You have made the decision to transition from the gender the doctor decided that you are at your birth, to your actual gender you should have been from the start. You have gone shopping, read all the books, talked to all the people, got your hormones, got name change forms… Or none of these. Your transition is yours, and nobody can tell you what or how much you have to do. But however you intend to get what you need, you are now ready.
Here are the things I wish someone had told me before I started.
A lot of people are going to call you selfish. They don’t see this as something you need. They see this as something you are doing to them (and that you are choosing, not needing, to do it). They see your identity as an inconvenience.
Leave these people behind for now, until they realise the truth. You cannot force them to come along with you. Don’t waste your energy if they don’t want to listen right now.
A lot of people are going to try and stop you. Some in very subtle ways (misgendering you) and others in very obvious ways (asking you to delay your transition to protect someone else from your “dangerous” identity) and some with emotional manipulation (“I get it and I love you but please don’t do this”). You are going to be surrounded by people who don’t want you to do this because it messes with everything they have ever been told about people and gender.
Don’t stop till you are healthy. Be who you have to be, who you want to be and who you are. Don’t stop to protect someone elses prejudices or bad information.
You may face discrimination and feel alone, and some people will tell you that you have to get used to it. That there are better times coming so just be quiet now and patiently wait the twenty years it could take until everyone gets used to the idea of treating you like a person.
Don’t wait. Defend yourself. Start demanding to be treated like a person. You deserve it.
Some will believe you are doing this for attention, or that you talk about the discrimination for attention. This will sometimes be worse than the discrimination itself.
Share your stories of bad treatment. Tell people this happens. You do want their attention because this is not fair. Wanting to draw attention to something awful is never an act of ego.
You aren’t going to see a lot of people like you in films, TV shows, books, video games, theatre, music or any other medium. People like you and I don’t get to fight/fuck vampires, save the world, run after your true love at the airport or make friends with giant robots.
You will see us portrayed at murderers/murder victims/punchlines/drug addicts/prostitutes and exclusivity male to female. If you are a trans guy or gender queer, you don’t exist.
We will never be in a Disney movie. Or if by some miracle we are, there will be protests because people think we are dangerous.
Create your own art. Tell your story anyway you can.
You are breaking the rules. You are an outlaw now. To many you have lost the right to identify how you want. Many hate the idea of class systems but many still classify you on what is in your pants (or more accurately, what they think is inside your pants). And you have broken the code. They will want an explanation. You don’t have to give them one.
Don’t give them one if you don’t want to. You shouldn’t have to in the hopes that they will leave you alone. You are a person, not a teachable moment. Tell them “Why do you care” or “google it”.
If you do decide to explain, be patient. Ignorance is infuriating but it isn’t their fault this society is so trans ignorant.
Those who call themselves feminists will argue that you shouldn’t be allowed to exist. Some politely, others not so.
Don’t engage, they are ridiculous. They are not feminists. Trans inclusive feminists outnumber them a thousand to one.
Never, ever read the comments. It may be tempting, on a trans related news story, to get a feel for how people feel about the topic.
Don’t look at the comments. The worst people post there because nobody in the real world is stupid enough to listen to them.
Do one thing that is fun everyday.
Talk to a good friend everyday.
Listen to music on your headphones when in public.
Get out of bed no matter how hard it is.
Choose your battles.
Many people will never see who you are as an equal. That is the price we have to pay for trying to live as we need too.
They will not see it as it is. That we have to transition or risk death and mental illness. They will only see it through their narrow mind that has been narrowed by a gender binary that isn’t even real.
You deserve better. You deserve so much more than this.
"Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. And unselfishness is letting other people’s lives alone, not interfering with them."
Oscar Wilde wrote that. Remember this.
You are not asking for anything more than people get by default. You are only asking for the privilege to be a person. Anyone who tries to stop you in anyway is being selfish. They are scared of you.
There are two ways you could react to the crap you are about to get. You could be professor X and rise above it. Be patient and work on trying to make the world better. Or you could be Magneto, always fighting, no action is too aggressive… any means is good to get what you need.
Be Professor X. Trust me on this. You will be a lot happier.