Puberty is usually one of those times many of us do not look on fondly as it was that time where we went through so many changes both physically and mentally. It was the catalyst for growing into the adults we would become. For transgender people, without the benefits of puberty blockers, it is a nightmare. Your body in all of its mismatched glory strikes a massive blow against your gender as it develops into the one thing you do not want, the wrong gender reflection. A lot of transgender people when they transition, will be fighting against what first puberty did to them for many years and in some case for the rest of their lives. First Puberty can be considered cruel and unusual punishment for a transgender person. However, second puberty is a completely different thing with a very positive slant. It is an oasis for the transgender person on their journey to being themselves.
The second puberty is the puberty the transgender person wanted in the first place. It is the puberty of their true gender identity and it is very liberating and a great source of happiness. This puberty is of course the result of hormone therapy and it is also characterized by both physical and mental changes. The physical changes for a female to male (F2M) consist of a deepening voice; fat redistribution; muscle development; body hair and facial hair growth. Depending on their genetics their can be a loss of hair on top. For the Female to Male the hormones will not shrink their breasts nor will they significantly change anything downstairs.
In the case of Male to Female (M2F) Transgender people, the hormones will thin out body hair; create breast development; thin and smooth skin; stop a receding hairline; and redistribute body fat. The hormones will not change the voice or significantly alter facial hair. The female hormones can over time slightly shrink the testes and result in sterility. Generally the female hormones will be taken with a male hormone blockers because the testes will continue to produce testosterone up until they are surgically removed.
There are also mental changes that accompany the second puberty. For F2M, the testosterone can create slightly more aggressiveness though in most cases it is nothing to worry about as men have been dealing with this sort of thing fine for a very long time. For M2F there is generally a lessening in aggressiveness and a tendency to be more emotional. Sometimes this can result in crying for no reason and it is interesting as we spent pre transition trying to suppress emotions and learning to open up more can be interesting.
Another aspect of the second puberty is the re-experiencing of the growing years of their true gender identity. This is very prevalent in M2F transgender people. Growing up the first time in a male prison, they did not get to go through normal girlhood and as a result in second puberty it is all shiny and new. From learning make-up and clothes to mastering social interactions, there is a lot of stuff going on. Often a new girl gets all wrapped up in styles befitting a teenager which can be amusing if the person is transitioning in their 40s or 50s. I was lucky enough to transition in my early 20s and I easily could pass for 17 or 18 so my teenaged phase of transition didn’t seem too out of place. I do sometimes miss the glitter and figure when I hit 50 it will have to be a glitter event.
In addition to learning how to be your new gender expression the transgender person also has to unlearn many of the trappings of their old life. This can include leaning how to cough properly, laugh, sneeze, walk, and talk. There is a huge number of things that many trans people will spend a lifetime mastering. Despite all of that extra work transgender people need to put in, it is worth it to be better reflections of who we really are.