The American Trans Survival Guide #2: Hormones and How to Acquire Them

Hi, guys! Sorry, finals took over my life and I stopped
posting for a month and I shaved my head out of stress and it ended up looking better than
I had anticipated BUT today on the American Trans Survival Guide we are talking about
hormones and how to get them! So, usually, if you’re a trans person seeking
hormones, there’s a good chance that you already know, like, what they do to you, and all of
that sort of stuff [unintelligible]. You probably know that you really want it,
but if you’re unsure then that is very much okay! There are people you can talk to, like doctors
and therapists that’ll give you a little more information about what it does and what it
can do to possibly improve the quality of your life. Most of the changes you’ll experience on hormone
replacement therapy (HRT) are not permanent. For male-to-female, for example, the only
real permanent part of it is breast development, and that’s it, and for female-to-male, it’s
the voice changes, but y’know, if you’re unsure you can always give it a shot. No one’s ever really regretted HRT, or at
least very few people have. So, if you’re trying to get hormones, there
are two different kinds of “models” for treatment that they have available in the United States,
one of them is informed consent, which is the ideal version, and the other is the gatekeeper
version, which is not all that great, but it’ll still get you hormones, y’know? The way the informed consent thing works is
you can just go into a clinic and ask to see a doctor and be like, “hey, I’m trans, I wanna
go on hormones”, and the doctor will be like “great! Here’s, like, what it’s gonna do to you, here’s
the risks, any side effects that might affect you…” You have to sign a consent form, and then
you go get bloodwork done (and this is just to determine the baseline levels of testosterone
or estrogen in your body so the doctor can figure out a proper dose for you), and then
you get your prescription and they check in on you in a couple weeks to see how you’re
responding, what your levels of estrogen or testosterone in your blood are, if they’re
being suppressed or added to in the correct quantity, and that’s basically it! Not all states have informed consent as a
model for HRT, BUT if you look on-screen right now there is a MAP, and it shows…well, not
all, but many of the informed consent clinic that you can find around the United States–as
you can see, there are a ton in California–and Planned Parenthood, many of them, actually
offer hormone replacement therapy for trans people, which is really cool! This is an incomplete map, of course, not
every single informed consent clinic in the United States is on this map, so if you are
a trans person and you have already gotten hormones then feel free to go click on that
map and add your clinic to it so other people in your area can see! I personally went to my university’s student
health center, which not only has therapists but also doctors, and I just get my hormones
through there, so it’s pretty cool. If you are a university student in an area
where there aren’t really any little red pins, then I would recommend trying to go to your
student health center at your university first, because, y’know, you could give it a shot. (FUTURE STACY) Hey guys, Future Stacy here,
I forgot to mention, there is this great website called–or -org, I think–it’s
created and run by three actual trans people and what it does is if you live in Miami,
Seattle, Dallas…some other major cities, it will give you a list of trans healthcare
providers that have been vetted and are, y’know, approved by the team, and they provide quality
healthcare. So, if you live in a major city, I strongly
suggest going to check that out! (NOT-FUTURE STACY) So the second form of hormone
prescription for trans people is called the Gatekeeper model, and this basically means
that you have to see a therapist first, and they have to, like, confirm that you’re, like,
“trans enough” in order to get hormones, which is REALLY stupid. Sometimes you might even have to get a diagnosis
for gender dysphoria, which not all trans people experience, and generally it’s kind
of a crappy thing because it’s just so much less convenient than informed consent. Of course, you can totally get hormones through
this method, it’s just gonna be a little bit harder, and I believe it depends on state
laws whether or not your state is informed consent or gatekeeper model? Though I have yet to find any comprehensive
web page that describes all of this, so I guess you kind of just have to figure it out
for yourself, but if you live in a state that doesn’t have any red pins on the Informed
Consent Map, then what you can do is you can go to this website by Psychology Today, it’s
just, and what you can do is you can narrow down your search
by clicking on the…gender dysphoria? Or–something like that, it’s like a gender
dysphoria button or a filter for your search [it’s “transgender” not “gender dysphoria”]
and you can type in your zip code and it’ll find the closest therapist to you that specialize[s]
in gender dysphoria, and it’s a really cool tool, y’know? Cause it just has, like, I wanna say almost
every psychotherapist in the United States–although I wouldn’t know that–but it has a ton of
them. So, basically, as far as I know, what happens
is you go into the therapy session and you talk about…being trans and all that stuff
and it’s up to the therapist’s discretion as to whether or not they’re going to send
you to a clinic with a–a note from them saying that you can get hormones or not? Like I said, it’s kinda crappy, but that’s
how it is in some states. The last thing we’re gonna talk about with
regards to this is insurance, of course, because, y’know, it’s medicine, and you have to get
a prescription, and it costs money and stuff. Personally, I pay about $20 a month for estradiol
and spironolactone, and that’s because my insurance covers it. If my insurance did not cover it, it’d cost
me about $100 a month. The biggest number I’ve heard in terms of
monthly costs would be $125, which is from people who–either their insurance doesn’t
cover it at all, or they don’t have insurance. And that’s a lot of money, you know! That’s a ton of money to just be spending
on one thing, especially if you don’t make a whole lot of money. I do recommend speaking to your insurance
company, of course, they probably have a customer service helpline dealing specifically with
these kinds of things, and I’m sure that your doctor who is prescribing you hormones may
also help you in trying to find financial aid or insurance for this sort of thing, and
there are actually a couple states where, if you work somewhere with benefits, then
they can’t have any exclusions for trans-related healthcare! If you look on the screen right now, there’s
this little map that I’m showing–and I’ll put a link in the description to this, of
course–of all these states in the United States that prevent employer trans healthcare
exclusions. So, y’know, if you live in any one of these
states and you need insurance in order to get hormones, then I’d recommend trying to
get a job at somewhere with benefits and then, by state law, they’re not able to refuse to
cover your hormones, which is pretty freaking cool. So, yeah! That about wraps it up for today’s video. I will be making a whole lot more of these
now that I’m on winter break–probably at least one a week. So that’s it for this video, I hope you all
have a great day, and I’ll see you next time. Bye! [MUSIC: Misguided Ghosts by Paramore, as covered
by myself]

3 thoughts on “The American Trans Survival Guide #2: Hormones and How to Acquire Them

  1. before I had insurance in texas, spiro was 189.99 for a 3 month supply(200mg)….now its 15 dollars a month that i have insurance…i have the most basic obamacare from sendero health so if anyone is in texas and can afford even the most cheapest form it helps lower the cost a lot

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