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LGBTQ+, Sexuality and Gender Identity This forum is for you to explore your sexuality and identity, whatever that may be.

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Difficulties a trans person might face - October 5th 2014, 05:28 AM

Hi guys!

So for my first article I'm thinking about writing about problems that a transexual person might face and how they can overcome these problems. One of my roommates is a transexual whose doing hormone replacement therapy, and one of my friends transitioned from female to male last year via operation. So while I'm not trans myself, I have learned a lot about it from them.

I'm thinking of writing it with this outline:

Before Transitioning
  • Coming to terms with defining one's gender
  • Deciding to have the surgery done or having hormone replacement therapy
  • Dealing with thoughts of why one wasn't born the "right way"
Recovering after operation
  • Feeling like one may not have made the right decision
  • How to comfortably transition
After Transitioning
  • Dealing with how friends and family may react
  • How to settle into one's new gender label
  • Choosing new pronouns
  • Confidentiality of transition when meeting new people and potential romances
  • Feeling and finding acceptance

Does anyone else have anything I should add? Also if anyone has any experience with transitioning I'd like some input!


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re: Difficulties a trans person might face - October 5th 2014, 01:55 PM

I really like this idea Nicole, you could also talk about how not all transexuals want to have surgery and maybe some tips on talking to family members or friends about having surgery done.


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re: Difficulties a trans person might face - October 6th 2014, 02:00 AM

Here is an extremely rough draft. I need suggestions and criticism. Also I was having some trouble finding out accurate info about hormone replacement therapy, so if anyone can help me out, that would be lovely.
Difficulties a trans person might face
By Nicole (Pug Princess)

The concept of gender was created to be composed of two simple labels in order to categorize society, however for many people it is a very complicated process to figure out how to define oneself. Some people grow up thinking that they were born the “wrong way” because they don’t like the opposite gender which is what society deems is “correct.” In other cases, people feel that they were not born as the right gender, and that is what causes them to take steps to transition to the other gender, hence the term transexual.

Problems prior to transitioning
Many people feel confused as to whether they fit more under the girl category, or the boy category. What makes this more complicated is that gender roles can vary. For example, gay men may act more feminine, and gay women may act more masculine. This leads some people to wonder whether they should transition, or if they are just fine the way they are. The answer to this problem is that there is it depends on each person. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide whether they are comfortable as their own gender, or if it would benefit them to transition.

If an individual decides to transition, they have two options: hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or surgery.

Hormone replacement therapy when transitioning male to female includes taking estrogen which is the most common. It can be taken in combination with progestins, another type of hormone. Testosterone can also be taken. When transitioning female to male, androgens are commonly taken. Hormones typically can be taken orally, be injected, and can even come in topical creams. It’s best to speak with your doctor about what regimen would be best.

The other option, surgery, also called sex reassignment surgery, is also an option. It is important to remember there isn’t anything wrong with having this procedure done. If this option is chosen, it is likely that after the procedure hormones will be prescribed to influence the growth of breasts for mtf, or androgens to influence the growth of facial hair for ftm for example. It is difficult to find accurate statistics regarding sex reassignment surgery, however it is estimated that between 100 and 500 surgeries are done each year. The procedure is not reversible practically because it involves removing testicles for men, and removing breasts for females. It is a complicated procedure, but can be very effective in making people feel more comfortable with their decided gender.

Problems after transitioning

One of the first problems that may arise after transitioning is how friends, family, and the public will react. This tends to be fearful enough that it prevents people from ever transitioning. In reality, many people will be supportive of transitioning. The people who are judgemental or make their negative opinions about it known are the people who don’t matter. People usually disagree with what they don’t understand. That being said, talking about wanting to transition with loved ones before hand will reduce the shock factor and may give them time to get used to the idea. Often times parents have trouble coping at first because they raised their child to be a certain gender. If after transitioning your parents aren’t as supportive as you hoped, give them time. They may just need to get used to it first.

Another problem a trans person may face is not just gaining acceptance from loved ones, but also gaining acceptance when meeting new people. Transitioning may feel like it should be kept a secret when you first meet someone, however it is best to be honest and proud of the decision you made. In regards to seeking out people to date, being transgendered can also make it seem like an even more difficult process. Truth is, many people will not care if a person used to be a different gender.

Overall, the best way to cope with transitioning is to be proud of who you are. If you exert confidence, people are more likely to feel comfortable than if you are uncomfortable yourself. Transitioning is not unnatural in any way, and you’re not alone in the process. If you or anyone you know is in need of support regarding transitioning, PFLAG National is a great organization. They have over 350 groups across the nation that you can get involved with.


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Last edited by Eternal; October 6th 2014 at 03:44 PM.
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re: Difficulties a trans person might face - October 6th 2014, 08:47 AM

If I have some time tomorrow I'll probably go over this, but for now I just wanted to point out that the standard way we do titles is to only capitalise the first word, so it would become 'Difficulties a trans person might face' - same with all the subheadings.



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re: Difficulties a trans person might face - October 6th 2014, 03:45 PM

Thanks for letting me know! I've fixed this.


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re: Difficulties a trans person might face - October 7th 2014, 02:14 AM

Difficulties a trans person might face [when? On a daily basis? It might be good to clarify.]
By Nicole (Pug Princess)

The concept of gender was created to be composed of two simple labels in order to categorize society, however for many people it is a very complicated process to figure out how to define oneself. [Make sure you're not confusing 'sex' with 'gender'. There are two sexes, but many genders.] Some people grow up thinking that they were born the “wrong way” because they don’t like the opposite gender which is what society deems is “correct.” In other cases, people feel that they were not born as the right gender, and that is what causes them to take steps to transition to the other gender, hence the term transexual [might be good to define it.]

Problems prior to transitioning
Many people feel confused as to whether they fit more under the girl category, or the boy category. What makes this more complicated is that gender roles can vary. For example, gay men may act more feminine, and gay women may act more masculine. This leads some people to wonder whether they should transition, or if they are just fine the way they are. The answer to this problem is that there is it depends on each person. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide whether they are comfortable as their own gender, or if it would benefit them to transition. [I don't feel like this is entirely correct. I'm not an expert, but to me it doesn't really seem like most transgender people are uncomfortable with their gender - they just feel like their sex doesn't match, ie. the sex they were assigned at birth doesn't fit with the way they feel. Does that make sense?]

If an individual decides to transition, they have two options: hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or surgery.

Hormone replacement therapy when transitioning male to female includes taking estrogen which is the most common [most common what? Hormone? Again, could help to clarify.]. It can be taken in combination with progestins, another type of hormone.[What do these hormones do, and why would they be taken?] Testosterone can also be taken. When transitioning female to male, androgens are commonly taken. Hormones typically can be taken orally, be injected, and can even come in topical creams. It’s best to speak with your doctor about what regimen would be best.

The other option, surgery, also called sex reassignment surgery, is also an option. It is important to remember there isn’t anything wrong with having this procedure done. If this option is chosen, it is likely that after the procedure hormones will be prescribed to influence the growth of breasts for mtf, or androgens to influence the growth of facial hair for ftm [I don't think you've defined these terms, and many people may not be familiar with them.] for example. It is difficult to find accurate statistics regarding sex reassignment surgery, however it is estimated that between 100 and 500 surgeries are done each year [in the world, or just in the US?]. The procedure is not reversible practically [not sure about the use of the word there] because it involves removing testicles for men, and removing breasts for females. It is a complicated procedure, but can be very effective in making people feel more comfortable with their decided gender. [Again, I feel like it's not really a 'decision'.]

Problems after transitioning

One of the first problems that may arise after transitioning is how friends, family, and the public will react. This tends to be fearful enough that it prevents people from ever transitioning. [Who is fearful? The individual or the public?] In reality, many people will be supportive of transitioning. [Supportive of it in general, or accepting if someone they know goes through with it?] The people who are judgemental or make their negative opinions about it known are the people who don’t matter. [Seems a little emotive.] People usually disagree with what they don’t understand. That being said, talking about wanting to transition with loved ones beforehand will reduce the shock factor and may give them time to get used to the idea. Often times parents have trouble coping at first because they raised their child to be a certain gender. If after transitioning your parents aren’t as supportive as you hoped, give them time. They may just need to get used to it first.

Another problem a trans person may face is not just gaining acceptance from loved ones, but also gaining acceptance when meeting new people. Transitioning may feel like it should be kept a secret when you first meet someone, however it is best to be honest and proud of the decision you made. In regards to seeking out people to date, being transgendered can also make it seem like an even more difficult process. The Ttruth is, many people will not care if a person used to be a different gender.

Overall, the best way to cope with transitioning is to be proud of who you are. If you exert confidence, people are more likely to feel comfortable than if you are uncomfortable yourself. Transitioning is not unnatural in any way, and you’re not alone in the process. If you or anyone you know is in need of support regarding transitioning, PFLAG National is a great organization. They have over 350 groups across the nation that you can get involved with. [If possible, could you maybe list some resources for people outside 'the nation'... and also specify which nation you're talking about? ]



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re: Difficulties a trans person might face - October 7th 2014, 03:39 AM

Yippie, thanks for the edits! And yeah, I took psych of gender so I do know the differences, I just wasn't sure if I should use gender or sex in this case. I went ahead and changed it.
Daily difficulties a trans person might face
By Nicole (Pug Princess)

The concept of sex was created to be composed of two simple labels in order to categorize society, however for many people it is a very complicated process to figure out how to define oneself. Some people grow up thinking that they were born the “wrong way” because they don’t like the opposite gender which is what society deems is “correct.” In other cases, people feel that they were not born as the right gender, and that is what causes them to take steps to transition to the other gender, hence the term transexual, which is actually just defined as "a person who emotionally and psychologically feels that they belong to the opposite sex." This means it is not a requirement to have actually transitioned first to be trans.

Problems prior to transitioning
Many people feel confused as to whether they fit more under the girl category, or the boy category. What makes this more complicated is that gender roles can vary. For example, gay men may act more feminine, and gay women may act more masculine. This leads some people to wonder whether they should transition, or if they are just fine the way they are. The answer to this problem is that it depends on each person.
Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide whether they are comfortable as their own sex, or if it would benefit them to transition.

If an individual decides to transition, they have two options: hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or surgery.

Hormone replacement therapy when transitioning male to female includes taking estrogen which is the most common form of hormone doctors prescribe. This is the hormone found in females, which replaces the hormones in a male when taken. It can be taken in combination with progestins, another type of hormone which produce breast growth. When transitioning female to male, androgens are commonly prescribed by doctors to replace the female hormones. Testosterone is taken to promote growth of facial hair and to stop menstruation. Hormones typically can come in a patch, be taken orally, be injected, and can even come in topical creams. It’s best to speak with your doctor about what regimen would be best. [Still working on finding information for this section, but I did add a little more detail.]

The other option, is surgery called sex reassignment surgery. It is important to remember there isn't anything wrong with having this procedure done. If this option is chosen, it is likely that after the procedure hormones will be prescribed to influence the growth of breasts for male to female transitioning, or androgens to influence the growth of facial hair for female to male transitioning, for example. It is difficult to find accurate statistics regarding sex reassignment surgery, however the National Health Service has estimated that about 6,000 sex reassignment surgeries have been done . The procedure is not particularly reversible because it involves removing testicles for men, and removing breasts for females. It is a complicated procedure, but can be very effective in making people feel more comfortable with their preferred gender.

Problems after transitioning

One of the first problems that may arise after transitioning is how friends, family, and the public will react. This tends to be fearful enough for the individual that it prevents people from ever transitioning. In reality, many people will be generally supportive of transitioning. People usually disagree with what they don’t understand. That being said, talking about wanting to transition with loved ones beforehand will reduce the shock factor and may give them time to get used to the idea. Often, parents have trouble coping at first because they raised their child to be a certain gender. If after transitioning your parents aren't as supportive as you hoped, give them time. They may just need to get used to it first.

Another problem a trans person may face is not just gaining acceptance from loved ones, but also gaining acceptance when meeting new people. Transitioning may feel like it should be kept a secret when you first meet someone, however it is best to be honest and proud of the decision you made. In regards to seeking out people to date, being transgender can also make it seem like an even more difficult process. The truth is, many people will not care if a person used to be a different gender.

Overall, the best way to cope with transitioning is to be proud of who you are. If you exert confidence, people are more likely to feel comfortable than if you are uncomfortable yourself. Transitioning is not unnatural in any way, and you’re not alone in the process. If you or anyone you know is in need of support regarding transitioning, PFLAG National (Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays) is a great organization in the United States. They have over 350 groups across the nation that you can get involved with, including one in Alaska and in Puerto Rico. If you live outside of the United States, chances are there are transgender support groups near you that you can get involved in too.


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Last edited by Eternal; October 7th 2014 at 05:19 PM.
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re: Difficulties a trans person might face - October 7th 2014, 03:57 AM

You're welcome - and thank you for the article! I often get confused with sex/gender too, so if in doubt, ask Traci. I may be able to help with the hormone section, since literally this morning I had an entire lecture on the subject of hormones. As for the decided gender, what I meant was that they don't really decide which gender they are, it's more about what they feel they are, at least the way I see it. So they decide which gender they live as rather than which gender they are. But I could be totally wrong, so feel free to ignore me. I may have more edits for the article later, but that's it for now.



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re: Difficulties a trans person might face - October 7th 2014, 05:28 AM

Hmm I see your point. On one hand people can choose what gender they are through pronouns, but you're also right that it comes down to what you feel like. I think I'll leave it and let someone else chime in on what they think.


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re: Difficulties a trans person might face - October 7th 2014, 09:45 AM

That's fine; I'll wait until someone else has responded before I make any more edits.



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re: Difficulties a trans person might face - October 7th 2014, 03:28 PM

Could "preferred" be more suitable term? It may well be a terrible term to use, I don't really know, so it's just a suggestion.


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re: Difficulties a trans person might face - October 7th 2014, 05:19 PM

Actually, I think that's a great idea! It is ultimately down to their preference, and I think that's a better word choice. I'll keep in in orange in case anyone opposes.


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re: Difficulties a trans person might face - November 5th 2014, 11:18 PM

Added a little more content. I've also decided to shorten the title so it's a bit more broad. Lastly I changed the first sentence a little.
Difficulties a trans person might face
By Nicole (Pug Princess)

The definitions of sex were created to be composed of two simple labels in order to categorize society, however for many people it is a very complicated process to figure out how to define oneself. Some people grow up thinking that they were born the “wrong way” because they don’t like the opposite gender which is what society deems is “correct.” In other cases, people feel that they were not born as the right gender, and that is what causes them to take steps to transition to the other gender, hence the term trangender, which is actually just defined as " is the state of one's gender identity or gender expression not matching one's assigned sex" This means it is not a requirement to have actually transitioned first to be trans.

Problems prior to transitioning
Many people feel confused as to whether they fit more under the girl category, or the boy category. What makes this more complicated is that gender roles can vary. For example, gay men may act more feminine, and gay women may act more masculine. This leads some people to wonder whether they should transition, or if they are just fine the way they are. The answer to this problem is that it depends on each person.
Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide whether they are comfortable as their own sex, or if it would benefit them to transition.

If an individual decides to transition, they have two options: hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or surgery.

Hormone replacement therapy when transitioning male to female includes taking estrogen which is the most common form of hormone doctors prescribe. This is the hormone found in cis females, which replaces the hormones in a male when taken. It can be taken in combination with progestins, another type of hormone which produce breast growth. When transitioning female to male, androgens are commonly prescribed by doctors to replace the female hormones. Testosterone is taken to promote growth of facial hair and to stop menstruation. Hormones typically can come in a patch, be taken orally, be injected, and can even come in topical creams. It’s best to speak with your doctor about what regimen would be best.

The other option, is surgery called sex reassignment surgery. It is important to remember there isn't anything wrong with having this procedure done. If this option is chosen, it is likely that after the procedure hormones will be prescribed to influence the growth of breasts for male to female transitioning, or androgens to influence the growth of facial hair for female to male transitioning, for example. It is difficult to find accurate statistics regarding sex reassignment surgery, however the National Health Service has estimated that about 6,000 sex reassignment surgeries have been done . The procedure is not particularly reversible because it involves removing testicles for men, and removing breasts for females. It is a complicated procedure, but can be very effective in making people feel more comfortable with their preferred gender. Your insurance agency may help cover the costs of surgery, so be sure to check with them if you decide to have the surgery done.

Of course whether you decide to take hormones or have the surgery is up to you. There is always the option to just change your preferred pronoun(s).

Problems after transitioning

One of the first problems that may arise after transitioning is how friends, family, and the public will react. This tends to be fearful enough for the individual that it prevents people from ever transitioning. In reality, many people will be generally supportive of transitioning. People usually disagree with what they don’t understand. That being said, talking about wanting to transition with loved ones beforehand will reduce the shock factor and may give them time to get used to the idea. Often, parents have trouble coping at first because they raised their child to be a certain gender. If after transitioning your parents aren't as supportive as you hoped, give them time. They may just need to get used to it first.

Another problem a trans person may face is not just gaining acceptance from loved ones, but also gaining acceptance when meeting new people. Transitioning may feel like it should be kept a secret when you first meet someone, however it is best to be honest and proud of the decision you made. In regards to seeking out people to date, being transgender can also make it seem like an even more difficult process. The truth is, many people will not care if a person used to be a different gender.

Overall, the best way to cope with transitioning is to be proud of who you are. If you exert confidence, people are more likely to feel comfortable than if you are uncomfortable yourself. Transitioning is not unnatural in any way, and you’re not alone in the process. If you or anyone you know is in need of support regarding transitioning, PFLAG National (Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays) is a great organization in the United States. They have over 350 groups across the nation that you can get involved with, including one in Alaska and in Puerto Rico. If you live outside of the United States, chances are there are transgender support groups near you that you can get involved in too.


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Last edited by Eternal; November 6th 2014 at 03:43 AM.
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re: Difficulties a trans person might face - November 6th 2014, 01:59 AM

Chiming in late, sorry. You may want to add a few things:

1. Not every person who is trans* transitions in the ways you describe. Many do not use hormones or surgery, but use ways such as expression to "pass." The minority of trans* folk transition with surgery especially, but many don't use hormones either. You may at least want to mention it's not for everybody. I also find it eh that you used hormones as "pre-transition." It implies that the transition only happens after surgery...which like I said, many do not use. So I don't know. Something to think about.

2. Many do not identify as the "opposite sex" but rather, they identify out of the gender binary as a whole. We have articles on this subject, but it might be good to clarify here too.

3. I might use the word transgender instead of transexual. It's more encompassing, and generally more used among the trans* community. Transexual is something I notice morein human sexuality classes or in use by academia, as I've taken a lot of classes myself, but in the community, it's not common and some actually find offensive.

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re: Difficulties a trans person might face - November 6th 2014, 03:39 AM

I tried to describe difficulties trans people face but I'm not trans myself. If you know of more problems then it would be helpful to have suggestions because I went off of what my transgender roommate told me about and research.
Also I think you're reading it wrong, I was saying trans people can either do hormone replacement therapy or surgery, I wasn't saying hormones precedes it. And I put both under prior to transitioning because they don't occur after.. the decision to do either comes before you transition and they are what causes people to be able to transition.
I can replace transexual as transgender wherever I wrote that. It's a term I'm not always sure which is most appropriate to use. And I will also add in that whether a person decides to take hormones or have surgery is up to them, I thought it already was written in a way that meant these were just options that are problems for trans people, I made sure to say it's not required at the end of the first paragraph.
EDIT: I used the definition I found for transgender rather than the one for transexual so hopefully it's more accurate now.


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re: Difficulties a trans person might face - November 6th 2014, 04:52 AM

I was just pointing out small things. Nothing necessary, just things to keep in mind.


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re: Difficulties a trans person might face - November 6th 2014, 05:11 AM

I do appreciate the constructive criticism! And I added in most of what you suggested.


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Re: Difficulties a trans person might face - December 23rd 2014, 05:24 AM

This is excellent, Nicole!
I have suggested to include the word that in one paragraph, because I think it reads better. Otherwise, this looks ready for publishing (unless anyone has any last-minute edits).

Difficulties a trans person might face
By Nicole (Pug Princess)

The definitions of sex were created to be composed of two simple labels in order to categorize society, however for many people it is a very complicated process to figure out how to define oneself. Some people grow up thinking that they were born the “wrong way” because they don’t like the opposite gender which is what society deems is “correct.” In other cases, people feel that they were not born as the right gender, and that is what causes them to take steps to transition to the other gender, hence the term transgender, which is actually just defined as " is the state of one's gender identity or gender expression not matching one's assigned sex" This means it is not a requirement to have actually transitioned first to be trans.

Problems prior to transitioning
Many people feel confused as to whether they fit more under the girl category, or the boy category. What makes this more complicated is that gender roles can vary. For example, gay men may act more feminine, and gay women may act more masculine. This leads some people to wonder whether they should transition, or if they are just fine the way they are. The answer to this problem is that it depends on each person.
Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide whether they are comfortable as their own sex, or if it would benefit them to transition.

If an individual decides to transition, they have two options: hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or surgery.

Hormone replacement therapy when transitioning male to female includes taking estrogen, which is the most common form of hormone doctors prescribe. This is the hormone found in cis females, which replaces the hormones in a male when taken. It can be taken in combination with progestins, another type of hormone which produce breast growth. When transitioning female to male, androgens are commonly prescribed by doctors to replace the female hormones. Testosterone is taken to promote growth of facial hair and to stop menstruation. Hormones typically can come in a patch, be taken orally, be injected, and can even come in topical creams. It’s best to speak with your doctor about what regimen would be best.

The other option, is surgery called sex reassignment surgery. It is important to remember that there isn't anything wrong with having this procedure done. If this option is chosen, it is likely that after the procedure, hormones will be prescribed to influence the growth of breasts for male to female transitioning, or androgens to influence the growth of facial hair for female to male transitioning, for example. It is difficult to find accurate statistics regarding sex reassignment surgery, however the National Health Service has estimated that about 6,000 sex reassignment surgeries have been done. The procedure is not particularly reversible because it involves removing testicles for men, and removing breasts for females. It is a complicated procedure, but can be very effective in making people feel more comfortable with their preferred gender. Your insurance agency may help cover the costs of surgery, so be sure to check with them if you decide to have the surgery done.

Of course, whether you decide to take hormones or have the surgery is up to you. There is always the option to just change your preferred pronoun(s).

Problems after transitioning
One of the first problems that may arise after transitioning is how friends, family, and the public will react. This tends to be fearful enough for the individual that it prevents people from ever transitioning. In reality, many people will be generally supportive of transitioning. People usually disagree with what they don’t understand. That being said, talking about wanting to transition with loved ones beforehand will reduce the shock factor and may give them time to get used to the idea. Often, parents have trouble coping at first because they raised their child to be a certain gender. If after transitioning your parents aren't as supportive as you hoped, give them time. They may just need to get used to it first.

Another problem a trans person may face is not just gaining acceptance from loved ones, but also gaining acceptance when meeting new people. Transitioning may feel like it should be kept a secret when you first meet someone, however it is best to be honest and proud of the decision you made. In regards to seeking out people to date, being transgender can also make it seem like an even more difficult process. The truth is, many people will not care if a person used to be a different gender.

Overall, the best way to cope with transitioning is to be proud of who you are. If you exert confidence, people are more likely to feel comfortable than if you are uncomfortable yourself. Transitioning is not unnatural in any way, and you’re not alone in the process. If you or anyone you know is in need of support regarding transitioning, PFLAG National (Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays) is a great organization in the United States. They have over 350 groups across the nation that you can get involved with, including one in Alaska and in Puerto Rico. If you live outside of the United States, chances are there are transgender support groups near you that you can get involved in too.

Last edited by Eternal; December 24th 2014 at 04:43 AM. Reason: Removed gap. :)
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Re: Difficulties a trans person might face - December 24th 2014, 03:50 AM

One of the subheadings has a gap before the paragraph and the other one doesn't, so you might want to standardise that. Other than that, I think it's fine.



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Re: Difficulties a trans person might face - December 24th 2014, 03:18 PM

This is an awesome article and I have no edits for it.


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Re: Difficulties a trans person might face - December 25th 2014, 12:01 AM

Actually I have another edit. There's a strange comma in the second last paragraph of the first subheading. I'm thinking it should maybe be 'The other option is surgery called sex reassignment surgery' or 'The other option is surgery, called sex reassignment surgery'? Do either of those flow better?



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Re: Difficulties a trans person might face - December 25th 2014, 06:16 AM

Final (?) draft.
Difficulties a trans person might face
By Nicole (Pug Princess)

The definitions of sex were created to be composed of two simple labels in order to categorize society, however for many people it is a very complicated process to figure out how to define oneself. Some people grow up thinking that they were born the “wrong way” because they don’t like the opposite gender which is what society deems is “correct.” In other cases, people feel that they were not born as the right gender, and that is what causes them to take steps to transition to the other gender, hence the term transgender, which is actually just defined as " is the state of one's gender identity or gender expression not matching one's assigned sex" This means it is not a requirement to have actually transitioned first to be trans.

Problems prior to transitioning
Many people feel confused as to whether they fit more under the girl category, or the boy category. What makes this more complicated is that gender roles can vary. For example, gay men may act more feminine, and gay women may act more masculine. This leads some people to wonder whether they should transition, or if they are just fine the way they are. The answer to this problem is that it depends on each person.
Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide whether they are comfortable as their own sex, or if it would benefit them to transition.

If an individual decides to transition, they have two options: hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or surgery.

Hormone replacement therapy when transitioning male to female includes taking estrogen, which is the most common form of hormone doctors prescribe. This is the hormone found in cis females, which replaces the hormones in a male when taken. It can be taken in combination with progestins, another type of hormone which produce breast growth. When transitioning female to male, androgens are commonly prescribed by doctors to replace the female hormones. Testosterone is taken to promote growth of facial hair and to stop menstruation. Hormones typically can come in a patch, be taken orally, be injected, and can even come in topical creams. It’s best to speak with your doctor about what regimen would be best.

The other option is surgery, called sex reassignment surgery. It is important to remember that there isn't anything wrong with having this procedure done. If this option is chosen, it is likely that after the procedure, hormones will be prescribed to influence the growth of breasts for male to female transitioning, or androgens to influence the growth of facial hair for female to male transitioning, for example. It is difficult to find accurate statistics regarding sex reassignment surgery, however the National Health Service has estimated that about 6,000 sex reassignment surgeries have been done. The procedure is not particularly reversible because it involves removing testicles for men, and removing breasts for females. It is a complicated procedure, but can be very effective in making people feel more comfortable with their preferred gender. Your insurance agency may help cover the costs of surgery, so be sure to check with them if you decide to have the surgery done.

Of course, whether you decide to take hormones or have the surgery is up to you. There is always the option to just change your preferred pronoun(s).

Problems after transitioning
One of the first problems that may arise after transitioning is how friends, family, and the public will react. This tends to be fearful enough for the individual that it prevents people from ever transitioning. In reality, many people will be generally supportive of transitioning. People usually disagree with what they don’t understand. That being said, talking about wanting to transition with loved ones beforehand will reduce the shock factor and may give them time to get used to the idea. Often, parents have trouble coping at first because they raised their child to be a certain gender. If after transitioning your parents aren't as supportive as you hoped, give them time. They may just need to get used to it first.

Another problem a trans person may face is not just gaining acceptance from loved ones, but also gaining acceptance when meeting new people. Transitioning may feel like it should be kept a secret when you first meet someone, however it is best to be honest and proud of the decision you made. In regards to seeking out people to date, being transgender can also make it seem like an even more difficult process. The truth is, many people will not care if a person used to be a different gender.

Overall, the best way to cope with transitioning is to be proud of who you are. If you exert confidence, people are more likely to feel comfortable than if you are uncomfortable yourself. Transitioning is not unnatural in any way, and you’re not alone in the process. If you or anyone you know is in need of support regarding transitioning, PFLAG National (Parents, Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays) is a great organization in the United States. They have over 350 groups across the nation that you can get involved with, including one in Alaska and in Puerto Rico. If you live outside of the United States, chances are there are transgender support groups near you that you can get involved in too.


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Re: Difficulties a trans person might face - January 5th 2015, 10:51 PM

This article has now been published.
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