Gender transition / affirmation

A gender transition refers to any combination of social, medical, and legal changes a trans person makes in order to align with their gender identity. Usually, this involves transitioning from one gender role to another. Here’s a short breakdown of what the different parts of a transition can look like:

1. Social transition

Social transitioning involves changing one’s name, pronouns and gender expression, such as dressing, hairstyle/cut etc., to match one’s gender identity. Some of the ways one can start transitioning socially include:

Gender expression and roles change – For example, someone assigned female at birth may start dressing in clothes that are typically associated with masculinity, use he/him pronouns, short haircut and use men’s bathrooms.

Chest Binding – flattening breast tissue to create a male-appearing chest using a variety of materials and methods such as sports bras, layering several sports bras or shirts, chest binders and athletic compression shirts.

Breast Padding– the use of undergarments to create the appearance of larger breasts, hips or buttocks.

Packing – wearing padding or a phallic object in the front of the pants or underwear to give the appearance of having a penis and male bulge.

Tucking– is the practice of hiding the penis and testes so they are not visible in tight clothing. There are many ways to tuck, such as pushing the penis and testes between your legs and then pulling on a pair of panties, to tuck the testes inside of you.

Use of make-up

2. Legal transition

Legal transition involves one changing of names and gender  marker on official documents such as their school certificates, their passports, their national ID or their driver’s license to reflect their gender identity.

3. Medical transition

Refers to when one starts hormone therapy to increase or decrease sex characteristics and may undergo gender-affirming surgeries to align their bodies with their gender identity.

Health professionals  assist individuals with gender dysphoria towards affirming their gender identity, exploring different options for expression of that identity, and making decisions about medical treatment options for alleviating gender dysphoria. These options include:

  • Gender-affirming surgery. Some individuals may choose to have gender-affirming surgeries to bring their physical looks more in line with their feelings e.g removal of breast tissue, removal of testes etc.

  • Gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT)can be of help in two ways: – 

  1. Puberty blockers- medication to delay the onset of puberty.                     

  2. Using gender-affirming hormones such as estrogen or testosterone. 

Note: However the type of hormonal treatment being administered depends on whether the person has gone through puberty or not and their age. Children and individuals who are not of legal age require consent from their guardians or legal authority to go on hormones.

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Please Remember:

Transitioning isn’t always a straight line or direct path.  Transitioning can be a lengthy and ongoing process, or it can happen quickly.  You may experiment with various options as you learn what works best for you. The transition process is all about becoming a more complete version of yourself — in body, mind, and relationships.  As a result, transitioning may be referred to as “congruence.”

Refers to when one starts hormone therapy to increase or decrease sex characteristics and may undergo gender-affirming surgeries to align their bodies with their gender identity.

It involves legally changing one’s name and gender marker on official documents such as school certificates, birth certificates, national identification documents, and driving licenses. The process varies from country to country.


Process of shifting your social gender role, or the way you express and embody your gender in the world. This process often involves coming out and ensuring those around you know how to best respect and support your gender identity.