Support and Advice
We're here to help
We have put together some help, advice and links if you feel like you are struggling with your dysphoria, mental health, or other things related to your transition. Please note that we are only a shop so we have mostly selected resources put together by other people, these are their views and not our own. We have contacted these people to let them know we have included their videos. We will add to this page as we go along and learn about new resources, so please let us know if you think anything should be added/updated/removed
Coming out (or not!)
Firstly it is very important to know that just because you have come out to yourself as trans, this does not mean that you NEED to come out to anyone else. If you feel like coming out may cause you to be kicked out of the place that you are living, or cause you physical or emotional harm, or just make life very difficult for you, it may be best for you to not come out to those people. This doesn’t make you any less valid or any less trans, it just means that you can stay safe until you are in a place or situation that will allow you to show who you are more. If you feel you cannot come out yet, having online or trusted friends that you can come out to and feel yourself with can be a great way to stay positive and express yourself. Please see our support groups in the quick links if this would help you!
We have found a few videos with advice about coming out that may help if you feel you are ready:
This last video leads into our next section!
This is a term that a lot of people disagree with but it is a recognised term to refer to people who “Pass” as a cis person. Meaning that you wouldn’t be able to tell that they are trans from looking at them or speaking and interacting with them. Some people have “Passing Privilege” which means they find it easier to be seen as their chosen gender. Some people develop this as their transition goes along and some people never feel that other people see them as their chosen gender. Some people have certain areas that “pass” better than others for example they may worry that their voice hasn’t broken etc. Everyone is different and it is important to never place too much value on this or to feel less valid if you don’t pass.
This video by Chase Ross shows his feelings about this and that he feels that comparing our bodies to Cis bodies is not helpful as they are not “ideal”
If you are already in a relationship when you realise that your gender is not the same as the one you were assigned at birth, or that you would like to express it differently, this can be difficult for both of you. It is important to remember that while you have been coming to terms with this for your whole life, this information is new to them. It may be helpful to watch the videos in the coming out section. One important factor is that you may be telling them that you are a gender that they are not sexually attracted to and that this is not their fault even though they love you as a person. It is important to also explain that while this is difficult for them they need to respect your new gender identity and not misgender you to make it easier for themselves.
Here is a Buzzfeed video about transgender people who are in relationships with cisgender people. Obviously lots of transgender people are in relationships with other transgender people and non-cis people and we will add other videos below.
Being Trans in the Workplace
Working while transgender can be difficult at times. If you already have a job it can be difficult to explain to your colleagues and bosses things like changing your name and pronouns. If you are looking for work then it can be difficult to know your rights when applying as a trans person (eg, what name to use) and it can be intimidating to simply go through the interview process while trans.
If you would like more information about your rights while working or applying for jobs as a transgender or non-conforming person please read this article from the Equality and Human Rights Commission
What is Dysphoria?
The Mirriam Webster Dictionary defines Gender Dysphoria as: “A distressed state arising from conflict between a person's gender identity and the sex the person has or was identified as having at birth.” The key part of this definition being that it causes the person distress. Everyone is different and people have varying levels of dysphoria, which can also change over time. Some people have no dysphoria at all and we will put a video about that too. It can be very difficult to deal with dysphoria as it is a feeling towards yourself that you have to take with you wherever you go. Dysphoria is also associated with waiting a lot of the time, as many trans people are waiting for hormones, or medical treatments such as chest surgery, which they feel will lessen their dysphoria. While we are very lucky in the UK to have a National Health Service which allows us to access medical care on an (almost) free basis, there are extensive waiting times for transgender people. Both Jack and Grey experience dysphoria everyday, and have both been waiting on NHS waiting lists for many years. Grey has been with the NHS for almost 6 years and is due to have chest surgery in January 2019. For this reason we understand that a good thing to do is to distract yourself while you wait so that you don’t have to feel that distress all the time until you can access these things, and to take part in activities that are gender affirming and make you feel good!
Distracting Yourself from Dysphoria
We have looked through the internet to find suggestions for the best ways to distract yourself if dysphoria is getting you down. Self-care and grooming tips were the most popular.
GroomingIt may make you feel good to take the time to make your body your own in the little ways that you can! You can cut or dye your hair, and if you can't do that it may help to put your hair up under a hat that you like! You can also shave or not shave (carefully!) your body hair and face, even if you can't grow facial hair it's nice to feel that you are taking the time to look after your appearance and to be in control of the way that you look, even a little bit. You can also use strong smelling shower gels, aftershave, soaps etc which can be gender affirming. You can wear gender affirming clothes! This doesn't always mean baggy clothes but some people find it helpful as it changes their silhouette. Some people use makeup to contour their face or to fill in their beard/eyebrows which can help make you look more masculine/feminine as desired.
ActivitiesPersonally I (Jack) like to play games when I am feeling dysphoric, lots of games allow you to create a character and edit their appearance. It can help you to take a break from your dysphoria to play as a character that looks the way you would like to look and uses the correct name! You can also create something, art and crafts uses a lot of patience and concentration which can take your mind off things. This can be drawing, painting, collage, photography, woodwork... anything you like! You can also use these art forms to express some of your feelings about dysphoria to help you understand them more.
Other activities can include physical activity. Some people find it helpful to work out (at home or at the gym) as it can make you feel like you are constructively working on your body towards your own aesthetic and health goals.
A lot of people feel dysphoric about their voice, it can help to do voice training exercises (there are lots on YouTube) and also to sing along to songs that are in the vocal range you aspire to, and try to match their pitch! It is also important to try to remember that speaking from your chest (it may take practice) can give you a lower sounding and louder voice.
Most of all though it is important to remember that you are doing your best! You shouldn't feel bad for having dysphoria, if anything you could be proud that you are doing so well while feeling this way. Give yourself a break and take time to yourself to do the things you love! Even if that means staying in on the sofa when you need to!
Here is a video about dysphoria if you are pre-t, which means that you have not taken testosterone and may wish to in future.
A lot of non-binary people feel dysphoria, unfortunately sometimes people find this less easy to understand in comparison to binary trans people. This can add extra pressure on a person as they shouldn't have to prove themselves to be taken seriously for their very valid feelings. Here are a few videos about non-binary dysphoria:
Not Having Dysphoria
Some people do not experience dysphoria but still identify as transgender, non-binary or non gender conforming. Some people believe that you need to have dysphoria to be trans. If you do not experience dysphoria but know in yourself that you are trans, try not to listen to those people even though it can be hard at times. We have added this video about not having dysphoria to explain in more detail:
Doubting yourself or your transition
A lot of people doubt themselves throughout their transition, this is normal and in part a product of the news and other peoples pressures and opinions. Sometimes parents and other important figures in your life (friends, siblings, partners) will question your decisions as they worry that you will be hurt if you make the wrong one. It is important to remember that their concern comes from a place of love even if it can be hurtful, and that you know yourself that you are making the right decision. There are also a lot of negative opinions in the media about trans people who "were pressured into it" or that "lots of people detransition", it is our belief that these are scaremongering tactics written by people who are scared of transgender people, what they stand for, and the changes that are happening in society in regards to sex and gender. You do not need to listen to people who are afraid of and do not understand you. We have included this video which explains in more detail about doubting yourself and trusting yourself in your decisions:
Online Support Groups
We have a close relationship with the online UK support group TMSA (Trans Masculine Support and Advice). You can find their website here with information to be added to their secret Facebook support groups. We will be adding more online support groups soon!
Supportive UK Charities
Firstly we would like to address one very UNSUPPORTIVE and DAMAGING organisation which is called "Transgender Trend". Please ignore and avoid any materials published by them as they are at best false and make misleading claims and at worst perpetuate damaging stereotypes that can harm transgender children and the community in general.
One of the most prominent UK Charities is Mermaids, which supports transgender youth and their families. Their website can be found here
Stonewall is an international organisation which supports the entire LGBT+ community, their website can be found here
For transgender people in Northern Ireland, the newly formed charity TransgenderNI may be helpful, their website can be found here
We will be adding more information shortly to this section
Regional UK Support Groups
There are many local support groups that meet on a semi-frequent basis, we will add to this list as we learn of more organisations. Please let us know if you have a regional organisation that you would like us to include!
As we are located in the Midlands of England we thought to first add the LGBT Centre in both Leicester and Birmingham which both have information about groups for various transgender people on their websites!