On not expecting biomedical transition to do things it can't
Something you linked earlier in the year (the Gender Dysphoria Bible I think it was called?) was the first time I'd seen "feeling like your body is a mechsuit you operate rather than a part of you" listed as a symptom of gender dysphoria, after spending more than half my life referring to my body as "this janky meat chassis". To be fair to everyone involved who failed to catch this earlier (including me), I've been chronically ill since I was a teenager, so the answer to "starting around puberty, did you feel like your body was wrong" was "yes, obviously, that's when I experienced my *first* organ failure". So it's understandable that it took a while before I ran across something that made me think "there is that, but also other things going on."
I've been identifying as agender for a few months now, I've done some social transitioning (nothing medical at this point) and been very happy with the results, several of which fit exactly you describe here. But I think I have the advantage of knowing that my body has other issues that transitioning won't do a thing about, so my scope was properly limited. So what you say about managing your expectations makes all kinds of sense. And I guess I wanted to say thanks for pointing me in a direction I hadn't thought to look.
This is very unintuitive to me. I would expect HRT to have a huge impact on quality of life. QoL is subjective, it's not a matter of how many problems are solved for you or how "objectively" better your life gets. So, like, I would expect it to be about equivalent to curing a chronic pain condition.
(And the one RCT in that systematic review agreed with me. Though its sample size was tiny, it found improvements of, like, 5 points on a 10 point scale.)
"Being a man mostly solves the problem where I wanted to be a man and couldn’t, with some fringe benefits about physical strength and not being harassed on street corners and so on"
I've been reading your work for many years now, Ozy, but not every single piece, and this sentence makes me think I missed something. Last I remember you were nonbinary & using they/them pronouns. This sounds like you now consider yourself a man & use he/him pronouns, but it's indirect enough that I want to check to be sure (eg some people call themselves "men" while still using they/them pronouns, etc.) Did you write about this, or is this just private/not that big a deal? Or am I misunderstanding?
Where ever you are, glad you are happy with it.
Given the precision that it's "biomedical transition" that's mostly discussed here, would you expect social transition to have a larger measured impact ? (Of course it's probably even harder to control for the inevitable correlates)
I could see this being true, at least personally. I don't track my daily mood (not for lack of trying) but my net mood effect might be 0 honestly, my variance is way way higher now though. I went from feeling like I was piloting a meat mecha to actually being in the world so everything hits way harder now and that can be good and bad. Like for social stuff, ALL my friendships are way better and deeper now (for people of all genders) but I am the crux of a lot of family problems now. Both the positive and negative sides of a lot of the things you mentioned (+more) apply I think, so it ends up being a net wash. I'd still choose this pretty average day over most of my meatsuit days tho.
A nitpick: most people are considerably more than one (or even two or three) income-doubling away from where it would fundamentally change their life (i.e. where one could quickly save enough to stop having to work for a living.)
I was expecting the "make you a man" link to go to this: https://youtu.be/tEx8__ie6bg?si=ndvk7HxqkGDFNG6M
This post made me sceptical of trans people more than other things I have read so far. Trans people are discriminated so much against and transition seems so hard and there are so many complications (I guess). So if transitioning only causes minor benefits they have to be doing it for attention, or be delude or following some trend or ideology. I thought trans people mostly had pretty intense dysphoria or just a very large urge to transition, but if they just prefer it a little that confuses me.
Of course everyone who want's to transition should be able to either way, I'm a transhumanist, if people want to grow tails or so they can do what every they want for the most part. This article just somewhat confuses me.
Footnote 2 is likely the main thing stopping me from medically transitioning. I've already socially transitioned to everyone I suspect would take the news well, have a good job, a happy marriage, a great child, and a good relationship with half of my family. I'm worried about jeopardizing all that that to potentially boost my happiness from an 8 to a 9 on a QoP scale. When you are already happy, a major change can cause your score to go down a lot more than it can raise it.