Transgender/Transsexual/Finding Help

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Question
I am almost 21 and I have been out to everyone since I was 14. My family is very supportive of who I am, but I have never been comfortable in my own skin. I hate my body (the female parts) and am often too embarrassed to even use the public women's restroom do to the fact that I DON'T feel like a woman. I have always wanted to have the top surgery and hysterectomy, but want to wait for bottom surgery until I am comfortable with the chances being able to "properly function" as a male after the surgery. Now that I am nearing 21 I have been looking more into starting testosterone. I have been working out daily to stay in shape and have been eating healthy to ensure I will be in great health and condition to undergo this transition. However, I do not have insurance to even start seeing a therapist, and do not even know where to begin for testosterone, short of going to supplement stores. Is there any programs that financially help people like me? Or ANY ways to even help a person in my situation? I feel that I have no where to turn and its frustrating that I can't even feel 100% comfortable with who I am. What can I do?

Answer
Hi there, Thea!

Unfortunately, programs to help transgender/transsexual individuals are out there, but they are few and far between. Most of them only help with accessibility, as much of what is done with transitioning in either direction is considered 'elective surgery', and thus not covered even by most insurance. Which at least puts you on equal ground in that area!

Many therapists will work on a sliding scale, thus giving you access to basic support and care without having to break the bank. I'm not sure where the general location is, but a Google search might help find someone who can help out in that area. For testosterone, if you have a family doctor, and you have information from the therapist, you can probably get access to an endocrinologist or other doctor who can help with the testosterone itself. Many therapists who work directly with trans individuals have access to names they can direct you to, and likely information about costs and the like.

Seeing if there is a local support group is also a way to potentially get some assistance. You can discuss trans matters with them, get information, and peer support in your transition as things go along. Many of them have been through similar things, after all. Again, I'm unfortunately not sure where you are to be able to make suggestions, but Google might be of help.

Hopefully those general suggestions at least give you a place to start. If not, feel free to add further questions, comments, feedback, or follow-ups, and I'll certainly do what I can!

Trey

Transgender/Transsexual

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Trey McGowan

Expertise

I am able to answer questions about transexual and transgender issues of many kinds, but in particular those tilted toward the FTM (Female-To-Male) transgender. I can offer tips for dressing, passing, binding, packing, behavior, and the like for both drag and full lifestyle/gender transition. I may also be able to offer some help with finding local peer groups, should you be interested in peer counseling. Sexuality issues, MTF (male-to-female), and other gender issues can also be touched on and I may be able to help, and for those who may be concerned, I am kink-friendly, and while I recognize that transgender and cross-dressing are two different things, am well aware of how they can intersect.

I am not a professional (I repeat: I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL!) but I can also offer some general peer counseling suggestions and help with finding groups for all branches of gender identification and sexuality. If you are in need of finding a professional, I may be able to find a name in your area to help.

Experience

I am personally FTM transgender, living full-time and accepting of my gender identity. I am nonsurgical, and have no desire to have them done (so am unable to offer personal experience these) though I have been on testosterone as of January 2012. I am well-accepted, well-supported, and have been a support for many individuals through the years.

I have been part of a number of groups, though moving has kept discussions to long distance since then. I am well-studied for a great many years in this area, having begun reading up on it when I first identified and having kept up on it since then. I have no medical credentials in the area of gender counseling but have been part of multiple peer counseling groups and to this day help educate where I can, having not only helped with offering information on the subject to fellow transgender individuals but educated professionals along the way through my personal experience.

Organizations
PFLAG Canada: Sarnia Branch (https://www.pflagcanada.ca/en/region-list-e.php?RegionNo=4)

Publications
The Transgender Project (http://www.thetransgenderproject.com/#!trey-mcgowan) Not writings, but videos. Part of a half-hour episode which will be airing on iChannel and OutTV.

Education/Credentials
I have completed grade school, some high school, and my GED.

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