Being a trans man: Jay's story 

Jay describes his transition from female to male. He talks about the expert help he received, his relationship with Lani and how he feels now.

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Transcript of Being a trans man: Jay's story

I lived as a gay woman up until my early 20s.

In my final year at uni, when I was about 22, I started binding my chest.

It was strange, as I still didn't know I wanted to be male.

I still didn't know I was trans.

I just knew I was different, that my body didn't fit.

And then I really hit rock bottom.

I knew that what I was doing wasn't right. It didn't make sense for me,

and after a lot of thinking

I realised that what was really going on was that I was trans, I felt like a guy.

It was a really mixed feeling.

Extreme relief that I finally knew what was wrong, what was happening to me,

but it was also quite traumatising,

because I thought I'd have to move into this space

where I'd be rejected by everyone

and that my life would essentially be over.

But I felt that was my only option.

That was who I was and I had to start that process.

I initially spoke to my GP,

who was unhelpful and so I changed GPs to one who wasn't prejudiced,

which was good and he was great.

He was really, really helpful. He spoke to the PCT.

They advised him that I needed to see a psychiatrist.

And I was really fortunate.

There was a psychiatrist there who'd worked in a gender clinic

who had awareness of the issues and was really supportive.

That was where I started to feel it might actually be OK.

That it wouldn't mean the end of everything. It was more the beginning.

I met my partner about a year before I started hormones.

She talked to me as male, assumed I was male, even though I looked quite female.

And there were no problems. It was nice to meet somebody who could do that.

When I first met him he was trans, but he hadn't started transition yet.

And my only fear, I suppose, with the relationship when it started

was that I'm straight.

And obviously for an outsider looking in, it looked like we were a gay couple.

But I'd never seen him as anything other than male.

We'll go climbing next weekend.

Hormone therapy was interesting. I had a huge amount of testosterone in my body,

so there was only one thing on my mind.

Luckily, that does tail off over time and I can think about other things now,

which is helpful. My periods stopped more or less after the first shot.

I was lucky. With some people it takes longer.

My voice started to break after about a month.

It took a good year and a half for it to properly settle down.

My body shape completely changed.

Whereas I'd had an hourglass figure before, I'm much more straight down now.

And it was really quite sudden.

I looked in the mirror one day thinking, "Where have my hips and thighs gone?"

and realised they were round my stomach.

I could occasionally pass as male

if people couldn't see I had breasts.

I knew I did not want to have breasts at all.

That was the biggest thing for me.

So for me one of my main priorities was to have a mastectomy.

The first time I came back from hospital

and walked past the window topless without going like that was fantastic.

It was great. It's been one of the most amazing things I've had done.

There are lots of reasons why people decide to have genital surgery or not.

In some ways I think I would like to do it,

just because I would like to experience what that feels like.

But for me and for some guys I know,

being a man isn't necessarily about having a penis.

I don't have to do that in order to see myself as male.

I see myself as male. I see myself as a transmale particularly, anyway.

(Lani) Now we've got over this transition

and Jay is who he wants to be,

our relationship is like any normal relationship.

We're planning to get married next year

and then we're going to go down the IVF route and have some children,

so now that all that pressure is off, we've gone into a normal relationship

and are doing what any normal couple would do.

It's only a part of my life.

It was the main thing for a couple of years while I was transitioning,

going through that process, but now it's just a part of who I am.

There are so many more parts to me. My job and my relationships,

my hobbies and my social life, and that I'm trans.


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