Something I have noticed over the past year is that most people seem to think that there is a set order of steps that Transgender individuals must go through as part of their transition.
I, of course, can’t speak for all colors of people within our very diverse community, but I can speak to my experience as an MTF Transgender Women. Let me start out by simply saying that everything is optional. This very simple concept has often earned me confused looks. Transitioning, and gender for that matter, are very personal things and they don’t hand us a how to build a girl/boy handbook when we come out.
From both a medical perspective and a more human interpersonal one, it seems only logical that transition should address the areas which cause us the most distress. For me, the biggest source of dysphoria was my Adam’s Apple, which is why I chose to have a tracheal shave. I can’t tell you the difference this rather small procedure has made in my life already.
For those that didn’t know, dysphoria (or more specifically gender dysphoria) refers to the distress caused by a person’s perceived disconnect between mind and body. This distress is often experienced in the form of anxiety, depression, and in my case panic attacks. Not all transgender people experience this equally. Some experience very little to no dysphoria at all, while it drives others to the very edge of their existence.
Now that I have had my tracheal shave people are already curious as to what’s next. To be honest, at least for the moment there is no immediate next step. There are two procedures I would like to pursue in the future, as I feel these procedures would further improve my quality of life, but the when and if is entirely optional.