Questioning Gender? Start here!
There is no right or wrong way to be trans. Just because you are not cisgender, does not mean you have to adopt any particular definition of being transgender.
Trans people can live happy and fulfilling lives, find partners and be in healthy relationships. Trans people are not doomed to sad and difficult lives. Trans and non-binary people get married and find partners just like cis people. Trans people are attractive just like cis people.
A person does not have to be “feminine” to be female or “masculine” to be male. If you choose to transition, that doesn’t mean you must jump to the opposite end of the binary!
Cisgender people do not question their gender. Just because you feel uncomfortable in your gender assigned at birth, does not mean you must feel comfortable in the opposite gender in order to truly be transgender. Gender is on a binary and you can be transgender without feeling 100% certain or comfortable in either binary gender.
There is no such thing as being “too old” to come out, transition, or start hormones. Hormone Replacement Therapy still works no matter the age. Better to live one day as your true self than 100 years of pretending to be somebody you are not.
Not all trans people have dysphoria. You can still be transgender and have little to no gender dysphoria.
Coming out or transitioning is not always a linear journey and a person does not need to feel certain in order to be trans. Thereis an unspoken expectation in society that we should have a sense of certainty about big decisions. Society doesn’t teach us or give us the tools to make decisions based off uncertainty so it is OK that doing so feels uneasy.
At first, moving forward in transition can be overwhelming but over time, it gets easier. Being trans does not necessarily stay hard forever. Plus, your definition of “hard” changes over time as you become more resilient.
Be aware of the “initial reaction”. It can be just that – an initial reaction from loved ones that will change over time. Get a bad first reaction to coming out? Time, processing, reflection, love- all change people; reactions can become well thought out convictions and positive affirmations.
Coming out is not a one-time event; it can be a never-ending process. You get to decide if and when you tell people you are transgender; there is no rule book for this.
Fellow transgender people can also be gatekeepers. Trans individuals did not write the trans rule book. They may have written their own book, but they did not write your book nor do their definitions, expectations, rules, or choices dictate any of yours.
Get people in your corner! Asking for help is not weakness; needing help builds connection. Strengthening a gender-affirming support system is one of the most beneficial things you can create for yourself!
Changes may come much slower (or faster!) than what you see on YouTube. It comes down to genetics so roll the dice and see what happens!
Transitioning or taking hormones may not fully eliminate dysphoria. There is no magic pill that will give you a 100% ideal version of yourself or your body.
Transition is not just physical. Hormones change your brain. There is an inner peace and inner calm that can come with living your true self.
Your voice may not get very deep. Nobody can pick and choose what changes they get; transitioning is not a buffet where you can pick and choose.
People might surprise you for the better. We tend to fear the worst. You may be surprised by how your vulnerability allows others to be more vulnerable. By asking for help and support, you may give others the opportunity to be an advocate and to feel helpful and brave.
Hormone replacement therapy is not an exact science. Doctors do not know everything. Other trans people do not know everything. Listen to your body – it will tell you exactly how it feels and what it needs.
Use your voice! Speak up! Make sure you get a doctor who is willing to listen to your transition goals, feelings and concerns. Hormone replacement therapy is way more complicated that a number on lab work results. Don’t blindly follow orders – research everything and listen to your intuition.
Much of the difference between the genders comes from socialization, not hormones. So much of the difference between men and women is impressed upon us from a very early age. Humans are androgynous creatures; society has defined us into distinct and separate categories. Break free.
Children are old enough to know their gender identity. Between the age of 2 and 3, children develop an understanding of gender. Furthermore, nobody questions a child’s gender identity when it is in-line with the gender on their birth certificate!
People do not become transgender as a fad due to the media or influence by peers. One could be persuaded to dye their hair, dress in all black, take up smoking but being influenced to change one’s gender is an unlikely occurrence.
Being transgender is usually not a phase that people grow out of. Generally, if a person has been persistent, consistent, and insistent, it is most likely not a phase. “Phase” usually implies a choice and being transgender is not a choice nor is it something that can be simply outgrown.
Hesitation, indecisiveness, backtracking or changing one’s mind are not indications that a person is cisgender and not really trans. People can change their minds and still be trans. Gift them space to discover without letting the non-linear timeline de-legitimize their process.
If a person changes their mind later in life, it does not mean someone made a mistake to let them transition. By honoring this growth, we allow people a safe space to change their mind or change their identity without backlash or repercussion. By viewing change as a mistake, we might teach people (especially kids) that identities must be set in stone and that gender must be permanent in order to be valid.
Want to learn even more? Check out the full blog posts: