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Social Transition

Social transition is the process by which transgender people publicly affirm their gender identity after coming out to people. This commonly involves changing one’s name and pronouns, as well as dress and other external gender cues such as voice and mannerisms. (This may occasionally be exaggerated or fall prey to stereotypes, not so much due to the belief that that’s how men or women behave, but rather because it allows one to make one’s gender identity clear to others in the absence of medical transition.)

Some transgender people choose to socially transition shortly after they come out to people. Others who plan on medically transitioning may sometimes choose to wait until they look more masculine or feminine. This can ease the process, especially when meeting new people who may just automatically read you as that gender, saving the trouble of coming out to them.

A note on pronouns: Many non-native English speakers in Singapore (even those fluent in English) have problems with gender pronouns, since languages such as Chinese use gender-neutral pronouns in speech. Some constantly use the wrong pronouns even when referring to cis people. They may thus find it difficult to remember to use the right pronouns for you, even if they accept your gender identity.

If you know such people, one option may be for them to avoid pronouns altogether. Alternatively, if you know that they do accept you, it can help to focus on that acceptance and other ways they affirm you as your gender, and brush off any wrong pronouns the same way you would when they misgender cis people.

One upside to this is that Singaporeans are generally used to people who get pronouns wrong, such that being misgendered in public would not necessarily mean being outed as trans.

General Services

Please contact us at contacttransgendersg@gmail.com if you are looking for trans-friendly services, such as hairdressing. If you or your business welcomes trans clients, do also let us know and we’ll add you to our private directory.

Facial Hair Removal

Trans women and other transfeminine individuals often seek facial hair removal. These services are available through the public health system in Singapore, but are not eligible for subsidy and cost about $450 per session. Public providers also tend to be inexperienced with treating transgender patients, and are thus not advisable due to less effective results and an inability to answer transition-specific questions or concerns you may have.

Aestheticians in Singapore are able to provide electrolysis and IPL (intense pulsed light) facial hair removal. They usually do not provide laser hair removal, due to requiring additional licensing to do so.

One trans-friendly provider is Suvins Electrolysis at Orchard Plaza. You can contact them at 9799 0004 to make an appointment.

Public Restrooms

At some point in your transition you may have to switch restrooms in public; this is almost certainly the case if you go on hormone therapy. Singapore presently does not have any specific laws about sex-specific usage of public restrooms, but you will likely still have to deal with other people’s reactions, and your safety could be at stake.

If you are most often read as of ambiguous sex (especially during the early stages of HRT), your best option is usually to find unisex or handicapped stalls where possible. This is the safest option and least likely to lead to trouble. Unfortunately, some public buildings in Singapore have handicapped stalls inside the two gendered restrooms.

Many trans people who plan to pursue medical transition will wait until the point where they’re visibly standing out before switching to the other. This is rarely a clean process where you go from being completely read as female one day to completely read as male the other day (or vice versa), so you’ll have to take your cue from how most people read your gender. A good way to test this is to see how the hawker stall uncles and aunties address you.

If you are at a point in transition where either gendered bathroom could be dangerous for you and there are no unisex options available, here are several tips that could help:

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Disclaimer: Information on this site is for general information only. It does not constitute legal or medical advice and is not a substitute for obtaining advice from a qualified professional. We do not represent or warrant that this information is suitable, reliable, complete, accurate or up-to-date.