Transition: the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
synonyms: change, passage, move, transformation, conversion, metamorphosis, alteration, handover, changeover, segue, shift, switch, jump, leap, progression, progress, development, evolution, flux (my favorites in bold).
“Transition” in the life a transgender person is a complex time. It’s scary, exciting, rewarding, painful, expensive (trying starting your business casual wardrobe from scratch!) and the list goes on. It’s a rite of passage that, for most of us, is long overdue. It’s also one of the major differences between LGB people and trans people, for them coming out is a major milestone. For us, it’s just one of the first markers on a long road!
If you ask someone when they started their transition, they will usually give you a date that they formally began the processes of working with a doctor or therapist or when they started hormone replacement, etc. (I’ll save my timeline for another post).
Personally, I believe I have always been in a state of transition.
It’s something I would only expect someone who has experienced the incongruency that comes with Gender Dysphoria to fully understand. (That’s the psychological term given to someone who is confused about their gender. Transgender people have usually moved beyond the dysphoria and are confident in their identified gender.) It’s like having a lock on a box in the middle of your room your entire life and never knowing the combination. To deal with it we change – constantly. We become comfortable with change as we seek to create an identity that works. It’s not necessarily an identity that works for us, but one that allows us to function with some sense of normalcy in society. We embrace the change as a normal part of everyday life.
Speaking for myself, “transition” only refers to the social appearances and roles I play. The process is really more about “completion” or “fulfillment”. It’s embracing who I am and then changing things about and around me that don’t match.
At the end of the day, it actually takes much less energy!