• Published Date: 16/11/2021
  • by: UNDP

What is ‘Social Transitioning’? And is ‘transitioning’ without hormones possible?


“I stopped taking hormones last year due to the covid-19, partly because I think that it will weaken my body and not work well with me”, said Toey (alias), a 25-year-old transgender woman who works in the domain of media and press one year after graduating from university. She continues narrating her worries of becoming “an alienated person” confidently, “When I stop taking hormones, alright…my skin is not so smooth and my facial hair becomes hard. But, at least, I got my life back and I am no longer weak.”


This is not the first case in which transgender people refused to undergo hormone replacement therapy. This is certainly controversial since it has been argued that transgender people are not ‘transitioned’ if they have not undergone surgery yet. However, it can be confirmed that their transitions are not flawed. This is due to the fact that transitions do not have to be unnecessarily completed medically and physically, but they can be undergone by ‘social transitioning’.


#SocialTransitioning – is considered as another type of transition which could be processed through social activities; for instance, to be introduced with a new proper pronoun and name, to utilize the gendered public space matching with the gender identity, and to have the society that could appropriately react to the person with trans experience. Consequently, the kind of transitioning is inextricably involved with societal participation, which leads to the reason why the knowledge towards transgender people should be more addressed.


#HowImportantItIs – there is a theory that humans cannot live alone since they are considered social beings. Thus, social interaction to properly reflect transgender people’s identity is highly necessary. Moreover, a huge number of transgender people still could not access a medical transitioning, possibly due to various factors—economic reasons for instance. Medical transitioning should not then be a measurement for who is and is not a transgender person.


#WhyDoesItMatterToTheKids(Too)? A study from a psychologist and a psychology professor from Princeton University, Kristina R. Olson, found that transgender kids who receive support for their social transition from their families (to treat them for their true gender) manifest fewer negative emotions such as depression, anxiety, and panic than those who are forced to live according to the norm of their sex assigned at birth. Transitioning clearly is not about just medical transitioning but rather including the environment and the people surrounded too.



#LivingAsTransgenderPeople The foremost priority for transgender people is whether they are living in a safe environment because social transitioning inevitably includes an encounter with other people around. Therefore, it may be unsafe to be open about their actual self and identity in an unwelcoming environment when not ready.

However, if the environment is safe enough, transgender people can just be themselves. One of the things transgender allies can help support transgender people is to be their safe space by listening without judging and creating a safe environment altogether.


Because empathy is the key to calling for rights

for all.

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