I got on well with the occupational therapist involved in my autism diagnosis. He felt like someone I could approach, so I messaged him about my gender and told him that I was embarrassed to approach my GP. The occupational therapist was really supportive. His support was empowering – he recognised where I needed support and where he could step back.
In the end I started testosterone before I started University. Without the combined support of PALS, my psychiatrist and the GP I doubt this would have been the case.
When I needed assistance with transitioning, I decided to turn to my community again, as I no longer trust doctors. I received a binder through G(end)er Swap’s free binder program, which has been a massive weight off my shoulders (no pun intended) whilst I remain on the GIC’s waiting list for top surgery.
The first barrier I faced being trans was over my use of contraceptives to suppress my periods. I had been doing this for years, but during a regular check-up a nurse decided that, due to my health issues, I was too high risk to take the oestrogen-based pill. I was upset and tried to explain that I couldn’t deal with having periods and being on a less reliable birth control pill, but she did not seem to understand.
I have encountered access issues just trying to physically gain access to my GP surgery. The GP provided in my local town offers 2 disabled parking bays outside. However, neither bay is for wheelchair use, and so does not have the space next to them to be able to get into/out of the car into a wheelchair.
My best trans healthcare tip is: meet other trans people, support them, and allow them to support you.