Zak: It’s absolutely safe, though pretty painful, to wax your body hair. Here’s an itemized list of hair removal procedures and information on how to shave body hair. Nair and other similar products can also work, but I don’t have any personal experience with anything like that can can’t speak to their effectiveness or safety.
As a side note, I was 100% I was going to hate my body hair and did a lot of research on hair removal before I started testosterone. Strangely enough I don’t mind it now and actually kind of like my stomach hair (though I could do without the scraggly shoulder hairs that have started cropping up). Not saying this will be your experience at all, but I thought it was worth a mention.
Zak: I don’t know about other guys, but I washed mine in the sink with either ordinary soap or laundry detergent. I also once washed it in one of those bra bags on the delicate setting in a machine. Hand washing worked fine, though, and kept it clean. I washed it once a week or every other day depending on how long I’d worn it and what I was doing. Use cold water whenever you wash your binder. I always air dried it, which I think is recommended. Never use bleach on it!
Other than that, never let anyone else wear it because that might stretch it out (this may not seem like it needs saying, but I’ve had girlfriends want to try on my binder for some reason). That’s really all I can think of.
Adrina: I’ve purchased a smaller bottle of laundry soap used to wash baby’s clothes. It’s very gentle and easy on the fabric of the binder. I usually just hand washed by binder in the sink and let it air dry on a vent.
Zak: I don’t know of any journal articles or research on this topic, but Kate Bornstein wrote a great book called “Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and Other Outlaws” that you might be interested in.
If anyone knows of anything, they should send it the OP’s way. This is a very important issue.
Zak: Generally binding does not actually effect the way your chest appears when the binder is off, it is just a way to flatten the chest under clothing to allow a person to have a male-appearing chest to, as you mention, lessen dysphoria and pass. However if you bind over a long period of time your chest can lose a bit of elasticity which can making binding easier but cause sagging.
Posted on the LGBT History Month UK page on Facebook today.
Film company Twenty Twenty want to hear from people in the UK who are anywhere along the transitioning journey MTF/FTM. They posted this:
Transitioning can be tough and sometimes lonely. We’d like our programme to help in a refreshing, celebratory, non-clichéd way.
If you’re interested in finding out more call Elaine, Rosie or Chris on 020 7424 7731/7763/7744, or email email@example.com
All calls/emails are confidential.
Contacting us doesn’t commit you to taking part in the programme but would really help us with our research.
This is NOT my project, I’m just passing it along.
Zak: Basically I called the Planned Parenthood number on the website and it directed me to an operator who works for all the midwestern Planned Parenthoods. I told her the specific PP I was trying to contact and she connected me to their secretary. From there I explained that I was FtM transgender and looking to see them for hormones. I made an appointment with the nurse practitioner and went in about a week later.
Because I lived so far away, I had my blood drawn and sent to them a couple of days before I went in, this ensured that my first appointment would be the appointment I’d get my prescription. Basically when I got there I checked in and then had to sign a ton of papers making sure I understood the changes I would have on testosterone, etc. Then I went back and had my blood pressure taken and talked to the nurse. She explained the side effects of testosterone to me, looked at my therapist’s letter, and looked over my blood draw results. She decided to clear me for T and wrote me a prescription for 3 months of androgel. I payed about 20 dollars for the visit, filled my prescription at Walgreens, and went back and saw them 3 months later.
That’s basically the drill. I really like the people who work there and have had a good experience with them. I’ve heard other people at other Planned Parenthoods having some issues, probably because PP doesn’t have a lot of funding and are sometimes understaffed and have other problems. Insist upon getting your blood drawn every 3 months in the first year if they don’t require that already, and make sure to ask them about their other trans* patients to see if they know what they are doing. The clinic I go to in Nebraska sees over 50 trans* patients or something like that and I have a lot of faith in them. As I’ve mentioned before I drive 5 hours to see them so clearly I think they are pretty awesome (I live in a very small town without a lot of resources so I don’t have any options that don’t involve a bit of driving). Not all PPs do trans* care so this may be a moot point, it’s fairly rare, actually. Worth checking for, though!
Zak: This is a tough situation and I don’t know exactly what to tell you. Is there any way you could move into an apartment close by and still take care of your grandmother while gaining a bit of independence from your family? Other than that I think to a certain extent you might be stuck waiting awhile longer in order to start living your life the way you want. It would be great if there was a way you could get your parents on board with your transition, but if I were in your position I wouldn’t tell them until I was out of their house in case things really blew up (which seems possible, given your difficult history with them).
I’m sorry I can’t be more help : (
Zak: Planned Parenthood is where I get my testosterone and they gladly work with people without insurance (each visit is only 20 dollars, so it’s fairly priced too). The problem is that it can be difficult to find a PP that does trans* related stuff (I know for a fact that there is one in Nebraska, one in Iowa, and a couple in California, but that’s really all I know of though I’m sure there are more). You can go on their website and look around for local ones and see if they list “LGBT care” or something similar on their list of services.
Other than that there are a couple of clinics that may take people without insurance, but I don’t know of any specifically. A lot of this depends on where you live and what kind of resources are around you. Maybe ask around with other trans* people from your area (either online or in-person). If you’re in a really small town you may not have a lot of options (I drive 5 hours for my doctor, hoping to change that soon though).