Care as a Luxury


As I mentioned in my post about the Free PATHH yesterday, the conference saw some concerns that sometimes transgender care is regarded as a luxury. To the question whether this is true, I would say that the feeling percolating though the groups I´ve been in (mainly groups for young trans men) definitely points to this reality.

In those groups (consisting of a few hundred members, most of them transitioning before age 25), there is pervasive spirit of suffering, which I have written about before in Transition ≠ Sacrifice. We, the transgender individual, need to sacrifice happiness in order to “prove” ourselves, and emotionally speaking, this often translates into “proving to be worthy“.

I know that purely speaking from emotion (from the heart) is completely different from naming cold, hard numbers. But maybe that´s one of our problems, and the misinformation about the emotional side of dependency (on a clinic) might well be due to lack of social research herein. The misinformation is also the basis for some comments by therapists that prove lack of insight.

The reason this upsets me is partly because I do also feel this frustration (“I need to be worthy“) and partly because my eagerness (and my right) to finally become who I am is being interpreted as “being in a hurry”. Emotionally, this does not make any sense to me. During the seven months I waited I was in severe psychological pain and so are many others.

When you think of the right of becoming comfortable with your own body in the same fashion as catching a train, something must´ve gone awfully wrong. I have not been waiting to catch a train to my life for twenty eight years. It is not comparable to standing on a lone platform in the rain. It´s more comparable to wanting to throw yourself in front of it because existence on the platform is unbearable.

When you treat transgender care as something that people can just wait to have (i.e is not of immediate and urgent importance) you are downplaying the suffering that these individuals go through and indeed treating care as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Becoming yourself after so many years is not a luxury, and no one should just have to patiently suffer with liberation in sight.


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