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What Are Some Things You Wish You Knew Before Starting Hormone Replacement Therapy?

It's like going through puberty, but a lot more confusing.

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For transgender or gender non-conforming people, starting hormone replacement therapy can be an exciting, stressful, and overwhelming decision.

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After all, it's going to change a lot of things in your life — inside and out!

Looking back, is there anything you wish you had known before starting the process? Things you wish people would have told you?

You probably discovered that transitioning doesn't happen overnight.

And everyone's journey looks very different, so comparing your progress to others' may not be so helpful.

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Or maybe it was super inspiring to find people documenting their transition online.

Maybe you wish you had fully understood all the ~magical science~ behind the changes that were happening to your body?

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Could there be complications? What's the deal with hormone blockers? Will this affect my fertility? What other questions do you wish you had discussed more with your doctor?

Or maybe you wish you'd known just how big that price tag was going to be?

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Health insurance? How does that work? Will this be covered?

You may have felt pressure to answer everyone else's questions about the details of your transition, like whether or not you'd pursue gender confirmation surgery or how you plan to talk about your journey in romantic situations.

And hey, maybe you just don't know the answers yet. You're working on it.

Maybe your experiences with dysphoria changed drastically — or maybe just a little bit, or not at all.

Maybe you struggled with what to say in response to people who didn’t understand your personal decision.

And maybe you discovered amazing new ways to practice self-care.

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Like finding a therapist who's super affirming and really gets you, or a community of people who support you.

So tell us! What do you wish you'd known before starting hormones? Your comments could be featured in an upcoming BuzzFeed LGBT post and could possibly help someone just starting out in their transition.

For the chance to be featured, throw your responses in the comments section below! We want to hear from people of all gender identities, experiences, and sexualities — because everyone's journey is unique.

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