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Have you ever been introduced to someone when you weren’t at your best and wished you could re-live the situation? Many times, first impressions can haunt us. Sometimes we meet people when we feel unattractive or unkempt. Sometimes we meet people and say things that don’t actually mesh with what we feel or think. At times we want to portray ourselves as something, even though we might not be that something just yet. While trying to put forth our best first impressions, sometimes we hide a part of ourselves that we wish wasn’t there. Occasionally we all find ourselves fighting against a false impression.

However, often, it is relatively easy to transform your appearance or even your way of speaking in order to create your desired self-image for your next interaction. If the first interaction occurred after you had just worked-out, you were wet with sweat, and in baggy clothes, for the second interaction with the person, you could shower and put some nice clothes on. For people who are attempting to transition from one gender to another (man to woman or woman to man) these transformations in appearance take much greater concentration and may become a great source of anxiety.

For transgender people, many times they have to change the way people view them in a very dramatic way – they have to change the way others view their gender. Not only do transgender people seek to change the way people first perceive them but also the way that people they have known for their whole lives view them. Imagine trying to make your family accept you as the opposite gender. Not only do transgender people have to change their appearance, but also many times they change their name, the pitch of their voice, and the way they move their bodies. Due to the weight of importance our society places on gender, those trying to transition from one gender to another can face many challenges when it comes to their self-representation.

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