Our beginning, middle, and beginning again

In July of 2015 MyTransHealth launched a Kickstarter that raised $33,093 with the goal of helping trans people find access to quality healthcare and in May of 2016 we launched our beta with over 500 providers and organizations in Miami, New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, and Dallas.

And then we went silent. Let’s talk about that.

As recent as just a couple years ago trans people were mostly invisible. We’re not joking when we say that when we came up with the core concept of MyTransHealth no one who wasn’t trans even cared. Yes — we had a responsibility to make important decisions for our own community but the only pressure we felt was the pressure we were applying on ourselves to make a great product.

But then something changed. Caitlyn Jenner came out. Republicans tried to use bathroom bills as a platform to defeat Democrats. Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President.

All of the sudden our misery became a sight to see in ways we hadn’t dealt with yet and MyTransHealth was caught up in a wave of press who wanted to ask and publish every single detail about our lives as well as the rest of trans people while we were just trying to ship our beta. And in the interest of transparency, we freaked out. Even though MyTransHealth had done months of research the decisions we needed to make became frightening — even the tiny ones. We were so obsessed with getting every single detail right in our beta that we overthought a lot of what makes MyTransHealth helpful — its delight and simplicity.

After months of phone calls to practitioners and organizations — grilling them on all of the details for how they support and interact with their trans patients plus endless iterations of design and dev, we launched. Nothing about our beta was perfect but it was good enough to track data on the locations that we needed to be in, devices that we needed to spend more time designing for, and demographics that needed more support. And we started to see glimpses of MyTransHealth working on Reddit, Twitter, Slack, and even in PS4 communities.

We can’t even begin to tell you how indescribably beautiful and rewarding it is to watch trans people find access to what they need through MyTransHealth.

Except we were exhausted. We honestly didn’t really talk for months after MyTransHealth shipped and it wasn’t until November of ’16 when we got back to work. We started off with a three day sprint in what we’re pretty sure was the tiniest co-working space in the Pacific Northwest.

We spent the first day with a white board focusing on where we were at, what people were telling us, and what our product should be. The next day we split up between reworking how MyTransHealth’s front end was designed with the intention of drastically improving mobile. We also took the data we had on where MyTransHealth was needed the most and chose 20 locations (as in 14 more than we currently have) that are not just coastal (we’re coming for you, Omaha) that we’ll relaunch in. And on the final day we got into the finer points of researching resources and design — including improving our submissions form which we know is currently tricky (sorry). Moreover, we discussed the best way for us to be asking providers and organizations more concrete questions around how they are ensuring their trans patients will be taken care of through this wretched administration.

MyTransHealth will relaunch this Spring in 20 locations with a more refined experience that we believe you’re going to find more helpful.

The next four years will be tough. We’re pushing on.

Talk soon,