Exploring Your Gender Identity
- Is being transgender normal?
- Yes, questioning your gender identity and expression is normal, natural, and real. Yes, being transgender is also normal it is just uncommon.
- What is being transgender like?
- Finding a label that fits you can be a relief though it can also bring more challenges. Some people feel frustrated because of their transgender status leads to more discrimination or frustration with delayed transition. Some transgender people experience feeling trapped in their bodies, others feel uncomfortable with their sex assigned at birth.
While they do not always need to feel separated from their assigned sex they do feel more than mild discomfort. For some, a change of names and pronouns seems to help alleviate a lot of this dysphoria, while others may need to go further in transitioning to feel like their authentic selves. Medical transition is the most commonly discussed. The power of social transition for transgender people is often dismissed. This is discussed more in detail later.
- Who should I tell?
- You don’t have to tell anyone. Start with people that you trust will understand and be comfortable with this information. It can be scary to tell anyone so don't feel pressured to come out to everyone at once. If you feel unsafe about coming out then it is better to read your situation and stay stealth. This can be frustrating but safety should come first. Find a Gender Therapist if you can. They can help you navigate your journey and discover your gender identity. A therapist can also help you discuss your gender identity with other individuals.
- What happens if I come out as transgender?
- Some people are happy and relieved when they come out to others. Transgender people are still misunderstood and with that comes a lot of challenges. Some transgender people experience violence, discrimination, and homelessness.
- What does it mean to transition?
- There are two main transition stages for transgender people:
Social Transition and Medical Transition.
Social transition is when someone changes their name, pronouns, gender expression, etc. This process can include all, or a mix of these things. Social transition is usually the first step for transgender people. Though this can include a legal process, such as going to the courts for a name change, it does not need to be. Some transgender people change their outward expression and then pronouns and their name months to years later. This does not make them any less transgender.
- Medical transition can include hormones and surgeries. Hormone therapies can help relieve transgender people’s dysphoria but have some permanent effects that not every transgender person wants. For example, a trans masculine person may wish to start testosterone to deepen their voice but with that also comes acne, amongst other things. Surgeries also have a lot of weight in a person’s transition, though not everyone who wants to have a gender confirming surgery.
- What does being transgender mean about my sexual orientation? Am I gay, straight, or what?
- Being transgender has no effect on your sexual orientation. If you liked women before your transition than you will still like women after your transition. The only thing that will change is the label to identify your orientation.
- How do I learn about myself?
- Look though this website, find other people who also identify as transgender, challenge your gender expression, try something new. Remember just because you pick one label doesn’t mean that you can’t change it later. Trans Resources