I don’t want this site to be solely about being transgender. From my experiences so far, it’s not even something I could write about every week – being in the closet is far more intense and frustrating and writeable. However, there are moments when things happen, unique to trans people. I’d like to share those moments with you, and let you into the mystery.
Gina's Trans Diary, 16.10.16: entry 9 On Taking Hormones (I)
Notice the 'I' in the heading: I'm sure there will be updates on this subject. I hope to God there will be a need for updates on this subject. I've been on hormones since late June and so far the effect is minimal.
Still, this is something to record in a diary, to let any reader out there know the timeline with these things.
What to report? After less than four months, my sex drive has gone. My body hair grows less quickly. I don't know if it's my imagination, but my head-hair seems to be growing back (no second opinion: I always wear a wig, occasionally at home a baseball cap, and in bed, a woolly hat because my apartment is so fucking cold). These developments are things I welcome.
My face looks the same as ever. I'd love my face to change, to fill out more. I hope it does eventually. My chest? Meh. A bit. Not much. My muscles? My friend said she thought my arms were less muscular than they used to be, the triceps gone.
The most affecting situation concerns bureaucracy. On 27th September I had my first meeting with the city's Chalmers Institute, a branch of the NHS that deals with gender dysphoria, whom I had applied to be dealt with back in February. I had been scheduled with the private clinic I'd been going to, to have my testosterone blocker on 21st October – which would cost me £500. Please don't think I'm a tight or petty or mean person, but that seems an outrageously high sum to me, for a single small injection. I guess it's the fluid being injected, which operates in your body for three months, but it still seems a lot. Anyway, I was happy when the Chalmers Institute finally got in touch with me to take my case. I thought everything would be in place by the 21st October for me to have the testosterone blocker for free, and thus avoid paying £500 with the private clinic. But the bureaucratic sending of my personal files from the private clinic to the NHS is dragging. Over two weeks so far, and no personal file sent to the NHS. Or chased up with any sense of urgency?
Who knows. Like I said, in modern life, we fill the gaps with paranoia. And being trans is the perfect state for paranoia.
I'm not going to have the testosterone blockers done privately on the 21st, I've decided, no matter how long the process drags. I am . . . so angry, annoyed and frustrated that it takes over two weeks for the Chalmers Institute to get the private clinic to send a soft copy of a personal file by email. I used to work as an operations manager, I did this shit in my sleep. We are not talking rocket science. We are talking getting a private clinic to send an attachment by email. Nothing needs to be written, the file already exists. Attach, and send. Attach. And send.
This is the worst thing about being transgender at the moment: not the hormones themselves – whose effects are barely discernible – but how to get them, and the head-banging frustration of dealing with bureaucracy as I switch from private to public health care. Will the delay impact adversely? Will the four months of slight change disappear, set back to point zero again? Will my masculinity return, like in The Incredible Hulk (not that I ever was like The Incredible Hulk, as you can probably guess from my photos).But if I don't look like the Hulk, I can understand his anger.