8 Overlooked Aspects of Transitioning From Male to Female
For transgender people, transitioning is typically one of the biggest steps in life, if they choose to go ahead with it.
There is already a lot of information available online, with respect to the science and procedures.
However, there is so much more to it.
To avoid unexpected shocks and inconveniences during this very demanding phase, I have combined a list of things you should know and be prepared for, before you set forth on this life-changing journey.
The fact is that this is not going to be easy- physically, emotionally, and mentally.
It is undoubtedly a big step that will help you become your authentic self, but it is important to understand the procedures more comprehensively.
It is not as simple as taking the hormones and witnessing yourself change. At this point, it is imperative to understand that each person’s experience is different, and this article is in no way trying to generalize this experience.
Effects of HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)
1.) Physical Implications
While the thought of undergoing Hormone Replacement Therapy is undoubtedly exciting, the changes that your body experiences might initially be alarming.
When you look at the mirror and see a body that is entirely different from what you have been used to all your life, it could be challenging.
While you are getting closer to who you are authentically, you may still be unaware of exactly what “you” entails.
It can also be overwhelming to understand the expectations surrounding you and as a result, it is common for transitioning transgender people to be overly conscious of their actions and behaviour.
It is a fact that gender roles continue to be distinct even today, and as a result, transitioning from one gender to another comes with its own set of ambiguity.
2.) Mental State
It is obvious that HRT impacts the body significantly. However, not many people talk about its effects on the brain.
Firstly, taking hormones will have certain emotional repercussions. Mood swings are commonly experienced by transitioning transgender people.
It is also important to remember these hormones are generally used long-term, or even forever for some transgender people. Skipping them even for a few days could lead to substantial effects emotionally.
Mentally preparing for these changes would make the process significantly less overwhelming.
3.) Prepping before the procedure
Before transitioning, it is easy to avoid thinking about the challenging experiences that are a part of this change. However, it is crucial to understand and accept these difficult changes to sidestep surprises.
4.) Mental Preparation
You can never be completely mentally prepared for the transformation that comes with transitioning.
You can still be prepared for what’s coming to a certain extent. For instance, it is imperative to be clear about the pace of the process. Taking hormones once or twice will not make you an entirely different person.
It will take several years. Being pragmatic about the pace will help avoid disappointments.
5.) Gender Dysphoria
Step two involves understanding that you will retain your transgender identity even after transitioning. It is not possible for the transition to transform you into a cisgender person.
Despite all the surgeries and the hormones, you will remain a transgender person in a different body and the sooner you accept that, the more easier it becomes to accept and love your identity.
6.) Social Acceptance
It is natural to be anxious and worried about how those who are closest to you would react to your transition.
It is natural to wonder whether they will be accepting of your new identity or whether you would lose your friends and family.
However, this is who you are, and if they can’t accept that, it truly is their loss.
While developing this mentality is easier said than done, honing it before you begin your transitioning process will go a long way in pacifying your anxieties later.
7.) Dating Life
Give yourself some time to heal mentally, physically, and emotionally before jumping into the dating pool.
More importantly, do not lower your standards while dating and own your transgender identity when you go on dates. If a date cannot accept your identity, you know not to go on another date.
Many people from the transgender community believe the dating pool is slim pickings. Refrain from engaging these kinds of thoughts.
You deserve love and happiness, and that’s one area of your life where you should not compromise.
8.) Embrace this Phase
While the transitioning procedure is difficult and exhausting both mentally and physically, remember why you are doing this.
Don’t take your eyes off the finish line and the procedure will become a lot easier. Embrace the changes that your body and mind are undergoing and watch yourself slowly become who you always knew you were.
The tough times won’t last forever! You will come out of it stronger and as a more authentic you, which makes all the challenging days worthwhile. Good luck!
Related article: 6 Tips to Seamlessly Transition From Male to Female
Transitioning is undoubtedly a complex procedure involving surgeries, hormones, and emotional and physical ramifications. Here's 6 tips to help you get started