The right tools are a must to help you pass and to reduce dysphoria. Here are the ones that have helped me. Some of these are obvious, but others are ones you might not have thought of.
- Binders – I’ve always used G2BC for binders. I’ve only had to buy a couple, and they’ve held up very well given the fact that I dry them. The company is owned by members of the LGBT community and they’re incredibly supportive.
- A cool box for your shot day items – I keep my testosterone, needles (old & new), alcohol wipes, gauze pads, prescription info, and a Sharpie marker all a shoe box (I use the marker to keep track of which leg is next on the inside of the box). I’ve been keeping my eyes out for a more unique box without success. Suggestions welcome!
- Boxers – This one is personal preference (boxer briefs for me!) Express has always been my go-to brand; they are super comfortable and last forever, but I’ve been meaning to try out a pair of RodeoHs because they look awesome and I’d rather support community-oriented businesses.
- Packers/STPs – I haven’t experimented with either of these yet, but it’s on my short list. Suggestions/tips welcome here too.
- Razors – Unless you’re one of the lucky ones with a full beard right off the bat, chances are that you can get away with the cheap disposable ones for a while. I’ve heard a rumor that the smaller, 2-3 blade options are better, but I haven’t done much testing of this theory.
- A support system – Whether it’s a friend, sibling, parent, or mentor, you’re going to need at least one person to lean on when those bad days hit. I truly believe that the people you surround yourself with has a direct correlation to your happiness throughout your transition.
- Shoe deodorizer – An unfortunate side effect of Vitamin T. This one kind of speaks for itself.
- Some good face wash & a Charcoal body wash – Another unfortunate side effect is the acne. For me, it’s been pretty bad on my back/shoulders. I found a charcoal body wash from Lush that has worked pretty well for that (it’s called Dark Angels), and I’ve used Rodan & Fields face wash with great results for a couple years.
- Social media – This one should be taken with a grain of salt. Social media is great for connecting with other trans guys around the world and sharing experiences. It can also be a great source for information. However, there is also a wealth of misleading and incorrect information, and some people have some pretty nasty things to say. It can be easy to get caught up in the negativity.
- Fitness options – You’re going to need to burn off the extra energy and you’ll need an outlet for the anger and frustration. If you live near a Planet Fitness, you can get a membership for $10 a month. Personally, I’ve really enjoyed kickboxing at a local gym called CKO. For some guys, it’s yoga in their living room, or running outside. Try a few different activities and figure out what works for you.
- Books – I just ordered Becoming a Visible Man and I’m pretty stoked to start it. Hudson’s FTM Guide has an entire page dedicated to ftm-related books. You can never be too educated on the topic.
- A Suit – Every guy needs at least one good suit. This can be an especially challenging item to find as a transguy because of our bodies shapes and the dysphoria around getting fitted for one. I haven’t quite found the perfect store in terms of fit, but I’ve always been pretty happy with Express.
(I’d also like to clarify that I realize that these might not apply to everyone. Everyone has their own goals when it comes to their transition. These are simply some of the things that have helped me to achieve mine.)