How do you know if transitioning is right?

One person I feel a deep connection with, athough I have never met him, is Matt Kailey. His book Just add hormones made a huge impact and I am forever thankful. I missed gay transmale idols and humour, and he filled that gap. On Mondays he posts answers to questions from his readers. There is always a lot of food for thought there, and I really recommend reading his blog. The quotes here are from his post Ask Matt Monday: Is This Enough Reason to Want to Transition?

I subscribe to the philosophy that transition is a necessity, and that if you need to transition, you will, and that if it is right for you, you will know.

I tried for years to define male and female, gender and sex, thinking that I needed to know what these were before I could do anything about how I felt. No one has ever been able to define these concepts in simple ways without excluding several groups of people or their experiences. And neither could I. This made me more and more depressed. When I finally decided to follow my gut feeling instead of my head, I felt extremely relieved.

One thing that you may never be, no matter what you do, is a person who is considered “mainstream” and “normal” by others. Many, many people – trans and non-trans – have to come to grips with this reality. They will never completely “fit.” For some people, that is fine. For others, it is very difficult.

Fortunately, I am one of those who think being anything but normal is fine. I realized early that I would never fit anyone’s decription of normal and grew to like my uniqueness. I would recommend that others do the same. Being normal is not a goal that can be reached by a human.

Finally, I want to point out my most important steps toward the decition to transitioning form female to male.

  • First I knew I was not a woman. For years I tried to be, I tried to make a room for myself in the box labelled female. I had some success, but it felt wrong. The final effort was to be pregnant and give birth. It did not make me more of a woman. But it opened my eyes.
  • Second I tried to convince myself that physical changes were not neccessary in order to be myself. I told myself that I would never be happy anyway. I explored other identities than male and female. This made me more depressed and lonlely. One of the things that proved to me that I needed to do something, was a very positive experience of strap-on sex.
  • Third I sought help. This was when I allowed myself to be a man and it felt right. I threw away my skirts, dresses and make-up etc. I bought a binder and a packer. When I first started, I could not stop. It felt so right. I was happier than I had ever been. And I thought it would just become better.
  • Fourth came all the trouble, small steps forward, a huge step back, small steps forward. I was denied treatment, found a physician that would prescribe me hormones, paid for my own mastectomy (breast removal). Now I try to settle with what I got, because I see no possibility to get the rest of the operations I need.

I still can not explain my reasons to transition, other than that it felt right and that I did try all other options first. I don’t think anyone should follow my lead in this. I did my own gender evaluation, while this should be left for professional guidance. When I finally got to the evaluation process, I was deemed too old and too slow (so-called late onset). (This happens a lot in Norway, fortunately not so much elsewhere.) My process left some serious mental scars.

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