Social Transition

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:

  • “Coming out” refers to becoming aware of trans aspects of one’s identity, accepting them, and informing others in one’s life about these experiences;

  • Changing your name, either socially or by notifying the government legally;

  • Start using and asking people to use pronouns that feel right for you;

  • Dressing/grooming in ways that feel right for you when other people can see you; 

  • Making changes in their gender expression and roles. This may involve living and presenting in a gender role that is associated with their gender identity; and

  • Using a different public bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.

Ways to affirm your gender identity

Transfeminine Folks

Hair removal: includes shaving, waxing, electrolysis, laser, and microdermabrasion.

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 by pushing the penis and testes between your legs and then pulling on a pair of pants to tuck the testes inside of you, placing the testes into the inguinal canal, held in place with tight underwear or a gaff, to give a feminine genital contour

Hair enhancement: using wigs or extensions to style your hair differently or make it appear longer. 

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

Use of make up : wearing makeup to emphasise or de-emphasize certain features

Transmasculine Folks

Haircuts : Many trans masculine people opt for gender-affirming haircuts. This may be a very short haircut for some. Others may choose to grow their hair longer.

Chest Binding: flattening breast tissue to create a masculine-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. A chest binder is a garment designed to flatten the appearance of your chest — but still be flexible enough to allow the rib cage to expand and let you breathe.

Use of make up : wearing makeup to emphasise or de-emphasize certain features. Those who already have some facial hair may choose to dye it to make it appear thicker. Beard dye can be found in the shaving section of most drugstores.

Packing: is the practice of wearing padding or a phallic object in the front of one’s pants or underwear to simulate a penis and a male bulge.  A packer is an artificial penis that can be worn under underwear or in a soft harness. Packers come in a variety of styles, including those that allow the one to pee while standing. These are popularly referred to as STPs (stand-to-pees). There are also Pack and Play Packers, which function as both a flaccid penis and an item that allows the wearer to engage in penetrative sex

Resource Guides

This Guide is intended to provide information on topics of interest to trans men, and their friends and loved ones. Non-trans men have also found the pages on men’s grooming and clothing to be helpful. Transgender, cisgender, intersex, non-binary, genderqueer, questioning, and “just plain folks” are all welcome. (Hudson’s FTM Resource Guide)

Please Remember:

There is no set list or correct order for social transitioning. It is entirely up to you to make whatever changes you desire. Many people choose to affirm their gender identity through hormone therapy or other surgical procedures.Others only want to transition socially and not medically. Both types of gender identity affirmation are valid. Social transition is your own journey, which you can begin without the assistance of a provider.