Author Topic: FTM Hormone Therapy  (Read 511 times)

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Offline Janus (he/they)

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FTM Hormone Therapy
« on: January 05, 2018, 04:58:53 pm »
Hi Susan's Place community,

My birth name is Shirley Liu and I was assigned female at birth, but identify as a male. I have just finished my first semester at Ocean County College (OCC) in Toms River, NJ and am a part of my college's Ocean Pride LGBT group. The members of Ocean Pride call me Janus, which I chose as a name for myself, because he is the Roman god of transitions and new beginnings as well as being the deity that gives his name to the month of January in which I was born. I just turned 19 years old on January 3rd and live in Brick, NJ. I have been in contact with places to get hormone therapy treatments for testosterone so I can begin my transition process to become a male and ease my gender dysphoria. Since I am 19 years old, my health insurance policy of NJ Horizon Familycare has terminated and I do not have health insurance, so I'm looking for affordable costs of HRT. I recently emailed Healthy Transitions in Stirling, NJ and they are not accepting new patients. Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in Somerset, NJ has me scheduled for an appointment Jan. 23rd at 2pm. Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in Somerset called me back and said they do appointments for LGBT people and Mondays are often days when people can individually come in and talk over treatment options. They have started a PROUD program for LGBT community awareness in a building next to the main hospital and have seminars to educate people on LGBT people Tuesdays through Fridays. An initial appointment will probably be $80 to confirm things and add as a new patient. The costs range from $80- $300, but they also have a Charity Case on the main floor of building next to the main hospital that will help eliminate costs. Also if you self-pay, you will need an initial deposit of $30.  The building next door to the main hospital is called Family Practice. RWJ hospital in Somerset is 1hr and 20 minutes from OCC according to GPS and the route uses the Garden State Pkwy which has tolls. The number to call for questions is 908-685-2200 ext. 3262.
I've heard Callen Lorde in NYC operates on a sliding scale for people who don't have adequate health insurance, but it is not probable for me to get to because of the distance. The distance is also an issue for the  Mazzoni Center in Philadelphia.

I know it can be hard for transgender patients to get HRT without adequate health insurance and out-of-pocket costs may be expensive, so I'm asking for advice whether I'm currently on the right path. One of my transfemale friends from Ocean Pride has recommended seeking General Practitioners who prescribe testosterone as the most effective method, but I haven't found any resources while looking online.

Also, my family does not accept the fact I am transmale and will likely not support me emotionally or financially when I transition. They refuse to acknowledge the fact that I identify as a male by still referring to me by my birth sex. I know the transition will cause much emotional trauma for both of us and will result in me losing my family's support and having to become self-reliant. I know I will be kicked out of the house and will have to find ways to support myself. I currently have $315 saved. Another question I have pertains to the appointment I have scheduled for Jan. 23rd: I will be starting my second semester at Ocean County College and I'm wondering if i should go to the appointment against my family's wishes? I know that my college professors won't mind because I told them and they are accepting of it and allow me to seek gender therapist when I need to and miss class at times and make up the work.


Offline Janus (he/they)

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Re: FTM Hormone Therapy
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2018, 05:29:20 pm »
 I just don't want to live with gender dysphoria , losing myself daily living under a false self. Also struggling with anorexia to make me more masculine is not fun esp. since it's winter and cold. My fingers are frostbitten as I struggle in my mind to be healthy and look in the mirror constantly with my mental chatter: "Am I masculine enough? Even with a chest binder, do I pass?" I've tried explaining to my family what being transgender means and they think I'm just going through depression because of gender stereotypes and I'm not really transgender. A few weeks earlier I accidentally broke the passenger side view mirror on my way to an endocrinologist off of Rt. 37 west in Toms River, NJ to see if they took transgender patients and they didn't. Since my car insurance is tied with my parents they were irritated with me and have been mistrusting of me lately. They don't approve of me being part of Ocean Pride LGBT group as well, but they have been helping me stay strong when it feels like my thoughts are constantly telling me that I'm not strong enough to be who I am or when I'm just consistently daily arguing with myself whether I am am a valid, good person.

Janus

Offline Randi

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Re: FTM Hormone Therapy
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2018, 06:13:17 pm »
A big boy like you should be able to take the bus to either Manhattan or Philly without too much trouble.  $21.25 to the Port Authority bus terrminal.

Offline TK9NY

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Re: FTM Hormone Therapy
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2018, 09:58:46 pm »
As easy as it would be to say "screw your parents, you're old enough to do what you want, if you feel that you need to start HRT and transition then do it"..... that's not realistic, at least in your case.

What is realistic is that you don't have your family's support, and you don't have any money saved up as a safety net in case things don't work out. $300 will start you on T, i bet, but won't last you through the frequent check ups and blood work you'll need the first year - and certainly won't pay for a place for you to stay if your parents kick you out. Or for your car. Or college.

You need to think it through very carefully, considering what you have to lose. Roof over your head. Food. Warm and safe place to sleep. Schooling. Transportation. It's a lot to lose, considering you could wait a year for HRT and in the mean time take other steps towards transitioning: like finding a gender therapist and working through some of these other issues, maybe working your parents around per suggestions from the therapist... or even finding a job with good insurance.

I came out when i was a little older than you are now. That was in 2010/2011. I didn't start HRT until four months ago, been in therapy a year now. Not saying you'll have to wait anywhere near as long as i did (i had other things to worry about - my health, career, etc). Point is, there is no rush even if it feels like there is. When i made the decision to transition years ago i was ready to start T ASAP, thought i would be on it within a year and have top surgery and change my name.... doesn't always work out as fast as we want or hope, but that doesn't mean we should give up entirely.

Point is: i think focusing on becoming independent of your parents should be priority. Get a job. Good insurance. Find a gender therapist. Work your way up to HRT. There is no rush. There is no shame in choosing to focus on other things that may be (in this case IMO ARE) priority.

In regards to actually getting T - you won't get in to see an endo without a referral from a therapist. Some clinics will also require that referral. A lot of medical professionals are NOT keen to prescribe T to anyone who hasn't been to see a therapist first. It IS a controlled substance and VERY powerful. They do not want to prescribe it to someone who is going to misuse it or "change their mind".

Having a GP or a clinic like planned parenthood do it is, IMO, risky as you do not know if they're knowledgable enough to be prescribing safely. I've heard some prescribe without requiring follow ups or blood work which is a BIG no-no. My GP wouldn't do it.

Good luck.



Offline Randi

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Re: FTM Hormone Therapy
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2018, 03:18:19 pm »
In regards to actually getting T - you won't get in to see an endo without a referral from a therapist. Some clinics will also require that referral. A lot of medical professionals are NOT keen to prescribe T to anyone who hasn't been to see a therapist first. It IS a controlled substance and VERY powerful. They do not want to prescribe it to someone who is going to misuse it or "change their mind".

Both Callen-Lorde in Manhattan and Mazzoni center in Philly practice informed consent and use sliding scale payments.

https://www.susans.org/wiki/index.php/Informed_consent