What if all your like-minded friends are going on a trip together and you’re not able to go? They’re all happy, confident, and openly posting about what they experience. You’re a little jealous, but also hopeful, knowing that you’re almost there. Eventually you have enough money, are old enough, or are in the right location to finally go on this trip, too. Slowly but surely, you see that you are having a great time. You anticipate everything that you saw in their experiences, and you become more confident because you have started this trip. This puts in perspective what many trans people feel like while waiting to get on hormones.
My journey officially started when I found a qualified gender counselor. This person will write a recommendation letter to your endocrinologist. When you go and talk to your counselor, don’t be nervous about saying the wrong thing or that they won’t believe you are trans. They already see that you took your first steps and contacted them about this, which obviously means that it is very important to you. The number of times that you see them depends on your counselor’s preference. I saw mine about five times before I got the green light and the recommendation letter.
Going to see the endo can be very exciting and scary at the same time. However, this part of the pre-transitioning phase is like seeing the finish line at the end of a race. Expect to fill out a lot of paperwork. I remember being at my endocrinologist’s office for the first time and filling out about ten pages of “yes or no” questions that had to do with diabetes and things of that nature, because endocrinologists cover all kinds of medical issues.
Then, they called me back. For a while, it was like every other doctor’s appointment. They checked my height and weight, and then asked me some medical questions. Some endocrinologist offices will check your laboratory results before prescribing hormones. This is to make sure that you are healthy enough to start them. My doctor prescribed my hormones at the first visit. After getting my hormone prescription, my doctor tested my blood frequently. This was for my safety so if this happens to you, don’t worry. I’m told it’s normal.
The process seems quite simple, but it can be complicated. The biggest obstacles for most people are either finding an endocrinologist who works with trans people or not having the funds or insurance coverage. Look for cost saving tips as you go. For example, I found out that as a female-to-male (FtM) trans person, the shots are way cheaper than the gel.
So, if you’re curious about hormones or having a hard time getting them, I am here to tell you that it did feel impossible at one point. I felt so close, yet so far away. It actually took me a whole month after I was prescribed hormones to actually be able to get them. If you feel like you’re getting nowhere in your transition, remember that even Laverne Cox and Aydian Dowling started somewhere.
Something that sticks with me was said by Ty Turner, an FtM Youtuber, “Look to other trans people and see where they started and where they are now. Find inspiration from these people.” That will be you. Don’t give up. One day, you will get to go on that trip with all of your like-minded friends.