Am I Trans?

The short answer: I can’t tell you. In a masterstroke of unhelpfulness, I have to tell you the truth: only you can decide if you’re trans. Even then, there isn’t a definitive test to find out. So instead of telling you if you’re trans, I’m going to give you a few questions to meditate on and some experiments to try out.

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Transition: Blooming into You

The traditional trans story describes a person who must transition from one binary gender to the other to escape extreme gender dysphoria. This may be true for some. But there are many ways to think about and carry out a transition, and they don’t always have to include self-loathing.

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Dealing with Dysphoria

Gender dysphoria is a feeling of inner conflict between the gender you identify with and the body that you have. This is a really common thing among trans people (although not required to be trans). For example, I often wish I had narrower shoulders, a curvier frame, and no facial hair. On my rougher days I feel shame, embarrassment, or anger because I want to look as feminine on the outside as I feel on the inside.

A feminine-appearing person looks into a mirror and sees a reflection of a very masculine person looking back at them.

gender dysphoria” on Pinterest.

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Trans Starter Pack

Congratulations on coming out as trans! I know that’s gonna sound sarcastic, but I swear it isn’t. Even if you’ve only come out to yourself, you’ve done a brave thing, and I’m proud of you.

Being trans is especially hard at first. The way I got through was finding resources, role models, and community. There will be many more resource lists to come, but here are the basics I think every trans person should know about.

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I give you permission to

  • Not explain yourself
  • Put yourself first
  • Pass if you want to
  • Not Pass if you don’t want to
  • Like things that are stereotypically your assigned gender
  • Like things that correspond to your gender identity
  • Hate things your identity is supposed to like
  • Feel sexy as hell
  • Love yourself
  • Accept others’ love
  • Feel like you deserve that love
  • Treat yo self and have a fun day
  • Use whatever voice you want
  • Be fluid with gender
  • Be frustrated and impatient with the present
  • Feel stressed out and overwhelmed
  • Hope for the future
  • Feel scared
  • Ask for help
  • See a therapist
  • Be proud of yourself
  • Take a break and relax
  • Not know what the hell you’re doing
  • Explore yourself (physically and emotionally)
  • Make mistakes, lots and lots of them
  • Play dress-up anytime, anywhere
  • Say goodbye to those that hurt you
  • Forget the bastards from the past
  • Miss people you left behind
  • Be queer and stand out
  • Go stealth and blend in
  • Tell someone to apologize
  • Expect the correct pronouns
  • Try on a new label every day
  • Have a messy, wordless gender
  • Control your own pace and transition
  • Cry, scream, or punch a pillow in the face
  • Take up as much space as you damn well please
  • Strut your stuff like a badass motherf*cker
  • Fake confidence until you find your own
  • Spend time with people like you
  • Take a walk by yourself
  • Smile at the mirror
  • Stand up for yourself
  • Feel what you need to feel
  • Change the world forever
  • Resist by just existing
  • Take one step at a time