Many states, including my own, are putting off all surgeries deemed “non-essential” or “elective” to make available more doctors and surgeons to help fight COVID-19. Sex change surgeries have been categorized as such. I know many of my transsexual brorhers an sisters who had their dates lined up would say otherwise that they’re medically necessary and should’ve not been deemed “elective”.
Let’s be frank. You can live for a few more weeks. That COVID patient may not live to see tomorrow.
I underwent top surgery in 2016, and a botched one in 2017. (My hysterectomy caused severe bleeding, forcing my surgeon to forgo metoidioplasty. He did not want to reschedule that, but rather follow up with phalloplasty. I declined.) Getting either wasn’t straight-forward; I had to get paperwork from an independent therapist, one not connected to my transition, to show I was medically sound to make such decisions. (This was a major setback for several weeks, but I was lucky I was seeing an independenttherpiast for other psychological issues who was willing to grant me that letter. I still keep a copy saved with me to this day.) Those delays also took a toll on my family, because my delays caused them delays with their lives and their trying to schedule for time off from everything to take care of me post-operation. Every consultation, every visit, required me traveling two hours one way alone, and every consultation required me to take days off from work, days that cost me potential income. And faxing documents was a pain because I had to go to the local FedEx, because anything requiring my signature couldn’t be done via PDF via email, and faxing is for some reason prohibitively expensive. $20 for a ten page document!?
Looking female because HRT took longer to masculinize me due to obesoty didn’t help. Yes, it borderline made me at times suicidal. But I toughed it out, kept going to work, kept making my appointments.
I had to put off many hallmarks of maturity—college, moving out, paying for savings and retirement, landing a good job beyond retail—to save up and pay for everything, from therapy to HRT to surgery. I had to give both arms and legs to pay for all the premiums, the copays, coinsurance, my share of hospital fees. I was lucky to have had health insurance that was willing to cover my surgeries, a luxury most of us don’t have, so that greatly reduced my expenses, even though what I had to pay for was still expensive on my retail paycheck. I say this so none of you can say I’m saying this from a place of “privilege”.
Society still often excludes us, but we should not use as an excuse and say we should be exempt from all the executive orders that have delayed indefinitely our surgeries. Our community needs to stop demanding snowflake treatment (especially the transgenders out there), stop demanding we be given exemptions. We often have to wait months, if not a few years, before our surgery happens. A few more weeks is doable, so others with more immediate, life threatening issues can be treated immediately. Our health system is already overwhelmed; we don’t need to add for it.
A lot of other people have been post-poned, from the person who needs their hip replaced, to the breast cancer survivor who had to get a a mastectomy and was patiently waiting to getting surgery to replace it. Of they can have their surgeries put off, you can have yours out off.
If the trans community is indeed a community, then let’s help out the even greater community and hang in there. We can help out each other, because those patients on those ventilators can’t. Let’s be positive about our temporary sacrifice, so that our doctors, surgeons, and specialists can help save their lives for sure.