Please work harder to patiently accept this person as he/she is. Nothing that is happening here is about you.
In my time being active in the nonbinary trans community I’ve received countless questions that were something along the lines of “does _______ mean that I’m not trans?” I feel like a lot of these insecurities come from the fact that people just don’t know how common these feelings are among other trans people. So I wanted to make a post clearing up some very common insecurities I hear from trans people that don’t mean anything about your gender identity.
1) I keep misgendering myself - does that mean I’m not really trans?
Unfortunately, you don’t get to just un-do however many years of brain wiring the day you decide you want to live as a different gender. Your brain forms pathways from use, and the only way using your chosen name and pronouns becomes natural is through repetition. Accidentally referring to yourself as the wrong name or pronouns doesn’t mean anything about your gender, and it’s not uncommon for someone to slip up and call themselves the wrong name even when they haven’t spoken it for 5 years! Your brain just misfires sometimes, don’t beat yourself up about it.
2) I’m having second thoughts about HRT or surgery - does that mean I’m not really trans?
Physical transition is a series of life-changing medical decisions that need to be treated with all the seriousness of any other medical decision. The idea of surgery terrifies some people, as it would be such a huge and sudden change to their physical form, not to mention the months of painful recovery and risks of complication. The prospect of going on hormones also means coping with change and risks of complication. There are so many valid reasons to hesitate about taking the next step, and I think that if you don’t have even a little bit of hesitation you’re probably not grasping the seriousness of the decision you’re about to make.
It’s normal to be hesitant about change or nervous about any medical intervention, especially one as radical as transition. Of course, there are also people who get to the point of starting their transition and then start having second thoughts because the realize it isn’t the right decision for them. You should step back and take some time to think about whether your anxiety is about the actually process of the change (anxiety around surgery, sudden changes to your body, recovery, worried it won’t turn out right), or if it’s because you actually just don’t think those changes are right for you.
It’s perfectly normal, even for 100% binary trans people, to have to postpone surgery or starting HRT until they can work through their anxiety around it, and then wind up doing it a year later and say it was the best decision they ever made!
3) I want to transition but I only want to change X and not Y or Z - does that mean I’m not really trans?
There are trans people who don’t transition at all, so of course only wanting to transition in one way but not another doesn’t make you less trans! Gender dysphoria manifests in different ways and in different severities for every person, and it’s important that you listen to your body and your feelings and lead your transition in the direction you need it to go! You’re not just running through some pre-set A-to-Z transition narrative, this is YOUR transition and YOUR body and you need to do exactly as much or as little as it takes for YOU to feel comfortable. Don’t worry about anyone else’s ideas about how you need to transition, this is your journey, not theirs.
4) I don’t want to transition at all - does that mean I’m not really trans?
Plenty of trans people choose not to transition for a myriad of different reasons and every one of their gender identities is as valid as anyone else’s. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
5) I’m having second thoughts about my decision to come out - does that mean I’m not trans?
The first while after you acknowledge being trans and come out can be scary, because it makes you feel isolated from the people around you, your culture, your media - so many things that used to make you feel welcome before now no longer reflect or represent people like you. you don’t know what your life is going to be like, if you’ll be able to find a job or an apartment or friends or a partner - you feel like you’ve signed up for a one-way ticket on the Freak Train and think maybe it might be best to just jump off before it starts going too fast. Humans don’t react well to change, even if it’s good or necessary change.
It’s important to take a time out whenever you’re feeling anxious about anything like this. Assess where you’re anxiety is coming from - are you anxious about what life is going to be like for you as a trans person, or are you anxious that you might not actually feel like the gender you thought you were? Answers don’t come quickly. Take time out for introspective thought.
The idea that in order to be trans you have to be so sure about every aspect of your gender and transition right from day one, and that there is no room for self-doubt, is just part of the gate-keeping rhetoric designed to make trans people doubt themselves and deter people from transitioning, and it’s reinforced by trans people who are insecure or defensive about their trans identity (because of the harmful rhetoric they’ve been fed). You’re still a human, and you still have every right to feel the natural anxiety and hesitation that comes with serious decisions and changes in your life. In fact, it’s healthy!
Just breathe, remain thoughtful and self-aware, and everything will work out alright.
Someone asked us:
Can Planned Parenthood provide hormones to transgender people? And if so, what are the costs?
Why yes, yes we do. There are an increasing number of Planned Parenthood health centers that offer hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for trans clients. (Cost will vary depending on your insurance and Planned Parenthood health center policies.) Currently, the Planned Parenthood health centers that offer hormone treatment for trans folks are:
- Calvin and Maureen at QueerTips
Part 2: really Need the namechange, since I don’t feel that bad in my Body and have never experienced dysphoria, at least not that I know, and thus I will not get them to confirm my uncomfortableness, especially since, if I identify as the female I was Born at that time, it will be very unlikely that I feel uncomfortable with my Body at all. I have no idea how the therapist will actually do whatever they do, I just suppose they ask questions, and I am very afraid I will answer them ’wrong’ or will not care enough if it is at a time where I don’t feel discomfort. Do you have any tips for me? (Also sorry for the several asks, it just got longer than I expected)
Zak: I really don’t know because I’m not really familiar with the process or exactly what they are looking for. My advice usually would be to answer honestly and make your case for why you really want to change your name. I’m not sure, though, given the specific circumstances here. If you can’t get a legal name change or if that would be too difficult, would you be comfortable with not legally changing your name but rather going by a more gender-neutral nickname? Getting a legal name change is certainly useful and worth it for a variety of reasons, but if you’re unsure about whether or not it would be wroth it than just going by a different nickname might be enough.
Anyone else have any suggestions for this, especially any of our German followers?
You do NOT need to see a therapist for changing your name!
You only need to see a therapist for 18 month if you want to do anything medical. 6 month minimum for starting T (but many push it up to 12 month) and 18 month for surgeries.
I suggest registering in this forum: http://forum.ftm-portal.net/
There you can ask question and have other trans people from Germany answer.
For the name change you basically have to find out which Amtsgericht you have to write to. You either specify two “evaluators” (Gutachter) or they randomly give you two. (I suggest asking in the forum which ones are alright and asking for those!)
Then you get contacted by those two people and you’ll set up a meeting where they will evaluate if you are really trans, have been trans for at least 3 years and will be trans for the foreseeable future. And their definition of trans is always “dude in woman’s body” or “woman in dude’s body”. Anything else doesn’t exist according to them. Genderfluid or non-binary identities mean you are not trans by their definition and you’ll not get a name change. Getting the “not trans” evaluation from either of those two people means you’ll have huge difficulties ever changing your name in Germany because those two evaluations stay on record. …
Basically if you don’t fit the officially accepted trans narrative then you either don’t transition or you lie and lie and lie until you got what you want and then you give everyone the finger. xD
It sucks, everyone involved knows it sucks.
Useful information for my German followers.
(Sidenote: I have just applied for my German passport renewal and with it, apparently filed for a name change as well. Haven’t gotten it back so we’ll see what happens.)
followers, help out please!
I wrote a primer on MTN transition here, and am open to answering any questions.
Any followers who fall into this category and wish to make themselves available as a resource?
I wasn’t sure of the answer to this, so I reached out to Micah, at neutrois.me.
Couldn’t have said it better myself :P
Zak: Yes, there are a couple of great online communities for parents of trans children (or parents of trans adults). Trans Youth Family Allies is probably the largest group that I know of for parents of trans people. They have a private, moderated online forum for parents of trans children ages 3-18. I can never find a link to their other forum for parents of trans adults, but I know it exists. I’d recommend contacting them at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about it if your mother would be interested. They also have a ton of resources for parents, including resources in Spanish. Really I can’t talk this organization up enough.
Another organization that I’ve heard of but don’t know too much about is the Purple Rainbow Foundation. It looks like they are more aimed toward advocating for trans youth/families with trans children and educating the public about the needs of trans kids. Still, it seems as though they have some resources for parents, such as answers to some pretty common parent questions in their FAQ. I’m not sure if they have any forums.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t refer you to my mom’s blog. Though she mostly posts news and answers questions, she occasionally posts about being the parent of a trans person and is always willing to answer questions from other parents of trans people or refer them to resources.
Welcome to the new Inter/Act Blog! As you may know, Inter/Act is a safe place for young people with intersex conditions or DSD to come together, express themselves, and unite their individual stories to develop a voice for a new generation. We have revamped our site to get ready for some exciting changes over the next few months. Feel free to poke around, ask some questions, tell your friends. We’re so glad you are here!
Check out this awesome resource for youth.