Learning from those who have gone before can be a great way to ease anxiety levels and reduce the isolation that one may feel while questioning their gender options or even while in transition. Reading personal stories of other women at different stages of transition, learning how others have dealt with issues like disclosing one's intentions to loved ones, coping with relationship issues, hormone issues, learning to live with the effects of hormone replacement therapy or discussing surgery options or just getting along in the wider community.
Mentors can be hard to find but fortunately a number of trans women have put pen to paper and shared their experiences, their thoughts, and their concerns in an attempt to make life easier for those who follow in their footsteps and encounter similar issues to the ones that they have in the past. This kind of peer support can be terribly important to a transitioning trans woman. We remain very grateful to those that have shared their stories.
Support Information is available for download from The Gender Centre, and are available in PDF format. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar to view and print P.D.F. files. If you don't have Acrobat Reader you can download it for free at the Adobe website.
CAROLINE SEEKS EMPLOYMENT IN THE FITNESS INDUSTRY
Article appeared in Polare 14, August 1996
Caroline has been very fortunate in the fact that she works in a reasonably open minded industry, the Fitness Industry. She changed all of her certificates over to her female name and then waited for her body to feminize enough before approaching a fitness centre to work at ...
THE STORY OF A MAN WHO BECAME A WOMAN
Article appeared in Polare 72, July 2007
This is the autobiography of a small boy, growing up in post-second World War Germany, uprooted as a teenager and thrust into the Irish countryside, trying very hard to be a man, married, had children, and then in a mid-life crisis declared that he was always female ...
LET US BE WHOLE AND HAPPY WOMEN
Article appeared in Polare 59, September 2004
Jenny is a biological male who desperately wants to be a girl – in her case, only some of the time because she enjoys the kind of gender wholeness that she has even though many 'girls-like-her' cannot understand how she can be comfortable living both apparently different lives ...
GAIL MAKES THE RIGHT DECISION
Article appeared in Polare 9, October 1995
In early 1992 Gail's life seemed ruined. Her marriage over, she was lucky to survive,however she opted to give herself a second chance, a real chance and for the first time in her life she learned what liking herself was like ...
KYLIE: TATTOOED, LEATHER WEARING, MOTORBIKE RIDING, BUTCH BEAR AND MOST-OP M.T.F. TRANSSEXUAL
Article appeared in Polare 29, February 1999
Kylie describes herself as a tattooed, leather-wearing, motorbike-riding butch bear who is also a most-op M.T.F. transsexual. Each of these facets make the whole of who she is, yet as she explains, it was a case of not knowing exactly where she fitted into a gendered world ...
THE TIME HAS COME TO TELL THE WORLD
Article appeared in Polare 38, August 2000
Zoe catches sight of herself in a window and just stops and stares at the smiling 19 year old girl she's become. Is that really me she asks. And when she realise it is, she wants to shout for joy. Perhaps you've fantasized about changing your image? This is Zoe's story...
... AND LANDS ON HER FEET
Article appeared in Polare 49, December 2002
Juliet, who's transition began at the end of January 2002, describes the increased self-confidence that she is experiencing as a result of taking charge of her gender transition and that people's attitudes towards her seem friendlier, perhaps because she is happier now ...
... AND THROUGH THE CYBER GLASS
Article appeared in Polare 56, March 2004
Jenny writes that she is still somewhat emotionally challenged by her gender struggles but the overwhelming relief and joy of taking her first steps to come out has changed everything. She acknowledges that she has a long journey still ahead of her but she is on her way ...
A MIXTURE OF MEMORY INTERWOVEN WITH A SOCIAL COMMENTARY ON A TOPIC UNFAMILIAR TO MOST
Article appeared in Polare 30, April 1999
An Invisible Procession draws you into a strange place, a place where Veronica has been imprisoned for nearly half a century. A mixture of memory and social commentary on a topic unfamiliar to most ...
FROM A VERY BUSY, BUT GRATEFUL PANSEXUAL
Article appeared in Polare 66, January 2006
As a clinician Jenny is interested in helping transgender people (and those who are close to us), come to know the reality of who and what our unique, true and unimpeded feelings about who and what we are. Yet we are all delightfully different whatever our similarities ...
BEING A WOMAN SEEMS TO COME SO EASILY AND SO READILY FOR PAULA NOW
Article appeared in Polare 60, November 2004
Paula firmly believes that the greatest good any of us can do is to be ourselves. For Paula, being a woman seems to come so easily and so readily now, all these years later. Where did this walk come from, these gestures, these thoughts and feelings and passions? ...
LISA WINS THE BATTLE TO BECOME HERSELF
Article appeared in Polare 23, February 1998
Lisa was beside herself with confusion and despair and she'd regularly burst into tears at her work. Her Counsellor however, suggested that she live only one life and that she stop having a war between her female and male selves, as in wars, nobody wins and people die ...