What does social transition mean and is it to be encouraged?
The social transition of a person describes the social changes they make in their life to fit more comfortably into the gender identity they resonate with. This can include the changes they make to their appearance to encourage others to perceive them in a certain way, such as wearing more ‘masculine/feminine’ clothes or changing their hairstyle. It can also describe the way some trans people will change their name and start asking others to use different pronouns when referring to them. People of all ages undergo social transition to change the way society perceives them.
A prime example of social transition is gaining the courage to use the restroom that fits your gender. Moving from the restroom associated with your assigned gender to the restroom associated with your current gender can be a daunting task. Many people face scrutiny for being so brave, but it is an important step in social transition, and goes a long way to helping others perceive you in the way you want them to.
There is also a medical side to social transition; the use of hormones and surgeries to change the body is common in the trans community and can help to alleviate gender dysphoria (the feeling that your body does not align with your gender identity). This can be an important part of social transition for some people, whilst it may not be as important to others. Every transition is different, and nobody should be expected to undergo any medical treatments in order to be seen as “trans enough”.