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35 People Who Transitioned On How It Impacted Their Mental Health

“Before, I was completely numb and felt dead inside. After transitioning, I started feeling things — even being sad was amazing because it meant I was alive.”

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We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed community to tell us how the decision to transition, and the steps that followed, impacted their mental health. Here are some of their stories.

Transitioning can mean many different things, and it's a unique process for each individual. Sometimes, it may be a social change (changing clothing, pronouns, and names). For others, transitioning may involve medical interventions (hormone therapy, surgery). Or it may be a combination of different things — it really depends on the individual to decide which changes (if any) to make and when to make them.

A quick note: We included a range of people and experiences, but the stories below don't represent everyone who identifies as transgender, or everyone who struggles with mental health.

And just a heads up, some of these submissions discuss suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders.

1. “Keeping a secret that big just wears on you. Coming out and transitioning was like removing the biggest weight in the world off my back.”

Courtesy of individual

Along with a decade-long drug and alcohol binge with two attempts along the way, I wasn't the most mentally stable person. Keeping a secret that big just wears on you. Waking up every day just trying to find another excuse not to transition just made me want to cry. Coming out and transitioning was like removing the biggest weight in the world off my back. It was such a sense of relief.

—Ianna Drew Urquhart, 44, trans femme

2. “Before, I was completely numb and felt dead inside. After transitioning, I started feeling things — even being sad was amazing because it meant I was alive.”

Before transitioning, I was completely numb. I didn't feel happiness or joy, nor sadness or sorrow. I felt dead on the inside, like I was acting out a script someone else had written for me.

After deciding to transition, it was as if all my life the whole world had been a sepia movie, and all of a sudden it got colors. I started feeling lots of things for the first time — even being sad was amazing because it meant I was alive. I made lots of friends and discovered I'm actually kind of extroverted, even though I used to think I was rather aloof. Even my friends say I look noticeably happier this way. I feel more alive than ever, and I'm loving it. On the other hand, it was a huge change for my family, but once they learned I was better off this way, they were fully supportive.

—Sophie, 22, Woman

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3. “Having to present female in public caused me so much anxiety that I just hid from everyone. Now I enjoy being out and interacting with people. My mental health has improved drastically.”

Courtesy of individual

Before transitioning, I was extremely depressed and couldn't really figure out why for the longest time. It took me a while to come to terms with being trans. In college I joined a sorority in hopes that I would feel more "feminine". That 100% did not work, and if anything it really helped me come to terms with my gender identity. Wearing female clothes and going by female pronouns caused me so much stress that I stopped going to class and speaking to people. I kind of just shut down. Having to present female in public caused me so much anxiety that I just hid from everyone.

Now that I'm about a year and a half into my transition, my depression no longer consumes my life and is manageable. There are days when I still feel dysphoric, but when I look in the mirror and see the physical changes, it doesn't affect me as much as it use to. I still get anxious whenever I run into people from high school or from college who haven't seen me since I've transitioned. But thankfully I have an amazing group of friends who immediately started using male pronouns and called me by the name I wanted to be referred to. Overall, my mental health has improved drastically. Little things like going out with friends or meeting new people use to feel unbearable, but now I am more confident and enjoy being out and interacting with people.

—Kenneth, 24, Transman

4. “I was a NCAA Division 1 collegiate runner. I was using running to wither my body away. Two years later, I can say I eat what I want and I smile when I want. It truly does get better.”

Courtesy of individual

Right before I transitioned, after graduating college in 2015, my mental health was the lowest it had ever been. I was a NCAA Division 1 collegiate runner. I was using running to wither my body away. Anorexia was my way of getting rid of everything that was feminine on my body. I was depressed and spent many nights sitting at the top of the parking garage on campus wondering if I should jump. But somewhere deep inside of me was this feeling that I wouldn't feel this way forever. And as I sit here writing this I can definitely say that feeling saved my life.

After starting testosterone in June 2015 my mental health changed for the better. A few months into my transition, my depression was almost gone. I was passing in public and it was the most genuine happiness I had felt in a long time. After undergoing top surgery in November of 2015, I felt that it was okay for my body to put on weight. The anorexic thoughts began to slowly disappear. Two years later and I can say I eat what I want and I smile when I want. It truly does get better.

—Jeffrey Rubel

5. “Before, I had panic attacks when I had to say my name or state my gender… now the progress in my mental health is amazing.”

Before, I struggled with depression and anxiety, as well as self harm and suicidal tendencies. I was constantly nervous and uncomfortable, shaking and fidgeting all the time, and had regular panic attacks when I had to say my name or state my gender. I stopped eating and sleeping at a certain point, lost 15kg in two months, and ended up at a psychiatrist, who prescribed me antidepressants.

So far, my transition has been only social — changing my haircut and clothes. However, I noticed that I can't help but smile and feel happy every time a friend or family member uses my correct name or pronouns. I'm smiling a lot, laughing with my friends, and eating normally. I still fidget a lot when out in public, out of fear of strangers who can get hostile and start asking me questions. Toilets are also a very unpleasant situation that gives me way too much anxiety, and I occasionally still get panic attacks when I have to use them. However, given that my transition has mostly been social so far, I think the progress in my mental health is amazing.

—Oliver, 18, male

6. “I am the happiest I have ever been in my adult life.”

Courtesy of individual

Before deciding to transition, I had suicidal depression and anxiety, and a strong tendency to sabotage myself. I was very successful professionally, but always felt I was an impostor. Now, my depression is gone, and anxiety is greatly reduced. I am the happiest I have ever been in my adult life. I've changed from being very introverted to being an extrovert, and an activist.

—Michelle Paquette, 63, female

7. “I still have clinical depression — I knew testosterone wouldn't cure me — but my depressive episodes are significantly less severe, and few and far between.”

I've suffered from severe clinical depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. I spent half my life in denial about my gender identity, which exacerbated my depression. I self-injured for several years and attempted suicide. I hated every aspect of myself, especially my outward appearance, no matter how hard to tried to just accept the body I was born with.

I spent a year socially transitioning before beginning my medical transition. Every time friends called me by my new name, it made me feel great. I started testosterone in February 2017. I'm now 2 days shy of my 7 months on testosterone and I continue to feel wonderful. I still have clinical depression — I knew testosterone wouldn't cure me — but my depressive episodes are significantly less severe and few and far between. The only thing that ever really gets me down these days is how out of reach top surgery feels. But otherwise, I'm so much happier since beginning my medical transition. I feel incredibly lucky to be where I am and to have such an amazing support system.

—Aiden Quinn P., 31, trans man

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8. “I had no idea how it felt to be happy or in love. Hormones drastically improved my entire experience with life.”

Courtesy of individual

Before, I was anxious, depressed, suicidal, miserable, and scared. I didn't experience much emotional range. I had no idea how it felt to be happy or in love. My life has undergone a hugely substantial shift since transitioning. I've had euphoric highs and dark lows. Mostly I've been happy with my life. Starting hormones drastically improved my entire outlook and experience with life.

—Deanna Atkinson, 55, female

9. “I am much more laid back and not as riddled with anxiety as I used to be… I even cut back on my meds.”

Before transitioning, I had a lot of social anxiety and very low self-confidence. In addition to these, I had "therapy-resistant" chronic migraines ever since first puberty. Every step of the way — coming out, socially transitioning, medically transitioning, and even just the steps to start a medical transition — has made me more comfortable with myself. Suddenly I find myself being okay with, and almost anxiety-free, when meeting new people. I am much more laid back and not as riddled with anxiety as I used to be. My chronic migraines have gotten better. I even cut back on my meds a couple of weeks ago. I have good hopes to be able to get off (almost) all of them.

—Jerome Abalone, 23, male, FTM

10. “Transitioning is a slow process and takes lots of patience... it’s been a roller coaster of feelings from happiness, euphoria to anxiety and very emotional moments."

Courtesy of individual

Transitioning is a slow process and takes lots of patience. I have been transitioning for 26 months and it’s been a roller coaster of feelings from happiness, euphoria to anxiety and very emotional moments. For the most part, my mental health has improved.

—London Lumbi , 33, Transgender Woman

11. “A major part of my transitioning has been getting a great therapist who has helped me deal with my mental health.”

Before, I was incredibly depressed and angry at all times. I honestly don't know how I was able to function. It felt like I was in a dark pit I couldn't see the end of. I felt completely alone and powerless.

A major part of my transitioning has been getting a great therapist who has helped me deal with my mental health in general. Once I got on HRT [hormone replacement therapy] and got top surgery, it was like I suddenly could see the end of that pit I was in. My self confidence was boosted and I was able to function with a clearer and happier mindset. I still get depressed on occasion, but whereas before when I'd be depressed I'd hyper-focus on that fact I was trans, now I am able to love myself for who I am and not fall down into a really dark place again.

—Toby, 21, Trans Man

12. “Before, I was in a deep depression, which brought about severe seclusion... My confidence has increased and I reclaimed my social butterfly status.”

Courtesy of individual

Before, I was in a deep depression, which brought about severe seclusion. It was as if the skin I was born in did not match who I saw myself as. I attempted suicide twice, before I knew I needed to transition fully one day. Coming from a very conservative religious family, I learned at a very young age to fake it till I make it.

Now, my confidence has increased and I have reclaimed my social butterfly status. I deal with negativity in a very, "hey why do you feel that way?" attitude now. I have an increased mental focus on fully transitioning and complete this portrait I call my body.

—Tera, 27, Transwoman

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13. “I still deal with a lot of anxiety about my identity and the way people perceive me, but I feel much less trapped than I used to.”

Before deciding to transition, I struggled so much to understand myself. I clung onto every new label I found, hoping that it would be the definitive answer I was seeking, but was always left unsatisfied. In high school I had a serious problem with isolating myself, since I didn't know where to fit in with my peer groups. It was very lonely and I struggled with a lot of suicidal thoughts and anxiety.

I'm still in the midst of transitioning socially as a sophomore in college, and still trying to discern what lies in my future as far as medical transition. However, since I've changed the way I present I've never felt more like myself. I still deal with a lot of anxiety about my identity and the way people perceive me, but I feel much less trapped than I used to. The more that I move forward in my transition, the more confident I feel in myself and my identity. Dysphoria is a big struggle for me, but that's only because I've finally realized what was "wrong" with me and can now see a path forward.

—Anonymous, trans male/nonbinary

14. “My anxiety will always be there, but it's almost better because I don't have to be someone I'm not anymore.”

Courtesy of individual

Before deciding to transition, my mental health was terrible. I was extremely uncomfortable with myself and I really didn't know what to do with myself nor did I care how my life ended up. Now I'm more in tune with my emotions and am more confident than I ever was before. My anxiety will always be there but it's almost better because I don't have to be someone I'm not anymore.

—Allison

15. “I struggle most in dealing with my family and their poor reactions to my transition. But overall, I'm so much happier.”

Before, I had chronic depression, dysphoria-induced low mood, and I avoided looking at myself in mirrors. Now that I'm seeing changes from the hormones, I actually want to look at myself in the mirror again. I don't get those random 'bad days' anymore. My self confidence is growing and I feel so much more comfortable and at ease. I struggle most in dealing with my family, and their poor reactions to my transition have led to a few minor depressive episodes on my end. But overall, I'm so much happier and I'm looking forward to seeing where my transition takes me.

—Sam, 23, trans man

16. “I still struggle with my mental health, but I feel confident that my physical transition will really help me break down those final barriers.”

Courtesy of individual

I always had a lot of social anxiety and depression my entire life. I was scared of expressing myself and speaking up. I felt completely disconnected from myself. My dysphoria was never bad enough for me to identify it for what it was.

All that changed when I finally realized the truth about my gender. My dysphoria has trickled back down to very manageable levels, though it is still more noticeable than it was before I recognized it for what it was. But as I came out to more people, purchased binders, and people started using male pronouns, I blossomed socially for the first time in my life.

I have deeper friendships with more people, and a better relationship with my family who has been much more accepting than I expected. Now that I've cut my hair, bind my breasts, and wear men's clothing, I finally feel a real connection with the person in the mirror and in photos, whereas before I just saw a stranger. I still struggle with my mental health, but I feel confident physical transition will really help me break down those final barriers. I can't wait for my testosterone consult!"

—Booker M, 22, Queer Trans Male

17. “Being able to voice my true self, wear a binder, and go by correct pronouns has genuinely saved my life.”

My mental health was very, very poor. Keeping such a huge part of myself hidden before starting my transition was not only mentally straining, but it also made me constantly feel vulnerable, like at any moment someone might discover my secret. Being on high alert all the time was detrimental to my overall wellbeing.

Just coming out made an immense difference. I am currently pre-hormones or surgeries, so as I have mostly just come out and started transitioning, that alone has helped. Being able to voice my true self, wear a binder, and go by correct pronouns has genuinely saved my life. My constant depression and anxiety has lessened, making it manageable to get through the day and stay confident and happy in myself.

—Malcolm, 21, FTM transgender man

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18. “I'm no longer as depressed, I'm not suicidal, and I'm comfortable with myself. Having a loving accepting husband has helped.”

Courtesy of individual

I'm no longer as depressed, no more internal anger, and I'm not suicidal. I'm comfortable with myself, and I'm no longer struggling to be who I knew I was. Having a loving accepting husband has helped.

—Delaney Alysa Anderson

19. "My mental health was very poor. I was crying everyday, self harming, pushing away people who cared about me. Since I started transitioning, I have never felt so happy!”

My mental health was very poor. I was crying every day, self harming, pushing away people who cared about me and I had extreme anxiety. I felt hopeless and I had no idea why. My body was a stranger to me. It seemed as though my life was coming to an end.

Since I started transitioning, my mental health has dramatically improved! I feel genuine joy in life now that I have a future. I'm finally in love with my body. I've never had so much confidence until now, and I have never felt so happy!

—Morgan, 18, Trans Male

20. “I’m more comfortable in myself... but my anxiety worsened after my social transition — I hear of so many hate crimes against trans people.”

Courtesy of individual

My mental health was terrible. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety when I was 10 and have dealt with abuse most of my life so my mental health has always been very poor.

Initially, my depression worsened as I was bullied for my gender identity. I even attempted suicide. After people began to not have an issue with it, things have been a lot better. I still experience mental health issues due to my abuse and it's something I'll likely have for the rest of my life, but my depression has been a lot more manageable because I'm starting to feel comfortable in myself due to my social transition. However, my anxiety definitely worsened. I hear of so many hate crimes against trans people that I'm terrified to use a public bathroom or go to a party and be around drunk people when they realize I'm trans. A lot of people have commented on the fact that I do seem a lot happier and comfortable now though which is great.

—Isis Jager, 18, Transmasculine

21. “I cried myself to sleep more often I could count. I remember wanting to die... Now I see a future for myself and I am happier with who I am.”

Courtesy of individual

My mental health before transitioning was terrible, I cried myself to sleep more often than I could count. I remember wanting to die and not seeing any future for myself. I was very unhappy with who I was and I couldn't truly act the way I wanted to in fear of being misgendered. I was very shy, not wanting to go outside at times, and I was often afraid of being judged too.

I became more relaxed and I didn't have to worry about constantly being misgendered. Testosterone really helped my dysphoria and it made me feel more like myself. It allowed me to act more feminine without being perceived as female. My suicidal thoughts left after a while too. I could see a future for myself and I am happier with who I am now.

—Rowan Zwikstra, 18, demiboy

22. “Before, I was a ball of anxiety and depression. After, it was like waking up after a bad dream. I felt mentally strong and lucid for the first time in my life.”

Before transitioning, I was a terrible ball of anxiety and depression. I was so unhappy all of the time and I didn't know what to do about those feelings. Nothing made me feel even remotely okay. I tried therapy and antidepressants with no luck. I dreaded getting out of bed and having to leave my house. I looked in the mirror and hated everything I saw. I was so unhappy for so long I didn't see a way out of the misery.

Within a few weeks of starting testosterone, I felt something I had never felt before: happiness. I felt a calm presence in my life. I didn't have the constant anxiety and fear or dread of something horrible around the corner. It was like waking up after a bad dream. I felt mentally strong and really lucid for the first time in my life. Transitioning and being on testosterone has given me something to live for.


—Britton, 26, TransMan

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23. “After I began my social transition, I immediately had relief from my suicidal thoughts and crippling depression.”

Courtesy of individual

I was an absolute mess — depressed and suicidal. I suffered from frequent panic attacks and a few random dissociative attacks. After I began my social transition — changing my name and pronouns — I had immediate relief from my suicidal thoughts and crippling depression. My panic and dissociating attacks subsided to a more manageable frequency. I tossed and turned about starting testosterone as part of my physical transition, but I finally took the leap and haven't had a dissociative attack since. I'm now a week shy of one year on testosterone. My panic attacks related to anxiety about passing or being safe in public have also almost completely dissipated since I don't get misgendered anymore.

—Oliver, 22, transman

24. “Once I felt more comfortable living in my own skin, I was able to explore the things that hurt me before transitioning and make peace with them.”

I was a hot, angry, suicidal mess with a lot of explosive and self harming tendencies. I would regularly scream at other drivers or punch holes in walls out of frustration. Honestly, I was totally out of control. I was suicidal all the time even at the (then) height of my career, I just wanted to end my life without hurting my family.

I think when I was further into my transition, it allowed me to see life from a new perspective. Once I felt more comfortable living in my own skin, I was able to explore the things that hurt me before transitioning and make peace with them. Transitioning was only a piece of the puzzle for me but nonetheless the biggest piece. Going from taking down mirrors in my home to being proud, happy, and connected to my body was something I never thought would happen.

—Harper, 25, transfemale

25. “Transitioning didn't make my depression go away, but it gave me a better understanding of myself and allowed me to actually get help.”

Courtesy of individual

I was depressed for years. I felt confused. I knew something was definitely wrong, but I had no idea what it was because I had never been exposed to trans people before. I went through various mental health professionals who all dropped me because I couldn't tell them what was wrong with me. It made me feel hopeless and suicidal.

It was a huge relief to finally figure out that I'm trans. At the time, it was the only thing that made sense in my life. When I started testosterone and had top surgery, I felt relief again. I felt dysphoria I didn't even know I had disappear. Transitioning didn't make my depression go away, but it gave me a better understanding of myself and allowed me to actually get help.

—Louis Wilkinson, 21, trans man/agender

26. "My depression is more manageable, but my anxiety has gotten worse. As the only out person in my office, I feel like I have to be an example for the whole trans community and I have to have all the answers.”

I've had a lot of trouble with my mental health. I've suffered with depression since I was 10 and I've had anxiety since I was 14. They have been constant companions, despite years and medicine and therapy.

My depression has been more manageable since beginning transitioning. However, as I've gone through the process, my anxiety has actually gotten worse. At work, I went from a relative nobody to someone who's progress seems to be known by everyone. As the only out person in my office, I feel like I have to be an example for the whole trans community and I have to have all the answers. There have been times where I've been asked to do talks and interviews for work events when I really just want to hide away and be anonymous. There is so much hatred thrown around online that sometimes I'm afraid to even go outside with my binder on or without shaving. When I'm finally done with transitioning, I hope to feel more comfortable being myself out in the world.

—RW, 28, Male

27. “My mental health has improved so much. I still struggle with anxiety and depression, but I am no longer in a constant battle of ‘live or die’.”

Courtesy of individual

My mental health was in the toilet. I was severely depressed 100% of the time and often thought about dying because of how unbearable it was. I had very little self worth and was terrified to start my transition, which in turn made my depression and anxiety much much worse.

My mental health has improved so much. I still struggle with anxiety and depression, but I am no longer in a constant battle of "live or die" sort of thing. I value myself so much now and I am no longer afraid to be who I am.

—Kindra, 23, nonbinary (agender)

28. “I often feel joy in my life, a far cry from years of anger, depression, not willing to live.”

Courtesy of individual

For more than fifty years, I ignored and hid who I was — resulting in years of anger, depression, heavy drinking and drug use. It ended in a complete mental break down around age 55, when I spent weeks in a severe depression with no will to live.

Once I decided to transition to my true self and started hormone replacement therapy, my mental started to improve. The anger went away, I became less depressed, and over time I even begin to feel periods of happiness. Today, after living for over 6 years as me, I am happier and healthier both mentally and physically than I have ever been. I often feel joy in my life, a far cry from years of anger, depression, not willing to live.

—Ginger Victoria Baier, 67, transgender female

29. “I discovered a kind of confidence in myself I hadn't felt since childhood, and I finally started to understand that life was worth living.”

As soon as I hit puberty, my mental health went into rapid decline. I lost the ability to make friends and communicate with people because of the weight of my mental dysphoria. I figured, "if I don't value myself, no one else ever could." I developed extreme anxiety and took part in many self-harming behaviors, and in the back of my mind I didn't expect to make it to my senior year of high school.

As soon as I came out socially and started to make significant changes, it was as if a black and white filter had been removed from my vision. I discovered a kind of confidence in myself I hadn't felt since childhood, and I finally started to understand that life was worth living. My physical health has improved because I've been feeding and resting my body properly. For the first time in my life, I began waking up in the morning with the strength to take on the day. I was disappointed to realize that some parts of my mental health (phobias, obsessive disorder) would not be cured by transitioning, but they no longer feel all- consuming. I am finally standing on my own two feet.

—Jan, 19, FTM

30. "I was very depressed. I couldn't look in a mirror without wanting to smash it. I'm actually happy with myself now."

Courtesy of individual

I was very depressed. I couldn't look in a mirror without wanting to smash it because I knew that person I was looking at wasn't who I really am. I was miserable before transitioning. Now, I'm not as depressed as I was before. I can look in a mirror and actually like what I see now — well, for the most part. I'm not as miserable anymore and I'm actually happy with myself now.

—Kade, 23, he/him

31. “The sense of self peace I felt was beautiful. I finally felt complete. I haven’t had one suicidal thought — not one after 40 years of thinking about it every day.”

Courtesy of individual

I was always sad often suicidal. I was despondent and terrified to tell a significant other my true feelings about myself for fear of being laughed at. I was going through life like I was wearing a costume or mask. My depression was so profound that I didn't work for eight years because of my body dysphoria.

Seven days after my first shot of testosterone, I awoke feeling a 'wholeness' that I had never known. The sense of self peace I felt was beautiful. I finally felt complete. My confidence is still not where I want it to be but after a year on testosterone, it is a thousand times better than what it was. I haven’t had one suicidal thought — not one after a 40 years of thinking about it every day. The downside is the isolation from my siblings.

—Parker Dyer, 49

32. “I still get sad or frustrated or dysphoric sometimes, but I'm happy most of the time now — actually happy, not ‘fine’ like I was when I was younger.”

At the time I thought I was fine. But looking back, I was probably depressed. I would cry over the tiniest things. I was known for being really quiet. I never participated in class. And I never wanted to go places or do things in public. I was so afraid they all somehow knew I wasn't a "real girl" or would find out I was trans.

I came out and socially transitioned about three years ago. It was incredibly relieving to be myself around my friends. Suddenly I was able to participate and talk to my classmates. I started taking testosterone 6 months ago and at this point, most people assume I'm a cis guy unless I say otherwise. T has made me feel so much better about myself. It's insane to think of how much I've changed over the past few months — it's like a switch flipped. I'm motivated to work on things like my career, my health, and my relationships. I still get sad or dysphoric sometimes, but I'm happy most of the time now — actually happy, not "fine" like I was when I was younger. There's still a way to go but I wouldn't trade this for anything."

—Anonymous, 22, gay trans dude

33. “I felt genuinely in tune with my emotions and my mental health and my life clicked into place. I realized I wasn't mentally ill, just different.”

Courtesy of individual

Before my transition, I struggled to find my place in the world. I felt disconnected from my job, my spouse, and my family; it was as though I was going through life in a numb haze without clear direction. I knew something was wrong with me but I didn't know exactly what it was.

I consider myself fully transitioned to female now. While there were a lot of milestones during my journey, there were two key points where I noticed a big change in my mental health. The first was when I was able to clearly say to myself, "I am a woman." That knocked me out of my haze and I felt like I had a clear purpose for the first time in life. I felt genuinely in tune with my emotions and my mental health and my life clicked into place. I realized I wasn't mentally ill, just different. The second turning point in my mental health came after my gender confirmation surgery. When the bandages came off, I looked down at myself and for the first time in my life I felt truly at home in my body. The dysphoria was now little but a whisper in my ear. The burden of living in a body that doesn't fit your own perception of who you are is a very real one. For me, surgery was an amazing psychological therapy that freed me from that burden.


—Melanie, 34, transwoman

34. “I'm no longer depressed to the point of suicide, but now there are many more decent and okay days rather than bad ones”

My mental health was very poor. I had been suicidal on and off (it seemed to be on for a month or two, and then off for a week or so) from about 13 until when I began transitioning last year.

I'm no longer depressed to the point of suicide, although I'm still struggling with depression and a bit of dysphoria on and off. It depends on the day, but now there are many more decent and ok days rather than bad ones. Overall, I'm definitely happier, and I'm looking forward to feeling more and more comfortable in my own skin as I continue to transition. So far, I haven't done much beyond cut my hair, throw out all my skirts, and ask for people to call me Mike rather than my birth name, but it has definitely lifted a great weight off of me.

—Mike, 20, FTM

35. “I still get down, but I am happy to be alive. Which is honestly something that I have never felt before."

Courtesy of individual

Before even coming out as a transgender male, my anxiety and depression were so bad that I had a mental breakdown freshman year of high school that lasted until junior year. I was self-harming and suffering from horrible suicidal urges. I didn't want to be alive, but I lacked the knowledge of the words to describe why I felt that way.

My mental health took such a turn for the better that sometimes it is actually shocking. I mean, I still get down and my anxiety tends to sucker-punch me, but I am happy to be alive. Which is honestly something that I have never felt before. But, everything is manageable now, and it is most definitely because I was able to come out and begin my medical transition by starting T this year.

—Boaz Priestly, 20, transgender male

[Responses have been edited for length and clarity.]

If you need to talk to someone immediately, you can reach the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860, or any of the resources available through The Trevor Project here, including the Trevor Lifeline, TrevorChat, and TrevorText.

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Caroline Kee is a health writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Caroline Kee at caroline.kee@buzzfeed.com.

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