My Story: Searching for a Doctor as a Trans Woman

By Saniya Ghanoui —

MB discusses what her experience was like with doctors as a trans woman. She also explains how difficult it has been to receive her hormone pill refills on time.

OBOS Today: So, I also was wondering, like, what your experience with doctors has been in regard to gender identity and transitioning.

MB: Totally. Well, the last doctor that I had, I ended up—[laughs] I would say overall my experience with the medical community has been negative. Not good and just, like, disappointing, because, like, I’ve gone to, like, trans-specific doctors who are, like—theoretically know how to treat trans people and, like, I don’t know, just give them, like, good health care. And the last doctor that I went to was a nurse at Brown. So I go to Brown. There’s this nurse at Brown who I was going to, who was one of two or three nurses at Brown who had been trained by Brown, like, how to deal with trans people. And, like, had gone to all these conferences, and, like, knew all about hormones, and all of this stuff, and she just could not get my pronouns or my name right. Like ever. Which was just, like, so disappointing, and like—if that, if that is the nurse that is trained to deal with trans people, like, who’s the nurse who isn’t? Like, and also this idea that, like, I don’t know—I just— Yeah, I was just bummed.

So, I would say—even the place that I went to before that was like a clinic run by a trans woman. But the doctors under her were not trans and that, I don’t know, I think that there needs to be a lot more trans doctors. The problem is, I mean I don’t want to be a fucking doctor. I don’t know. [laughs] I’m not trying to, like—I don’t think I could help the problem at all. So, I’ll just. Yeah.

OBOS Today: Yeah. That’s the thing.

It’s just like, these jobs are such hard careers. But yeah, I feel confident that there will be more trans doctors in the future. But yeah.

Like, was it difficult to, like, get or, like, to access hormones or, like, to get that prescription? Or, like, what was that process like?

MB: Like, getting the prescription was very easy, and I’m very, very lucky because I lived near this clinic, and I had a therapist, who was also a gender therapist who also misgendered me and was, like, not the best, but she gave me a letter that allowed me to get hormones, and getting the prescription was very easy.

Getting it refilled, for whatever reason, has been like a weeklong process every time. And it’s—and going off of hormones, for a week or even for like a couple of days, I would not wish on my worst enemy. Like, it feels like—I don’t know because I’ve never gone through menopause, but it feels sort of like what I imagine menopause is like, where I’m getting, like, hot flashes, I’m sweaty, I’m really grumpy, I’m so depressed and, like, out of it, I feel like I have the flu—

Earlier this year I went off hormones for a week and had, like, a cardiac event. Like, there was just, like, there were problems with, like, my blood pressure and all of this crazy, crazy shit. So just yeah, that part of it has been very frustrating, but actually getting the prescription was really, really easy. And I was very lucky in that regard.Yeah.