Dear Doctor, I Won’t Fit Your Checkboxes, But Will You Check Mine?

Dear Doctor, I Won’t Fit Your Checkboxes, But Will You Check Mine?:


“But you’re so pretty. Why would you do that?”

As those words left his mouth, my body immediately tensed up and a pit of nausea sunk into my stomach. All the questions I prepared in my head prior to the appointment disappeared. Suddenly I felt unsafe — not physically, but emotionally.

At the time, I was considering medically aligning my body with my trans nonbinary gender identity. All I wanted was to learn more about testosterone.

This was the first step I took to gather information about the effects of cross-sex hormones after questioning my gender and struggling with gender dysphoria for over two years. But instead of feeling a sense of relief and progress, I felt defeated and hopeless.

I was embarrassed by how I overestimated the training and experience that the average primary care provider has on the topic of gender and transgender health. He was actually the first person I ever told — before my parents, before my partner, before my friends. He probably didn’t know that… and still doesn’t.

Most doctors don’t have any training when it comes to caring for transgender people