How Ontario fails and damages transgender people Part1

I’m usually not the one to complain about ON because you have to admit, it’s a very place to live in. We have 4 seasons, decent roads, state financed health care and it is generally a very accepting and diverse place. It is also a province of nearly 14 million people which fine, unless you are struggling with your gender identity, expression and you are just simply confused about it. Everything I’m about to say here is simply based on my experience and doesn’t necessarily represent problems experienced by others, but they do seem fairly universal for ON.

So people struggling with Gender identity issues or dysphoria have fairly limited options which in all cases comes with lengthy wait times, occasional discrimination and general feelings of talking to the wall, or a rocking horse. At first I thought about saying talking to the cat but that can have certain calming effects so I changed my mind.

Here is what the process looked like when I approached my family doctor with my own struggles. She actually treated it really cool, didn’t even bother asking me very specific questions , she just began to proceed telling me what option(s) I had. The s had to be in brackets because the only official route with OHIP is to get referred to CAMH, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Now keep in mind that this really is the only official OHIP sponsored institution prepared to deal with people struggling in a province of 14 million. Well population is one thing but the shear size of this great province of ours can also cause headaches considering that it’s in Toronto which can represent a serious issue for some people from up North. Luckily I’m always a two hour drive away from Toronto but I know there are many others who are not so lucky.

Upon presenting my story to my family doctor of nearly 12 years, she seemed to have taken it really well, I didn’t sense any judgment of any kind, she just told me she’s got other patients in the same situation with Vulcan like emotions. It was basically the same experience as when I visited her a few years ago with a nasty back pain. She informed me that the only option we have at our disposal is CAMH, she will have me referred there and that I should hear from them in less than 2 years (!). Now less than 2 years can meat 3 weeks, 9 months or 2 years -1 day. She said it’s obviously not a rush if I waited this long….. Granted I’ve been her patient for a long time and this was the first time I opened up to her about my issues, but still…. Once the flood gates are open, there is rarely ever turning back and this issue of mine has really been my obsession for a very long time. The choice for me to transition never really became clear until about a year ago after 50 or so sessions with my therapist. Up until beginning therapy, it remained just a fantasy really but never imagined it possible even though it has been haunting me since my earliest memories from childhood.

Hello world!

 

Finally I forked up the “balls” to start a blog to share my experiences with the world. My blog will only focus on transgender issues and related stories with only minor distractions. I am in on Ontario, Canada. I started seeking help to transition at 32 which is quite late compare to some, early to others. This is nothing new, I’ve had it all my life but always managed to sweep it under the rug due to different circumstances in my life. In my teens and tween years I thought it was manageable and my desire would remain a secret only to be carried with me to the grave but it is not to be so. My desire only grew stronger over the years and finally at 30 it became debilitating. I like to think of it as a simple equation. In my earlier years, my “condition” only occupied about 10% of my mental capacity and the there 90% was used for everyday stuff like, working, friends, technology and life in general. The issue that became obvious was the formula turning 10-90 to 90-10, building pressure and momentum that finally overtook me and I could no longer ignore it, pretend it to be non-existent. I’m VERY LUCKY. I have an awesome partner and some other very supportive people in her and my family. As I go on, I’ll get into family dynamics but I’m still very early on so that’s for much later. I also have a pretty cool job that pays the bills, keeps me occupied and it can be quite a lot of fun at times.

I actually wanted to start a blog to only rant and complain because getting medical help for transitioning in Ontario is not easy. It is a huge province of 14 million with VERY limited resources and lot’s of gatekeepers. I will do my best to write about my journey with all the ups and downs of fighting the system.