Gentlemen about to start medical transition…
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, water would be it. The long term benefits of 8 daily glasses of water have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the smallest changes and each new hair; oh never mind; you will not think things change fast enough and you’ll either grow to hate shaving or spite the fact that it never came in.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much changed over a relatively small period of time….
Your changes are no slower than anybody else’s. There’s no correct order for the changes brought on by puberty.
Don’t worry about your height; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you the day of your chest surgery when you realize you have no clean button down shirts to wear for the next few days.
Do your shots according to a cycle that best suits you.
When you start hormone therapy, only sing around people who don’t mind that you can’t keep a note.
Don’t be reckless with your mood swings, don’t put up with people who expect you to be reasonable through out puberty.
Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the journey is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.
Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Record changes however little they seem at the time. Donate your old binders.
Don’t feel guilty if you didn’t know as young as others did or start as early as them… The time is takes to realize and begin the medical process is not an indicator of who’s more trans or more male.
Get plenty of sleep.
Be kind to your ribs, you won’t be able to bind if you dislodge them.
Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, never give up hope that there are people, trans, non-binary, and cis who will want to date you for who you are… what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your outcomes are half chance, so are everybody else’s.
Enjoy your body, use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.
Quit smoking… if for no other reason than to allow for better surgical results.
See a doctor, even if you think you know more about the process than they do.
Do NOT fret about the pimples; it will only make you see more of them.
Be patient with your doctors, you never know when you’ll need a pregnancy test or pap smear.
Be nice to your gyno; they are the best chance at getting your hysterectomy covered and a private room to recover in afterwards.
Understand that friends come and go, but only the precious few you should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.
Live without ever disclosing briefly, but stop before you become overly anxious; disclose all the time briefly, but don’t partake in too many documentaries and art projects. Find a balance between the two.
Accept certain inalienable truths, you will loose some hair, you will stink a lot more, some will judge that you started too quickly, but when you are read as male full time you’ll worry about those just starting themselves. Don’t judge those just starting.
Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund,
maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.
Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, you’ll be bald.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than its worth. But trust me on the water…
This is an adaption of Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young written by Mary Schmich.