It took me almost 4 years all told to complete my gender transition goals from start to finish. It would be difficult to do it much more quickly than that. The social aspects of transition evolve for many years after the practical aspects are done.
I was able to adhere to the rough plan plan I laid out pretty closely. The key for me was keeping my job in order to pay for all this, so I waited until the last possible moment to transition at work. By the time I came out at work, I had few problems being accepted in public, which often makes it easier for co-workers to accept. It also meant that if I were fired, I could interview as myself without trans issues necessarily coming up as an issue.
I urge everyone to lay out a similar plan for transition, focusing on what’s most important to you. You may have to make compromises based on the resources you have and your relationships, so be prepared to be flexible and adjust accordingly.
Since most of us make our decisions based on financial constraints, I strongly recommend planning in terms of financial issues. Starting with a spending plan will make putting together a timetable easier and more realistic.
prior to 1995
- Deep denial, with occasional recognition of feelings always dismissed as wrong, impossible, ridiculous, etc.
- Began facial electrolysis (5/3)
- Began growing out hair (6/1)
- Researched via books, films, organizations, and Standards of Care.
- Began therapy (8/15)
- Came out to some of my partner’s friends (11/25)
- Able to clear face at each electrolysis session (12/1)
- Chose my name after careful consideration
- Began researching financial issues (should have started sooner)
- Stored genetic material (5/3)
- Began coming out to other family and friends (6/22)
- Rented a separate apartment (6/30)
- Moved apart from my partner (7/15)
- Began hormones (7/15)
- Began working on voice (8/1)
- Bad hair transplants (later removed) (10/11)
- Last time I shaved my face
- Face surgery: Scalp advance, forehead recontouring, brow lift, trachea shave with Douglas Ousterhout in S.F. (12/12)
- Started work journal, collecting documents (1/1)
- Hair transplants with Ousterhout in S.F. (6/11)
- Face surgery: Jaw, chin, nose, hair transplants (12/12)
- Legal name change: (1/9)
- Driver’s license/Social Security (1/10)
- No more weekly facial electrolysis (1/1)
- Came out at work and went full-time (2/1)
- Switched name on all financial documents (2/6)
- Scheduled vaginoplasty (2/8)
- Began genital electrolysis (3/1)
- Got first vaginoplasty letter (3/30)
- Got second vaginoplasty letter (4/10)
- Dr. Toby Meltzer office office consultation (4/13)
- Vaginoplasty and breast augmentation with Dr. Toby Meltzer in Portland (6/16)
- Return to work (7/13)
- Labiaplasty with Meltzer in Portland (10/28)
- Adjusting to new social role (this is the true transition)