I think I'm trans masc and I'm trying really hard to figure out if it's true, and what I want to do from there...
So I’ve been really trying to figure out myself and stuff in the last couple of pretty much years at this point haha…
And I think I’m trans masc… And I’m trying really hard to figure out if it’s true, and what I wanna do from there, I’m just out to my little sister (she’s so fucking supportive i love her so much TvT) and a few friends…. and i need advice, i need to know more, about how to get access to testosterone, how break it down to my parents, how to do anything aaaaaaah
So any help would be absolutely lovely and so very much appreciated, as im currently very confused and overwhelmed by everything thats going on…
Thank you! Hope you folks all have a nice day or night!
Thank you so much for sending us your question.
Questioning and coming to terms with one’s gender identity can often be overwhelming and confusing. It’s a lot to think about, and many different emotions are likely to come up. Reaching out for help is a wonderful act of self-care. I hope you will continue to ask for help and reach out to your community and organizations like this one throughout this process. Doing this will be extremely valuable in your journey of self-discovery.
There are things which can help you figure things out and feel confident enough to pursue a given trajectory. Thinking about things is certainly helpful, but it can only take you so far. At some point, you have to try things out, and dip your toes in. And that doesn’t have to be a big commitment. You can start really small. You can experiment with wearing different clothing, getting a new haircut, wearing a binder, asking people to call you by a different name and pronouns, etc. None of these steps are permanent. Hair grows back, clothing can be changed. Testosterone does have some effects which are permanent (deepening of the voice, increased body hair and facial hair, bottom growth), and how soon these occur depends on the person. Still, you can try it out for a little while and stop if you realize it’s not for you. What I’m trying to say is that you don’t have to figure things out in a vacuum, inside your head, before you start taking steps in your desired direction. You can figure things out as you go.
At the end of the day, there isn’t really a way to objectively prove to yourself and everyone else that you are “really trans”. But then again, we don’t ask cisgender people to prove to themselves and others that they are cis. Yet we place this pressure on ourselves to prove our identity. To me that’s a bit like trying to prove that you love someone. You could say “I care about their well-being, I’m happy when I spend time with them, I respect them as a person, etc.”, all things which rely on internal feelings and personal experiences. Same thing goes for being trans. All you can say is “I feel good when people call me by this or that name”, “I feel most like myself when I wear these clothes but not others”, “I experience joy and excitement when I picture myself with this or that body”, etc.. And sometimes it’s hard to trust ourselves. Especially when we are different from what society considers “the norm”. It’s a process, and you have a right to change your mind, to experiment, to try different things.
As far as getting access to testosterone, you have a few options in the region of Montreal. If you have a family doctor, you can ask them to write you a referral to see an endocrinologist. Your doctor could submit this request themselves, or they could give you a paper with the referral for you to submit yourself. The latter option gives you more flexibility, as you could send it to the place(s) of your choosing. I find that meeting other trans people is a good way of finding out about such things, as they will most likely know what the wait times are like right now, which endocrinologists they recommend (and which ones they don’t), which clinics have an open waiting list, etc. If you’re on Facebook, you can find relevant groups using search words such as “queer Montreal”, “trans Montreal”, “trans Quebec”, “FTM Quebec”, etc. Some of these groups are majority francophone, but there are some majority anglophone ones too. There are also organizations in the city which have meetings and support groups, which you will find listed at the bottom of my reply.
In addition, some places might request a letter of recommendation before granting you access to hormones, whereas others operate under the informed consent model (meaning that they do not require a letter, and will instead give you information about testosterone and let you make your own decision based on that information). Anyone who is a mental health professional, has at least a Bachelor’s degree, and is a member of a professional association (ordre professionnel) is qualified to write a letter of recommendation for hormones. You can find a letter template here.
As far as coming out to your parents, this will depend on a few things. Are you dependent on them in any way? Do you have a sense of how accepting they might be? If you are dependent on them, and even more so if you live under their roof, you must think of your own safety first and foremost. If coming out to them could potentially jeopardize your safety and/or living situation, you should consider holding off until you are more independent and/or at least have a strong support network to fall back on if things go wrong. You can test the waters beforehand by bringing up the topic of trans people and seeing how they react.
You know your parents best, and ultimately you are the one who will best be able to determine when and how to come out to them. However, here are some options to consider:
Coming out through a letter, email or text message can leave them some time to think and process the news before reacting. You can spend time making sure that you are expressing yourself the way you want to, you can provide resources along with what you’ve written, etc. If you’re not sure exactly what to say or how to phrase it, you can look at this example. Some others will be more comfortable coming out in a face-to-face conversation, in which case rehearsing the conversation beforehand can be a good idea.
As far as explaining it to your parents, I think it’s important to remember that most parents, deep-down (if they are good parents) want us to be happy. If they’ve been exposed to fear-mongering propaganda against trans people, they might fear that transitioning will make you unhappy. I think it’s important to remind them that transitioning is important to your well-being, and that the mental health of trans people improves significantly when they transition and when they receive support from their families. Providing your parents with that information might help assuage their concerns.
As mentioned earlier, here is a list of resources which might help you along on your journey:
- A website (in French), which details the steps of medical transition in Quebec: https://transitionner.info/
- An organization dedicated to helping trans people in Quebec, which also hosts weekly support groups and activities, and offers free individual appointments: https://atq1980.org/en/
- Another Quebec-based trans org: http://www.astteq.org/
- List of Trans-friendly services in Montréal for hormone therapy: List of Queer & Trans Friendly services
- Another list: List of Healthcare Professionals Working with Trans People
- Montreal-based clinics which offer gender-affirming care:
- clinique 1851
- Clinique Quorum
Interesting article on the topic of feeling the need to prove one’s transness: The Null HypotheCis
Potentially helpful website which discusses the different ways in which people can experience gender dysphoria (please note that you do not need dysphoria to be trans): The Gender Dysphoria Bible
A book which many people find helpful: You and Your Gender Identity: A Guide to Discovery, by Dara Hoffman-Fox, LPC
Videos about coming out to parents, which you can share with them if you feel it would be a good idea:
- To the Parents of Trans People: Answering Your Questions
- How To Help Your Trans Child
- Dear Parents of Trans Youth
If your parents understand French, the following brochure is very informative: 10 Idées reçues sur la transidentité | Wiki Trans
Good luck with everything, and don’t hesitate to contact us again!
Paul (he/him), intervention worker for AlterHéros