Transitioning early in life: Angela's story

[I’ve changed her name to protect her privacy]

Editor's note:

Angela sent this in 2009. She transitioned in her early 20s in college.

Ok, I would have to say the three things I feel I did that were right would have to be 1) I started going to counseling, 2) I built up a large support network of close friends and allies, and 3) I got involved with a local LGBT group that could relate to the situation I was going through.

As far as things I would have liked to have done differently. 1) I wish I would have started in counseling much sooner that what I did, 2) I wish I had waited a little longer to tell my parents so I could have had more counseling first, and 3) I would have sought out a specialist in Gender Counseling.


1) The best thing I have ever done was seek out a counselor. She was able to help with so many things, from the beginning of the this whole process. Without that help, I would probably be a lot worse for the wear and I definitely don't think I would be able to try and help the people who I find that I can.

2) Without my support network, I would probably not be here right now. They have been so important to me. I can go to any of them anytime I have a problem and I know that they are there for me.

3) The local group plays back in to number 2. I have found that a lot of my support network came from there because we can relate so well to each other.

Could have done better:

1) I don't think it is ever too early to seek help. I would be much healthier if I would have started counseling sooner than I did. I also would not have been dealing with everything alone as I did for so long.

2) I think that a little more time in counseling would have been a great to help my parents. I came out to them only two months after starting counseling and this seems like it could be taken as me making a rash decision. If they knew I had been speaking with someone for a while, I think it would have helped them.

3) This also plays into the family benefit thing. I believe they might have had a little better time if I had already seen a gender specialist that could sit down with them and explain things to them. I am getting ready to start that soon. Also, it would have given me a jump start on the required steps in transition.

I hope this all helps and anything else you want to know, feel free to ask!

Send me your thoughts, links, and advice!

If you transitioned in your teens or twenties and have any advice you'd like to share, please contact me , and I'll give it a permanent (and anonymous) home.