Transitioning

Choosing to transition is a personal choice. Most alter their Gender Presentation (or Gender Expression) through social or medical transition, but the ways in which one transitions vary from person to person. Some choose to change their name and pronouns. Others choose to take hormones and get gender-affirming surgeries. No one method is required in order to “properly transition.” There is no expectation to do anything, but to do what makes one most comfortable in themselves.

Coming Out

Coming out is a rather intense decision for a trans person. On one hand you’ll finally be able to live authentically as the person you are, on the other you may face ostracization from people who are important to you and experience a lot of heartbreak.

Unfortunately, there isn’t really any one way to come out. Different relationships benefit from different interactions and you can’t really control how people will react. Sometimes a simple “I’m trans” is all that’s needed. Other times, you may need to prepare yourself for intensive questioning. And as painful as it is, sometimes no matter how we give the news the person on the other end will be completely unreceptive.

Whatever the situation may be, coming out is hard and requires a lot of thought.

A trans* person should consider the following things:

  • Do you have a safety net?
    • If you’re living with someone who may react negatively to your coming out, do you have another place to stay? If not, do you know what local shelters are nearby and if they can provide assistance to you? Do you have a vehicle you could sleep in otherwise?
    • Can you take care of yourself financially? Have enough money for your necessities? If not, do you know any programs that can assist you? Are you familiar with your local food and/or clothing banks?
    • How strong is your support system? Are you connected with a community that consistently encourages you? Do you have a therapist or have access to enough mental health resources to substitute?
  • What is your relationship to the party you are coming out to?
    • Try to start with people who you feel might celebrate and encourage your coming out. This person can hype you up, and give you the confidence you need to face the next party. They can also help advocate when you deal with people who aren’t as receptive.
    • If you have a friend that is prone to gossip, are you comfortable with them possibly spilling your coming out? If not, probably save coming out to them for later.
    • What tone do you feel this person will best respond to? If it’s a closer relationship you might want a more serious and in-depth conversation, but if it’s with a fellow trans person you may find it best to just casually drop your coming out into conversation.
    • Unsure how a person may react? You can put some feelers out by mentioning something featuring a trans character, or by discussing a trans rights issue, or even by sharing your own feelings in the context of “a friend” (“I have a friend who is thinking about coming out as trans to their loved one”).
  • Is there anything going on in this person’s life that may impede upon their ability to listen to your coming out?
    • Your coming out is important and it requires full attention. If there are things going on, like a death in the person’s family or a bad breakup, etc, etc, then they aren’t going to be able to properly process the news that you are giving them. In these cases, it is best to wait on coming out (to them at least, other people unaffected by the situation are free game) until they can give you the attention you deserve.
  • What setting do you feel is best for the coming out? .
    • Private settings offer more privacy and less chance of interruptions. They also show a lot of trust to the participants of the conversation.
    • With Public settings you risk the conversation being overheard by others, but it can offer safety in numbers if you feel the situation might become dangerous.
    • Online and text are quick to execute, but you aren’t guaranteed an immediate response. And the response you do get can be underwhelming, as you can’t properly read the person’s reaction without their body language and facial expressions to guide you. If you’re desiring a positive response from a particular person, this method can cause more anxiety than if you had the conversation in-person.
  • What information are you comfortable with sharing?
    • It can be helpful to make a script about what you’re going to say beforehand.
    • It can also be useful to prepare a resource inventory beforehand so you have some things to direct your loved ones to if you find yourself having trouble explaining things. This resource inventory should be made up of materials that helped you in your gender discovery, as well as any community supports your loved ones could interact with.

Remember that coming out is a process. You don’t have to come out all at once. You don’t have to have all the answers. You can be patient with yourself. As for the people around you, don’t be discouraged by a negative reaction. Sometimes people just need time to adjust. If they can’t adjust, just know it’s on them and not on you. You are being true to yourself, and that’s amazing!

Language

 

Choosing A New Name

Many trans people find that the name they were given at birth causes discomfort. For most, it is rather difficult to associate their birth name with their gender identity and not the dysphoria that comes with their AGAB. Not all trans people choose to change their name: some love their birth name, others can alleviate their dysphoria by using a nickname, and some go by different names depending on who they’re with. It’s all about what name feels most comfortable to you. If you feel that a name no longer fits, regardless of whether it’s your birth name, a nickname, or something previously chosen, you are allowed to change it, however often you feel like. You are always free to test out and explore what name(s) feel most comfortable and affirming to you. 

 

For those interested in choosing a new name, here are some things you may consider:

  • Pronunciation
    • Does the name feel good on your tongue?
    • How does the new name sound in relationship with any middle and/or last name(s) you may be keeping?
    • How would you deal with possible mispronunciations?
    • What of any potential shortenings of the name? How would you feel hearing nicknames based on this name?
  • Spelling 
    • How complex is it to write the name? Does it feel good to write?
    • How would you deal with potential misspellings of this name?
    • What are your feelings toward the name when initialed?
  • Popularity
    • Would you prefer a name that is common? Or would you prefer a name that no one shares?
    • What names were popular around the time that you were born? 
  • Gender Association
    • How do you feel towards traditionally feminine and/or masculine names? 
    • How would you potentially deal with people’s incorrect assumptions on your gender based off this name?
  • Significance to You 
    • Are there any themes or motifs for names that call out to you? 
    • What other names were your parents considering naming you? Are there any names and/or name motifs that run in the family?
    • What possible historical/cultural connotations are attached to this name?
    • Are there any characters or celebrities who you relate to, whose name(s) you might want to use?
    • Are there any nicknames/aliases your friends and/or family have given or suggested to you that you like?

 

Searching for a Name? Try These

Shifting (Neo-)Pronouns

There is this pervasive myth that pronouns are something trans people made up. The reality is, is that pronouns are an essential part of language and grammar. We use them everyday to indicate to others who or what we are talking about. Most sentences wouldn’t make sense without them. Pronouns, simply put, are words we use in place of nouns. 

 

The pronouns most popular in today’s vernacular are:

  • The “masculine” pronouns He/Him/His/Himself
  • The “feminine” pronouns She/Her/Hers/Herself
  • The singular* pronouns I/Me/My/Mine/Myself, You/Your/Yours/Yourself, and It/Its/Itself
  • And plural* pronouns We/Us/Ours/Ourselves and They/Them/Their/Themself

 

*Note that singular pronouns can be used in a plural sense and that plural pronouns can be used in a singular sense. In fact, you and the people around you have probably done so without taking notice.

 

These pronouns, however, are not the only pronouns that exist. There are some pronouns that have been revived from historical disuse, and there are others that have been recently developed. These “new” pronouns are known as Neo-pronouns. This subset includes neutral pronouns (pronouns that are not gendered), nounself pronouns (pronouns that are based upon pre-existing words/nouns), onomatopoeia pronouns (pronouns expressed through sound), and emojiself pronouns (pronouns expressed through emoticons/emojis, typically only used in text/chat settings). 

 

All pronouns regardless of their age/history are valid. And all pronouns, regardless of their labels, are available for use by any and all gender identities. A nonbinary person can use gendered pronouns, and a binary-gendered person can use neutral or opposite gendered pronouns. 

 

A person is also not required to have or be limited to one set of pronouns. Some people are multipronominal (meaning they use multiple pronoun sets) and others are nullpronominal (meaning they do not use pronouns).

 

Trying to figure out what pronouns you like? You can use @failedslacker’s Pronouns Dressing Room to “try on” different pronouns or take a gander at the tables below.

 

BASIC PRONOUN SET

Subject Pronouns Object Pronouns Possessive Adjectives Possessive Pronouns Reflexive Pronouns
I Me My Mine Myself
You You Your Yours Yourself / Yourselves
He Him His His Himself
She Her Her Hers Herself
It It Its Its Itself
They Them Their Theirs Themself / Themselves
We Us Our Ours Ourself / Ourselves

 

NEO-PRONOUNS: NEUTRALS

 

Subject Pronouns Object Pronouns Possessive Adjectives Possessive Pronouns Reflexive Pronouns
Ae Aer Aer Aers Aerself
Co Co Cos Cos Coself
E/Ey Em Eir Eirs Eirself
Ne Nem Nir/Neir Nirs/Neirs Nemself
Per Per Pers Pers Perself
Thou Thee Thy Thine Thyself
Ve Ver Vis Vis Verself
Xe Xem Xyr Xyrs Xemself
Ze/Zie Hir/Zir Hir/Zir Hirs/Zirs Hirself/Zirself

 

NEO-PRONOUNS: NOUNSELF

 

Subject Pronouns Object Pronouns Possessive Adjectives Possessive Pronouns Reflexive Pronouns
Fae Faer Faer Faers Faerself
Fawn Fawn Fawns Fawns Fawnself
Fleur Fleur Fleurs Fleurs Fleurself
Ghost Ghost Ghosts Ghosts Ghostself
Mer Mer Mers Mermai Merself
Pri Prin Prins Prins Princeself
Vam Vamp Vamps Vamps Vampself
Voi Void Voids Voids Voidself
Who Whom Whompst Whompst Whomself

 

NEO-PRONOUNS: ONOMATOPOEIA

 

Subject Pronouns Object Pronouns Possessive Adjectives Possessive Pronouns Reflexive Pronouns
*barking* *barking* *barking* *barking* *barking*
*clicking sounds* *clicking sounds* *clicking sounds* *clicking sounds* *clicking sounds*
*meowing* *meowing* *meowing* *meowing* *meowing*
*popping noises* *popping noises* *popping noises* *popping noises* *popping noises*
*whistling* *whistling* *whistling* *whistling* *whistling*

 

NEO-PRONOUNS: EMOJISELF

 

Subject Pronouns Object Pronouns Possessive Adjectives Possessive Pronouns Reflexive Pronouns
🎃 🎃 🎃s 🎃s 🎃self
✨s ✨s ✨self
🌿 🌿 🌿s 🌿s 🌿self
🦝 🦝 🦝s 🦝s 🦝self

 

Requesting Different Titles, Honorifics, and/or Endearments

Much like with one’s name or pronouns, the titles people use to refer to us can be gendered in a way that is uncomfortable. Trans* people deserve to be referred to in the ways that they choose, whether it be masculine, feminine, or neutral. If you’re not sure what language they would prefer, ask! 

 Check the table below to review the various titles, honorifics, and/or endearments.

Masculine

Feminine

Neutral

Identity

Boy, Man, Male

Girl, Woman, Female

Enby, Neut, Null, Person, Individual

Formal Address

Mister (Mr), Sir, Lad, Laddie, Gentleman

Miss (Ms), Missus (Mrs), Madam, Ma’am, Lady

Mxter (Mx), Misc (Msc), Mir, Laddam, Mirdam, Sir’ram, Comrade, Captain

Royal Address

King, Prince, Lord, Duke, Master

Queen, Princess, Lady, Countess, Mistress

Sovereign, Monarch, Majesty, Ruler, Highness, Quing, Liege, Prin, Prinxe, Princet, Princex

Family Dynamic A

Son, Brother, Heir

Daughter, Sister, Heiress

Kid, Kiddo, Spawn, Offspring, Sibling, Sib, Sibster

Family Dynamic B

Dad, Daddy, Papa, Pa, Father

Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma, Mother

Parent, Guardian, Guardie, Maddy, Moddy, Cenn, Remmy, Zaza, Zither

Family Dynamic C

Grandpa, Grandpapa, Grandfather, Pappy

Grandma, Grandmama, Grandmother, Nana

Grandparent, Grandwa, Grandone, Elder

Family Dynamic D

Uncle

Aunt, Auntie

Pibling, Untie, Nini, Bibi

Family Dynamic E

Nephew

Niece

Nibling, Chibling, Cousin, Nieph

Relationship Dynamic A

Boyfriend

Girlfriend

Date, Datemate, Partner, Genderfriend, Feyfriend, Personfriend, Lover, Companion

Relationship Dynamic B

Fiance

Fiancee

Partner, Betrothed, Lover, Beloved, Companion

Relationship Dynamic C

Husband

Wife

Partner, Lover, Soulmate, Beloved, Companion, Significant Other, Spouse