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13 April 2014 @ 09:58 am
Gender, Sexuality, and I'd Like Some Healthcare Please  


99% of you folks know I'm trans. I've kept this journal through the coming out process so if you missed that one, here it is. Hi. Trans. You might not know I've been on testosterone for over a year. I have. It's done great things, like drop my voice and give me 41 inch shoulders. It's a hell of a drug. It also stopped my period. So when I started bleeding, all medical advice was, "Get thee to a doctor!"

My GP is popular booked tight and his desk staff don't seem to understand that at my job, they cannot call me at 3pm for a same day appointment at 5pm. It won't ever happen. And as this medical problem has been happening for over a month now with no GP in sight, I said to myself, "I'll make an appointment with Planned Parenthood. The one in the Gayborhood says they offer LGBT specific health services." I explain the whole situation when I make the appointment. I write down the whole situation when I fill out my paperwork.

Almost an hour and a half later, without seeing a goddamned nurse or doctor, I get told by the manager that I need to leave and can't be seen. If I think I'm hemorrhaging and might die, I should probably go to the ER (nevermind that I've been waiting all this time for an appointment I scheduled last week) otherwise the only people who can see me are the LGBT clinic, where my GP is.

I have an appointment. It's in June. I am very worried about my health and I am at a rage point. I called PP and they told me that they treat trans people but if I'm on hormones, they can't treat me. (I don't know how that works and I'm calling their NYC HQ on Monday because I'm pretty good at giving someone a piece of my mind. Stop fucking telling me you'll treat me and then pretend it's a fucking miracle that I take a drug I already told you about.)

Philly's got a sizeable trans population and every other Friday, there's a free walk in clinic. Mostly it's for trans folks below the poverty line or without health care access so I try not to go. I have really good health insurance and can pay for my coverage. Paying for my coverage and using my insurance at sliding scale places means others in my community can get sliding scale access. I feel bad using up resources I technically don't need because no one else will fucking treat me.

I went for coffee/a brownie the size of my head with a self-identified dyke friend afterward and apparently PP has refused service to a sizeable portion of the trans and dyke community in Philly to the point where she was shocked that I even tried. And that's disgusting. We've got the same parts, they all need treating.



TL;DR?

I was denied health care because of my hormones status.
 
 
the gay fresh sentiment of the road: angryangry
 
 
 
Nightengale of Samarkand: Portraitnightengalesknd on April 13th, 2014 06:49 pm (UTC)
So I see 2 issues here. Both big and important.

Issue 1 is how Planned Parenthood treated you, and if this is their policy, how they treat trans men. Or refuse to treat trans men. They treat people with uterii and the consequences of uterii, and they treat people they state are men for STIs and such, so it can't be an anatomy excuse and it can't be a "we don't treat men" excuse and virtually all healthy people make some testosterone in their bodies, so they can't say it's about not knowing enough about testosterone. They might be able to say that they don't know enough about how exogenous testosterone interacts with your specific problem, but that would require them to first take a history and perform an examination. This feels like legal discrimination although there may be loopholes that make it not. Their website, when I clicked on LGBT services, mentioned "referral services" (and nothing else) so maybe that is all they think they have to provide? Although that argument doesn't really hold water in my brain.

Issue 2 is is there any way to get you the healthcare you need. The Friday clinic sounds as though it may be your best bet. Currently you are without any other health care access for your particular problem. Can they bill your insurance if you go to that clinic - that is, use it for access but have it billed as for a regular appointment? The other bet, which is horridly spoon-sucking is to call - is it Mazzoni? - ask to speak to the office manager, tell them what happened and see if you can convince them to give you an appointment at a time and way that work for you before June. Sometimes they have the ability to create appointment slots that don't otherwise exist.

Chasechikchasingtides on April 13th, 2014 07:00 pm (UTC)
The Friday clinic is 100% free. They charge $0 for everything, so it wouldn't be billed to anywhere. It's through... some trans health project in the city or another, a hosted by the Washington West Project. I've put in a call to the on-call people at Mazzoni and I checked with my insurance and can't go anywhere else without a referral.
Virginia Fell: argggghhvirginia_fell on April 13th, 2014 08:00 pm (UTC)
Holy shit.

That's vile.
Sam Blackoptimus_life on April 13th, 2014 08:46 pm (UTC)
That's bullshit! My local PP gave me a similar run around almost three years ago. I was looking to go to them, for help starting T. It never paned out and they kept giving me the brush off. While saying and they still do, that they provide health care needs for trans folks.

Point is you're not alone, my local PP is just as full of shit when it comes to trans folks.

Sorry I can' be of more help.. I'm on public assistance health coverage/sliding scale. And I'm very limited as to where I can be seen.
Rebeccaclassical_wolf on April 13th, 2014 09:26 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry it was this huge issue - just because you wanted appropriate medical care. HUGS! Coffee/brownies the size of one's head are a good healing point though!