s probably a good guideline:
Name Change - court order for name change and a signed letter stating my original name, my school ID, and a request to change my name.
Gender Change - they didn’t ever actually say what they needed, however I gave them a photocopy of my license with my new gender marker, a letter from my psychologist, and a request for a gender change in the signed letter.
I’m not sure if it was the letter or the license that they were looking for, or both, or if simply changing my name to a male name was good enough to change the gender. I’m really not sure, but I suppose the best thing would be to ask very specifically for an answer from your Registrar or include all of this and see what happens.
Prejudice against, and/or fear of trans* people, or anyone thought to be trans*. Transphobia can include violence, harassment and discrimination as well as the general idea that says everyone must fit into male or female. Transphobia can be built into the way things work, for example being forced to use either a male or female bathroom or having to continually tick male or female when filling in forms. Homophobia works in the same way but is aimed at anyone seen as outside heterosexuality. (DUDE Magazine)
Transgender - An umbrella term for people whose gender identity, expression or behavior is different from those typically associated with their assigned sex at birth, including but not limited to transsexuals, cross dressers, androgynous people, genderqueers and gender non-conforming people. Transgender is a broad term and is appropriate for people to use. "Trans" is shorthand for "Transgender".
Transsexual - A term for people whose gender identity is different from their assigned sex at birth. Often transsexual people alter or wish to alter their bodies through hormones or surgery in order to make it match their gender identity.
Transvestite - Is a condition where one must dress in clothing of the opposite gender to achieve sexual pleasure. Think Rocky Horror Picture Show. This is not appropriate to call someone who is transitioning, as it is seen as offensive in most communities.
Trans* is a way of showing that the word is being used as an umbrella term for all forms of gender variants rather than just transsexuals. The astrid is a way of including a wider population inside of the word.
(Between your ears)
The way that you identify without the pressures of society. the way you feel and think about your own gender. "I identify as male, masculine, as a man" or "I identify as female, feminine, as a woman"
(Between each other)
May not always align with your gender identity due to being closeted or not feeling comfortable. Your gender expression is how you choose to perform externally based on your internal identity. I.e. the clothes you choose to wear, the pronouns you choose to assign yourself, or not assign yourself.
Cisgender is a term used to describe anyone is who not trans. The word comes from chemistry, concerning the different between trans molecules and cis molecules. It is safe to call someone cisgender.
Gender - Different from sex, is the performance one plays socially. Whether that is of a man, a woman, both, neither or somewhere in between.
Sex - Different from gender, it concentrates more on your biological anatomy. Whether it is male, female, intersex or somewhere in between.
STP - Stand to Pee
Shorthand for a device used to help transmen stand while they use the restrooms. Typically, these look like a deep spoon attached to a tube which can be inside of a packing device to help give a more realistic look and feel. Homemade STPs can be made by cutting the end off of medicine spoons.
Sites that sell STPs can be found on our links page.
Packing is when a transman wears a device inside of their underwear in the place of a flaccid penis. Usually soft, though some prefer to "pack hard" and wear a prosthetic typically used for sexual activities as a packing device.
These items come in all sizes and colors and links to sites that sell them anywhere from $11 to $16 can be found on our links page. Packers typically also require some kind of harness.
Binding is the method of wrapping ones chest to conceal breast tissue and give the look of a more flat, masculine chest. This can be done with vests, compression shirts, and sometimes ace bandages though those are not recommended.
Sites to purchase binders can be found on our links page.
Gender Dysphoria is the sometimes constant, but typically always present sadness one finds when they think about their gender not being aligned with their bodies. Or their bodies not being the sex they'd prefer.
Gender Dysphoria can be triggered in different ways for different people. It is important to have a support system in handling these emotions, and to communicate with your friends, family and partners about your feelings and triggers.
Any pronoun other than he/his/him or she/her such as ze/hir/zir, it/its, they/their/them, robot/robots, one, heart/hearts or anything else that someone may choose to use. (DUDE Magazine)
A list coined "the cis privilege checklist" can be found here. Cis privilege is neither a bad or good thing, and if you have it it isn't your "fault". Much like male and white privilege it is granted to those in a majority group without consent.
From head to toe-
You may choose to stop taking T at any time, either for health or personal reasons. Some of the effects of testosterone are permanent, and some are reversible, as summarized below.
It should be noted that starting and stopping hormone therapies will have a major effect on your body as it is forced to adjust to changes. Therefore, all health considerations should be weighed carefully with a medical professional before beginning or ending any hormonal treatment.
Voice: The voice should stay at the pitch level that it has reached at the point T therapy is stopped.
Facial/body hair: The hair that has come in on the face and body at the point of stopping T will continue to grow in, but large quantities of new hair will most likely not appear. If an individual has developed a patchy beard, it will probably remain in that same patchy state upon quitting T; he will be able to shave it and it should continue to grow back. It might change slightly in texture or growth rate— depending in part on whether the individual’s ovaries are still active and producing estrogen— but the beard will not disappear. Electrolysis would be required for permanent hair removal.
Clitoris growth: Will generally stay at the length/thickness it has grown to in its flaccid state.
Muscle/fat changes: Will revert back to more female patterns, if the ovaries are still present and active. If the individual does not have a large body fat percentage to begin with and remains trim, a return to female fat patterns won’t be as dramatic.
Hair Loss on Head: There have been different anecdotal reports regarding the rate of hair loss upon stopping T. Some individuals who have quit taking T report that their hair loss stopped immediately. Others report that their hair continued to fall out for a while after stopping T. If an individual has lost some head hair, it most likely will not grow back upon stopping T.
Menstrual cycle: If the ovaries are still working, menses will return.
Skin oils and acne may lessen.
Body scent may change.
Sex drive may decrease.
Red blood cell count and cholesterol levels will probably revert to levels that are closer to the prior, pre-T levels. Again, whether or not an individual has functioning ovaries may play a part in the results, as will overall health.
Bone Density: An important factor to consider
In general, the maintenance of healthy bone density in all people is partly dependent on both estrogen and testosterone levels. When an individual’s body produces estrogen as its main sex hormone (as in the case of female-bodied people), that estrogen in healthy levels protects against bone loss. If a female-bodied person were to begin testosterone therapy, there would be a time of transition in the body while hormone levels adjust. While testosterone would soon become a more dominant presence in the body of a trans man, he would still retain some estrogen in his system, both through the presence of his ovaries (if he has not had an oophorectomy) and/or via the natural aromatization of testosterone into estrogen (which takes place whether or not the ovaries are still present and functional).
If a trans man discontinues testosterone therapy, there are two possible outcomes for his hormone balance. If he still has his ovaries and they are still functional, the cessation of testosterone would shift the body back to a more estrogen-dominant system.
If he no longer has functional ovaries due to oophorectomy or some other reason, then the cessation of testosterone would leave him without a significant amount of either testosterone or estrogen in his system. This would be problematic for maintaining bone density. Some medical professionals therefore advise against stopping testosterone treatment once the ovaries have been surgically removed or are no longer functional. It is thought that continuing a maintenance dose of testosterone (or estrogen, in the event that an individual no longer wishes to continue testosterone therapy, though this would of course have feminizing effects) will help protect against bone loss and osteoporosis, a condition that literally means “porous bones.”
An individual can also help protect against bone loss by taking calcium supplements and performing weight-bearing exercise. All these factors should be considered and discussed with your doctor to help ensure healthy bones.
Now it would be easy for you to just google all of these terms, wikipedia has an excellent source of information I'm sure. So if you find that our definitions are too "street" for you... Those are much better options. However, here we believe in talking one human to another and typically think most people just want straight forward answers.
For transmale surgeries, we go on a "top half" - "bottom half" basis. So if you hear someone say "I'm getting top half surgery..." They mean a mastectomy (Usually a double mastectomy to be exact). This can also be called male chest reconstruction. How comfortable the words "boob job" or "getting your breast removes" can be go form transman to transman, some have no problems whatsoever using terms like this, others get offended.
Top half surgery is generally divided into two categories. The ones that leave the larger scars under the pecks, and the ones that have a small incision either around the nipples or in the arm pit. The reasons you would get one and not the other are dependent on how well endowed you were previously. Aka, your cup size and what you're working with. Larger cup sizes generally have to go with the double mastectomy that leaves the scars under the pecks. The other surgery is called Key Hole incisions and this is where the breast tissue and any extra fat is simply suctioned out of the area. This is easier and there is a better chance of minimal scarring with smaller cups sizes.
Popular opinion places Dr Garramone (FL) as the best surgeon in the states.
As for "Bottom Surgery" this is also broken down into two basic categories. (Neither of which are called an adadictomy... I'm sorry) - Metiodioplasty and Phalloplasty. When a transman is on hormones, his female anatomy (typically the clitoris) enlarges. The Metoidioplasty is the surgery that 'releases' that part by cutting the tendon holding it down. This makes the natural trans penis able to extend further. It is now possible for your urethra to be extended through that penis, as well as silicone balls to be surgically implanted into the labia majora to create a scrotum.
A phalloplasty, is where skin grafts from other parts of the body are used to fashion a longer, 'actual' penis shaped penis. There are many different ways of doing this that can now keep sensation throughout the penis. Rods can be inserted, or there are internal pumping devices to create erections.
For more information on all of these surgeries we recommend Hudson's FTM Guide.
"Hormones" are important chemical messengers in the body that effectively transfer signals and instructions from one set of cells to another.
Commonly refered to hormones in the Trans* community are estrogen and testosterone, the typical 'sex hormones'.
"Endocrinology" is traditionally defined as the branch of biological science that concerns itself with the actions of hormones and the organs in which hormones are formed. A doctor who specializes in the function of hormones is called an "endocrinologist."
When you inject yourself, you're essentially making a tunnel with the needle. When you inject straight in and pull the needle straight out then there is a path for the T to come back out.
The most popular method of fixing this is called Z tracking and it's used by medical professionals. Simply pull your skin (not pinch) to one side or another slightly, then inject and let go... This closes off the path where you've injected.
If you can't get the hang of it, don't stress out. The amount coming back out is nothing to stress out about. Just apply pressure until it stops.
If your pen pal hasn't answered you and you'd like to be paired up again, simply submit your information to the system again and you'll be paired up wth another pen pal.
The longest you should wait before resubmitting is about 2 weeks. Our staff member, Tyler pairs up our pen pals and he's involved in quite a bit of other programs too. If it's been longer than that, there could have been an error in your submission process.
This has been said to happen on a number of occassions, but don't worry your information was submitted.
The last thing we want to do is to push away our allies, we definitely appreciate you! However, many of the people who use our system are really looking for a connection based on transitioning and gender identity issues and what is best for them is to have a pen pal who understands that on a personal level.
Mr Limpy Packers, STPs and Packing Underwear are shipped under the return address of "The Depot"
RodeoH harness are shipped with the return address of "RodeoH"
Sexual prosthetics, spareparts, spare parts and lube are shipped with the return address label "The Shipping Department"
And all SMM merchandise is shipped with the return address label "The Self Made Men" but can be shipped from Jason R Ballard if an email is sent to us at email@example.com post-order.
Remember that we are only open from 12pm to 7pm EST Monday-Friday. If you placed your order on a weekend, it won't be processed until Monday. Chances are, even if your order was placed and processed in the same day it wouldn't reach you within 3-5 days because of shipping time through UPS or USPS.
We use both Google Checkout and PayPal as payment methods for our customers. Paypal does not offer coupons or discount codes, while google check out does. When someone with a code pays through paypal, the discount is refunded to them, rather than coming off at purchase.