For Transgender Awareness Week, transgender writer and activist Basil Soper is taking over our blog.

Each day this week he will be talking about one thing that surprised him about transitioning from female to male. Transitioning (when a person begins living as the gender they identify with rather than the gender they were assigned at birth) can be liberating and life-saving, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a perfectly smooth process with no complications (or complicated feelings).

It’s easy to let transitioning consume your life. Transitioning is a huge process that involves dealing with personal struggles, constantly advocating for yourself, and educating your family and friends. When I was transitioning, I spent too much time focusing on my gender identity, and not enough time concentrating on my other interests. If you’re transitioning, take time to do things that you enjoy, and that have nothing to do with transitioning: go to the movies, bake cupcakes, read books, write, or meditate. Listen to music or start doing yoga. Hang out with puppies if you want to. But most importantly: Try to surround yourself with people who see you for who you are, no questions asked.

Remember: You are more than your gender, and you are more than your body.

Basil Soper is a transgender writer, activist, and Southerner who wears his heart on his sleeve. He is the founder of the traveling trans documentary project Transilient. To learn more about Basil visit

The Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center is located in New York City. It provides comprehensive, confidential, judgment free health care at no charge to over 10,000 young people every year. This column is not intended to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual, only general information for education purposes only.