Purpose & Motivation
Who I Am & Why I Created This Research Repository
I'm a non-binary trans man who recently started testosterone. I read everything I could get my hands on before starting, talked to all my AFAB trans friends about their experiences, and went to a transgender specific health clinic to start HRT, and still experienced some things that no one warned me about. The most troubling to me was my sudden, intense cravings for alcohol. I have had no interest in drinking for the past 5 years, and have chronic illnesses that make drinking very dangerous for me. I have never struggled with alcohol abuse or dependency, or ever felt anything I would describe as "cravings" for alcohol until a couple weeks into my transition. After doing some research, I found out that higher testosterone levels were positively associated with alcohol cravings and difficulty resisting the temptation to drink! Considering how many of our trans siblings have substance abuse and alcohol struggles, I was shocked and upset that this information wasn't common knowledge or even communicated to me by the healthcare professionals who wrote my prescription.
In addition to that, last year someone I care about who is Schizoaffective made the decision to finally start testosterone. His doctor did not warn him of the risk of worsening of his serious mental health condition by lowering the estrogen in his body. Prior to reading research papers online, I had never heard a single other trans person mention the risks of HRT for someone with Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder. Just like substance abuse issues, mental health concerns are higher in trans populations, and it's honestly a failure of the medical community to not arm people with this crucial information when they're pursuing gender affirming healthcare.
As someone with multiple chronic illnesses in an AFAB body, I am used to being failed by the healthcare industry and used to doing my own research and taking control of my treatment. I have educated some of my doctors on issues specific to my experiences and it's made a huge difference in my treatment and quality of life... and hopefully helps other patients down the line. I believe everyone who has the ability to do so should do the same, because the system is broken, and marginalized folks slip through the cracks. We can help each other, and go into our transitions armed with knowledge and in a position of power to advocate for ourselves.
Let's Work Together