Wow. I had no insurance. Everything was self-pay. On the one hand, that sucked, and it took hard work and giving up everything to scratch the money together. On the other hand, I was able to transition on my own terms. My therapist I saw without needing letters from her, so I could be truly honest with myself without worrying I was jeopardizing approvals down the line. My doctor for HRT etc., an expert in trans care, worked with me on costs, because that’s the only way trans people can get care. And then I went to Thailand, where I saw a surgeon who was regarded as the best in the business at the time. Needless to say, the post-op prognosis he offered was quite different than what Dr. Dipshit said.
Anyway, to get to my main point, when I had trouble putting the money together for my surgery, a woman I scarcely knew online asked for my address and completely out of the blue mailed me a rather large check that covered the gap. I was in tears. I didn’t know how I could ever pay her back. She said, “Someone helped me. I’m glad to be able to help you. You can help someone else in the future.” Pay it forward.
I admire you for fighting the good fight so others don’t have to. Paying it forward. I’m reading about teens in the most advanced care programs that intervene before puberty have to guard what they say about their sexual orientation—where if you’re not straight (as in mtf attracted to men, ftm attracted to women), you could get kicked out of the program. I can’t believe this kind of thing still goes on, decades after doctors judged appropriateness for HRT care based on how good the patient looked in a miniskirt.
(Just an aside: An added bonus of having to travel overseas was that I met so many wonderful women from all over the world — people like us — including Thai girls and women who, against much societal pressure, sought to transition medically all the way and have mainstream careers outside of their katoi tourism industry. I don’t think there are any other kinds of surgical centers where you see so many patients walking around with glowing smiles.)
Thank you. Wishing you all the best going forward!