Updated: DECEMBER 30, 2019

Transition is the process where a transgender person moves from being identified as one sex, the sex assigned at birth, to another matching their gender identity. Through transitioning, transgender people feel their external appearance and presentation matches the gender they feel inside. There are three kinds of transition: medical transition, social transition, and legal transition. Transition is an individual process and may involve one, two, or all three kinds of transition.

More About Transition

Transition is an individual and personal process for each transgender person. It might involve medical intervention, including hormones and surgery to make the transgender person look and feel more masculine or feminine. It might involve changing clothes, hairstyles, and other ways of presenting oneself. There may be social changes, like the adoption of a new first name and different pronouns. Transgender people may also make a legal transition by changing their names and genders on birth certificates, passports, and other legal documents. Simply telling others about the transition is another aspect of transitioning.

The decision about whether to transition or not is also a personal one. Some transgender people do and others don’t for a whole range of reasons, including the high price of transition surgeries and simply feeling comfortable in one’s own skin. There is no right or wrong way to be transgender.

Transition can be a lengthy process taking many years or a very rapid one, depending on the person. Some people transition in full public view while others may change more gradually, perhaps by using a different name and wearing different clothes around select groups like family members or friends.

Transition can be an emotional time for transgender people. If you’re in transition, it’s important to surround yourself with supportive people. Find out what your health insurance covers so you can budget for any medical procedures you want. Experiment so you can emerge from transition a new and more confident you.


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