Stuff That’s Changed (That I Didn’t Expect to Change) Since I Transitioned

Alexander (Sascz) Herrmann
Translucidity
Published in
4 min readMar 22, 2021
Picture of man with stickies about expectations and norms
Photo by Yasin Yusuf on Unsplash

When I began transitioning, and especially when I started taking testosterone, I expected some things to change. But there were some things that I thought I knew about myself that are no longer true, and that’s been the weirdest part of transitioning to male (or, rather, masc…I consider myself nonbinary but with mostly masculine tendencies).

One huge thing that has changed is my feelings towards women. When I was eight years old I developed a HUGE crush on a girl. When I tried to tell my mother, she told me it was just a phase, so I stopped talking about it. Given that most girls didn’t like me (something I didn’t understand until I realized I wasn’t one), I didn’t have many opportunities to explore my feelings about them anyway. After I’d married for the first time, I talked to my sister in law, who is a lesbian, about my feelings regarding other women, and she said I might be bi.

My husband was fine with that (we later agreed to be poly), so I started exploring dating women. Although I had some great experiences, I was never really successful in having a relationship with a woman, which upset me as I really felt that I was more attracted to women than to men, and that I really wanted a woman in my life. Once I transitioned, I realized that the reason I didn’t relate “correctly” to women was that I wasn’t one myself. But I also lost almost all of my need for and attraction to women.

In fact, even though taking T has increased my libido (i.e., I am more often and more easily sexually aroused), I lost interest in having any other relationship other than that with my (third) husband, which is currently mostly nonsexual. I can still look at other people and find them attractive, but I have no desire to have anything but friendly relationships with them. I still identify, for now, as pansexual and polyamorous (and in fact, I do have other partners, although the relationships aren’t sexual), but I’m not sure how accurate that self definition really is, and I’ve begun to think that I might have been asexual all along (although that’s a whole different, future article).

My (to me) sudden lack of attraction towards women, after having spent most of my life yearning to be with them, came as the biggest surprise. But it wasn’t the only one. I had always assumed that certain parts of “male culture” — basically, “stuff guys like” was due to nurture. Imagine my surprise when I began to get more and more into nonfiction books, action movies, and — the most surprising to me — horror. I’m still not a huge fan of horror, but I am much more willing to watch it than I used to be. I’m less into rom-coms than I used to be (although I’m still fond of some), and most “chick flicks” no longer interest me (although depending on the plot I can still get into some of them).

I had worried that my temper might change (for the worse), but actually the reverse happened. I don’t think I had realized the extent to which I was always angry, before I came out, until it stopped. I absolutely hated being a woman, and to have that necessity relieved also relieved the constant anger I felt at being treated like one (in both “good” — i.e. non-misogynistic — and bad ways). It’s not just that I’m less angry; I’m less negatively emotional altogether. I stay calm through things that used to upset me. This doesn’t mean that I can’t or don’t get upset at all; I just don’t get upset as often or as easily, and I don’t cry anywhere near as much. I used to cry pretty much every day of my life; since coming out as transmasculine/nonbinary, I just don’t cry anymore. Again, it’s not that I can’t cry; I just don’t do it anywhere near as much.

I will say that when I do lose my temper — which I don’t do as often — it’s probably more explosive. And I still do get annoyed easily. But watching myself blow up a couple of times has allowed me to analyze the situation and take steps so that I don’t do it again, as opposed to the past where I felt helpless to deal with my temper. I feel less helpless, and more confident, in general, even given how often I’m misgendered.

Since I didn’t expect most of these things to change, I’m pretty sure that I didn’t just “decide” to change my likes or dislikes, much less my temper; I have to assume that it’s a combination of the hormones I’m taking and the fact that I’m more comfortable just BEING. I think it’s possible that in some cases, I liked some of the things I liked in the past because I thought that’s what girls were supposed to like, and I was determined to be good at being a girl. In other cases, I think having more testosterone in my system makes me more interested in the things higher testosterone people typically like. But obviously, all my evidence is anecdotal…and I don’t think that any of the changes are so remarkable that anyone but I myself would have noticed them, except for my drawing attention to them.

One thing hasn’t changed: I still have zero interest in American football.

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Alexander (Sascz) Herrmann
Translucidity

I’m a disabled transmasculine cybersecurity specialist living in Berkshire County, MA, USA. I like to write, sing, do fiber art, and play video games.