A few small suggestions on transitioning.

I recently made the internet acquaintance of a transgirl who is at the beginning of her transitioning from pretend boy to, I’m quite certain, a very beautiful young woman. During one of our chats on Yahoo Messenger (Yes, apparently some people do still use this. I was shocked, I hadn’t used it in about 4 years.) she asked me for any hints that I might have to help make her transition if not easier, than perhaps a slightly less painful. Well here is what I came up with. Please note that everything on this list is very much my own personal opinion, which is based on my experience of transitioning. Also these are listed in no particular order.

  • If you have dark hair start laser hair removal as soon as possible. Nothing else, pre-hormones, will have as quick, or profound an impact on your looks, or your sense of wellbeing. If you have hair which is too fair for it to be effectively Lasered you will have to go down the electrolysis route.
  • Speaking of laser and electrolysis, prices, and skill vary a great deal between places providing these treatments so it’s a very good idea to ask around (people you know, the interwebs, TENI) to find who people recommend, as well as getting a good idea of prices.
  • Make contact with whatever local/national organisation exists where you live. Here in Ireland it’s TENI, and they will have a lot of helpful people, advice, and above all many non-judgemental ears for you to bash with your worries. Trust me they’ll understand, the vast majority of them have been where you are, or have had to help a partner through it all.
  • Don’t go too nuts buying clothes to begin with, for two reasons. Firstly, odds are that you will really have very little idea of what looks good on you. Secondly, while you do need to buy some clothes, both every day and good wear, you are also going to need that money for hair removal, and depending on where you live, travel costs.
  • Don’t listen blindly (wow, that’s a bad way to put that!) to the old wives tales, and horror stories about transitioning which some older transpeople seem to love to peddle. Those stories are their experiences, often back in the 70’s 80’s or 90’s. It may well be as little as 10 years since they transitioned, but I know from my own experience that a huge amount has changed in that time.
  • Don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor about this. They are required by law to maintain the confidentiality of your situation. And while many may not understand some like my current GP are going to be not only willing, but driven to learn how to help you. Also if your doctor proves unable, or unwilling to help, ask a different doctor. There are after all LOTS of GP’s, one of them will be able to help you. Again this is an area where contact with a group like TENI will help, as they be very well positioned to advise you.
  • Your transition is YOUR transition. No-one elses. It is the act of you consciously becoming who you have always wanted to be. Sure, listen to suggestions/advice politely. But nothing what-so-ever requires you to use their advice. For example if I’d listened to one particular ex-friend I would never have transitioned, “You know you’ll never be a good-looking woman.” If I’d listened to some other people I would have been just another normally dressed, but miserable Irish woman, instead of the very happy well-dressed  gothgirl I am.

Yes this really is me. It kind of illustrates why I’m happy I didn’t listen to fashion advice from idiots. I love being a gothgirl!

I know I covered nothing to do with Gender Therapist, clinics, or hormones in this. I may come back and deal with them in the future. This was more in the lines of very basic simple advice that I wish someone had given me when I started out on this particular road. Anyway if you have any ideas that I missed, or want to discuss anything in this post please feel free to add a comment. And I will leave you all to your weekend with two links to why I think being transsexual is awesome.

It really is awesome…

No Really it is!

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3 Comments to “A few small suggestions on transitioning.”

  1. The “basic simple” advice can be the MOST important! The been-there, done-that perspective is an invaluable asset–as you say, things you wish someone HAD shared with you… This one especially hit home: “if your doctor proves unable, or unwilling to help, ask a different doctor”… For crying in a bucket, don’t subject yourself to the “care” of any person who is so far away from being able to understand YOU! (And that “basic simple” advice applies to more areas of life than just picking a GP.) You are a WISE woman (no qualifier—“trans” or otherwise—needed for that statement)! 🙂

    • Sorry for taking so long to reply Kana, life went a little screwy and it slipped my mind. I agree totally that not dealing with people who don’t understand you is a very good way to help your mental, and emotional health.

      For example I last saw my own gender therapist about 4 years ago. Why? Because some of the things he implied about my sex life, and other deeply personal aspects of that side of my life left me feeling like dirt. I’ve given him the benefit of a lot of doubt by assuming it came from a place inhabited by immense misunderstandings about who and what I am. But even so I chose to get him out of my life, and find someone else to deal with my case.

      Anyway thank you Kana, it means a lot to have you say that to me. Compliments from one of my favourite bloggers are always, always welcomed. 😉

      • No need to apologize—today actually turns out to be the perfect day for ME to get a reminder about not letting toxic people mess with our heads. I just got a good-sized dose of “toxic” dumped on me this morning, and I’m still reeling. Perfect timing for me to return to this topic–thank you for the reminder! 🙂 Hugs!

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