Transgender For Individuals
Coming to terms with being transgender can be a challenging and terrifying time in someone’s life. Always remember – your identity is valid and you do not have to tackle this alone. There is no single trans narrative and no correct time or way to transition. There is no rush to tell people and it is okay to feel one way and then another. It is also okay to tell some people and not others. This is your personal journey and the best thing you can do for yourself is to ensure that you are supported, resourced and informed. Knowing what options are available to you in deciding which path is best for you can support you to advocate and articulate your own needs. It can be the early stages for many trans people that feel most daunting, but with good support, the right information and access to care, the process can be a whole lot easier.
It is also important to acknowledge that there is no specific criteria for being transgender. Experiences of gender dysphoria (the clinical term used to describe the feelings of the intense distress some trans people experience in relation to their physical body not aligning with their gender identity) are not universal. The transition journey can take many different roads, for example some trans people experience dysphoria constantly, while other people only experience it from time to time. Others might never experience it!
Dysphoria for many people is context dependent and can be alleviated by modifying or making changes to appearance, behaviour or how people are addressed. Choosing which changes suit you best should ultimately be determined by you. This can involve using a different name, title or pronouns, or opting for hormonal or surgical interventions. Other people may use reversible modifications like prosthetics, or use packers, binders or artificial facial hair. Others might make no changes at all.
One of the best resources available to you is the transgender community itself. The community will not only offer you emotional and social support, but can be a rich source of knowledge and resources. AGA is a place where you will be welcomed and supported. Check out our many social events to see what we have to offer.
However you choose to express yourself, and whatever transition choices you wish to make, transition can be an exciting but also turbulent time in your life. Coming out may reinforce some relationships, but might strain others. It is normal to experience a range of different reactions from people in your environment. Remember – it is okay to stand your ground and assert your identity. It is also okay to feel vulnerable and seek support from trusted allies to help you through your journey.
Sadly there can be a lot of hostility and discrimination shown towards transgender people. Having spaces where you can express yourself and be around like minded people can be extremely helpful . However if you ever feel in crisis and overwhelmed, there are resources available to you in your community and especially here at AGA. It is important to reach out for support when you need it.
- Your identity is valid, and it is your choice as to how you express it. There is no end goal to transitioning, it is simply about what makes you feel safe and happy.
- It is okay to take your time and figure out what you need from the people around you. There is no rush to come out to friends, family or coworkers.
- Seeking out support is important. Dealing with transition alone can be overwhelming and difficult.
- There is also support available for your partner, family and friends if they are looking for it.
- Find out what is available to you in terms of healthcare so that you can be informed, even if you decide not to make any changes. Use resources available to you, such as AGA, to help you navigate this.