The word “transition” means different things to different people. Sometimes, a transition is mostly a social event, and in other cases, it requires a great deal of surgery. If you’ve been considering transitioning, you’re probably curious to learn how other people felt throughout the process. Here, you can learn about three transgender women’s journeys.
Making the Decision
Some women claim that they went most of their adult lives without ever realizing their issues with their genders. For example, in some cases, women don’t make the transition until their 40s – when their kids have all but grown and gone on to college. It’s important to note that all three women say transitioning wasn’t a choice or something they weighed intellectually – it reflected who they were, and something they felt they must do to truly be themselves.
Fears About the Transition
Although transitioning is important for transgender women, and it’s certainly exciting, it doesn’t come without certain fears. For example, some women worry about the side effects of taking hormone treatments, and others worry more about how their friends, family, and colleagues will receive them once they’ve started the process. Some women even worry about losing custody of their children. These fears are all perfectly natural, and those who have been through the transition process recommend talking to a therapist before, during, and after transitioning to help separate rational fears from irrational ones.
Noticing the First Changes
Transgender women who start their hormonal treatments are often very excited to start seeing feminization take place. One of the biggest questions these women are asked has to do with the time it took to start seeing noticeable physical changes. Most women claim that their emotional state begins to change long before their physical appearances. They feel a sense of calm and peace – like they’re finally doing the right thing for themselves. Physical changes became apparent in anywhere from six months to a year in these cases.
When Surgery Is (and Isn’t) Necessary
Among women who transition, there are some who feel surgery isn’t truly necessary. They feel that hormonal and social changes are enough to allow them to be the women they’ve always wanted to be. Those who do have the surgery do so for many different reasons. Some do it because they know in their hearts it’s the right thing to do, and still others do it to eliminate their body’s ability to produce more than a minuscule amount of testosterone. Finally, some undergo FFS to help their outer selves reflect what they feel on the inside. (What I call ARS - age reassignment surgery - Rhonda)
After the Transition
Most post-transition women, when asked how their transitions helped them feel closer to their gender identities, liken it to a fish breathing water for the first time. Most agree that the transition feels natural to them, and it allows them to finally feel as they’ve always felt on the inside without the physical and social limitations that once kept them from expressing it.
Transitioning is certainly exciting, and that’s true whether you’re making the transition on the social, hormonal, or surgical level. There’s no step-by-step, cookie-cutter guide that everyone can follow. If anything, transitioning is a very personal experience – one that you can decide for yourself as you go along.
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