November 24, 2013

Hi I am a FTM only five months into transition, I know we talk about body and medical changes, but wanted to shared some changes I noticed and I have never hear before any where. The most funny one I went from not eating hot sauce to now loving it, used to love some food, and now other, my taste buds change. I now love basketball and not before. Testosterone changes are more then we expect or notice we just need to be more in tune with our body’s and more then one change are awesome. good luck

Thanks for sharing your experiences.

The effects of HRT on the transgender mind is almost completely lacking in study beyond the collection of individual anecdotes, and as such there’s almost nothing that can be definitely said about it. That HRT will effect the transgender brain is without question; hormones affect every part of us, and there have been many studies out there suggesting that in general higher T levels result in things like more aggression, spatial fluency, and even professional success; , while higher E levels result in stronger emotional responses, lowered anxiety levels, and even improved verbal fluency and memory. Transfolk are not immune to these effects. 

As far as things such as you’ve described — changes in flavor preference, in recreational interests, and such — there’s as many men and women out there who will say that yes, they experienced such personality shifts as there are those who will say that no, they haven’t. One woman I know swears that she became a clean freak after starting hormones, while before she was a slob; another woman loved deer hunting and other outdoor sports before hormones and still loves them now, five years after. My own therapist believes such changes have more to do with transition allowing us to be more in tune with who we are and allowing ourselves to enjoy things we migh have previously denied because they weren’t “gilry enough” or “manly enough”.

Maybe someday we’ll have more science to explain it. In the meantime, just enjoy the new you (and watch out for habanero hot sauce!). 

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