Diane Wilson
Search my site:
Diane Wilson -> Gender -> s.s.tg FAQ -> TS & TG Issues

s.s.tg Frequently Asked Questions

*

Introduction

*

Terminology

*

Privacy

*

Origins

*

Common Issues

*

TS & TG Issues

*

TV & CD Issues

*

MTF Issues

*

FTM Issues

*

Other Paths

*

Friends & Family

*

Bibliography

Transsexual & Transgenderist Issues

Note: This FAQ is incomplete. I have made it available because it now contains considerably more than the original FAQ, but there is still much work to be done. Please send suggestions, comments, and contributions to Diane Wilson.

If you find yourself going down this path, the next few years of your life may be very interesting. That's not bad, though; if this is what's right for you, the result can be extremely rewarding. This page isn't about those rewards; right now it's time to talk about how you get through this.

6.1 What are the "Standards of Care?"

The Harry S. Benjamin Standards of Care is a crucially important document. For all its flaws, it is the document which governs our relationship with the medical and mental health communities. I strongly suggest that you read this, and make a copy so that you have it for your own reference.

Dr. Anne Lawrence is a member of the standards committee, and keeps up-to-date information on the SOC on her site.

The ICTLEP (International Conference on Transgender Law and Employment) has published their own proposal for Standards of Care. While these are not widely used, this document is one that provokes a lot of thought and some controversy as well.

6.2 What Should I Know About Hormones?

A general answer to this question is that you should know as much as possible. Hormones are powerful drugs, and have potentially serious side effects. This is why it's such a good idea to work through an endocrinologist when starting on hormones; he will check your medical history and your general health, and will work with you to monitor your progress while maintaining your physical safety.

I strongly recommend doing some background reading before you visit the doctor. The Hormone FAQ, listed below, is one of the best sources available. Sheila Kirk has also written some books which are available through the IFGE bookstore. Anne Lawrence, M.D. is a transsexual physician who also provides a lot of useful information on hormones and hormone therapy.

6.2.1 What are the Medical Facts?

The Hormones FAQ. This multi-part FAQ contains a great deal of information useful to anyone considering starting HRT. Read it before you meet with an endocrinologist, so that you can ask informed questions. A pointer to the FAQ is regularly posted to the soc.support.transgendered and alt.transgendered newsgroups around the fifth of each month. It is also available by anonymous FTP at ftp://savina.com/users/valerie/hormone/faq or via the WWW at http://www.savina.com/confluence/hormone/. Those with only e-mail access may receive the most recent copy by sending mail to <archive@xconn.com> with the subject (for female to male)

REQUEST HORM-FTM.TXT
or (for male-to-female)
REQUEST HORM-MTF.TXT 
and the file will be sent by e-mail the same day.

6.2.2 What About Herbal Hormones?

Some herbal products contain or mimic hormones, and some people feel that this is a viable alternative to going through the medical profession. I don't recommend this approach for the following reasons:

  • Hormones from medical sources generally work faster and more predictably.
  • Hormones carry sufficient health risks that medical monitoring is a very good idea. Along with the general concern about side effects, medical monitoring is important to establish a correct dosage.
  • Hormones from medical sources are not really all that expensive, especially compared to equivalent dosages of herbal hormones.
  • Herbal hormones are not regulated. This makes it a lot harder to predict how much you need to take, and with hormones from any source you can definitely take too much. (Too much doesn't accelerate the effects, either. This is not a good idea.) Herbal hormones will also be sold in a more "natural" state, meaning that there will be other plant products mixed in, which can also affect your health.

Yes, you're free to make your own choice, but I do ask that you take a hard and honest look at the risks associated with herbals before you jump in that direction.

6.3 What are the Surgical Options?

There are many complex issues surrounding the subject of surgery; if you decide that surgery, of any type, is in your future, then you will benefit from the web sites linked below that specialize in these issues.

Before assuming that surgery is a necessity, though, it's a good idea to stop and consider some broader issues. Transition is a complex journey, involving changes not only to one's body but also to every other aspect of one's life, including behavior, relationships, communication patterns, self-image, and much more. Success in one area does not significantly overcome difficulties in other areas, and most or all of these things need to work well together for a successful transition.

What is surgery, anyway? It is an alteration of the body. For trans people, yes, bringing the body into alignment with one's soul is a powerful experience. Some people would not be able to pass without cosmetic surgery, although the proportion of such people is open to question (and probably less than you'd think).

What you decide about surgery is your business; if it's the right thing to do, then go ahead with it, with my blessings. What I do want to say is that it's important to understand the limitations on what surgery can accomplish. It doesn't erase your past. It changes the body, but it does not change your history, or your bone structure, or your height, or many other things. It changes the things that the surgeon works on; the rest is still up to you, just as it was before surgery.

In this light, I'd like to refer you to a poem by Lisel Meuller. It's about the artist Claude Monet, and his refusal to have surgery, surgery that would have eliminated a condition that most would deem tragic. If it doesn't make sense right away, please don't toss it off and forget about it; read the commentary that follows, and let this one sit with you for a while. So many important decisions are like this, with no clear right or wrong answer, even when we think that there is such an answer. (By the way, this page belongs to Becky Allison, a physician and transsexual. Yes, she went ahead with her surgery.)

6.3.1 What Should I Know About Sex Reassignment Surgery (SRS)?

The Sex Change Indigo Pages offer a wealth of information about Sex Reassignment Surgery.

Anne Lawrence, M.D. is a transsexual physician who has a lot of useful things to say on this subject, with many useful articles and photographs. This is a rare opportunity to get an evaluation of SRS from someone who is both a transsexual and a peer to the surgeons.

Don't miss Michelle Wallace's survey of surgical results.

The Unabridged Guide to Zen And The Art Of Post-Operative Maintenance is a very complete guide to preparation for surgery, and life afterwards.

6.3.2 What About Cosmetic Surgery?

Aside from hair loss, which needs to be addressed by one means or another, cosmetic surgery is an area where patience is a virtue. Hormone therapy will have significant effects on the shape and contours of your face, enough so that you may not need as much surgery as you might think, if you end up needing any at all. The advice I was given was to wait for two years on hormones before making any decisions. At the time, I thought it was absurd, and I truly expected to need a brow shave, tracheal shave, jaw reduction, and a nose job. While I might be prettier if I did some of these things, I do pass, and in the end, that's really all that I need. I'm glad that I waited to make this decision.

But what matters for you is what's right for you, not what's right for me or for someone else. All I ask is that you think about it, and see what hormones will do for you. Then, if it's right, do it.

Dr. Douglas Ousterhout, a leading surgeon who works with facial surgery for transsexuals, talks about facial feminization. Andrea James, one of his clients, shares her experience with facial surgery, complete with pictures (130K).

Dr. Thomas Rosanelli offers information on hair replacement.

E-sthetics provides general information about a broad range of services.

6.4 What are the Legal Issues?

Sister Mary Elizabeth on the Legal Aspects of Transsexualism
The Transgender Legal Page

6.4.1 How Do I Change My Name?

6.4.2 How Do I Change My Legal Sex?

6.5 What Should I Expect When I Transition?

This is the Point of It All

Transition is the single biggest issue facing transsexuals. It is bringing your whole life into alignment with your internal self-perception. And life is what this is about; everything else either leads up to this or builds on top of it.

The only reasonable diagnosis I've ever heard for TS is a successful transition--not only that you do it, but that you settle comfortably into your new life, and you wake up one morning with the realization that there is no way that you could ever go back. Then, and only then, you have your diagnosis. After you've put everything on the line. Does that raise doubts? Doubt is healthy; it forces you to examine your issues and make the hard decisions. Just don't let it rule.

From this standpoint, you will probably not be able to eliminate those doubts before transitioning. Transition is a discontinuity; you can't see beyond it from where you are. It is the biggest single event along our paths, and it changes your feelings, your outlook, everything.

Some people ask, "If I try hard enough, will I overcome this?" Try to deny being TS? It comes back; if you are reading this sentence, you probably know that already. (The fact that it keeps coming back is often the only evidence we have of who we are.)

Are their relationship issues? This is a tough one. Whether your partner can accept you as a transsexual, or as your new gender, is only part of the issue. You might be asking her (or him) to choose between you and family, you and friends, you and his or her whole life. There's not much way to continue without facing this one head-on.

The sad truth is that nearly all of us have had to face losses somewhere in our lives when we transition. I've been luckier than many, but that only means that my losses have been fewer. And you can't really know where those losses will happen until they've happened. If it will help, I'd suggest recalling a pair of questions from Sam Keen's Fire in the Belly:

  1. Where am I going?
  2. Who will go with me?

The point of these questions is not only that they have to be answered, but that they have to be answered in this order. There is no way that you can build an enduring relationship while ignoring your own needs, and it doesn't matter whether those needs are for transition, or for food, air, and water. Take care of yourself first. Only then can you safely give to anyone else.

(Yeah. I can quote men's movement stuff. What's your point???)

Is it possible to keep a relationship intact through transition and beyond? Yes, but it's tough. It takes hard work, communication, and luck.

Will everything be all right? In the long run, for many TS people, most things will be all right. But really, that's about the best deal you ever get from life. There will be hurts. There will be losses. Some of those can be overcome. Others will leave a hole that will need to be filled eventually. Sorry, but that's about all the assurance I can give you.

Except for the assurance that you are not the first to face these issues, not by a long ways.

One other thing to keep in mind is that compromises may be necessary or useful. There's no way that I can tell you what they will be, or should be, or might be; these are individual issues. Did I mention that transition is a discontinuity? I took myself off the surgery track less than a week after transition. Why? One strong reason was that the first day I went to work as Diane, I knew that I had what I needed out of this. Another reason was my relationship; my SO accepted every stage up through transition, but she had no clue how she would react to SRS (and still doesn't, two years later.) With transition behind me, I realized that I had very little reason to put my relationship at risk. But only a week before, I could not have predicted that.

You are a human being, as we all are. Being TS does not preclude having other issues to deal with, or other feelings. The real truth is opposite of what so many of us start out believing; we are normal people, in every respect but one. Let's all try not to forget that. Everyone has to balance their own lives according to their own priorities, and TS is only a part of that. Let's try not to forget that one, too.

The Practical Side

There are few decisions in life that can get you out of the clouds and down to pragmatics faster than deciding to transition.

I'll keep it brief here, because the next section links to several personal transition stories, each with its own dose of reality. I will mention a few things that are particularly significant, and you can decide for yourself how these interact with the stories you read and hear.

There are few allies more effective than an experienced and compassionate gender counsellor.

In the long run, there is only so much support that you can get through the gender community. It's not enough. The sooner you begin building your real-life support network among the people who know you and who will continue to share their lives with you beyond transition, the smoother things will go. This is not to trash the gender community, but we are small, and we do not have the added binds that come with relationships inside the community. This makes us very different from the LesBiGay community, and limits the usefulness of adapting their models. It also guarantees that the "active membership" of the gender community will be much more transient, and that there are few if any gender equivalents of the "gay ghettos" where one can live and work entirely within one's community. We are out there in real life, and we need support that functions there.

One thing the community is very good for is learning to come out. It's the first place where you can talk openly about who you are, and where you can learn to talk about this comfortably. Only then should you try it with friends. Only when you've got that down should you try coming out at work or with family.

Start your electrolysis as soon as possible. Hang up your internet phone connection, call and make an appointment or ask for information, then dial back in. This FAQ will still be here.

Hormones are pretty much a necessary prerequisite for transition, for many of us. For the purpose of transition, the big changes are emotional, the changes in facial planes, smoother skin texture, reduced body hair, and the redistrubition of body fat (giving, among other things, a bigger butt). From a passability standpoint, boobs are less important and easier to fake than any of those. Many of these changes continue over a period of several years.

Remember that you are going through puberty again. Among other things, puberty is a time of learning. Learn what you can, and don't expect it all to happen at once.

Get out in public a lot in your new gender role before you transition. It takes a lot of practice to get it right. Form new friendships with people who have never known the old you. Even if you tell them or they figure it out, they will see you differently because they didn't experience your history.

Learn how to deal with getting read. It doesn't magically stop with transition. While you're at it, learn how to out yourself casually without making a big deal of it. There are times when this is necessary (though these are rare, for which I am thankful).

Take your time deciding about cosmetic surgery. There are two big issues here, separating "need" from "want," and waiting long enough for the hormones to do their work so that you really can assess what you absolutely need. This is not to say that you shouldn't have cosmetic surgery; I'm only saying that many of us overestimate the amount that we will need.

You will go through a period of two years or so in which you will be totally absorbed with transition and being transsexual. It will pass. But while it's happening, it can have significant impact on your job and your relationships. Plan for it. It's not an ideal time to push for a major promotion. It is an opportune time for relationships to break, unfortunately. If you have a significant other and you both want to hold your relationship together, make sure your SO has his or her own support. They will need it. There are resources listed elsewhere in this FAQ.

Personal Stories

One of the best things you can do for yourself in terms of preparing for transition is to read the stories of other people's transitions. There are some excellent ones on the web.

Cindy describes much of her feelings about transition in Transsexualism is Not for Sissies.

Becky Allison, M.D. is a transsexual physician, a leader among Christian transsexuals, and a woman with an inspring story.

Julie Simpson has written one of the best-told stories I've come across.

Melanie Phillips provides a complete diary of her transition.

There are also stories that have been covered in the press, not just books that will only be read by a few of us, but in periodicals that are based in the larger community of life.

There are many more; browse through TransGendeRing and you will find many people sharing their lives.

6.6 What About Employment and Transition?

This topic comes up from time to time in the various newsgroups, with some useful discussion. Here are a few questions and responses:

When we move (after i graduate in the spring) and i find a job (which will dictate where we move to) i intend to begin the search for a therapist and (endocrinologist?) to prescribe hormones as soon as i can convince them to.. well, i guess my question is how would be the best way, in your opinion, to make sure i dont get fired from my newfound job? should i tell them at the earlies possible moment? should i ask how they would handle the situation before i even appply, or soon after? should i simply present myself as female when i'm applying, so they always think of me as such? thoughts, ideas and ramblings welcome!

from Diane Wilson:

It will depend very much on you, your job, and a great many other things. If you have not started therapy or hormones, I would suggest not even mentioning it until you have established yourself as part of "the organization." Transition usually takes a lot of preparation, and full passability--real workplace passability--takes both preparation and experience. Transitioning too early and getting outed at work (which does happen) can make for some very uncomfortable situations. And it can put your job at risk, since lying on your job application is usually grounds for firing if a company wants to use that. (ie., they have a legal reason to fire, even if it's not the real reason.)

There are ways to improve your chances. Ask about diversity policy and training. Most companies will at least pay lip service to racial diversity and basic equal opportunity policies, but a company that takes these issues seriously and recognizes sexual diversity (usually in terms of homosexuality only) is a considerably better bet. If you get a chance to talk to employees individually during your interviews, ask a black or female employee how well they think the company's diversity program works in practice. The really good companies will go beyond the letter of the law on this, even to inclusion of minorities that aren't legally protected.

If the company is reasonably accepting, transition on the job isn't all that bad. One really important thing is to recognize that it's a business issue for them, even if it's a personal issue for you. The major stumbling block, other than restrooms, is reaching an understanding that you will be able to continue doing your work without disruption and without being disruptive. As long as you can do your job and you are not meeting the public, this is not a difficult issue to solve if you approach it that way from the beginning.

None of this is a reason to delay starting therapy and hormones, though. Again, this varies from one person to another, but it's often possible to hide the effects of hormones for a year or more. Breasts can be flattened up to around a B-cup. Men can have long hair and even earrings; just take a look around you and keep your presentation within reason for you and your environment. And start your electrolysis AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

from Adrienne Davis:

Depends upon where you find work and in what field. I live in the Bay Area. I also changed careers when I transitioned and have come-out individually and officially on a 'need to know' basis. Since most of my employers have had a very low need-to-know I haven't told most of them. My current employers, for instance, have no idea. On my last job, my supervisor, the departmental supervisor and a couple of friends knew. Use your instincts.

should i tell them at the earlies possible moment?

I wouldn't. A compelling argument can be made for doing it but it's not a path I would choose.

should i ask how they would handle the situation before i even appply, or soon after?

Again, I wouldn't.

All that said, I work in Silicon Valley. It is, on the whole, very queer friendly. I'm out as a lesbian on my job but not out as trans. Mostly that has to do with race. I am a black woman working in a field with very, very few black women in it. I really do have to be an absolute star at my job just so I can be seen as reasonably competent compared to the white boys. So, I don't come out because I'm already operating with a strike against my perceived credibility the moment my skin-color and gender sink in <about five seconds give or take>. More strikes, based upon people's utter ignorance about trans-folks isn't something I care to take on when my livelihood <and surgery fund> are on the line. Your mileage may vary.

Again, good luck, pleasant journey and Goddess bless. It's a helluva ride but, for me, it's been worth it.


Two and a half months of hormones has really opened up my brain. The gray stuff works better than ever and I have been living female part time for over a month and now I want more! The worst thing they could do is fire me and the job would not be that difficult to replace, but then there I am starting over, again.

Any comments or suggestions?

from Ellen Rose Prescott:

Yes. Books. I got a copy of The Employer's Guide to Transition from CDSPUB.COM and it helped a lot. (The boss said, "but we haven't written that part of the employee policy yet!" and the facilitator handed him a copy.)

You also might want something smaller, that they can give out to all the employees you are likely to deal wtih. I got permission from Anne Vitale to print up a couple of her articles in a booklet, and I gave the bosses and friends copies, and it made them much more understanding.

I'll send you a copy of the booklet, and you can xerox up as many as you want. I think that fits with Dr. Vitale's intent. Just don't go selling them. Send me your address by E-mail, and I'll mail you a copy. (Same goes for anybody else that's thinking of transition, incidentally. No charge.)

We had a facilitator handy for transition. Our museum is going through a transition of its own--doubling in size--and that had the potential for turmoil. So they contracted in a facilitator to help deal with these issues, and I decided she could deal with mine, too. (I liked her.) So I went to her first.

And I knew the boss would be worried about my turning the place into a laughingstock. I am, after all, 6'2" and 225 lb. Nobody would expect me to make a reasonable woman. (The first thing everybody says is, "My, you're much prettier than I had expected.")

"We should go out for dinner tonight," I told her, "or meet socially some other way, so you can get to know me as a woman."

She thought it unnecessary.

"The first thing the boss will worry about is my being a laughingstock," I told her. "I want somebody he trusts to be able to tell him I'm not." So we had dinner that night, and the next day she told him.

I was fortunate: there are only about a dozen people where I work. So I was able to speak with each individually. And I knew them well enough to be able to tell them in a way they appreciated. (Alice at work has known about me for a long time. She told several herself, and found that some of them had already figured it out.)

Do it respectfully; do it personally; do it in a way that recognizes their personalities and their needs for knowledge and reassurance. All went well for me, and I cannot see this way harming anybody's case.

from Diane Wilson:

You've got to look at situations and specific issues.

I lost my job two months after staring hormones. Not only was I not passable at the time, I had to consider my references. I felt that I could not take the risk of telling them at the time. This later proved to be the right choice; after I transitioned, I did lose one of my two primary references, someone who was also one of my closest friends from my old job. Although this was almost the only loss I suffered outside of family due to transition, he just happened to be someone that I really needed to rely on for getting rehired. You don't know where those loses will occur until it's too late, and if you can't write them off ahead of time then you can't take the risk.

There are also quite a few among us who have built significant professional histories, not only in terms of references but also publication history, patents, specific accomplishments, many such things. It takes planning and good preparation to be able to go forward with transition and keep these things. If you haven't completed that preparation, which can consist of dozens or hundreds of coming-out sessions, as well as re-establishing your credibility in other ways. For some of us, transition within the context of a single job, with full continuity, is the best or only option for maintaining our lives; in this case, getting a job becomes a priority over transition. You've got to look at your own situations and make your own decisions.

Also, "even if it is more difficult and takes longer to find your next job" is a recipe for bankruptcy for anyone who is carrying significant financial commitments. Those gaps in employment have to be explained and can add to the difficulty of getting that next job. No, I wouldn't suggest an indefinite delay.

from eladydee:

Expectations and realities.

I transitioned a number of years ago at work as a civil servant working for the Navy. I first went to my two immediate supervisors to make my intentions known. Have you ever had to pick up a Navy Commander up off of the floor....? (Not really but close.) Later that day I got a call from Personnel who stated without much ado that the Navy's official position was that it had "no official position" on transitioning at work, because I was a civil servant and free to do in my personal life as I needed or chose and that they were there to support me. And they did - 100%...!

I worked at a site different than my bosses so when the installation I worked for (Not Navy) got wind of it called me and insisted on a big pow wow with me, my bosses, my personnel folks and.........(I asked if they would also like the President of the US present too......) Well, I told them that my employer (the Navy) found this to be no problem and I had their full support. The only issue was whizzin' rights during the RLT and I proposed an easy solution that would not impinge on my rights or those of good order and sensibilities. If there were any other issues that needed to be addressed I would be happy to get together with whoever might be required to resolve it. I never heard another word until after SRS when I requested and was granted full whizzin' rights.

I told my people, (I supervised and managed a remote operation) of my intent a day or two later and walked around the building telling face to face others that I dealt with of what was happening. It was almost full acceptance. The biggest impact on me, though, was the crest fallen reaction by my employees. It was not what was said but was the intuitive feeling that I was giving them up, that our relationship of 6 or 7 years had been a bogus sham (or that I was a shill?) .......a 100% loss of the mutual trust and respect that we had built over those years of working together on both personal are professional level. For the rest of my stay with that organization it was rebuilding that trust and respect on the new basis. They validated me daily and I owe them as a group and as individuals a great deal of thanx and appreciation.

This is probably the biggest single reaction we all face or have faced. We have put the flaming sack of dog pooh on the front porches of people whose personal lives are already full with their own issues, problems, aspirations, difficulties and fears. We in so many words are forcing them to deal with our issues. We are confronting their value systems, life truths, inner conflicts and so on. We must also remember that there are times when others "plates are full" and initial reaction may not be what the long term acceptance will be.

Some can deal with it better than others. I have known people in the workplace where there was a total inability to even communicate once my background was made known (and that person had never met before transition). We can not blame but only try to understand those who CAN'T cope.....(of course there are the idiots who WON'T and just make hell on earth for all of us)..... and it is the knowing one from the other that is important.

We also must acknowledge those who try their damnedest to accept our journey, and revel in those who fully accept it.

We in our pain and need to follow this path often don't take into account what we are asking of our co-workers, bosses and companies to confront.

But take heart.....if we can see this for what it is it makes the journey a little easier.

from Danielle Swain:

Some time back I went to apply for a job at a place that I knew the owner and the other staff (his family). We sat in his office he said I was hired for the job (sales clerk in a large antique mall). I told him I was transitioning and would be doing it on the job. He told me no problem and that it would be something he would love to be around. At this time I was dressing somewhat fem, and just started hormones. This job was to be my security blanket. It would cover all my daily expenses, and my real work (buying and selling antiques) would bank me all the way to SRS. Also this job put me in front of people. This I wanted to do to test out my new life in front of all sorts of people. I got my new drivers license, social security card and all the other necessary bull shit. So now I am all set. Everybody I care about knows what is going on, my son (nine) knows, I am all set for full time. My employer started getting flak from his wife his mom a large number of customers and a large croup of dealers that are tenants of this mall. He came to me and said he had to let me go. He cried. This man has always been a good friend to me. I would never do anything to jeopardize his business. In this state (California) what he did is illegal. There is much I could do to get my job back or get money. I will do nothing. His friendship his support is very valuable to me. I have means and am able to make a modest living on my own. My timetable will be set back. My security blanket is striped away. What work I look for from this point on will be as Danielle.

from Jenny39CD:

I must first start out by saying that as a "life long" CD'r my "transition" was a dream come true..although I had not dressed for many years at the request of my wife. My "transition" at work was at first medically induced, as I had abdominal surgery that made wearing pants(low waist mens type) not only painful but a problem for some time. My job was fairly specialized and a position that had no public contact, so my employer (a TS as I found out later ..not that I hadn't suspected it) said she didn't care if I came in wearing a dress, just come back to work. I didn't do that (at first) but my wife bought me several pairs of womens high(er) waisted strech pants and a jump suit she said I'd look cute in. Well...the pants needed tops.. and then guys shoes with fem clothing just didn't look right. It was about 7 or 8 weeks into this "lite-dressing" (and several weeks into starting to use just a bit of makeup) when the office girls went on their "last Friday of the month" lunch. As I was the only guy in an office of 6, I had been many times in the past 2 years teased that all I had to do was put on a dress and I could come with them. This time there was no teasing, just a "you ARE coming Friday aren't you?". At first I thought they were still teasing, (this was on Wednesday) but by Thursday afternoon it was apparent from all of them that I had better come to work the next day in a dress.

Now up to this point, I will admit I was dressing full time as a girl (still no dresses and not wearing a bra...but the wardrobe had expanded significantly at the insistence of my wife) but I was still in the male role, and everyone was still calling me by my male name(which is not very feminine). The medical condition (tubes and such) that made the transition possible/nescesary were gone, and I could have "gone back" so-to-speak but I just hadn't done it/ didn't want to. Plus, I had just been put on notice that I was(as of tomorrow) accepted as "one of the girls".

Well, I did it. I had several dresses at home by now(also at the insistence of my wife), and among hoots and cat-calls from the office came in the next morning with my hairstyled(I have always kept it at or past shoulder length), nails done, full makeup(that is what surprized them the most) and a nice stylish knee length dress(oh...and a bra).

For the next 4 years(till I quit...another long story) we were an office of 6 women as my boss would tell people, although I would only wear a dress on the last Friday or for special occations (christmas parties, etc). Soon after that first Friday lunch they did start calling me Jennifer(I ..or should say my wife told them to), just to not confuse people when someone would come into the office...which did happen a few times...and after 4 years I was nothing but Jennifer to them(when I quit, one of the newer girls didn't know I had a male name). I was never treated any different by any of them and "transitioning" at home was more of a problem than at work. But thats not for here....(no it wasn't a wife problem)

from S.A.:

Repositioning is a marketing term for presenting a product (or company) in a new light before its client base. In my company's case, I began to move our focus from industrial marketing and financing deals for such firms to softer industries such as telecommunications providers, software firms, not involved in factory automation, for example, retail and wholesale businesses and similar industries. We maintained our old client base and continue doing so, but our focus is less smokestake and more office.

At the same time, I began courting investment pools devoted to female-owned businesses and to come out to show the financial groups who had worked with the company earlier the new opportunities.

It took about as long as an RLT and involved as much stress and work, but now we are in a position to capitalze on the goodwill generated by our earlier client base and have a new one which accepts our current management.

from Karen Anne:

Today is the day. At my suggestion, management at my workplace will inform the 35 or so people working there of my transition, sometime in the next ten hours. I work the afternoon shift, so everyone can freely discuss the old hippie with the long hair and earrings for several hours before I get there.

Excluding any unknown future developments, today will be one of the last days of my life that the world will demand that I present myself as a male. I plan to only change a little more each week so that people at work are not going to be alarmed and it will give me a chance to learn to be myself.

Part-timing it did not work for me. I was changing sex twice a day, and constantly dwelling on which person I was at each moment. The stress was greater than being in the closet all those years. The denial is over, the wait is over, and I know who I am. I know that I need more work on this new entity of myself, but time and patience will help me become the woman I have always been.

When I look back at 1997 from here, I can see that I have gone a long way toward a real future for me. I owe the Internet, this newsgroup and many sisters for all the information and help along the way so far, and will try to pay it back the best I can. If I had not found the community in February, I probably would have ended up at the bottom of Tampa Bay in March.

Thursday should prove to be a very interesting day for me...and Friday... well that day is my first 24/7. Truly a great day to have an appointment with my gynacologist. It feels strangely natural from here. I don’t even feel a lot of anxiety.


In addition, there are personal stories available.

If you know of other web pages describing personal experience with transition without changing employment, please tell me!

6.7 What is the Relationship to Sexuality?

Rather than engage in a long, new-from-scratch discussion here, I'll simply refer you to a couple of existing articles that I think cover this subject pretty well.

Julie Waters has her opinions, covering both gender and sexuality as continuums.

Diane Wilson has her opinions as well, drawing a strong line between gender identity and orientation.


Disclaimer: Use this at your own risk. Things change daily on the Net and net-related information in this FAQ may not necessarily be correct. The only part of this document that can be considered perpetually accurate is the charter quoted in the first section of the Introduction.

Copyright © 1994-1997 by Amy A. Lewis, Kymberleigh Richards, and Diane Wilson. This page may be redistributed only after notifying the authors and entirely without changes other than what may be required for formatting into another medium.

Last updated June 3, 2001.

The soc.support.transgendered FAQ was originally written by Amy A. Lewis <alicorn@pobox.com>, and was updated in late 1995 and early 1996 by Kymberleigh Richards <sysadmin@xconn.com>. It is currently maintained by Diane Wilson <diane@firelily.com>; updates and additions should be sent to Diane Wilson. The FAQ Introduction is also available via the Cross Connection archive server.


Copyright © 2001 by Diane Wilson. All rights reserved.