Transition refers to the process of changing one's sex characteristics, gender expression and/or lifestyle in order to better align with one's gender identity. Any transgender person may wish to transition, including those with non-binary identities. However, transition is not necessary to be transgender, and some transgender people prefer not to transition for a variety of reasons.
There are three major kinds of transition:
- Medical transition: Changing one's sex characteristics through medical procedures, including surgery and hormone therapy. This may require a diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder and/or Social transition.
- Social transition: Changing how one is viewed by others by making one's gender identity public, which may also include changing names and asking others to use different pronouns. Being stealth is a form of social transition in which one's gender identity is the only gender one is known as.
- Legal transition: Changing one's legal gender. This may require proof that a medical and/or social transition has already taken place.
Each of these types can involve many separate steps, and every person will have different desires for their individual transition - some may only want to transition socially, others may wish to take hormones but not have surgery, etc. Depending on the kind of transition desired, the process can take several years to complete.