Monday, August 26, 2019

Congruence vs Transition

Congruence  - Agreement or harmony; compatibility.

Transition  - The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another. 

My Note: Below is a portion of an article I found at Gender Spectrum. Transition is a term that has existed as long as I have have been reading and studying gender variance. I have never related one-hundred-percent to the concept of me personally "transitioning".  I have always been who/what I am, without transitioning. It is possible that as I have become more open. Yes, others now see me differently; although I am the same person; friend, professional, father... Take a read and please comment.  I found this very interesting.



Gender congruence is the feeling of harmony in our gender:
  • experiencing comfort in our body as it relates to our gender;
  • naming of our gender that adequately corresponds with our internal sense of who we are;
  • expressing ourselves through clothing, mannerisms, interests and activities;
  • being seen consistently by others as we see ourselves.

Finding congruence is an ongoing process throughout each of our lives as we continue to grow and gain insight into ourselves. It is most often found through exploration. For some, finding congruence is fairly simple; for others, it is a much more complex process. But the fundamental need to find gender congruence is true for us all, and any degree to which we don’t experience it can be distressing.

“Transitioning” is a term commonly used to refer to the steps a transgender, a-gender, or non-binary person takes in order to find congruence in their gender. But this term can be misleading as it implies that the person’s gender identity is changing and that there is a moment in time when this takes place. More typically, it is others’ understanding of the person’s gender that shifts. What people see as a “Transition” is actually an alignment in one or more dimensions of the individual’s gender as they seek congruence across those dimensions. A transition is taking place, but it is often other people (parents and other family members, support professionals, employers, etc.) who are transitioning in how they see the individual’s gender, and not the person themselves. For the person, these changes are often less of a transition and more of an evolution.

Instead of “transitioning,” a more apt phrase is “pursuing congruence measures.” A person can seek harmony in many ways:

  • Social congruence measures: changes of social identifiers such as clothing, hairstyle, gender identity, name and/or pronouns;
  • Hormonal congruence measures: the use of medical approaches such as hormone “blockers” or hormone therapy to promote physical, mental, and/or emotional alignment;
  • Surgical congruence measures: the addition, removal, or modification of gender-related physical traits; and
  • Legal congruence measures: changing identification documents such as one’s birth certificate, driver’s license, or passport.

It’s important to note, though, that a transition experience can be a very significant event in a person’s life. A public declaration of some kind where an individual communicates to others that aspects of themselves are different than others have assumed, and that they are now living consistently with who they know themselves to be, can be an empowering and liberating experience (and moving to those who get to share that moment with them). Oftentimes during a transition experience a person will announce a change in the name and pronouns that they use and ask that others use their new name and pronouns going forward. Honoring this request is a sign of respect and a critically important way to demonstrate support.


  1. this is very well written and good to consider when reflecting on how we want to live and express our gender...

  2. This is pretty much the way I've thought for many years - at least for myself. I have sought congruence in order to temper my gender dysphoria, and I have referred to that process as transition. I agree that the transition is not mine, alone, and that it is made up of the transitioning of every person with whom I have a relationship - from my family all the way down to even casual acquaintances. All of these transitions occur at their own paces, and I must always remember that I had a big head start over all of them.

    I decided many years ago that my social congruence was an all-or-nothing proposition. When my sister-in-law, who was probably my biggest ally, passed away from cancer, I had been living as the woman I was born to be about 90% of the time. I dared not visit her in the hospital during her last days, for fear of another family member showing up. I did talk to her on the phone, though, and she was so understanding about the situation. That was such a WTF thing for me, as it shouldn't have been about me at all. I wrote the eulogy for her service with a lot of "hidden" messages, and put on my suit and tie for the last time to deliver it. Within a week, though, the word was put out to those 200 or so people, as well as everyone else in the world, that (dead name) had made *his* last appearance, and Connie is what they'd see and what they'd get moving forward.

    For health reasons, hormonal and surgical congruence are not in my future. As I say, though, I'm not literally dying to be a woman. Otherwise, I am fairly content with my congruence these days - even if there are transitions still ongoing.