Question Five: When’s the right time to start transitioning?
March 27, 2013 § 2 Comments
We’re nearly a quarter of the way through – with a question that comes up time and again. Panel bios here.
How do you decide when is the right time to start transition? (Whether that is coming out, seeking medical assistance, whatever)
Naith: When it feels right. How else does anyone decide anything?
Natacha: This depends on a wide range of social and personal circumstances. In many cases trans people’s personal situations make coming out and surgical transition extremely difficult. This varies widely depending on one’s situation, and cannot be predicted with any accuracy. Many young trans people coming out face being thrown out by their families and becoming homeless, others are able to come out at very young ages and obtain surgery at 18.
Roz: My advice would be, as soon as practical after acknowledging that you are trans. My regrets have to do with letting myself be chivvied in my early 20s into delaying.
CN: I think this is a hard one. One the one hand I think it’s similar to any other important life decision (getting married, changing careers) – you do it when it feels right, and that’s a fairly unquantifiable thing from the outside. On the other hand, I think it can be incredibly hard to judge when it ‘feels right’ when the overriding message from the world at large is that being trans is a terrible thing that you should avoid being at all costs. I think it’s normal to worry every step of the way, when we’re so frequently told that wanting to transition is ‘crazy’. I think many people reach a tipping point – I certainly did – where the pain of dysphoria and the necessity of dealing with overrides other considerations/fears. The more you know, and the more support you can get, (hopefully) the easier it becomes. I didn’t connect with any other trans people until after what you could call my physical transition – I couldn’t find any groups that seemed to include people like me, and I was worried about being treated as ‘not trans enough’. I wish I’d known the people I know now back then – I don’t think I would have spent so many years trying to avoid or repress the need for certain changes in my life.