It has been years since I went to the NHS, ready to kill myself if it didn’t stop soon.
The doctor who referred me called me “he” a total of four times, being told not to each time. Not once did she pronoun me correctly. Near the end, she saw fit to share her opinion that if her child wanted this, she’d make them wait until they were 16, when puberty had done almost everything it could, perhaps carving pieces of their body into things they’d forever hate.
The man from the NHS told me, with his curly hair and cissexism, that they didn’t prescribe hormone blockers for trans people under 16. That this was no story, where months of determination and bravery and pain were rewarded. This was ageism and cisnormativity and other words I didn’t have, a tipping of the world prior to a nightmare plunge that I had struggled into expecting the great, shining point where Things Got Better.
And I can’t even talk about what happened next, because it’s illegal to have the bodily autonomy that you need to survive for another few years if you’re a trans teenager. It’s illegal to stop something worse than when you were a miserable, abused little 6 year old who hated everything and felt broken inside, and it’s illegal to get anything close to what cissexual people are born to.
All I can say is that if I’d relied on the NHS, I would have died. That one day I was so depressed that I sat on my bed doing nothing for the entire day, not even bothering to take Fade To Black off repeat. That I stopped taking baths so I didn’t have to look at myself. That I tried not to think about how I was being mutiliated in a way that would never heal every single second of every single day
It has been years, and in an alternate universe where someone I can’t talk about is more law-abiding, last week would have been the day I’d have failed to survive to where the testosterone stopped. It has been years, and I can’t articulate how long that is, how unacceptable it is, how impossible it is that I would have ever survived without the things I can’t talk about.
Those things are just one more mark of how the NHS has failed and continues to fail trans* people, among hundreds.