It was suggested to me that it’s too easy to transition and that not all of the options are shown to trans folk, particularly trans guys. And that there is a belief that there is all of a sudden a bunch of transguys, as if they were required to be butch lesbians before transition. The problem with this is that it assumes that all transguys are interested in women. And that their transformation is related to their relationships with their partners. While that is part of it, the reality is that transitioning comes entirely from within. It is about what a person feels is the correct external interpretation of themselves to the rest of the world.
The world at large determines and forces a gender on individuals based on cues learned from actions or perceived visual presentations. For the most part this week, if I didn’t open my mouth or show my ID I was perceved as entirely male. And it was a very comforting place to be and feel. But it did take me a while to reach this point. My decision to transition wasn’t overnight and no trans person I know decided in a flash that they were going to transition.
To go down this route means questioning whether you’re going to be ok with the possibility of losing your partner, your family, your friends, your job, your church, your community and even possibly your life. And if you know that the decision is the right one for you regardless of these factors, then it’s not that easy to transition and it becomes the most critical decision you can make. What has become easier is explaining it, for most environments, to the various medical professions as to what you want to do. In larger city environments (e.g., San Francisco, New York, etc.) because of larger trans environments already, doctors are well aware of the issues and often able to be truly professional about their job without judging the individual person’s path. Even, however, in these large environments there is still a desire to ensure that the path that the person is taking is, in fact, the right path so necessary visit(s) to social workers or other therapists are often required. If there is a potential that they may be on the wrong path, then additional pyschotherapy can be utilized to address this.
At one time, it was required that individuals live in the gender that they believed they would have been born into before pursuing medical transition but today that avenue isn’t pursued as much. There are, in my opinion, some valid reasons for this including challenges to passing (for some it is very difficult); increased anxiety if discovered and society’s rejection of cross-dressing; further pressure on the gender dysphoria, without truly addressing it. A medical option can address a lot of these but sometimes can open up other issues. My own experience thus far is that it’s set a lot of things at easy and has made it easier for me to address other parts of myself as a result.
So perhaps medically it easier to transition but emotionally and pyschologically, we still go through a lot. And I don’t forsee that changing in the near future.