Well, what is it that bothers you the most? And how long do you want to be “in transition”? A lot of things can be done at the same time. Some things take a long time (several years for all of the changes from HRT to complete, an estimated 200-500 hours of electrolysis to clear the face of hair, etc). My electrologist says that HRT will help with the electrolysis outcome. For me it was hair, both body and face, that was my #1 item to address. The next thing was about #253 by comparison. I _HAD_ to get rid of it. Laser on the body and face, and now traditional electrolysis on the face (for the white/grey/clear ones left by laser). I also started HRT, and that seems to have helped with the electrolysis effectiveness. It also made wonderful changes in my skin. And my brain – brain fog went away, colors and textures were more vibrant, etc. Of course, HRT is going to possibly give you other changes (being hairless won’t be noticed by anyone…breasts and hips are a different matter, and that doesn’t address possible changes in intimacy options…).
Surgery (or even HRT or electrolysis) are never requirements. Being _you_ is what counts. And that is something that you need to figure out for yourself. With whatever help you might want, or not.
And then there is the issue of making changes without your partner’s consultation. At least in my view, your partner needs to be part of every decision that could have any effect on the partnership. At least that is how my late wife and I worked. From the very start (she was told all about everything I knew and did within the first two months of us seeing each other in 1980). And it worked very well. YMMV.