How can I self medicate ? How difficult it is to get HRT and how much can it cost ? Where can i get hormone pills mtf ? What is the name of estrogen tablets in India ? etc are some of the questions I frequently get asked by some transgender people I meet.
I completely understand & live the reality that transitioning is hard, a mountain of things are involved in transitioning, not just the medical, psychological and financial but also social and in terms of career stability. It takes a lot of time and effort to get going from discovering and accepting your gender/sexuality, meeting a mental health professional and figuring out a good path in general. Just like everything else, the “path” of transitioning is completely different and unique to each and every individual. A lot of factors effect you along the way and it’s going to be hard sometimes, and that’s alright. You may not be able to fund your transition, you are probably far from a trans-friendly medical professional, your parents, religion, society and relationships maybe holding you back. It’s okay. Take a deep breath, after all life isn’t as easy as playing a video game! Take your time and move by your own pace towards your transition. Don’t push it and try to pull more than you can handle.
Since meeting the doctors and starting your transition takes a lot of time, from months to sometimes several years, it’s easy to get tempted to self medicate yourself. You know that it’s not good, you know it’s harmful and can damage your body beyond repair, but it’s also very tempting to go to a pharmacy and buy some medicine without any prescription or medical approval and start your transition in secret. This is where you have to put a hard stop, right here. Before you think about self medicating yourself, you need to take some time off and breath fresh air. Think about your life, your goals, and everything else you live for. After you take a break for a few days, then start thinking about your decisions. Better ask your self these questions:
- When was the first time you started thinking about this?
- Can you point out why and how you got these thoughts?
- Are these thoughts developed over time during your puberty?
- Do you really want to behave feminine or masculine depending on your gender? Or do you want to be your own unique self and be a mix of both? or maybe even entirely feminine or masculine, what every makes you feel comfortable.
- Did something really influence / motivate you to start transition? Do you know what motivates you?
- What will you do after transitioning? Do you have a good plan for your career? (Because if you choose to go down this path, it’s really important that you can stand on your own)
The reason I am mentioning this is because if you are going to self medicate without supervision from a medical professional you are digging a hole for yourself. Hormone Replacement Therapy(HRT) is not a joke, it involves artificially modifying sugar, salt, hormone, fat levels in your body to match it with the gender you desire. While this result is pretty astounding when done by an experienced medical practitioner, it can lead to serious damage to your endocrine and other important systems of your body and can further complicate the process of medical counseling and getting an approval from a psychologist to start your therapy. So it’s in your best interest to slow down and I know how difficult it is, because every transgender person has this feeling like if they slow down any longer, they maybe able to start HRT but they will probably end up not passing well. This leads us to repeatedly push ourselves without thinking and end up taking really bad decisions which in the long term will effect your life, drastically. There are cases where people regret transitioning because they had no idea what they are getting themselves into, and even worse, some people were not even transgender but still started the transition only to later realize that they are not transgender at all! So don’t be desperate, take some good time off your work week and spend some time with things you love, family, friends, passion etc. It will definitely take a lot of time going the right way, but it’s also 100x worth the wait. You will not only have very supportive doctors counseling and helping you on every step of the path, but you will also most likely transition without any complications and become a strong person you always wished you were!
Have a lot of faith in yourself, and more importantly, don’t give up!
If you are still in the closet and trying to find a way out or waiting for your therapy to start or counseling with your doctors etc, you can check these useful links below!
- General advice and tips for LGBTQ Individuals, learn about pronouns, body, and everything else regarding transitioning here! – https://genderkit.org.uk/
- If you are feeling suicidal or sad for some reason, talk to someone you trust, drink some water and take some fresh air! Remember that you are unique and your life matters ❤, Checkout these suicide hotlines if you need help – http://suicide.org/hotlines/international/india-suicide-hotlines.html
- How about educating yourself! Checkout some texts referred here – https://wpath.org/resources/recommended-reading
Feeling even more adventurous? Here are a couple of things you can do to ease your dysphoria while you wait to start your transition!
- If you can, buy some dresses of the gender you conform to and walk around the house!
- Play video games with your preferred identity! This was one the best ways I found to handle my depression and anxiety, you can either choose a male or a female character in a video game and be whoever you want!
- Socialize with people who are in the same situation as you, TI Talk is the best place for this!
- Start doing voice practice, because no amount of HRT is not going to effect your voice, so you better get started!
- You can do dares! Yesterday I put on some makeup and randomly video chatted with strangers! Best way to find out if you are passing or not, or sometimes even meet very nice people. Ignore the bad people though.
- If you are already doing voice practice, you can test your voice by calling random help lines or customer service centers haha! Being able to change your voice from male to female and vice versa is also a neat party trick to amaze people 😉
- Exercise! Or play physical games, physical activities will largely make you more productive, positive and healthy all together 🙂 You’ll feel more satisfied, fresh and you’ll be able to get through the day easily.
- Start writing a journal, put down all your thoughts, negative, bizarre, fetish, romantic, sexual, work, health, anything goes! Your brain has so many things to handle and writing things down helps empty your active memory and also stress / anxiety. You can write about your day and how you felt and maybe even plan the next day.
There are definitely a lot of things that you can do while you wait for your first appointment, or to start your therapy. Always remember to be positive and optimistic about your future. Make yourself feel good, do things you like, and don’t worry too much about the future. You will reach your goals eventually. It will not be a straight path, you will stumble and fall into depression cycles, your doctor may even give you anti depressants and other therapies. Remember that doctors are your friends and are trying their best to help you out of this misery. The most important thing is to enjoy life while it lasts.
Ps : We are in receipt of this article from Sapna, a users of our discussion forum, Talk .