While you wait

For many of us one of the worst bits of being trans* who seek medical assistance in the transformation is the waiting. It’s usually an eternity between the moment you decide what treatments you need and the moment you actually get access to them. This can be for different reasons, maybe you lack funding or your healthcare system stales the process, but it doesn’t really matter, the waiting sucks never the less. But instead of feeling defeated you can do so many other things to feel better and to start your transformation! It’s now been over a year since I started my journey through the healthcare system in order to access HRT and surgeries and these are the things I have done to pass some time.

Get a new wardrobe with clothes that fit your gender! This can be an expensive one, but you can always buy second hand, buy the basics and go from there or persuade someone to donate. Personally I started with two button downs, a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.

Donate or sell the clothes that don’t fit you or your gender. Someone else will like them!

Get a haircut (or in my case 15 haircuts…). It’s ok to experiment, it will grow back out if you’re unhappy with it.

Buy a deodorant, shampoo, perfume or whatever you use with a smell that resonates with you.

Learn how to shave. It made wonders for me and made me feel more of the man I am, just by participating in this ritual most men do every morning.

Re-learn how to walk as your preferred gender. I still look at how men walk, stand and sit when I’m out and try to copy them just for the sense of trying a new way of moving my body. It can get really awkward if they or their friends see you though, so be careful! I’ve found that train stations are relatively safe.

Relearn how to talk as your preferred gender. And I’m not suggesting trying to lower your voice as it’s almost impossible and can damage your voice permanently. No, I’m talking about the way men and women express themselves differently. Vocabulary, language melody and body language generally differ between the genders.

Use the bathroom of your gender (as long as it’s safe). Just don’t look at the other men in there and you’ll be fine.

Use a binder and/or packer. Not everyone needs this, but it can make a big difference in how you feel.

Exercise- it releases endorphins that makes you feel good.

Tell the world! Let them know your preferred name and pronoun. Give them some time to adjust, but correct them without being mad if they slip up. And I’m talking of slip-ups here, not the person who spitefully misgender you and uses the wrong name. I decided to name the guys Jane and the women George just to make my passive-aggressive point if they continued.

Change your legal name (if possible). Often you can change your legal name before you have any treatments. And having an identity card with a recent photo and your preferred name is awesome!

Change your gender marker (if possible). Sometimes you can change your legal gender marker before you have any treatments.

Seek support. Look for local support-groups or support-groups online. Having someone to talk to that’s either in the same place or know how it is to be there can be a great help.

Get new friends. All my old friends are my wife’s female friends (nope, I’m not very good at making friends on my own), so for me it has become important to have male friends that are my friend only.

Seek out role models. Think about what kind of person you actually want to be and look for appropriate role models. And please, don’t be a bitch or thug. There’s too many of them already. You don’t need to be bad-ass to pass.

Do something else. Not everything in life can evolve around transitioning. Learn a new skill, or take on a new hobby. Or have a baby, that’s what I did… 😉

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