3 Ways to Transition

One of the many services we offer here at Metro Inclusive Health is trans care. In essence, this means we are here to help as much as we can during a transgender person’s transition. But what does it mean to be transgender? And what do you need to consider as you begin a gender-affirming transition?

What Does It Mean to be Transgender?

As the textbook definition puts it, transgender (trans) means “denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.” The word for people whose identity does align with the labels assigned to them at birth is cisgender (cis). Trans is also sometimes used as an umbrella term for anyone who isn’t cis.

There is no right or wrong way to be transgender. When someone tells you about their identity, it is important to approach their experience with an open mind and open heart — everyone’s experience is unique!

Just like there’s no right or wrong way to be trans, there’s no right or wrong way to go about your transition. It’s an unfortunate stereotype that transitioning happens all at once, as if overnight. This not only creates unrealistic expectations, but it’s also not true for most people who undergo a transition!

Transitioning can mean so many different things, and it looks different for every person who undergoes this affirming process. Let’s take a look at three different ways in which a transgender person can transition. 

3 Ways to Transition: Social, Medical and Legal

Coming out and coming into your authentic self can take many steps and stages, and it may look different depending on the social and professional settings that you frequent.

Social Transition

Typically, when a person realizes they are trans, they will first socially transition. Social transitioning can be best described as when a person changes their gender expression in social settings to better align with their gender identity.

Social transitioning can include, but isn’t limited to:

  • Changes in clothing style
  • Changes in hair style/color
  • Choosing a new name
  • Changing the pronouns you are were previously known as
  • Telling those around you about your identity

Medical Transition

While transitioning isn’t always medical, it can include a medical aspect. This can include hormone replacement therapy (HRT), what is commonly referred to as bottom or top surgery, and even other plastic surgery if the person transitioning sees fit. 

HRT in particular can be a very validating part of the transition for those who seek it out. Not only can HRT ease gender dysphoria, but by extension it reduces psychological and emotional distress and improves psychological and social functioning.

Legal Transition

The final type of transitioning we want to talk about is legal. This is fairly straightforward: it means updating all your legal documents changed to have the correct information. This process may include:

  • A legal name change;
  • Changing the legal name and sex on identity cards or miscellaneous governmental records like:
    • a birth certificate,
    • driving license or learner’s permit,
    • passport,
    • insurance records, or (in the U.S.) Social Security card;
  • Having a marriage license with the person’s proper name and gender on it;
  • Being listed as either a father or mother, as appropriate, of the person’s child(ren)

It is important to note that the legal changes can be a long and demanding process that can require money and time, and may vary from person to person based on state laws. It might also be difficult for non-binary individuals to update their gender markers, although some states now offer the option X instead of M or F.

That being said, METRO’s Trans Care Navigators know all about the process and can help you along the way. Let’s learn more about Trans Services at METRO…

Gender-Affirming Healthcare in Tampa Bay

Trans clients are seen, heard, and supported here at Metro Inclusive Health. That’s why we’ve been working hard to revolutionize and streamline trans healthcare for our Tampa Bay community.

METRO knows how important it is to offer a streamlined approach to gender affirming healthcare, including letters of recommendations for HRT, counseling and so much more.

Our Trans Care Navigators have the professional and personal expertise to connect you with the services and resources necessary to assist with your journey. Here at Metro Inclusive Health, a team of peers is available to serve as your guide through every step of the process, which includes a centralized approach to medical, social and legal needs. 

Not only can we help you with medical needs and referrals, and helping you get in touch with identity-based support networks!

The Trans Services Division is also here to help guide you through the process of navigating the legal landscape for names, gender markers and documentation including drivers’ licenses, passports and social security. We maintain a directory of experienced attorneys who can make the process smoother.

Through our LGBTQ+ Community Programming, METRO has numerous opportunities for the trans community offered at little-to-no cost.

  • Support for Individuals & Groups
  • Grooming & Makeup
    Our quarterly Beautiful TRANSformations and Handsome TRANSformations events empower trans individuals to look and feel your best!
  • Annual Trans Fashion Expo
Spanish