A day in the life of a trans guy

Well I haven’t been writing for a long while, although the notes on my phone are crazy long lol. I just haven’t had the motivation or concentration to sit down and write, so I have lots to catch up on. That’s if I can make sense of some of the things I’ve noted down.

Yesterday marked 10 months since having had top surgery, it has gone crazy fast. I can barely keep up with myself. My scars are looking great and I’m just so happy with the results, areas of my chest still feel a bit numb but its slowly regaining sensation. I still have the occasional nipple twinge where I’m assuming the nerve endings are still growing, that is a super weird feeling.

I still feel quite self conscious when I’m out and about, I still feel like I need a hoody so I can hide my chest. I still feel like people are staring at me, that I don’t ‘pass’ well enough etc and I know that’s just my insecurities and gender dysphoria. I also think its down to the ridiculously high standard that is set for trans men to look a certain way and I certainly do not meet the criteria. The expectation is that all trans men are super buff, work out, have muscles and are super handsome. I am non of those things, I’m short with a chubby body and I don’t work out or have muscles. I am currently in the process of loosing a bit of weight to help with my self esteem, body image and my general physical wellbeing, but I will never be a gym bunny.

I will never look like a lot of trans activists out there, who all work hard and look amazing. But there’s not a lot of representation out there for different body types within the trans masc community and I am no where near brave enough to show my chubby body in all its chubby glory on social media, as I am not strong enough to handle any negative criticism, even though I know it may help others feel seen, right now its not something I can do. But hey maybe one day.

I also think the expectation that once you have surgery that the dysphoria will disappear, I think I was under the illusion that it wouldn’t be an issue anymore. I’ve spent so long not feeling comfortable in my skin, that its going to take a whole lot of self love to even being to love this body of mine. I am so grateful for my body, it keeps me alive but I still don’t love my body enough and I don’t even really know what that looks like, as I’ve spent so long neglecting my mind and body that true self love and acceptance is not something I’ve experienced before and not sure how it looks or how it feels. I feel like I’m only just starting to scratch the surface of this self love stuff, I’ve got so much I need to heal first but I’m still trying.

The 12 weekly testosterone shots are going well, I’m 2 years and 10 months on T now which again has gone crazy fast. Only feels like yesterday that I would have done anything to be on testosterone and now here I am nearly 3 years down the line. There where times where I thought I can’t wait, its taking too long, once I knew who I was finally, waiting for everything was absolute agony it was almost like a physical pain, it was unbearable. I am so glad I held on, things get better eventually.

I much prefer the 12 weekly shot to the 3 weekly as my hormones are more settled and I feel less chaotic, then on the 3 weekly shots. My next one is due on a couple of weeks and I’ve got to get my levels checked to see how my body is reacting to the longer lasting testosterone. My sex drive has only just settled down since my last injection lol, it sucks being single and stuck in lockdown by myself. The first few weeks after my shot I’m super hungry and just want to eat everything and I’m horny as hell too, which is so weird. Before testosterone I had very little sex drive, mainly due to being on the medications I’m on, but now its a different story lol! But unlike the crazy appetite which settles down, the high sex drive seems to last a good 9-10 weeks! But self pleasure is a good pain relief, which I can say is true as I’ve barely had to take any of my usual pain meds recently so its not just an old wives tale.

I recently joined a dating website, which feels so embarrassing to even say… that I just want the ground to swallow me up right now lol! Its called OkCupid, which is a LGBT friendly dating site and that was the main reason for joining that specific one. I decided to join as I’ve on dated one person in the last 7 years and that relationship was exactly long, it lasted all of 6 months and it was my first relationship out as a trans guy.

There’s a few downsides to the website, one being that I am shit and describing myself and bigging myself up or even making myself sound in the slightest bit interesting…so I’ve not had any likes yet lol and I’m too scared to message anyone first as I feel awkward as fuck and I’m so shit and inserting myself into other people’s orbit, as I feel like I’m being instantly annoying.. Shit if I could be invisible but still be seen that would be the best lol. So yeah I don’t think my profile is really anything special, it doesn’t really stand out from anyone else’s.

The second downside is that I keep being matched with lesbians… like WTF! Lesbians want to be with lesbians, they do not want to be with trans men, I mean that would make them bi/straight. So that’s pretty annoying, trying to sift through all these hot lesbians and I feel bad for swiping no, although I don’t think it tells you who rejects you which is good.

So yeah I’m trying to get myself out there but its so fucking hard when all I want to do is disappear because I don’t feel worthy enough to be taking up space on this earth. I’m desperate to be seen and heard but I also want to disappear which is such a confusing paradox. But a lot of it is I have no self worth, self love etc and like I said I wouldn’t even know what that feels like, looks like. I’m so used to feeling like this for most of my life, its hard to imagine ever feeling any different. Maybe one day. I’ve got a lot of trauma to work through.

I know I am a bit late but HAPPY PRIDE MONTH! Always live your truth, no matter how hard your light will eventually shine and you can be a beacon of hope for others out there.

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – 6 months post top surgery.

Time is flying by faster then I can keep up with, it’s just crazy. But today marks 6 months since I had top surgery.

I’m slowly starting to connect with my chest and slowly starting to realise that I’ve finally had this life changing, life saving surgery that I’ve been wanting since puberty.

Still struggling a bit with the gender dysphoria and recognising myself but I think its a natural part of being trans.

I don’t think I look at my chest enough, I don’t look at myself and appreciate my new body. I think I was focused on recovering from surgery and it going well without any complications that I wasn’t really present and I was pretty lonely during recovery as well, so I didn’t have anyone around to be excited about surgery with and to share it with.

Looking back at leading up to surgery and after surgery I was kinda disconnected from it and as I’m used to being in hospitals and I’ve had lots of minor surgeries before, I just kinda treated it like any other procedure I’ve had to go through. I was really excited on the day of surgery and just after but it didn’t last very long. I just came at it like something I had to go through and I do feel sad now that I was that disconnected, I feel sad that I didn’t have anyone close to share the excitement with, I feel sad that I had no support during the recovery period, I felt quite let down.

I’ve felt quite lonely during my transition, despite friends being supportive and being happy for me. Apart from 1 appointment last year and the friends who took me to appointments before surgery, who took me there, took me home and took me to follow up appointments, I’ve spent the last 4 years going to appointments alone. It’s something that still makes me feel really sad, more then I think people know. As its not something I really express as it can’t be changed now.

But moving forward, I know I need to try and spend more time looking at my chest and touching my chest, so my brain starts making that connection with my new body. I think when it starts getting warmer and I spend more time walking around the flat topless, that will also help as well.

I’m still really happy with the results and how well my scars look and I’m super grateful to have been able to have this surgery done. I do feel better for having it done, just its such a huge emotional experience and as I am a super sensitive person, I’m sure its something that will take me a while to process.

Here are pictures from today.

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – How I prepared for top surgery.

I thought it might be helpful to write about how I prepared for top surgery, as I don’t think there’s enough information out there about it. There’s lots on the surgery itself and not much about post surgery, especially if you don’t have family to support you.

As soon as I got my date for surgery, I wrote a list a big list of everything I thought I would need and what I would need to do running up to surgery. I’m a bit of a control freak, so I’m pretty good and planning and organising myself and being over-prepared.

I also have 2 cats and 2 dogs, who are my absolute world so I needed to make sure not only was I prepared but they were also going to be cared for and had everything they needed.

LISTS! cannot express enough about how helpful lists are and also feels great when you finally get stuff ticked off. Plus they are a great visual aid to see how much you need to get and for me its just a great way to help organise my brain and figure out when I need to get things and in what order.

I belong to a great facebook group called TMSA social and support, they have two separate groups. They have files for surgeons which is where I picked mine from and everyone is super friendly and were so helpful when I asked for advice about what I needed post op top surgery. Highly recommend this group.

So here is what I bought and organised for top surgery pre and post op.

One of the hardest things was asking for help, I created a FB group chat with friends asking for help, I needed a lift to my pre op appointment and back, then a lift to hospital for surgery and a lift home again. I needed someone to stay at my house and look after my fur babies. I needed people to come over and help me take the dogs out, help with housework etc.

Everyone was amazing I got the support I needed, which was amazing. I had friends who took me back and forth to the hospital for my pre op appointment, surgery itself, post surgery and post surgery check up appointments. I also had friends stay at my flat and look after my fur babies, who had the best time.

Unfortunately I didn’t really have the support once I was back home, which sucked but I managed. I did have a couple of friends who came over and cooked for me, which was great but I was hoping for a little more help. Maybe I expected a bit too much, but I’ve made my peace with this all now.

I bought myself a amazon fire tablet, heaphones and microSD card, so I could download films to watch while I was in hospitals. I’m glad I bought it, it came in real useful, I watched quite a lot of films.

After surgery you aren’t allowed to shower for a while, so I bought some Clinitex body wipes from amazon and man am I so glad I did they were amazing, they made me feel pretty clean. I definitely recommend them.

I bought slippers and a dressing gown but I didn’t actually end up needing them, as they were provided but if in your paperwork they suggest them I’d buy them just in case, that’s if you don’t already own them.

I bought 2XL vest tops to wear after surgery, as it was in August and they were easy to slip on and off. I wore zipped hoodies as they were easy to get on and off too, as after you have limited movement in your arms for a few weeks. I bought the vest tops from Primark as they were only £2 each.

I am on lots of different prescribed medications and over the counter medications. I asked my GP for 2 months worth of all my meds so I didn’t have to worry to much about them and then I made sure I had enough of my over the counter medications, paracetamol, sinus rinse and vitamins.

I am on a key meter for my electric, so over the weeks running up to surgery I kept adding more then I usually put on my electric, so I knew I would be covered, same with my rent, I made sure I put extra money on my rent too.

I stocked up on basic household stuff, toilet rolls, washing up liquids, you know the boring adult household stuffs lol!

(NOTE I did a lot of stocking up no stuff! lol)

I stocked up on dog/cat food, cat litter, poop bags, treats.. again general stuff I would normally get to care for my gorgeous fur babies.

As I had a few friends stay over, I made labels for all the cupboards so it was easy for them to find stuff. I also made a list of instructions for the fur babies and just general information…yeah I said I was a bit of a control freak, which stems from anxiety.

I love my incense sticks and candles so I made sure I had them in.

I have a battery pack I took to charge my phone at tablet whilst I was in hospital, I made sure that was fully charged the day before I had surgery.

I made sure I had snacks, drinks and easy to make food in the flat. I mainly ate snacks and takeaways lol!

I bought these great hydration tablets O.R.S hydration tablets from amazon, they were great and I still use them now, especially for days I don’t drink enough.

These last few things were probably the most helpful of all.

So after surgery you aren’t meant to lay flat for a while, so I bought two V shaped pillows, two regular pillows and a memory foam neck pillow.

The neck pillow came in handy whilst I was in hospital after surgery, I used it when I was sleeping and it made the whole experience more comfortable.

The V pillows and two other pillows were great for when I was at home recovering, I spent 4/5 weeks sleeping on the sofa, as it was just the most comfortable place for me.

I honestly can’t say enough at how much those 3 particular pillows helped so much.

So for me that was is really, I’m pretty good at self care and looking after myself, so that part wasn’t too hard.

I couldn’t have done it without spending months of organising and planning, without the people who helped me.

If you’ve found this helpful, please feel free to share and use this as a guide to going through top surgery.

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – Swimming!

On Friday I went swimming for the first time in like 6/7 years and the first time since top surgery. I felt super anxious beforehand, not just because its the first time swimming in just swim shorts but also because I was self conscious about doughy, flabby body. So the thought of walking into the swimming pool in just shorts with no t-shirt to hide behind was pretty terrifying. But I was with a friend and the pool was pretty quiet and I did it!

The swimming pool we went to was so cool, I used to go all the time as a kid. They have unisex changing rooms and family changing rooms and they always have. And that’s part of the reason I chose to go to the particular pool. They also have a slide, rapids and a jacuzzi which is awesome.

We got changed and I actually didn’t feel as self conscious as I thought I would. I was more excited about swimming to worry about how I felt and I think going with a trusted friend helped a lot.

As soon as I got in the water I felt at home, I love the water so so much.

At first I kinda forgot how to swim, I was splashing about like a fish! But I soon got the hang of it again and it was like I’d been swimming for ages. I love swimming so so much and its something I’ve really missed doing. If my local pool wasn’t so freezing I’d probably go more often. We had fun swimming and splashing about, going on the slide and the rapids.

I could have stayed in there all day, I love being in the water so much. I can’t wait for the summer so I can go swim in the sea with my dog Scrappy.

Swimming for the first time since top surgery and since starting my transition was a huge moment for me and one I won’t forget. It felt so nice to be just in shorts and to feel the water all over my skin, plus I got to show off my awesome back tattoo.

Trying on my swim shorts!

I’m sure I’ll be swimming again soon

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a Trans guy – 7 weeks post op Top Surgery

These past 7 weeks have gone so quickly, my head and emotions still haven’t quite caught up with everything yet, I’m just trying to take it easy and be kind to myself.

The one thing no one tells you about post top surgery is that you no longer have two bags of fat on your chest keeping you warm! I’ve been going out in what I would normally wear for certain temperatures and I’ve been really cold, that’s going to take a while getting used too.

Also when getting dressed, I feel like I’m missing something because I no longer have to wear a binder/bra under my tops, so that feels pretty weird, feel kinda naked lol!

But I am loving the fact that my clothes all fit better and I don’t feel so stressed out while getting dressed because nothing looks or feels right. Now clothes sit properly and feel good, I look forward to getting dressed now, rather then it being a stressful event.

I went and had a massage on Monday, as after wearing that compression binder for nearly 6 weeks my back was so tense and stiff, I knew I needed a massage to help loosen my body up again. Plus a little self care goes a long way. It was so good! my shoulders were so knotty and I was so tense in so many places, I felt great afterwards, it was very much needed. I decided to have one once a month, as I think it will do me good in many ways.

I’ve spent a lot of time not being connected to my body and I still don’t feel quite connected with myself, so I think having a regular massage will help me feel more connected to my body and myself in general.

Now I’ve had surgery, I feel like I want to look after myself and my body better, although it all feels a bit overwhelming right now, so I’m just starting slowly. I’m still getting pretty exhausted most days, so its going to take a while to build myself back up. I think starting with having a monthly massage, will help set me on the right road.

7 Weeks Post op Top Surgery

I bought some Bio oil today to put on my scars and help heal these scars up. My body sometimes over heals and my scars turn out bumpy.

That’s all for now,

Peace out

Zak

A day in the life of a trans guy – 5 weeks post op Top surgery

Yesterday, my friend and I went up to my last post op appointment in Plymouth.

It went really well, the blood clot that he initially said would need to be drained at this appointment had gone, he said my body had absorbed it which is good. That meant not having to have a big needle stuck in my side! haha. That side is still a bit puffy but he said it will go down in time, it will take a few months for my body to properly heal itself.

The nurse cleaned around my scars and got rid of all the sticky patches from the tape and dressings and my surgeon picked off the scabs on my nipples and I got to see my new shiny, pink nipples properly for the first time! and they look pretty damn good.

As parts of my chest is still numb and hypersensitive, I’ve got to keep touching the area so wake it and stop it being so sensitive.

I DON’T HAVE TO BIND ANYMORE! WOO! The first thing I did when I got back into town, was go get my haircut! and man that felt great. Went to a new barbers and wow had the best haircut and service ever. I got home and jumped straight in the shower and that was the best shower in the world! It felt great! I finally feel clean again! and then I threw the binder away!

My chest, ribs and back are sore and stiff from binding and a bit from surgery too, so I’ve been doing gentle stretches to loosen my muscles up a bit. I’ve also been trying to consciously walk with a better posture, as the binder and pre surgery I walked hunched up, which isn’t helped with the sore muscles. A surprising side effect of a better posture is a better mood, I feel great when I’m standing properly, I don’t feel like I have to hide away anymore. I can walk tall and proud.

I feel like I’m finally getting back into the swing of life again, I’ll probably go back to volunteering in a week or two, although I’ll need to do a sort of trial shift, just to see how I get on, as I don’t want to push my body too much before its ready.

It’s been a long hard road to get here today but I did it and I’m so glad I held on, even when it felt impossible and so far out of reach.

Life can finally start!

Peace out

Zak