When it comes to the transitioning process, transgender people have a variety of experiences. Some people may want to transition medically, like receiving gender confirmation surgery. They may also want to transition socially and legally, while others may only want to do some of those transitions, and some may not want to do any.
According to The 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 61% of transgender and gender-nonconforming respondents had medically transitioned, and 33% reported undergoing gender confirmation surgery. In addition, approximately 14% of transgender women and 72% of transgender men said they wouldn’t want to receive full genital construction surgery.
What Is Transgender Confirmation Surgery?
Gender confirmation surgeries, aka gender affirmation surgeries, are procedures performed by a team consisting of board-certified plastic surgeons. This type of surgery aims to provide transgender individuals with the physical appearance and functional abilities of the gender they know that they are. There are various types of transgender confirmation surgeries for transgender women, transgender men, non-binary people, and other gender-nonconforming folks.
What Is Transitioning?
Transitioning is the process where a person changes the way they look to reflect their true gender. It can mean various things, such as medical treatments and hormone therapy. In addition, it can include other things like changing your name and pronouns and changing your physical appearance and the way you dress. Other aspects of the transitioning process can be coming out to your friends and family. All in all, the transitioning process can be an ongoing one or one that happens over a shorter period.
Why Do Some Transgender People Choose to Transition?
Transitioning is a very individual experience, and there could be many reasons why a person transitions. For example, they could be experiencing severe gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is the emotional distress that occurs when a person’s assigned sex at birth conflicts with their gender identity. It can also lead to adverse mental health outcomes like debilitating depression, suicidal ideation, attempts, or death by suicide. However, gender dysphoria can be alleviated by allowing people to transition without significant barriers.
It’s important to note that not all people with gender dysphoria will want to receive medical or surgical treatment. Transgender confirmation surgery can be unaffordable, especially if the person doesn’t have insurance.
Overall, people who experience gender dysphoria will decide which treatment will be the right fit for them or if they want any type of treatment or to transition at all.
Do All Transgender People Experience Gender Dysphoria?
Not all transgender people experience gender dysphoria, and it can occur at any point in a person’s life.
According to The DSM-5*, the diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria in Adolescents and Adults can happen at any age. However, for those who have gender dysphoria later in life, many of them had reported having hidden their gender dysphoric feelings from their loved ones when they were younger.
Does Everyone Who Is Transgender Decide to Transition?
Not all transgender people want transgender confirmation surgery or other interventions like hormone therapy. Some transgender folks may undergo medical transitions for various reasons, like cosmetic, psychological, or health. Still, many won’t because they can’t afford it, face other barriers, or may not be interested in it.
Some transgender people might have health insurance covering transgender confirmation surgery or other gender-affirming procedures; however, some may not have this insurance. In addition, not all transgender people want the currently available medical procedures.
The transition process is unique to all transgender people. Whether they choose to transition or not, a transgender person’s identity is valid. It is essential to respect someone’s gender identity no matter how they decide to transition, whether it’s socially, medically, or not at all.