Part Two of our interview! ( See part one first)
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What issues do you encounter in your everyday life being trans?
Compared to before I started transitioning, everyday life has gotten much easier regarding my gender identity. I still have to deal with a few things that are trans related, but not to the same degree as I did a year ago.
I have to deal with a lot of stress regarding planning my medical transition. This was much harder initially as I did not know how to navigate the medical world myself, but I now have experience doing so. Currently I am trying to sort of Private Health Insurance to cover hospital costs and reduce the overall price of my chest reconstruction surgery (top surgery). The reason for this surgery is because I experience dysphoria regarding my chest. This dysphoria inhibits my ability to engage in activities such as going swimming or playing sports as I am currently left to wear a compression shirt which can slightly restrict upper body movement and breathing capacity.
I still have not changed my name legally and so I often have to book appointments with my dead name (name I was given at birth). This causes discomfort when my dead name is called out (such as University interviews and appointments) reminding me that I was indeed assigned a gender I did not want to be assigned as.
Are there any/many medical issues with the transition process?
With T hormone therapy, it is common to see an increase in cholesterol, which may lead to an increased risk in developing diabetes. There is also an increase in blood pressure and thickness that comes along with T. Compared to cis males (those who have a endogenous source of T) it is normal. With surgeries, there are the obvious chances of complications that come along with other surgeries. Some medical health professionals may gate-keep and hold trans people back from transitioning as medical transition is still not widely understood. I have experienced a medical health professional dismissing my gender dysphoria, writing me off as someone with depression.
How do you fight personal prejudice against the trans community?
I try to point things out when transphobic things are said, and get the person thinking about why it is transphobic.
What advice do you give to youth that are gender confused?
I think a better way to ask that is “questioning their gender” as there is a bit of stigma towards being confused about one’s identity. Advice to those questioning their gender: try things out. Look into the trans and/or non-binary communities. Try get the courage to talk to trans and/or non-binary people. Youtube is also your friend, where you can see heaps of videos of other people speaking of their experiences and how they’re navigating their gender and the outside world. Surround yourself with people who are willing to back you up on your journey to self discovery and love yourself, regardless of what identity you may or may not be.