i find myself becoming nauseous. again. i’m tired and nauseous with those in my local women’s and transgender communities who gloss over, disregard, and/or intentionally exclude trans women and transfeminine issues. and for pathetic reasons at that.
i really like the chicago women’s health center (CWHC). i like the staff. i like the atmosphere. i like what they do. and yeah – i’m actually a client. but, really, i’m not a client for their Trans Greater Access Project (TGAP), and i’ll tell you why.
chicago women’s does not provide medical services, besides counseling, to trans women / transfeminine folks. i want to spell this out c-l-e-a-r-l-y so no one get’s frustrated that i’ve misinformed anyone.
TGAP provides the following things according to their website:
– Masculinizing hormone replacement therapy
– Trans gynecology
…and then the ones that they’ve had in place that can be like “well yeah this includes trans people”
– Counseling and Therapy
– Artificial Insemination (AI)
they do not provide feminizing hormone replacement therapy. they intend to start a pilot program for this “soon.” they’ve done the masculinizing hormone replacement therapy for one year now. AI and trans gynecology for transmasculine folks have existed longer at CWHC – so we can see that transfeminine exclusion isn’t entirely new.
but going to hormone replacement therapy, which is very important to many transgender people. why would they make such a decision to include transmasculine before transfeminine folks? the answer given to me from TGAP was, “they didn’t see a need for it [feminizing hormone replacement therapy] in the community.” really? like. really?
the specifics are: apparently (i have not confirmed this) transmasculine folks stopped being able to get hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for those without insurance before transfeminine folks at another local chicago clinic, howard brown. chicago women’s decided to step in and say there is a need for uninsured transmasculine folks who desire HRT. apparently there was a group of transgender (female / feminine and male / masculine) folks who got together with CWHC to assess the needs of the trans community.
chicago women’s, i call bullshit. there’s ALWAYS a need for HRT accessibility, and y’all know that. if this was an honest error of trying to assess needs then i call complicity in forgetting the deep wedge between cis women and trans women and the ugly legacy of transphobic “feminism.” how would you expect transfeminine people at-large to agree with serving transmasculine people and simply nodding at our exclusion (however temporary) at a women’s health center.
let’s just call it what it is, shall we? TGAP is female-assigned at birth health. trans health in the context of feminist health has meant transmasculine health.
so why am i getting in a tussle about this right now? because i’m so dreadfully torn between supporting transmasculine friends and the services that i DO enjoy at chicago women’s.
there’s a benefit coming up at the burlington (one of my fave bars when i used to live in logan square) for TGAP and, you’d never guess, all of the hosts for this fundraiser are masculine-identified! i’m expecting a low low low turnout from transfeminine people.
not only is it seriously tearing at my nerves that this fundraiser exists, but these organizers that i like and respect are brushing aside transfeminine folks just like CWHC softly covers up their exclusion of trans women from their trans services. the event has even been billed by one of the organizers as “a program promoting trans-affirming health care for everyone on the transgender spectrum.” THAT’S MESSED.
the burden of changing this b.s. is on women’s health centers, including the CWHC.
so far they haven’t taken any action besides my private call outs. maybe this will help.