Author Topic: Philadelphia Area Resources?  (Read 275 times)

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Offline madison_b

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Philadelphia Area Resources?
« on: February 01, 2019, 09:31:01 pm »
Heeeeey!

I'm eager to meet other trans women, or questioning individuals, in the Philadelphia area, and take advantage of resources that are available here. I'm in the outer 'burbs, but I'd assume most resources are downtown.

I'm 40. I've battled with my gender in a subtle way much of my life, looking back on it, but more vigorously and cognizantly in the past 2 or 3 years. I've been in a partnership with a woman who doesn't want to be with a woman. I respect that; she signed up for a man. I wish it was different, though. Anyway, we're staying together, but will soon live in different homes, for various reason, but one being allowing me freedom to explore me, fully, really for the first time in my life. I'm so flipping excited. I'm sad that we won't be living together, but she'll be nearby, and for my own sanity, I'm thrilled. My feelings of transness wax and wane, but it seems to be getting more urgent to address.

I've contacted the Mazzoni Center in Philly. Just emailed them a few minutes ago, so I'm not sure what they have to offer. I'm seeing a great therapist. I'm wondering if there are resources I'm not thinking of that I might explore.

Thanks!

Offline jill610

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Re: Philadelphia Area Resources?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2019, 04:09:08 am »
Hi Madison!

Which burbs are you in? I’m near Exton/Downingtown area and commute daily to center city on Amtrak and Septa.

Anyways, what kind of resources are you looking for?

Mazzoni serves a purpose. I’m not sure what it is but I’m sure there is one. Only half kidding, they are really geared to serve low income Philadelphians. If that does not describe you, there are better options.

Penn Medicine, Temple Health, Jefferson, Hanneman and Main Line Health all have LGBT practices and a COE that you can call to find healthcare. I go to Penn Medecine and I know several ladies on Sudan’s who go the the same practice which is a bit of a one stop shop.

Therapists that specialize in Transgender issues and also take insurance seem to be difficult to find, however there are a lot of therapists who do take insurance and I actually prefer the non specialist over the specialist. I see two depending on what I need. Coping with family? Normal therapist. Specific transition related issue? Gender therapist.

Lots of surgeons in the area and I have yet to find a physician or practice that is not trans aware. I know a number of folks who have had issues with endos in the western suburbs not wanting to prescribe, but for general and especially emergent care no issues.

Depending on how far west you are, there are actually a lot of resources out towards Harrisburg as well.

Temple University speech graduate program has a free transgender voice feminization program which runs as part of their semester. You need to apply to get in and there is a waiting list. I went for two semesters and will probably go back next semester. Took this semester off due to the many surgeries I just had in January.

Metro Laser and Bella Medspa both have significant trans clientele. Metro has a good Groupon deal and is a mazzoni sponsor. Electrologists are harder to find and the good ones are all word of mouth. I see a guy in Philly who predates dirt, uses ancient technology but does a great job.

Feel free to PM me if you need links or more specifics.



Offline sally0196

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Re: Philadelphia Area Resources?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2019, 07:26:00 am »
Madison,

I'd recommend a support group in addition to your therapist.  I'm not from the Philly area, so I really don't know what's available, but I am a member of a group called TransCentralPA.  They are based in Harrisburg, PA.  You might want to reach out to them and attend one of their meetings.  They are very supportive and very helpful, no matter where you are on the trans spectrum.  In fact, this group sponsors the Keystone Conference every year, an event I highly recommend.  The conference is being held in March of this year, in Harrisburg.  It would be perfect for you, by helping you explore your feelings.

Here is the TransCentral link:  http://www.transcentralpa.org/

Please reach out to me if you'd like more info about the conference.  I am a facilitating a workshop at the conference again this year. 

Hugs,

Sally

Offline jill610

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Re: Philadelphia Area Resources?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2019, 07:40:27 am »
In addition to this one, I am aware of two others in the area. Good support groups are hard to find.

Depending on location, Mazzoni has one on thursdays. Unfortunately these groups kind of wax and wane depending on the participants and it seems post transition people tend to disappear as their lives march on.



Offline Erika_Courtney

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Re: Philadelphia Area Resources?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2019, 08:50:44 am »
I have been to the support group at the Mazzoni Center, there were probably a dozen people there and mostly MTF at all stages of transition. Took some time off due to the weather and it is a long drive for me, but I plan on going back soon.

FYI if you are looking to start HRT through Mazzoni there is a 4 month waitlist.

Offline madison_b

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Re: Philadelphia Area Resources?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2019, 11:04:33 am »
Thanks so much, ladies! I'm in Royersford - close to Phoenixville? North of King of Prussia?

I think, as far as resources are concerned, I'm mostly looking for support groups, as Sally recommended. I haven't been able to determine who I am yet. Some days, it's like let start hormones already. Other days, it's more like, eh, let's just float around the sea of fluidity. So I'm not looking for medical resources (yet), but more social resources.

While a teacher's salary isn't a fortune, no I wouldn't classify as low income. I'll see what Mazzoni has to say, but I appreciate the input.

My current therapist doesn't take insurance, but I LOVE her. I'm not sure how long I'll be able to keep up with her before going back to someone who takes my insurance, but for now, she's amazing. She does specialize in gender stuff, but she is great in dealing with family stuff, etc.

I am going to look into the Temple voice feminization program right away! (And I wonder if I'm trans or not.  ::)) I've got a rich baritone, and that keeps me from wanting to go out presenting female much.

Definitely interested in the hair removal resources ... but not quite yet.

I am waaaay interested in the Keystone Conference. I'm supposed to have my daughter that weekend, but perhaps I'll rework our schedule. And I will check out transcentralpa.org.

Thank you!!!
XOXO

Offline madison_b

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Re: Philadelphia Area Resources?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2019, 11:13:19 am »
Jill, do you have contact info for the Temple program? I'm not finding it easily. Thank you!!!!!

Online Dena

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Re: Philadelphia Area Resources?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2019, 11:45:39 am »
Check it with your insurance policy but there may be a way around it. It used to be you would see a doctor then file a claim with the insurance company. You would need to fill out paper work and enclose copies of the the doctors bills. The insurance company would then send you the check instead of to the doctor. Yes it's the slow way around but it might allow you to continue seeing your therapist if the insurance company provides this type of coverage.
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Offline madison_b

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Re: Philadelphia Area Resources?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2019, 12:26:44 pm »
Thanks, Dena!

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Offline jill610

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Re: Philadelphia Area Resources?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2019, 03:06:44 pm »
Madison, PM me. I’ll send a few contacts in our area. There is a closed support group that meets in Malvern.

I lived in Phoenixville for 10 of the last 13 years :)



Offline Rachel

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Re: Philadelphia Area Resources?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2019, 05:35:55 pm »
Hi Madison,

There is a support group in Wayne PA. They do meetups in New Hope and they are a really big and nice group of woman. The meetups are three day events.

I went to the Mazzoni support group for 6 years. I have not been there for 8 months. I am living my life now. There is an endo in Newtown I thought about transferring to in the future. I have an operation in April and will not switch providers until that is done. I have gone to Mazzoni for 7 years. They treat thousands of trans. I owe my life to Mazzoni and my therapists.

There is a group at William Way after the Mazzoni group. There are a lot of groups in Philly. You can ask about the others when you go to group. Sisterly love on Broad street is one and there is one by the close pin. There are groups for people that have HIV (they get meds there) and those that do or have done street work (that group can be tough). There is a meetup at the Tavern 1st Monday night at 9 PM 2nd floor. Where there is a meetup with a bunch of trans there are guys that like trans. Like at the tavern and the Raven in New Hope. I have only seen them there when the trans have meetups though.

I inquired about the Temple speech program but it is tough for me with my work schedule. They do more than speech there and I know several people that have been through the program and speak very highly about it.  You must commit and attend as you are paired with voice pathologists students under the supervision of a professor.

I do 1 hour of thermolysis in Feasterville a week, one hour at 1315 Market street and I go to the other person there where Jill goes to one hour a week and I go to Papillion once a month. At Papillion they use numbing injections and turn the machine up. I do 4 hours at a time. This has made a huge difference. Although I am bruised for a week and have small scabs I have made significant progress this way.

Make sure you go to the trans wellness conference in Philly this summer. Make sure you get the program book. There is a lot of information about providers there. You may be able to get the book on line on Mazzoni's site on on the internet.

If you are covered by insurance for psychotherapy then you can get reimbursement by insurance. Just a matter of CPD coding.

You are definitely trans. To what extent and to where you take it time will tell. Hormones are a slippery slope. I was afraid to go on them and when on them I wanted a transitioning dose. I never think about my gender since post op. I had almost non stop thought about my gender before GCS.

If you want specific information PM me and I will give you specific information and answer any and all questions.

Good luck.

HRT  5-28-2013
FT   11-13-2015
FFS   9-16-2016 -Spiegel
GCS 11-15-2016 - McGinn
Hair Grafts 3-20-2017 - Cooley
Voice therapy start 3-2017 - Reene Blaker
Labiaplasty 5-15-2017 - McGinn
BA 7-12-2017 - McGinn
Hair grafts 9-25-2017 Dr.Cooley
Sataloff Cricothyroid subluxation and trachea shave12-11-2017
Dr. McGinn labiaplasty, hood repair, scar removal, graph repair and bottom of  vagina finished. urethra repositioned. 4-4-2018
Dr. Sataloff Glottoplasty 5-14-2018
Dr. McGinn vaginal in office procedure 10-22-2018
Dr. McGinn vaginal revision 2 4-3-2019 Bottom of vagina closed off, fat injected into the labia and urethra repositioned.

Offline madison_b

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Re: Philadelphia Area Resources?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2019, 05:52:11 pm »
Thank you so much, friends! You've been a beacon of light to me today!

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Offline jill610

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Re: Philadelphia Area Resources?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2019, 09:15:01 pm »
Very good advice from @Rachel, as usual.

I went to papillon a few times and it wasn’t for me - both with and without injections (which for me hurt worse than the electrolysis). My skin is extremely sensitive and at their machines lowest setting was literally melting causing some scarring. It eventually went away but I was always swollen for a week after a 4 hour session.

@Rachel which group are your referring to in Wayne? Also I love Joe, and he’s a ten block walk from my office.

The feedback in temple is spot on, it’s part of a grad program so you will get kicked out if you miss too many sessions. The woman who runs it in the summer seems more sympathetic than the one during the school year; either way you are there to help a student, so they suffer if you don’t show up.



Offline Rachel

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Re: Philadelphia Area Resources?
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2019, 05:03:43 pm »

Hi, there is a meetup here:

MATC 1st Saturday at Stonewall Moose Lounge Bar
Mid-Atlantic Trans*perience Community
Saturday, February 2, 2019
9:00 PM
Stonewall Moose Lounge Bar & Grille
28 North 10th Street
Allentown, PA 18101

And here:
Mid-Atlantic Trans*perience Community
Monday, February 4, 2019
9:00 PM
Tavern on Camac
243 Camac street
Philadelphia, PA

They had group meetings and the name of the group is:
Renaissance Greater Philadelphia Chapter

They have meetups in New Hope quarterly.
HRT  5-28-2013
FT   11-13-2015
FFS   9-16-2016 -Spiegel
GCS 11-15-2016 - McGinn
Hair Grafts 3-20-2017 - Cooley
Voice therapy start 3-2017 - Reene Blaker
Labiaplasty 5-15-2017 - McGinn
BA 7-12-2017 - McGinn
Hair grafts 9-25-2017 Dr.Cooley
Sataloff Cricothyroid subluxation and trachea shave12-11-2017
Dr. McGinn labiaplasty, hood repair, scar removal, graph repair and bottom of  vagina finished. urethra repositioned. 4-4-2018
Dr. Sataloff Glottoplasty 5-14-2018
Dr. McGinn vaginal in office procedure 10-22-2018
Dr. McGinn vaginal revision 2 4-3-2019 Bottom of vagina closed off, fat injected into the labia and urethra repositioned.

Offline madison_b

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Re: Philadelphia Area Resources?
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2019, 11:52:07 am »
Thank you! I reached out to Alexis, per Jill, also. I'm going to see her for an initial session, and I can join their group in Malvern. Thank you all for being so wonderful! I'm a little frightened, but I'm eager. I'm also going to try the Thursday evening group at Mazzoni, and I will investigate the ones that Rachel offered. Thank you so much!

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