Karen’s Transition Journey

Lost In Transition's Karen shares why it was so important to share her transition journey with the world, and what advice she has for those approaching their own transition journeys.

July 01, 2018
By: Marina Luciano-Carson

You've seen Karen's journey unfold on TLC's Lost In Transition and have experienced milestones in her transition from getting fitted with her prosthetic hairpiece to sharing her experience as a transgender woman with her local LGBTQ community.

Now, Karen is sharing why it was so important to share her transition journey with the world, and what advice she has for those approaching their own transition journeys. If you are transgender and thinking about coming out for the first time, use this resource for strategies on how to share this new phase of your life with loved ones. Then read Karen's responses to some important questions about her journey.

Why was it important to you and your family to share the journey of your transition?

For me I wanted to be a better advocate for transgender persons everywhere. I wanted to show that it's never too late to transition. I also wanted to bring light to the subject of transgender men and non-binary persons. I believe Cas will be a good advocate for this. It is my sincere hope that potentially in the future, we will see at least one wife who was transitioning.

Photo by: TLC

TLC

What is the biggest lesson you've learned since starting your transition?

Well if I could borrow the words of Fox Mulder it would be to trust no one and believe in yourself. You are your best advocate and you can and should be asking questions about your transition with your medical professionals.

Photo by: TLC

TLC

Describe a moment when you first started to feel like your true self.

That first time I took my HRT (hormone replacement therapy) medication. I couldn't wait to get home to take the pills. In fact, I took them in the parking lot right after picking them up. A few weeks later I happened to walk past a mirror and noticed how happy I looked. There wasn't enough time to make any noticeable physical changes. But the mental ones, the clarity of mind and the confidence to be my authentic self was very evident to me. It was also evident to my coworkers who commented that there was something about me that was different, in a good way.

Photo by: TLC

TLC

What advice would you give to others starting their transitions?

Don't let anyone stop you, not your parents, siblings, friends or closed-minded people. Find a therapist to speak to, you won't be able to begin HRT without a letter from a therapist. Don't self-medicate, it's too risky and dangerous. You need to begin HRT under the guidance of a doctor who specializes in transgender medicine or at the very least an endocrinologist. Above all, don't listen to those closed-minded people who tell you this is wrong. It isn't, your happiness and mental well-being depend on it. It will be a long and difficult road. But the journey is exciting and worth every step.


Watch more of Karen's story on the two-hour season finale of Lost In Transition Sunday, July 8 at 10/9c on TLC. Learn more about how to support trans families and their allies at TLC.com/TransitionResources.

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