Surviving the Initial Financial Downturn from a Gender Transition
Transition is often devastating upon personal finances. Unlike our GLBT brethren? It doesn’t cost $50,000 - $100,000 just to be gay.
This investment - including professional gender counseling, a new and appropriate wardrobe, legal investments & surgical costs tends to come due at the exact time we’re going backwards in terms of finances & our ability to earn income.
Add depression and burying our head in the sand during this same storm? You’ve got the prescription for a financial disaster.
What you can’t due if you hope to succeed with transition is ignore these circumstances or hide behind trans-victimology.
Those approaches breed failure.
Five Steps to Financial Success for a Gender Transition
Successfully changing your gender often requires ten years of focused effort plus costs lots of money.
I’m a huge fan of creating a sustainable economic lifeboat before you attempt full-time existence - if at all possible. One condition of this lifeboat? It needs to be based in present reality - not upon some future “possible” chuck of cash you think might be coming soon from a new or unproven business concept. I witnessed a pair of wonderful transsexual women bet their transition on a chunk of cash they felt sure was coming - only to face depression.
Following is steps most common with trans-women that enjoyed the most success following transition:
Establish a Reliable Source of Income That Can Continue During Transition
Perhaps the most essential step to financial success with a gender transition is to establish a reliable source of income that will be at least be somewhat compatible with your future plans before you begin the process of preparing to go full-time.
This can become one of the most overwhelming obstacles for all of us. If the company you work for now doesn’t have a transgender policy you’ll want to get a handle ion what their reaction and level of support might be. If you foresee lots of problems you‘ll want to switch to a more gender-friendly enterprise before you start changing in earnest - even if that means a pay-cut.
A reliable base of income is the most essential ingredient to success.
Focus on Hitting Singles vs. Swinging at the Fence
If you ever played baseball, your familiar with the coaching concept about “not swinging at the fence”. It’s far more important to just connect with the ball and perhaps get on base than hitting a home run. Same holds true with transition.
A challenge we sometimes face as transgender women during transition - as does anyone who faces consequential setbacks - is the desire to swing at the fence & get everything back in one fell swoop. This is usually a capital mistake. The key to hitting home runs? You have to make sure you’re still coming up to the plate. When all we do is swing at the fence? We usually get far less tries at hitting the ball. Plus, a failure to connect a crushing blow in times of desperation? That can be emotionally and financially devastating.
The most successful trans-women didn’t become financially stable by winning the lottery. Rather, they accomplished their dreams one paycheck at-a-time and maintained discipline with saving a piece for themselves prior to getting other bills paid.
Learn to cut to the bone - while you still can
Lots of people only think they know how to scrimp on next to nothing.
One benefit of cutting budgetary fat when you’re a transsexual? You’re no longer hindered by worrying over what “others will think” when you can’t afford the spa or club any longer. Worrying over what others think of your money situation is the usually last obstacle newly transitioned tram-women consider.
You want to cut out ALL extra expenses as you face this circumstance. The best way to create a bare-bones budget? Remove EVERYTHING from your expense list and start afresh.
For example: rent? Can you live with a new roommate and cut it down, etc.? Every “fixed” expense should be revisited and carefully pared down. You’ll be glad you addressed this early if you face tighter circumstances in the future. Making these changes in the face of extreme adversity is far more depressing and sometimes overwhelming.
Build an Emotional Shell
If your like most gals, you’ll endure a few distasteful and snide comments during the earlier and more awkward phases of transition. You’ll want to be emotionally prepared for these negative impulses and have a healing process in place. Prayer, meditation and yoga are but a few tools I’ve seen successful gals use to maintain center and balance in the face of negativity.
If you get majorly affected by such comments? It might affect your work and throw off your whole plan. Thus, that is not an option.
Remember: awareness and acceptance is at an all-time high. What you’ll go though is easier than most before you. If they could do it? You can too!
Just be prepared for some self-healing!
Try to Maintain a Decent Credit Rating
Few trans-women make it through a gender transition without taking a substantial hit to their credit rating - including me. I’ve known several that were forced to declare bankruptcy because of this journey.
Your credit rating affects many things: your ability to move, get certain jobs and enjoy lower loan costs.
Try your best to keep it in decent shape!
Additional chapters in This Section include:
Financial Success for MTF Transsexual Women
Surviving the Financial Downturn from a Gender Transition
Financial and Career Traps for Transsexual Women
Overcoming Financial Devastation
How NOT to become a Transsexual Economic Victim
Business Success as a Transsexual Woman
Financial Success to TS Women
The Promising Future of Transsexual Women