Paying for gender transition: Planning your timetable

I already have a page outlining my entire transition timetable.  There is an appendix in this section on how I determined my own transition goals. As part of the earlier exercises, you should have a basic sense of when you’d like things to happen for you.

Now we need to get a bit more specific with a schedule. This will help you see if there are any fluctuations in your monthly costs that will affect your goals. For this, we need to take your short-term and long-term goals and break them down by month. Let’s take a section of my timetable as an example.

  • 1995
    • January
    • February
    • March  
    • April: Began serious TS research (4/15)
    • May: Began facial electrolysis (5/3)
    • June: Began growing out hair (6/1)
    • July
    • August: Began therapy (8/15)
    • September
    • October
    • November:
    • December: Able to clear face at each electrolysis session (12/1)
  • 1996
    • January
    • February
    • March
    • April
    • May: Stored sperm (5/3)
    • June: Rented a separate apartment (6/30)
    • July: Began hormones (7/15)
    • August: Began working on voice (8/1)
    • September
    • October: Bad hair transplants (10/15)
    • November
    • December: Face surgery (12/12)

–Here’s what I didn’t do that I wish I’d done– a chart of my basic plan. This one’s filled in after the fact.

1995-1996JFMAMJJASONDJFMAMJJASOND
Research/supportXXXXXXXXXXXXX...........
Therapy.......XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Electrolysis....XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Voice...................XX...
Hormones................X.XXXXXX
Hair loss........................
Wigs/hairpieces........................
Plastic surgery.....................X.X
SRS........................
Labiaplasty.........................
Job/Legal/Financial........................
Miscellaneous........................
Subtotal.........................
Amount available........................

I took things slowly for financial reasons. I was also making sure I had thought things through, and I was trying to find a way to stay with my partner.

  • I planned on about six months of serious research. It took more.
  • I researched and found a local therapist through AOL.
  • I started electrolysis from the jaw down as soon as I could, figuring that if I decided later that transitioning wasn’t what I wanted, I’d have less hair on my neck anyway.
  • I didn’t start getting serious about voice until I started thinking about going out in public.
  • I waited a long time to start hormones while I tried to find compromise with my partner. I did the blood work and stored sperm in May, then began once we were no longer living together.
  • I had a hair transplant, then had them removed two months later during a more serious forehead reconstruction.

Now, if I would have done a little plan like this, I would have seen that in August I was going to require additional money. Also, I would have known that getting my face cleared and keeping it that way would have cost much, much more than I’d planned. I really couldn’t have saved for the first year if I’d wanted to, since electrolysis was taking all of my disposable income. However, I felt it was more important to get electrolysis done before going full-time.


Exercise 9: Estimating your transition schedule

OK, here are two years’ worth of forms for planning. Print a couple out and mark them with a pencil. You will probably be changing them around when we refine this even further in the final exercise.

JFMAMJJASONDJFMAMJJASOND
Research/supportXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Therapy........................
Electrolysis........................
Voice........................
Hormones........................
Hair loss........................
Wigs/hairpieces........................
Plastic surgery........................
SRS........................
Labiaplasty.........................
Job/Legal/Financial........................
Miscellaneous........................
Subtotal.........................
Amount available........................

Next: My own costs and goals