The transgender support group I attend has a peculiar ritual. Every hand rises. Most hands remain raised.
When I was growing up, transgender women were no more than punchlines, and transgender men nearly unheard of. I was a happy enough androgynous little kid, but when I hit puberty everything changed. I became depressed, self-harmed, had poor hygiene, and wore careless, sloppy, baggy clothes.
A conflicting time filled with both emotional turmoil and happiness, choosing to transition from the gender identity you were prescribed at birth to the one that feels authentically like yourself can be straining on a relationship. While transgender activists and celebs, like Janet Mock, and Chaz Bono have helped to increase the visibility of transgender people, many are still struggling with the implications of choosing to transition within a relationship. Though your partner is changing their outside, and the way the world sees them, they are still the person you fell in love with initially.
The majority of my days are spent on cloud nine. When I find myself in these moods, I often notice my mind wondering to the topic of my transition. I am transgender, and that is okay. I act extremely confident about the journey of my transition and who I am on social media.
I provide supportive counseling and psychotherapy. I utilize cognitive-behavioral and solution focused strategies to address client concerns. Personal coaching is available.
The fact that you are reading this is a wonderful start. If someone you know has just told you that they are trans, they have probably thought long and hard about how to tell you and really feared how you would respond. We welcome you to have an open mind.
Transitioning can mean many different things, and it's a unique process for each individual. Sometimes, it may be a social change changing clothing, pronouns, and names. For others, transitioning may involve medical interventions hormone therapy, surgery.
You might feel elated, relieved, terrified, confused — this is a huge moment in your life. Take some deep breaths. Although this can be an overwhelming process, being yourself can feel amazing. Much of the advice here is the collective wisdom of my friends and community.
That might not sound like an astonishing concept to a cisgender person, or someone who identifies with the sex on their birth certificate. But when you are transgender, comfort and safety function differently. When I'm with my girlfriend, though, the frenzy slows to a measured waltz — a level of security in a relationship that seemed unattainable to me just a few years ago.
It took years to believe I was "trans enough" to call myself transgender. That's not even an unusual story. When it comes to the trans community, I know plenty of people who struggled in the same way. Today, I feel comfortable and confident saying I am a trans woman, but that wasn't a conclusion I could reach on my own.