What Order to Transition In?

  • Creator
  • #131523
    Nicki Alimohammadi

    I am just curious what order to transition in. Should I do voice lessons, get electrolysis first, then hormones,  then bottom surgery, then tracheal shave if I want it?

    Or hormones and electrolysis and voice lessons at the same time, and maybe never get surgery?

    I just am not sure. My wife thinks I don’t need to transition physically but I can’t stop thinking about it. I know it must be hard for her too. I also need to tell her before I take any of these steps.

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  • Author
    • #134468
      DeeAnn Hopings

      It used to be there there was a requirement in many places to live full time as a female for 1 year. For some, this was too long a period, but personally I always thought that it had merit. Reason being is that if you can’t settle in living as a female for an extended time, going any further in the process is pointless. Transitioning is a process that is not aided by haste or skipping steps. Making decisions that continue to play out over the course of one’s life is not the work of a minute…

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    • #131654
      Carly Holloway

      I offer a (perhaps) different take.  I recommend finding an experienced therapist as a starting place.  My experience is that I had so many questions, such as the one you asked, Nikki, that I didn’t know where to start.   It’s important to know the answers to the questions already asked.  How far do you plan to go with transition?  Do you have a time frame?  Financial considerations?  Social issues involving transition?  Known, or unknown health considerations?  Spouse’s level of acceptance?   Children?  And maybe, just maybe, your own level of acceptance and commitment to transition?

      I was not able to objectively answer these and other questions of myself.

      I am truly not trying to discourage you, hon.  Just saying that transitioning is a full time commitment.   I do wish you peace, love and fulfillment in direction you choose.

      BTW.  So glad to have you here at TGH.

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    • #131649

      Hi, Nicki,

      I’m with Lauren Mugnala on this one.  For me, the primary issue is that I’m living completely as a woman.

      I live in Washington State, which may very well be the most trans-friendly state in the country.   WA does not require medical documentation to change my name and gender; the only requirement is that I sign a legally binding document that I’m not doing so for any illegal purpose, or to avoid creditors. My name and gender have also been changed for Social Security.  The only thing left to do is to legally change my New York State birth certificate, since I was born there.

      Living as a woman has been fantastic!  Except for an “add two cup sizes” bra, I don’t use any enhancements.  Except for the bulge between my legs, I’m a girl from head to toe!

      That said, my situation is completely different than yours.  I’m long since divorced, and retired.  I have no kids.  Accordingly, I hesitate to give advice.

      I will comment about electrolysis.  It’s painful and expensive, and sometimes causes swelling. Removing a beard seemingly takes forever.  In fact, despite many treatments, I still have some beard hair.  Many cis women have this problem as well, so I don’t feel any less girly.  (Of course, a gray beard is also much easier to cover. :))

      Voice training, at least for me, has taken a long time, although I now talk in a convincing female voice.  Learning female mannerisms, and ;earning to talk in “girl speak” has also taken some time.

      At my age, I have no desire for HRT (It’s much less effective on an older woman) or GRS (I can’t afford it).  Exercising in a bra has apparently trained my breasts such that I don’t need anything more than a padded bra.

      Well, there’s my two cents worth; hopefully it was helpful. 🙂

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      • #132754
        Dana Munson

        I can echo some of what you say, Laura. I am retired also. I live in California, which is also a fairly “no-stress” state for effecting changes of name and gender marker (just filed my papers for both and just have to wait out the statutory time for the judge to approve). I have been living 24/7 as a woman for the past few months.  I do want HRT, but age limits my options. My doc has me on spirolactone at present. Probably an orchiectomy sometime early next year, after which doc says he is open to prescribing “topical” hormones. This girl will take whatever she can safely get.  Also, yeah, electrolysis can be a wee bit painful and does cost a pretty penny (laser isn’t cheap, either, and won’t work on light colored hair). But I am getting decent results thus far; I must have a good technician, because the soreness and (minor) swelling ebb pretty quickly after each session (two 2-hour sessions per week).

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    • #131642

      Hi Nicki,

      Everyone here has given you excellent advice.  I’m a little late to the reply but just will add this from personal experience as an intersex person.  First if people that you love aren’t onboard, you put your relationship at great risk.  Really think about it because everyone close to you will be caught up and be transitioning with you whether they like it or not.  Next, any surgery is no walk in the park and there is no undo button.  It is costly, very time consuming and possibly will not produce the results that you imagined.  Another thing to be aware of is that you may not be ready or welcome the results of transition (like great, I need to spend and extra 1/2 hour on my hair and before I just walked out the door or I just want to sit at the bar for a quiet drink and watch the game but now I’ve got strange men sitting right next to me and trying to make conversation I wonder if they are going to follow me to my car? etc  or will those stiff little white whiskers ever stop popping up? I thought we zapped them all).

      So, if you proceed, I suggest taking the simplest steps possible like the social transition that Lauren mentioned and begin to develop your wardrobe.  If that works out and things are going well then you can begin slowly with the mechanics and start getting rid of your wigs and grow and style your real hair (it takes about 2 years).  You can also then think about your beard removal (2 to 6 years of weekly visits and 3 to 10 K and you may need to get a part time job to support all this).   Further along with all this you may look into facial and neck surgery at 6 to 36 K.  Finally if it suits you, you may change your documents and get breast and/or bottom surgery.  Then hopefully you are still happy and have your loved ones around you yet.  Proceed slowly, thoughtfully and cautiously  if you wish for the best results.  The people here at TGH and CDH are most knowledgeable and kind  and will always help you.  I wish you the very best in your journey,




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      • #134471
        Istvan Szabo

        This was very helpful, i always knew the task is massive but this gives me some perspection

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #133385

        Thanks Marg. The investments required for some steps and the timelines you listed really put it in perspective. I finally am past the most heated and feverish and impatient stage I started in. I have socially transitioned and am slowly changing my wardrobe. For far I am lucky, but I do keep forgetting about being watched more. I’ve spent most of my life succeeding at being overlooked or unnoticed.

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        • #133397

          Yes, there is much to learn.  You might consider going to Diva Las Vegas which is in the last week of October, even if you can only attend for a few days.  That or any of the other big conventions will expose you to a large group of people who may have some additional information that might be helpful to you.  It is also common to see couples at this event. Good luck to you Nicki.


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    • #131551
      Lauren Mugnaia

      How far do you really want to go?  And you need to ask yourself why you would want to go the whole route, as Evelyn Jaye points out in her comment: “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.” I had open heart surgery last summer, and during my recovery from that, was when I knew I needed to accept that I was a transgender woman and needed to transition. But, and it’s a big ‘but’, because of the surgery and the meds I will be taking for the rest of my life, HRT is out of the question, as is further surgery.

      So I have made what is referred to as a ‘social transition.’ I am now living as a woman full time, 24/7 365 days a year. I came out at work and also transitioned there, I present as a woman at work every day, they all view me as a trans woman, she, her, and call me by my new name, Lauren. So for me, being ME was important and it is what counts! I am happy and contented with how I have transitioned and how I am living as a trans woman.


      Lauren M

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      • #133386

        Even now I am sure I want bottom surgery and HRT and hair removal. I want a tracial shave too. Sometimes I think, “I know what it’s like to have a male body, but I want to be in a female form in this life too, or I will never know what it feels like.” I want to have that life too. Being a man has been so boring.

        I spent since my sister was born wondering what life was like being her. I thought it was simple curiosity. I brushed it off and still say I didn’t know until May of this year. But maybe it was just suppressed. I think rather than date girls I wanted to be them.

        Some people say I could just try the reversible steps. Other say I will know deep inside what is true. Well I am doing both and having bottom surgery and HRT and changing my voice have been what I want since I started this path. I keep hoping it changes but so far its the same. I might not need the tracial shave. I definitely need the hair removal.

        I will stay mindful and keep checking if my mind changes.

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    • #131550

      Hi Nicki,

      I’ve heard that if one plans to do anything about facial hair, that is one of the best places to start. The reason is because if electrolysis is needed there has to be enough length of hair to grab onto it with the tool. So if one waits until well into the transition process, they’d have a lot of facial hair showing when they’d rather not have it at all.

      Second would be voice therapy since it take many months of work to effect lasting changes. Unfortunately, neither of these are usually covered on insurance plans, so we tend to delay them in favor of other things that are less out-of-pocket.



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    • #131540

      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.

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    • #131524

      Hi Nicki!

      I can’t stop thinking about it either. Kinda consumes a lot of my day every day!

      My wife seems okay with it all, so long as my appearance is more cosmetic as opposed to surgical. However, I am on HRT and it’s done wonders for my curves and breast development!

      All the best!

      Barb :B

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    • #131655

      When you and I finally get together to paint-the-town-red with lipstick and nail polish, the good townsfolks with either re-name boulevards after us or we’ll be in county waiting for our bail hearing.


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    • #131647

      Well, well, well, look who’s here!

      Ladies, gentlemen and all nice folx in-between, A ROCK STAR has returned!

      Yes, I am very lucky! We seem to have a role-reversal thing going and it’s all good!

      Smiles back at ya, my lovely Sunshine! 🙂

      2 users thanked author for this post.
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