Ask Gabriel: Starting Your Transition

Hi Gabriel,

My therapist is requiring me to write a letter explaining why I feel like I should be put on T. I know why, but I’m having trouble putting it into words. Any suggestions? – Mas

That is quite a task, my friend, but definitely a good step in the right direction. You might be feeling overwhelmed on how to start the letter and what to include in it. Take a deep breath, you got this.

It doesn’t have to be particularly long, either. I would open a Word document (or a piece of paper, your choice) and make a quick draft of why you want to get on testosterone and then write how you would feel more comfortable in your skin if they can refer you to an endocrinologist and start the process. It would also be best to touch upon on how being on hormones would change your life for the better and help manage your dysphoria (you can also get specific on what kind of dysphoria you have because it’s not the same for everyone).

I started hormones through informed consent but if I were prompted by my therapist to write a letter, I would write the following:

Dear <insert name of therapist>,

I would like to get on hormones because I believe being comfortable in my skin would change my life for the better. My dysphoria, specifically with my chest and my curves, have been affecting me so negatively that I no longer find enjoyment in things I used to love such as writing and making YouTube videos. My dysphoria is getting to the point that I don’t even have the energy to focus on doing well in school! I’m coping the best way I can but I can’t ignore the issue any longer, I feel sick to my stomach when I get misgendered and people using my birth name. I know most of the changes on testosterone are irreversible and the risks associated with taking it but being happy with myself is more than worth it.  – Gabriel

You can use the above example to help you write your own letter. Good luck!

Hi Gabriel,

What advice could you give me about starting T? I’ve been dancing around the idea for a while. I’d like to start but im really scared. I also plan to see a gender therapist about it as well. – Kyle 

The biggest piece of advice I can give, if you’re on the fence, is that there is no rush! Getting on hormones is a big step – one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Talking to a gender therapist would be a good start and, assuming they are competent, they would be able to help you sort through your feelings, pinpoint what’s causing you to be scared and possible help you overcome it.

Whether or not if testosterone is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it because you want to feel at home with your body?
  • Do you feel that the testosterone changes will help you reach your ideal self image?
  • Where does most of your dysphoria (ex. voice, fat distribution, etc.) come from? Is it something that testosterone can directly or indirectly help with?
  • Is it something you truly want?

Hopefully this helps, friend. I wish you all the best in whatever you decide to do!

Hi Gabriel,

As someone who is trans non binary I’m trying to figure out how to go about transitioning. Is it the same process as someone who is binary transgender? – Chrys

Yes and no. Yes because getting on hormones and surgery is generally the same process. However, the stark difference is that what you need is most likely going to be different than what a binary transgender person would need. While nonbinary folks are considered transgender and may have dysphoria (transgender is anyone whose gender identity is different than their assigned gender at birth), the journeys are not the same.

A binary transgender person is, more often than not, going to be pursuing medical transition in some way to help them ease their dysphoria in order to be seen 100% as a man or woman in society. While their journeys may also vary, their desire to transition is to be ultimately seen as their preferred gender.

Nonbinary folks, on the other hand, vary greatly in their transition: some may not present any differently as they did before they came out. Some may just simply change their name to something more gender neutral and use different pronouns. Some may medically transition in some way, like taking hormones on a low dose with the intention of stopping soon once they are satisfied with the changes. Some, like myself, might transition medically to present more as their preferred gender but don’t identify 100% as either.

My point being – It’s all about what YOU want for YOURSELF. Be YOUR best self and do whatever YOU feel will help YOU get there. Whether it’s changing YOUR hairstyle, clothes or simply change YOUR pronouns, YOU get to decide. 🙂

Got a question for Gabriel? Submit them here and they will be answered in a future post!

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