A message to all those trans’ people who are on the verge of coming out or going ‘full-time’:
a) It’s less scary, and more empowering than you think.
b) Ridicule is quite rare; at least, to your face. And the people who do it behind your back don’t count.
c) There are advantages: you become memorable, interesting, fun, and generally much more popular. You also get let out of road junctions a lot more often.
d) You get to talk about beauty things, and can still talk about sport (if that’s your bag).
d) Growing boobs is interesting. Like growing rare plants in a greenhouse (though without the need for manure and greenfly spray).
e) You get a whole new range of problems… like, why do tights wear out so fast? And how come lipstick wont ‘stick’ to your lips but sticks to everything else?
f) It probably takes about five years to get your personal style right. During this period it’s a good idea to listen to ciswomen whom you trust. Ignore everyone else.
g) It’s possible to have a whole new set of relationships, and love can strike you when you least expect it.
h) You will find out who your friends really are.
i) You can do things you would never have done in your assigned gender — and get away with them.
j) Be honest. Especially with yourself.
k) But be open to new experiences. And I don’t just mean sex.
l) Remember your roots: who you were, how you were, and who you are becoming.
l) Have patience. You’ll need it.
k) The NHS is generally OK, but you have to be assertive about what you want. Don’t take no bullsh-t.
m) If you’re married, it’s possible for a relationship to transcend personal change. But the question to ask is: do you really love each other? I mean REALLY?
n) Don’t expect families to be sane. They often react in very selfish ways. Blood is sometimes thinner than water.
o) You will probably go a little bonkers, become obsessive, somewhat self-centred and quite out of your tree at times. Do not worry: it will pass.
p) Watch your mental health. Don’t drink too much.
q) Sparkle is good. But the real challenge is much bigger.
r) There are two ‘closets’: (1) when your are not ‘out’, and then (2) when you only associate with other transfolk. This is fine. But you will need to move on from closet No.2!
s) Take it easy. Stage by stage. You don’t have to ‘blend in’ if you don’t want to. You do need to become your authentic self, however, and that means deciding on how your personality and social identity actually work.
t) If you feel the need of help, go to counselling. It’s worth it, but ONLY if you find the right counsellor.
u) You will get hit on by blokes (if you’re a woman). Be patient, but take no nonsense. And remember: YOU are worth respect at all times!
v) You have every right to be in the Ladies loo!
w) People either are too interested in their own lives, or couldn’t care a damn who you are. The ones that do care (and want to let you know!) are usually quite unbalanced, and therefore should be strategically ignored (or reported, if they’re infringing the law).
x) Sex is different. That’s because you are different.
y) It’s quite possible to have a successful job/career as a transperson (I’m a teacher, so I should know). But if there are problems, they’re to do with other people, not you.
z) I haven’t a feck what to write for ‘z’.