When does transition happen?

I would just like to say before I begin this that my views here are entirely my own. If yours differ, that’s cool. Variety is good.

However, I have always found the word transition a little odd. I feel that way because for me living as female came naturally What is unnatural to me was living as male, and I think at the time I must have come across as a little odd.

My own path to transition I believe began at birth, like a kind of pre-ordained thing or predestination. After all nobody has an immediate choice with regard to gender at birth. It is decided for you by biology. To be honest, people do make a lot of assumptions about you based on something they will never see between your legs. 

Through genitalia people seem to feel they are able to determine how you will think, speak and act and relate to the world around you. Then, out pops moi.

Right from the moment I could logically comprehend that something was wrong. This is well documented in my old blog though, so I am not going to revisit that here.

But why do I find the word transition something of a contradiction? Simply because if anything, for the transsexual, the real transition is the disconnect between ascribed biological sex and the social gender 

But as one of my old lecturers, Dr Graham van Wyk would suggest, we are all social actors in a social world.Transsexuals I think, are good social actors. We can act very well as a boy, or a girl, or something inside the binary, if needed.  

One thing though is absolutely true. Acting is acting, and once the performance finishes you are then left with bucketloads of inner turmoil.

But when that play you are starring in is over, the relief is immense.

I went to a friend of mine’s event last week, S.I.D or Seeing is Deceiving. Seeing is deceiving in the trans discourse, because what you see visually in front of you at the outset, is not the end product.

There was a map of genderland, and all the various stages people go through, but what it shows ultimately, is that everyone has their own path, and it is not for others to judge, condemn, validate or invalidate that path.

But a trend I have observed recently, is for transsexuals to define each other on the basis of surgery or lack of it. This trend, frankly disturbs me. Transsexual is somebody who has had surgery, transgender is somebody who has not.


There are far too many divisive labels and definitions in society as it is. To define a person, via the means of surgery is tragic and reductive. Transsexuals in my eyes are all women, or men, regardless of surgery. I do not exactly go downstairs with a magnifying glass if you know what I mean.

It is ironic that some transsexuals who have had surgery would seek to define themselves by the one thing that has hurt them, biology.

The things that make a trans man, trans woman, or a genderqueer person are their heart and soul, not what is present downstairs. After all, it is in their heart and soul in which they feel the conflict, as they would not be able to recognise it without having a brain, and a strong sense of the conscious and the unconscious with which to process it.

So transition is an oxymoron or a contradiction because transsexuals already feel like the opposite sex, regardless of how you dress their outer salad. The true and authentic transition is an emotional  one, realising that gender dysphoria is a recognised medical condition, and it is OK to either live as the opposite gender, or none at all.

So really, there is no transition, since the person already feels something amiss with their biological gender. There is instead a process or re-imagining of the self and the world around it. That is surely something to celebrate.

Transition does exist, doubtless. I am just contending that we re-imagine how we describe it, and also not create division through surgery. Whether someone has it or not does not make them any less the person they want to be.Surgery does not make a woman or a man, the soul does. Put simply, transition happens when you want it to. Labels divide, being ourselves allows us to grow, develop, soar and reach our full potential.


One thought on “When does transition happen?

  1. I would agree to a certain extent – there is no transition for the gender you are, if you have always regarded yourself as a female (or male for f2m’s) then after you begin to live your life as a member of the opposite sex, then you will still regard yourself as female (or male) and ergo, no transition has occurred.
    However, I do believe there are two important transitions that we all make
    1. When we transition socially i.e. begin to live as a member of the sex that our gender tells us that we are, and
    2. When we transition physically i.e. have an SRS to change our body to the sex that conforms to our gender. Hormone therapy also changes our bodies too and so this could also be included in this type of transition.

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