For many trans people, the question of where to start is one of the most difficult questions of their transition, and can be one of the most overwhelming. The good news is, transition isn’t really a linear path, and there isn’t any right or wrong way to go about it. Thankfully there are a lot of great resources and the web is a wealth of information. From YouTubers like Kat Blaque, Princess Joules, Raiden Quinn, TS Madison, and SkylarkEleven (among others), to websites like TS Roadmap, and Susan’s Place as well as resources from GLAAD.
How Much Do I Want to Do?:
There’s no right or wrong way to transition or amount to transition. For some people they want and need to do top and bottom surgery (medical transition), name change, gender marker change (legal transition), and live as their desired gender (social transition). Some people may only want one of these or two of these. Everyone is different, and that’s okay, it’s important to try and get an idea of what you want, and what you need. Note: It’s okay not to know. Sometimes finding a professional therapist or psychologist in your area can be a world of help. GLAAD’s website can be helpful or your local LGBT Center should be able to help you with this as well.
This may sound like something a guidance counselor would tell you but it’s actually really helpful. Once you know how much you want to do in your transition it helps to have a list to see exactly what it is you want, that way you have a visual representation of your transition. A lot of times it isn’t going to feel like you’ve done all that much, so looking back and seeing how far you’ve come can feel really great. It’s important to know that nothing has to be set in stone. If you go along and realize there’s something you don’t want/need as much, you can take it out. And again, there’s no right or wrong order, so whatever order you go in, it doesn’t matter.
Celebrate the Small Victories:
Transitioning is not a process of leaps and bounds, in spite of what it may seem like when you watch someone like Caitlyn Jenner’s transition. For those of us without the means it can be a VERY slow process. So take the time to celebrate the smaller victories, as well as the larger ones.
Finding your therapist? Celebrate. Getting your letter to start hormones? Definite celebration. Starting hormones? Oh yeah. Celebrate the crap out of that. Your accomplishments matter, so why shouldn’t you treat yourself a little when you do them? No achievement is too small to have yourself a little party if you want.
There Will Be Slumps:
It bares repeating, transitioning isn’t a fast process, and if like me, you plan to go the full surgery route, there’s even more waiting involved. One of the hardest aspects of all of this for me, has been the waiting period between going full time almost two years ago now, and being able to get surgery. Because my current insurance doesn’t cover it, I have to wait at least a year before I can get private insurance that could cover it.
It’s difficult at times not to be discouraged, but having a support system in place makes a world of difference. If you have one, even a small one, great. If you don’t, and you need someone to talk to feel free to email me, any time at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you need more assistance, you can call the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386 or the specific Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860.
PS: I’m still trying to get the kinks out of my new ask cissa email so in the meantime you can also email me at email@example.com