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Old 05-19-2019, 08:38 PM
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My Amazon's Behavior: A Strangely Specific Question

Hey all! Haven't posted on the forums for a bit. Bingo has officially been mine for over a year now! I made him a small cake made of small apple slices and Nutri-Berry 'sprinkles'! Made for some cute photos!

Recently I've been thinking about our future together. He's around 6-7 years old now. I've been having to think of some personal choices and how they'll effect Bingo. I am planning soon to start hormone therapy to begin my transition from female to male. However, I've been pushing this back because I'm afraid of Bingo reacting to my changes very badly.

The two of us have a very strong bond. I'm the only one who can go near him in my house, and anyone who tries to come near his cage or where he is, he'll go to bite. Even when I went to see him in the store I adopted him from, the shopkeeper informed me about his clear hate for men in general. While this necessarily hasn't been an issue since I'm always around and everyone knows how he acts, I'm worried how undergoing the therapy will change his behavior.

Taking testosterone will change several aspects of me. My weight distribution will shift, my hair will grow thicker, and most noticeably, my voice will get a bit deeper and more 'masculine'.

I'm really worried these changes will confuse Bingo and he won't recognize me, and go to attack. That'll leave no one in the house able to engage with him, and I'm worried what will come of that. Then again, since I'm around him every day and his cage is in my room by my bed, maybe the change will be so gradual that he'll become accustomed to it as time goes by.

If he reacts badly to the change, I fear I'll have to give away my baby to someone who is able to pick him up and take care of him. As painful as that option is, it's better than having him locked in his cage all the time with him afraid of everyone around him.

A friend of mine had said his dog had been confused when he spoke with a deeper voice and had to warm back up to him again, but that was because he had moved out of the house about six months in between. He said it was like his dog knew him, but didn't recognize him.

If anyone can share some insight, I'd be EXTREMELY grateful! Anyone who is transgender and has experience or someone who is an expert with Amazon behavior, please respond!

Thank you!

- Jesse and Bingo!
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Old 05-20-2019, 03:04 AM
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Re: My Amazon's Behavior: A Strangely Specific Question

Hello Jesse!

First and foremost I’m so proud of this transition. Congratulations on the beginning of a wonderful journey for you!

Secondly, I don’t know that I would worry too much. You may have some transitional odd behaviors as bingo starts adjusting but I don’t honk the T is going to make instantaneous changes, if I’m not mistaken it’s going to be rather gradual. Bingo will have time to adjust.

And if he acts up? You’ll work through it together. That’s just part of owning a parrot.
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Old 05-20-2019, 06:46 AM
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Re: My Amazon's Behavior: A Strangely Specific Question

Although I am not transgender and I have never met anyone who transitioned with a bird, my gut says that the change will be gradual enough that your bird probably will adjust.
I could be wrong...but it isn't all going to happen overnight, so I think that your bird will still recognize you for you (just based on body language, inflection etc). Again, not speaking from experience, so can't say for sure..
Even if there is some push-back, I imagine that it will only be a matter of time for things to return to the way they were.

Last edited by noodles123; 05-20-2019 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:41 AM
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Re: My Amazon's Behavior: A Strangely Specific Question

Over the many years that I have worked with Amazons, including those that have taken ownership of our home. I have seen the full cross-section of preferences. Commonly, if one allows the Amazon to choose its all about the connection and very little regarding gender, having seen men or women haters switch from historical stated preferences. Amazons are known to 'Love the One You're with', as commonly as to have a preference.

Most Parrots are not crazy about flash changes, some are not effected at all. With a change over months, with daily interactions, they may pick-up on minor changes, but not react to them.

Roaming around the back of my mind is a 'warning' about hormone therapy and its unintended affect on other members of the household including pets. If I recall correctly, one must assure that care is taken that other family members do not come in contact with the medication. Consult with your Medical Professional and follow direction precisely.
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:13 AM
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Re: My Amazon's Behavior: A Strangely Specific Question

I'm a transgender male and I'm curious as well.

If I'm not mistaken, the process will take at least two years (depending on how you transition whether it's injections, patches, or pills) and that should be gradual enough that the bird should be fine. You're lucky! You're the only man your bird likes!

If you're worried about how Bingo will react, you can always give him super yummy treats whenever you have your injections, patches, or pills. Then if he does sense a change in subtle testosterone levels, he should then associate it with a good thing (like a treat he doesn't get very often).

I haven't started my transition yet, so you'll have to update us. Good luck and I'm so excited for you!
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