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     There can be a lot of pitfalls when it comes to transitioning from female to male. There are things you cannot foresee no matter how much planning and preparation you do. Things come up, emergencies happen, people react in different ways. Here are five of those things that no one told you about transitioning:

  • Everything you are going to give up because your trans. You are going to give up a lot of things in life because you are transgender. For Example, People who you cannot talk to anymore, they won't accept you. People who refuse to respect your gender identity. You will not be able to go to some of the old places that you used to frequent. People there may or may not accept you as trans making it less comfortable or safe for you to be there anymore. Giving up the person that you were to become yourself can be difficult and make you feel like you are losing part of yourself. You also have to give up a lot of your past if you plan on going stealth. You cannot exactly share pictures of you as a three year old girl to your new friends. Your female past will have to be put into the closet, only to be brought out on those quiet nights when you are all alone.
  • Becoming a Spectacle. The minute you begin your transition you become a spectacle, a novelty for people. So no matter where you go people will stare at you and make comments about your gender identity. You become the center of attention no matter where you go unless you pass perfectly. Even then you can still feel like you can be outed at any moment. Every gathering that you show up too, especially family gatherings, your transition will be discussed in detail up to and including you genitalia. They will be fascinated with the changes you are going through while on T and want to discuss it with you. You won't be able to just go somewhere and just do regular things for fun without discussing your transition and how much you have changed. Trust me, it gets a little tiring after a while.
  • You become an ambassador or "poster child"  for trans people whether you like it or not. Everyone you meet will have to be educated about transgender people and transgender issues. You will have to explain the basics over and over again to people as you go through your day. When they don't get it right you will have to correct them. Imagine explaining what trans is, how far along in your transition you are, how you feel about your transition and what your plans are for surgery with nearly everyone you are introduced too. You don't want to be an educator, you just want to live your life like everyone else, but that's not going to happen now because you're trans. The only way people are going to understand is if you explain it to them so you are caught in a catch 22 situation. You want people to be educated about trans people, but you don't want to spend all of your time educating them.
  • The legal system in your area can be a real pain. When it comes to getting gender markers and name changes. Government institutions can be endlessly filled with red tape and fee's not to mention whatever special requirements for that state or province you have to satisfy before you get your documents changed. The process can take months and be extremely frustrating because what they don't understand is that they are dealing with your life and how you are seen in society. What happens when you go to the bank to take out money and your ID says female but you are looking, walking and talking like a male? What happens when you try to use a credit card that still has your old name on it? Or when you are at the doctor's office and they call out your female name...not good. You will dread every time you have to go out and use anything but cash.
  • Testosterone can change who you are.  This is a very important thing to consider. A lot of transmen think that when they start testosterone treatments that they will just become more manly but pretty much remain the same person. But the testosterone will change how you think, how you react to certain situations and how you feel about other people is going to change.  Your level of empathy is and your range of emotions is going to change and therefore how you interact with people on an emotional level is going to change. Because you're feeling change so does the way you understand things. Your entire view of the world changes when you start testosterone treatments. How you love and experience attraction to another person will change. If you are in a relationship with someone than that will also change, you will have to re-learn each other and it may not work out. You will have to re-learn who you are and some of the parts of you that you liked are going to go away.

     These are just five of the many things that you will run into when transitioning from female to male. You are entering an entire new world full of joys, challenges and tribulations. Manhood is an exciting, wonderful, powerful place to be, but there is a price to be paid for everything and being a man is no exception.  Your journey is going to be long and hard, but being yourself is well worth it.

The Transgender Handbook
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(price as of Mar 31, 2014)