Transitioning early in life: Angela's story

[I’ve changed her name to protect her privacy]

Editor's note:

Angela sent this in 2009. She transitioned in her early 20s in college.


Ok, I would have to say the three things I feel I did that were right would have to be 1) I started going to counseling, 2) I built up a large support network of close friends and allies, and 3) I got involved with a local LGBT group that could relate to the situation I was going through.

As far as things I would have liked to have done differently. 1) I wish I would have started in counseling much sooner that what I did, 2) I wish I had waited a little longer to tell my parents so I could have had more counseling first, and 3) I would have sought out a specialist in Gender Counseling.

Right:

1) The best thing I have ever done was seek out a counselor. She was able to help with so many things, from the beginning of the this whole process. Without that help, I would probably be a lot worse for the wear and I definitely don't think I would be able to try and help the people who I find that I can.

2) Without my support network, I would probably not be here right now. They have been so important to me. I can go to any of them anytime I have a problem and I know that they are there for me.

3) The local group plays back in to number 2. I have found that a lot of my support network came from there because we can relate so well to each other.

Could have done better:

1) I don't think it is ever too early to seek help. I would be much healthier if I would have started counseling sooner than I did. I also would not have been dealing with everything alone as I did for so long.

2) I think that a little more time in counseling would have been a great to help my parents. I came out to them only two months after starting counseling and this seems like it could be taken as me making a rash decision. If they knew I had been speaking with someone for a while, I think it would have helped them.

3) This also plays into the family benefit thing. I believe they might have had a little better time if I had already seen a gender specialist that could sit down with them and explain things to them. I am getting ready to start that soon. Also, it would have given me a jump start on the required steps in transition.

I hope this all helps and anything else you want to know, feel free to ask!


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If you transitioned in your teens or twenties and have any advice you'd like to share, please contact me , and I'll give it a permanent (and anonymous) home.