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Jacob Chapman @itsbonedaddy
, 35 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
I saw some ladies I follow doing this, but none of the men, so in honor of #TransAwarenessWeek, I'm offering a thread of cisplanations for any questions you may have for me about the trans experience or trans science or anything trans-related that I can answer! Ask away~
It was a huge relief. I couldn't wait to get that needle in my stomach as fast as possible, even though I was and still am pretty terrified of needles. But I still do it every week because it's so worth it not to feel dysphoria anymore.
I realize this refers to hormonal transition, because that's where my brain goes first, but in truth I had to do eight months of work *before* that, coming out to people, buying new clothes, etc., but I've blocked most of that out because it was not pleasant, I felt like a joke.
It wasn't until I actually had testosterone in my system that I felt like I wasn't just delusional or playing pretend, my head cleared up within like two weeks and it was like "Oh of course, this is what normal feels like. I wasn't crazy." So for me, HRT was everything.
HOO BOY, starting off with the hardball questions. I hate to chicken out with "yes and no", but the answer really is "yes and no", lemme clarify in a longer tweet.
No, you do not have to have dysphoria to be trans in the sense that you don't have to have dysphoria to decide that GNC presentation is important and necessary for you, or even transitioning binary genders entirely (I don't get why you would without dysphoria but it's your life!)
HOWEVER, I think dysphoria should never be understated as the #1 motivator for most ppl to transition, and it's also integral to countering the claim that "gender's arbitrary, do whatever you want." If gender was arbitrary, trans people would not risk their lives to transition.
I came out to myself on the day that gay marriage was legalized nationwide in 2015. I don't know what did it. I remember spending all day looking at same-sex couples getting married and getting so emotional that it overwhelmed me and I had to take a walk.

This is not a unique experience for many people, but I'm not an emotional person in that regard most of the time, so while walking around the neighborhood, I was interrogating myself, "Why do you care so much?" and the answer was always "Now it won't feel wrong to get married."
This of course makes no sense on the surface, but then something deep within me shouted "You're a man, stupid." So I tried saying it out loud and I almost collapsed in the street right there, it was like I saw the face of God.

My next thought was "Shit."
From there, it was no going back. Pandora's Box was open, I could not close it again, everything from the first 25 years of my life suddenly made sense for the first time. So from there it was just years of hard work. I think this is my first time telling that story publicly.
Yeah, you wanna take healthy doses of Vitamin D and take good care of your cardiovascular health to balance the effects of testosterone. (And it might do Weird Bad Shit to uterus-related things, so consider a hysto to avoid cancer and stuff.)

Other than that, if you take the dose your doctor recommends and get your blood tested every few months just in case, you should be fine. OD'ing on testosterone just makes your body convert it into estrogen so um ha ha don't do that for obvious reasons. (Applies to cis men too.)
You can't forcibly hatch a baby bird from an egg. Even if it's difficult to watch, you gotta let them come out at their own pace because there's just no other way to do it safely. Otherwise, just be as supportive and affirming as you can.

Placebo-wise, I *immediately* felt a very real sense of euphoria and relief that can't be understated. But in terms of actual hormonal effects, it was like 48 hours before my throat started hurting and my sense of smell radically improved. (Weird.)

I'd say the majority of t*rfs are being disingenuous bigots rather than innocently misunderstanding anything, but as to your question, dysphoria is a little different for everyone. For me it was like living in a hamster ball or an aquarium.

To clarify, it was like there was a barrier between me and the outside world, where anxiety and depression were so severe that I felt as though I had a Slowpoke-like response to stimuli. I had an extroverted personality and yet severe social anxiety. It was Very Confusing.
Me personally, no. I know it's a phase a lot of people go through! But for me it was denialdenialdenialdenialdenialdenial--REVELATION. No middle ground.
Very, actually! I don't talk about this very much but gender and sexuality studies (and the science of sex) is a pet fascination of mine so I read a lot about it in my early twenties. Honestly, without that research, it may have taken me longer to realize.
Initially, it was *awful.* I had to put recent pictures of me away, and I became more of a recluse because I didn't want to go out and be misgendered. The more time passes, the more Hope seems like a different person that I've learned to love and forgive.

So at this point in my life, I'm finally okay with looking at old pictures or hearing my old voice, which to my delight really does sound like an 11-year old boy or something. I *never* sounded conventionally female to be honest. Why didn't anyone tell me? XD
As a former 100-pound weakling, I love being able to lift things without breaking a sweat. Being physically strong (relatively speaking) is the fucking best.

Also fun fact, sense of smell/taste/sometimes even touch (definitely touch for me) seems to radically improve for not only many trans men but ALSO trans women. I have no idea why this is the only physical change we have in common, but it's hilarious.
I don't think I ever disbelieved this stereotype, but cis ladies, the male sex drive really is that intense. It's like demonic possession.

TMI time: I have a very high sex drive. So I thought "well it can't get any higher lol." I was incorrect.

Also, if I can clear up a misunderstanding I often hear about T, which I think you see exemplified in a LOT of trans men: it does not make you "angrier" and "more aggressive". Those *can* be side effects, but I don't think that's literally what's going on.
Much like men having a more "carnal" sex drive should not excuse shitty pressuring behavior toward sexual partners (ladies, they can just jack off and it'll solve the problem just as well), what T does to your brain should not excuse inappropriate displays of anger or aggression.
So what I *think* T does to your brain is shorten the distance between "impulse" and "action." I can't describe it as anything other than "estrogen makes you think and feel for longer before acting." Sometimes this is good. Sometimes it is bad. But it's an important difference.
This is purely anecdotal evidence, but testosterone feels like it enacts bullet time for me in the world around me, while estrogen enacts bullet time for what's going on in my head and heart. So if you have an impulse to anger or aggression and the window to act shortens...
Well, it's each person's responsibility, regardless of their hormonal balance, to think before they act. But ime, T makes the time you think you're thinking before you act a lot shorter. If that makes any sense at all.
So regardless of their baseline before transition compared to after, I think trans men are overall less angry and aggressive than cis men not because of testosterone, but because of social conditioning to consider the feelings of others before acting, even with a shorter window.
Sorry if any of this is P R O B L E M A T I C, but it's my experience that I don't think T makes you angrier or more aggressive. Impulsive maybe! But this is still relative to baselines of innumerable biodiversity for each person. [/rant over]
Nope! In that regard, I am much the same as I ever was. Gender doesn't seem to have anything to do with interests in general, except as it affects what children are encouraged to be interested in at a young age, which is admittedly significant.
The dinosaur is significantly more uncomfortable to ride post-transition because there's much more down there to accidentally crush. 💀

Aaaaaaaaaaand that is definitely a good place to stop. Thanks for all your questions guys, and I hope my cisplanations were good enough for you. ✨
OH RIGHT, one more. Yes, it was the anime. It was definitely the cartoons that did it. All weebs are trans, all Japanese people are trans, just nothing but animated gender treason.

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