Monday, February 6, 2023

Are Hormones the Culprit?

Years ago, I did outreach with three transsexual women for a Human Sexuality class at the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford. We each gave a short biography and then took questions from the class.

It was a large class, all female with approximately 10% asking questions. The question and answer session lasted 90 minutes. I don’t recall any unique questions coming my way, but during the session, I discovered a new possible reason for my desire to crossdress: hormones.

The question that led to this had something to do with what changes the transsexuals experienced after taking hormones. One transwoman mentioned that before taking hormones, viewing a movie like Love Story had no effect, but after taking hormones, she cried like a baby viewing such a film. The other two transwomen agreed that they experienced the same change.

In response, I said that I never took hormones, but all my life, I cried viewing a movie like Love Story

The professor suggested that perhaps I should be tested by an endocrinologist. I assumed he was inferring that maybe I had an imbalance of hormones, i.e., too many female hormones and/or not enough male hormones. If that is true then it might explain other things… like my feminine breasts and my feminine traits.

Since puberty, my breasts have resembled a female’s breasts rather than a male’s and are able to nearly fill a B cup. 

And since forever, I have had feminine mannerisms. 

I never affected feminine mannerisms; they are natural to me. My most prominent feminine mannerisms are the way I talked and gestured.

I am very soft-spoken. I use words and phrases in ways that are typically female. And when I talk, I gesture with my hands in a very feminine manner often touching the other person I am conversing with. (That last one really freaks me out when I am in boy mode and touch somebody. I do it unconsciously and after I do it, I worry about a negative reaction from the other person, but so far I have been lucky and no one has called me on it.)

I never saw an endocrinologist, so I don’t know the truth about my hormones. But it would not surprise me that they are naturally balanced in a feminine way.

That’s not to say that some nurturing was not responsible, too. My mother raised me, while my father was absent much of the time while I was growing up (Dad worked two jobs and as much overtime as possible to make ends meet). Lacking a male model, I took after my mother in a lot of ways. So both nurture and nature may have come into play. 


Source: Venus
Wearing Venus

Jeffrey Carlson
Jeffrey Carlson (right) femulating on television’s All My Children.


  1. I suspect that most of our behaviours, our speech patterns, our gestures etc. are learnt rather than inherent. I know I made a conscious effort to learn to use female (rather than feminine) ways of sitting, speaking, interacting when I started my transition. Now they are natural for me.
    For the other things you may well be ibterested by an analysis by an endocrinologist.

  2. I would concur mannerisms may be learned. I have witnessed many young women who are in need of some serious social skills training. There does not have to be formal training; it's just subconsciously absorbed through observation. Me? I have always suspected some genetic factor is involved and that may lead to some hormonal issues. I have never had the muscle mass that is typical of a male. I have no hair follicles on my legs and underarms. As I age I have noticed more emotional responses to movies on the Hallmark Channel. I have always been drawn to colorful clothes and love colorful flowers. I suspect there is a genetic factor that has contributed to who I am.

  3. While I am not an expert I think I agree with your thoughts about an imbalance in hormones maybe a root to why someone might be a crossdresser or transgender. The more we learn about ourselves and from each other may help for a clear picture of who we are and maybe why. Our bodies develop in certain ways because of our hormonal make up. A boy with breasts may question his maleness or others may question it to make him wonder am I really a "he", is it an imbalance some how that causes this that with our society also questioning "him" that he may wonder if "am I a male or really a girl?" You have worked with and along side of both the transgendered and the crossdresser, is there a difference, what is the sameness, your articles help so many to think about why they are the person they are without feelings of guilt or shame. Please continue to look for answers by asking good questions. And continue to allow us to learn more about ourselves in both a serious way and with a good laugh once in awhile.

  4. Perhaps you should look into the topic of Chimera. I have patches of skin on my body that are devoid of hair and quite smooth. My wife says that they are my female skin.
    A chimera is an individual where two fertilized eggs merge into one zygote. there is a famous case in the. UK where divorce and child support issues led to a DNA test. When the results came back the woman's doctor, who had been present at the birth of the child, told her that the ex-husband was the father, but she was not the mother. Apparently, her ovaries belonged to a twin sister.
    The whole topic is fascinating, and for me is a possible explanation for my dysphoria.
    While not common, chimera are known across the animal kingdom.

  5. From my personal point of view, I do not believe that there is a single cause. Everything must influence to a greater or lesser extent. I also believe that our decision to be (or not to be) someone in particular greatly influences the outcome, as well as what motivated us to make that momentous decision.

  6. Hormones are a very powerful thing. It makes us who we are. I have had a hormonal imbalance for many years. It does funny things to the mind and body😃

  7. I really think you may be on to something. I am involved with a group of 60-70 year old crossdressers, many of whom (myself included) did not get back into it until later in life. One explanation we have theorized is that as we age our testosterone levels dramatically decrease (a documented fact) while the estrogen in our systems either remain the same or increase slightly. While I am not a proponent of either 'nature' or 'nurture' hormonal levels is one plausible explanation.

  8. I do not think we will get much sympathy from wives or sweethearts if we try to blame our interest and behaviour on our hormones