Trans women share beautiful transition stories to inspire others
Coming out as LGBT+ can be a wonderful experience.
Despite fears of sometimes less-than-helpful responses from others in society, being true to one’s own orientation and identity can often make people feel whole.
To come out, or not come out, is up to every individual themselves and no-one else. No-one should be forced or pressured to come out.
Some people who come out choose to publicly share their transition story, either as a means to aid their transition or inspire others.
PinkNews recently looked at five trans men who did just that, and now we look at a number of trans women, some in the public eye, some not, who did the same.
Avedian came out as trans years ago, and in October 2015 revealed that she used to be a bearded US Marine.
She has since taken to social media to share before and after photos of her transition and shared details of the process of her transition.
Avedian shares positive messages and regularly engages with followers on her pages to discuss her transition and give advice to others.
Then 33, she said her life in the Marines, her marriage to a woman was part of “overcompensating”.
After six tours, Avedian returned to the US and transitioned.
She said at the time: “There are certain things I miss, I lost a lot of friends but I’ve also made a lot of new friends.
“I was following the American dream – I don’t even know who I’m looking at in the before pictures, it was so depressing.”
“Personally I’m much happier, I don’t have any conflicts with who I am. I am definitely a tomboy and that’s okay. Before I couldn’t stand myself and I couldn’t interact with people.”
Avedian also reflected positively on life with her daughter.
“‘My daughter and I are awesome, she adores being around me. She only remembers me as a woman and I love how we interact, we are so much alike.
“Even though she’s five, she has really intelligent conversations, especially if you push her to talk. I can talk to her like an adult. Most of our dialogue is cute little banter and I love it.”
Her Facebook page and YouTube videos have amassed millions of views and followers.
Canadian teenager Gabrielle Diana was the one who started the #MomentsInTransition hashtag.
She told BuzzFeed at the time: “In the trans community I’ve seen a lot of people always looking for what they WANT to be in the future, which is totally understandable.
“I think it’s important to look back on defining moments in our transitions and really give ourself props, because it’s so important that we recognise our hard work and let it really be noticed.”
“The hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it was so worth it August 3rd 2013. 3 Years,” she said.
She also shared her confidence from her hospital bed just before undergoing gender reassignment surgery.
“Sex reassignment surgery,” she said. “FINALLY. You have no idea how confident I feel today.”
Gaby also spoke about the changes in her family since she came out as trans.
“9th grade: momma told me not to wear makeup / 12th grade: momma told me to be happy today,” she said.
There are a number of trans models in the fashion business, but few are as famous as Andrea Pejic.
Having been in the industry in 2007, she grabbed mainstream headlines in 2013 by starring alongside Tilda Swinton in the music video for David Bowie’s single ‘The Stars (Are Out Tonight)’.
Always famed for her androgynous look, she transitioned a year later.
“I want to share my story with the world because I think I have a social responsibility,” she said.
“I hope that by being open about this, it becomes less of an issue.”
She continued: “I always dreamt of being a girl. One of my earliest memories is spinning around in my mom’s skirt trying to look like a ballerina
“I kept my dreams and my imagination to myself and became pretty good at acting as a boy. But I was hiding who I was.”
Andreja later added: “I’ve always believed I’ve had a female identity it just took me 23 years to live the life I’ve always wanted.
“I feel more like myself than ever… my transition has allowed me to live a truthful life and achieve my biggest dreams.”
Since it was created, the #MomentsInTransition has been used by a number of trans men and trans women on Instagram to share their personal journeys.
One recent trans woman doing just that was Erin Eternity, who described her picture sharing as “a first” for her.
“Left picture is me pre-transition with full glam, and right picture is me 2 years into my transition full glam,” she said.
“I swear I am so much more happier on the right than I was on the left, I was so self conscious and scared of what people thought of me, but now I am a beautiful confident woman.
“It does truly shine through always be true to yourself and never give up hope, if I can do it, anyone can.”
Erin publicly shared before and after photographs of her breast augmentation surgery, and was wished well by her fans and followers.
“Surgery here I come! I am so blessed and I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the kindness of so many people #boobies2017,” she said.
She later annotated another photo: “Do you see this face? Does your mind automatically go to genitalia when you see a woman’s face?
“Does your mind automatically envision what someone’s genitals must look like, especially other cis peoples? No, honestly no, and if it does well more power to you.
“But why do you think it is okay to ask what is in my pants or any other trans persons pants for that matter? Do you honestly think it’s important whether I have a penis or vagina?”
She continued: “Maybe I have a penis, maybe I have a vagina, maybe even both! But in all honesty it’s no ones business!
“Plain and f**king simple, why do you think it is utterly important for me to give you that information when it is irrelevant and does not serve a purpose for your knowledge.
“Trans bodies are not for you to ask impersonal and rude questions, and trans bodies are not for your probing or curiosity to know what we have.
“So if you want to know my answer next time you ask read this.”
It’s one thing to come out to your partner family and friends. It’s another to do it on one of the biggest TV shows in America. That’s just what Jenny Bolan did on Oprah in 2005, when trans people were still seen by many in the mainstream as something of a novelty.
She shared images of her pre-transition self, and she and her wife Deedie spoke about the challenges they faced.
At that time, Deedie confirmed that she and Jenny were no longer “intimate” with one another, despite being married, and Jenny admitted to some curiosity about relationships with men, but said she had not acted on it.
Ten years on though, both seemed more at ease than ever before.
“Deedie and I are celebrating 27 years of marriage this very year,” said Jenny.
“That means 12 years as husband and wife and 15 years as wife and wife. At the time of that show I think Deedie’s and my’s relationship was in a fairly vulnerable place.
“It wasn’t that we doubted each other, we just didn’t know what was going to happen.”
She added: “Now a dozen years later, I can say that Deedie and I have essentially returned to each other.
“I would certainly describe our relationship together as intimate and that there’s love at the centre of everything we do.”
Another person sharing their journey on Instagram is Monnie, who self-identifies as “just another Jesus loving, Christian trans woman trying to do her best each and every day”.
She has shared many photographs of herself before and after her transition.
“The difference of five years, 50 pounds and one gender transition,” she said.
“This week I celebrate three years on hormone replacement therapy. I can’t believe it’s been 36 months already. So much has happened for the better yet there’s been so much grieving of things of things lost and things I’ve never dealt with in my past. I guess you can’t have growth without pain right? I mean, you don’t really appreciate the sun unless you have a string of rainy days.
“Since the picture on the left I have lost almost 8 inches on my waist, gained real hips and see a figure in the mirror that brings tears to my eyes of joy. I never thought this was possible, in fact I buried my wishes so deep I didn’t even understand them nor feel them until I was able to go through this process of transition.”
She continued: “Sometimes we are our own worst enemies aren’t we? Sometimes we have to allow ourselves to feel, rather than bury all of our emotions, to truly understand what God has been trying to say to us all these years.
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“About five years difference between these photos, and 50 pounds less :-). What did hormone replacement therapy do for me? On day one I immediately was able to feel my emotions for the first time since about the age of eight, that’s right, since puberty first started.
“My lifelong depression instantly vanished and was replaced by joy, and a sense of levelness. The thoughts that spun around my head we’re gone. Replaced with peacefulness and a sense of balance.
“Also gone were my ‘dead eyes’. Replaced with vigor and hope for each day. Such a difference for my depression-ridden past. In my craving for alcohol vanished. My heavy drinking instantly stopped. It’s amazing what happens when depression vanishes and hope appears.
“Only a month before I started hormones I couldn’t reach the gun, but decided to live. I’m so glad I did. I’ve never been happier. Understand this: I just wanted to live, not die.”