18 Month Testosterone Update

Vico Whitmore
4 min readMar 15, 2023

Before I started testosterone everyone told me I would be angry. Everyone said that it would squash all other emotions, make me incapable of crying, and leave me a rage hulk the likes of which I’d never seen. They were right. I am angry, and it’s at least partially because of the testosterone, just not the way they thought.

It’s been eighteen months since I started HRT. At the time, I was spending most of my time questioning myself about my decision. I wanted to feel more sure, more ready. I wanted to have absolute, irrevocable surety that testosterone was exactly what I needed and that it would solve every single problem I had in my brain and my body. I didn’t know it then, but I wasn’t alone in that feeling. A lot of trans folks have spent so much time listening to bigoted rhetoric that insists we don’t know what we’re doing to our bodies that even our desperate need to transition is overridden by that narrative. That feeling didn’t last long. As soon as I started growing thicker body hair I knew that I’d done the right thing. That was my first real taste of euphoria, and it overwhelmed every doubt I had about taking testosterone.
Since then, I’ve only become more sure that I’m doing the right thing. The ways my body is changing, the way I feel when I look at myself in the mirror, all of it is a massive improvement over how I felt before I started HRT. I look more like the man I should have always been every day. It feels like a miracle, and I am so, so angry.

I started HRT in August of 2021. Since then, it has only become more terrifying to be trans. Every day, there are more bills proposed that seek to forcibly detransition trans kids and trans adults, regardless of whether or not they’re taking a hormone replacement. Anti-trans rhetoric insists that trans people are pedophiles by default of not wanting trans kids to go through the pain and fear we did. Politicians and celebrity pastors have said publicly that trans people should be executed.

Meanwhile, my community insists on purity, on respectability, on not insulting or degrading the people who want us dead. A joke about Jesus gets a queer man weeks of rage and demands for an apology, meanwhile, the same people insisting he pretend to be very sorry are happy to publicly announce that they want me dead. I am angry, and I am tired of trying to be respectable.

There’s this bizarre insistence that trans men be performatively kind, soft, and gentle, that we turn the assumption that we’ll be angry by default of our hormones matching a cis man’s on its head and be small, docile, and ready for easy consumption. I don’t want to be that man. I don’t want to be so consumed by performing a lack of rage that I let the people who want me dead walk over me. I’ve spent years battling my fawn trauma response, only to transition and be told that no, it would probably be better for me to be a doormat if I’m going to insist on being a man, otherwise I’m identifying with my oppressors.

I refuse. I am angry, and I should be. I do not know how to both love my community and love being trans without being angry that the medicine that saved me is being equated with child abuse and the people who showed me that I can be a happy, healthy man are having their identities stripped from them by the state. I don’t want to be the kind of man who lays down in the face of fascist oppression, even if that makes some members of my community uncomfortable. I don’t want to squash down my anger for other people’s comfort. I’ve spent entirely too much time doing that already.

I don’t know how to help protect us from growing fascism. I don’t know how we keep our community safe and make it possible for those of us who actively need HRT to continue taking it. I don’t have a game plan. What I do know is that none of that can be accomplished while shaming trans mascs for being angry. Anger is an emotion that is as valid as fear and joy. It tells us when we have been wronged. There is no trans person alive who has not been wronged by growing anti-trans fascism. What matters is what we do with that anger. Repressing it for the sake of respectability is not healthy and it is not helpful. All of us need to channel that anger into resistance. Trans men are not an exception.

I am angry, and I should be. I won’t hide that fact, and I won’t make my end goal respectability. I’m going to use my anger. I’m no longer concerned with who finds it distasteful.

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Vico Whitmore

Trans CSA survivor leaving a trail as I stumble my way toward healing. Support me on ko-fi! https://ko-fi.com/vicowhitmore