Ask Gabriel is an advice column series where you can get your questions answered about being transgender, coming out, changing your name, hormones, sexuality, representation, dating, etc. These are questions that have been submitted to me by transgender and nonbinary people! You can read my last column here.
I came out socially as a binary transgender man about a year ago, with my name changed and everything. But because I’m in the UK and/or trying to move out, I am unable to start my medical transition for a number of years (probably 3-5). I’m 21 and it’s killing me that I don’t pass and I really don’t know what to do. I feel so desperate and isolated because you have to wait so long to see a gender specialist here. I don’t really have anyone to talk to about it. – Scott
There’s many things you can do while waiting for testosterone. You can try and practice making your voice lower, which might help you pass better. And seeing as how you don’t have anyone to talk to about this, I would highly suggest going to nearby transgender support groups so you can build connections and possibly make new friends. Who knows, you might meet someone else who is in the exact same position that you are in! Never underestimate the power of community, friend. 🙂
If attending real life support groups might be too much for you, you can also join my Facebook group. While the group is largely US-based, we do have people here from the UK!
How do you deal with unaccepting parents? Is there any job that you know of that will not allow transgender people? – Ronan
It really depends on your situation with parents. For me, my parents were unaccepting of anything I did and that we didn’t have much in common to begin with so for them to be unsupportive of me transitioning was just another thing we didn’t agree on. If they accepted it, great but if they didn’t, that was okay as well. I was 22 years old (so they couldn’t legally stop me) and had some life savings to spare so I just went ahead with my transition and told myself that they will come around eventually. They did but it’s still a work in progress and they don’t know the whole story about my transition yet, being nonbinary and not wanting to open that can of worms. Not ideal because I use they/them pronouns but I am content with the situation.
As of right now, I know that there is a ban of transgender troops serving in the U.S. military. But even in jobs that are considered trans-friendly, there might be covert discrimination by employers depending on where you live and how well you pass but that tends to occur more often in states along the Bible belt or in companies that are not LGBT-friendly in general. Fortunately, there are many trans-friendly companies out there to work for – one example being Target!
I am currently not on testosterone yet. I haven’t even come out as transgender and I’m about to be 23 years old. Also, huge fact – I’m currently illegally living in the U.S. with no job. It’s hard to find one so I don’t have insurance. I know I can get a job because I’m not the only one in this situation. I don’t know if there’s a way for me to get started on testosterone. Maybe you know? I’m so scared to go somewhere & ask (I have done it, but they asked for S.S.) I’m eventually going to have to do it. Also, how much was your top surgery? If you don’t mind me asking. I have saved up up to 3,000 dollars or so for this. Thank you & have a good one. – Anonymous
This is a very complicated situation and, unfortunately, this isn’t something I have experience with in order to advise you. But I can tell you that without insurance, you’ll be most likely be paying for testosterone out of pocket. I would strongly advise going to a LGBT center near you and see if they or know of places that offer free legal and immigration assistance. That’s would be a good start.
And my top surgery cost was $7,064 out of pocket with Dr. Daniel Medalie, which doesn’t include travel/food/transportation costs. Point of Pride was able to get $2,000 taken off my total surgery fee (so I really paid $5,064) but it was still very expensive.