Experiences of Transwomen with Hormone Therapy Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • This article describes the experiences of 12 transwomen on hormone treatment, ranging in age from 30 to 63. Findings from interviews revealed seven prominent themes: transitioning before hormone treatment, starting on hormones, matching expectations with reality, tracking changes, relationships with health professionals, reflections on gender identity, and impact of hormones. Participants tended to be highly curious about the impact of hormone therapy, and most tracked bodily and psychological changes closely. Despite problematic side effects experienced by most (including periods of depression), an overall mental health benefit was evident, with transwomen feeling relieved about reducing the impact of testosterone and the stress of presenting as men, while being able to openly explore dimensions of being female. While some transwomen expressed awareness of how social influences and ideas about gender played a part in their reactions to hormone treatment, most thought and acted in accordance with the biomedical premise that bodies and identities can be created and recreated through technical physiological manipulation. Hormone therapy was seen as the critical step in committing to, and consolidating gender transition.

publication date

  • February 2007