Finding gender-affirming care may be daunting to those have realized that they are trans. Despite the freeing nature of realizing your authentic self, it can be overwhelming to realize what possibilities lie before you. Some care may seem obvious, but there is a lot of variety when it comes to gender-affirming care.
HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)
HRT is the most common medical intervention for trans people. For those who are pursuing a masculinizing HRT, your testosterone will be boosted. This process will lower your voice, increase the amount of body hair that you grow, increase muscle mass, and redistribute body fat. For feminizing HRT, your testosterone will be suppressed and your estrogen will be boosted. This process does not affect your voice, but redistributes fat, softens the skin, decreases muscle mass, and reduces hair growth.
Voice training is a great option for those who don't have access to HRT or haven't received the desired voice change from HRT. Voice lessons with a voice coach can help you to sound the way that you would like to sound and present more closely with your desired gender. Voice training can be quite effective, especially with a professional coach.
Hair removal is a process that is mostly for those who are pursuing feminizing hormone therapy. Often, especially if you have gone through puberty, feminizing HRT will not entirely stop facial hair growth, or hair growth in other undesirable places. Hair removal can help affirm your gender by removing that hair or stopping it from growing again. Popular hair removal processes are laser hair removal and electrolysis.
Surgery is a common but expensive way to present the way you feel most comfortable. The most common gender affirming surgeries are "top surgery" (masculinizing or feminizing chest surgery), "bottom surgery" (feminizing vaginoplasty or masculinizing phalloplasty/scrotoplasty), and facial feminizing procedures. These can be difficult but rewarding procedures. If you are pursuing any of these treatments, make sure to check if they are covered by your insurance. If not, talk to your doctor to see if you can get them covered with a prior authorization.
The most simple, yet least visibly effective, treatment is therapy. Realizing that you want to present differently can be difficult, especially when you have grown up being gendered in a way that is not comfortable for you. Therapy can help to work through the trauma and emotional pain of processing your identity. A great therapist can go a long toward helping you affirm your own gender. Make sure to look for therapists that advertise that they are trans-friendly, as those therapists will be more familiar with the things you're going through.
Contact a local transgender health care service to learn more.