(Mental) healthcare while trans

My psychiatrist told me today that he’s planning on retiring in October. He says it’s been a long time coming. I’m happy for him if that’s what he wants to do, but I’m also worried for myself, because I consider myself lucky to have ended up with him for the last year.

Before I started getting treatment for my mental health problems, I didn’t really have any idea what this world was like. I mean to say that I didn’t know how difficult it can be, especially for people with limited income and resources, to find a “professional” who will actually help them.

In the last ten years or so, I’ve had a lot of mediocre experiences, a handful of exceptionally good ones, and a number of just plain awful ones, treatment wise. So I’m naturally somewhat unsettled to know I’m going to be fixed up with a new provider.

Aside from the obvious concerns about treatment, I would also be wary given that I’m transgender. People with advanced degrees tend to be more accepting, or they at least want to come off as more accepting, but most people, regardless of education status, are pretty ignorant when it comes to trans issues. I was when I started my transition.

It’s understandable, but it’s also exhausting to have to be a Trans Educator(tm) in these situations, and it’s also not very nice to worry, every time you meet someone new, in any capacity, whether they’re going to hate you and act like it. And when it’s a medical professional, you have to worry about how their feelings about your transness might affect the care they provide.

This also brings to mind another concern: I have a court date in 33 days. It will (potentially, hopefully) determine my disability status with Social Security and result in significant changes for me. (Or it won’t. But I’m trying not to think about that.)

This whole process has been ridiculous, but I obviously know nothing about my ALJ and their politics. The information about them online in terms of how they rule on these cases is old or incomplete at best, and it’s not possible to say how they feel about trans folks at all. You do have to hope they’ll be fair and impartial and not take any of that into account, but come on.

If I could safely assume that, I likely wouldn’t worry so much about getting a new doctor and how they’ll react, or about whether I’ll get assaulted or murdered or something else just walking down the road. You know, normal stuff.

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