An intriguing report back from andrea, who has been feeling the stresses of age recently. Maybe she is, maybe she isn’t at that time of life when HRT is appropriate.
Who knows! There isn’t exactly a test for it. Just a diagnosis based on how you feel. Are you tired, irritable, down? That sort of thing.
So-o, its off to the community psychiatrists for a quick check to make sure she’s not going round the bend, then three months assessment by experts, during which she must live the role of grumpy old woman to the max. Finally, another couple of assessments, a committee meeting and a decision on whether or not she gets hormones?
Er, no. Not exactly. In fact, not at all.
As the GP rather mildly put it: we can try you out on hormones for a month or two and see if that makes you feel better.
Or as any meerkat would tell you: “seemples!” And its hardly rocket science. Hormones are not expensive. A couple of month’s worth will set the NHS back £20…£30 maybe…though that’s mostly a guess: they could be buying a lot cheaper than that.
What’s a single psychiatric assessment cost? A lot more than that!
And side-effects? Well, inside a couple of months, not a lot. If you’re a bloke (and of course, this is what this post is about really) you’ll see some softening of facial features, a little bit of tittage (that’s boob growth to you, sir!): but nine times out of ten, hardly massive. Something you can either live with if you change your mind – or can sort out surgically at a later date if it really bothers you. Like moobs!
What’s the big deal?
Intriguingly, some places go with the hormones pretty quickly, reserving their intensive questioning for more serious interventions, like srs. I have spoken to one GP (not in the UK) who quite happily prescribed feminising hormones for a bloke who just wanted to be a bit more feminine.
I guess the issues are two in number. First, there’s this big, big insistence on the gender binary. Either, as far as the medics are concerned, you’re a man or a woman – or you’re on a journey between. This is the East Coast train to Peterborough which, for those unfamiliar with the route, does not stop between London and its final destination.
Unless, of course, you’re very unlucky and it stops at Stevenage. Quite what that would represent in this analogy, I have no idea.
So you need to be pretty sure that you really, really want to go to Peterborough before you buy your ticket and get on.
Only many people see this much more like the First Capital version of the journey, wending its way thru Welwyn and Knebworth and Huntingdon and only eventually arriving at Peterborough. If you change your mind at Finsbury Park, that’s your prerogative.
And second? Well, second is a growth industry in expensive medicalisation. If hormones for trans were as simple and easy as hormones for HRT, that’s be a lot of very expensive consultants just sat around kicking their heels and waiting for Oedipus to come home.
Surely not. Cause, as any fule kno, career and income has NEVER played a role in decisions around medical developments.