Brie Chapter 2 – Transition 101: The Basics

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Let’s get real for this next chapter of my journey, shall we?  Transitioning from male to female, it’s a HUGE and long process and a lot happens. Especially if you’re like me and your goal is to get gender-affirming surgery.

In order for surgery to be an option for you, at least in Ontario, you need to be on hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, for a year and have been living as a woman for a year as well. During that time not only is your body going through a huge physical transformation, but you also need to learn how to negotiate your way through the world in a way you never have before. You find out rather quickly that there are things you need to learn that most cisgender women have been doing for their entire lives – like applying a full face of makeup or simply knowing that you should NOT fix your pantyhose, that has shifted awkwardly, in the middle of a crowded mall where everyone can see you.  Yes, sadly, that was me you saw in the Eaton Centre last December, sorry for the nightmares.

Makeup: I have been in transition for approximately a year and a half now, and have been on HRT for just over seven months, however even before coming to terms with my gender identity I have always expressed my femininity through make-up, clothing and accessories, so my closet and overall way of dressing didn’t really change too much. What did change was the amount of makeup I started wearing, and how often I was wearing it. I still have my facial hair and need to cover it up, so you can only imagine how much time that can take, my overall morning routine of getting ready went from twenty minutes to TWO AND A HALF HOURS! No, that’s not a typo, and if I do something super fun like apply so much colour corrector that I look like a Cheeto, my time drastically increases to well over three hours. When I first started applying a full face of makeup I didn’t ever use blush or anything to help give my cheeks colour, it wasn’t until my father one day told me that I looked like a zombie that I realized I needed to change that. I immediately started watching hours of makeup tutorials on YouTube so I could learn how to look… well, not dead. I also have friends who are makeup artists that have taught me techniques and tricks as well. I am happy to report that I look alive now when I’m finished applying my makeup.

Wigs: If you’re bald like me, wigs are a lot of fun and can really help you achieve a much more feminine look if that’s what you’re after. I suggest saving your money and buying a really good quality human hair wig, especially if you’re going to wear that wig every day and don’t want people to know that it’s a wig.

Other fun experiences I have had while transitioning include, to name just a few: getting stuck in a bra while trying one on for the first time and then needing the sales associate to help me out of it (I wish I was joking…), learning how to tuck away my genitalia (hint: for the love of God DO NOT use duct tape), and remembering to actually take my goddamn hormones at the same time everyday (I found keeping them right beside my coffee machine to be especially helpful since coffee is my soulmate and brewing myself a cup is literally the first thing I do every morning). Everyone’s transition journey is different, everyone does and wants different things, have different goals, and the important thing to remember is there are no right or wrong ways to do it. Stay true to yourself and do whatever it is you want.

Until next time, stay fabulous!


A Year in the Life of Brie’s Transition


Brie Michelle Elizabeth

I am a trans woman, millennial, cat mother, wine enthusiast, and in a very serious long-term relationship with coffee. When I’m not filming for the TV show, “Knock, Knock, Ghost!”, I’m struggling to apply lipstick without it getting on my teeth. Follow along as I blossom into my true self.