What Being Institutionalized As A Trans Person Made Me Realize

I was saying to a friend today that I am completely disillusioned and wary of psychiatry as psychiatrists don’t know how to treat my mental illness and not my gender.

In a world where being trans is still seen as pathology, I have been stuggling through mental illness alone and unsupported. I still think I’m safer as I am than experiencing the violence and ignorance that trying to access healthcare has exposed me to.

It’s a pretty messed up world.

Let's Queer Things Up!

Back in the days just before I started testosterone, I used to say, “If HRT were to start causing problems with my bipolar disorder, there’s no question – I’d stop the hormones.”

I swore, over and over again, that I would never sacrifice my sanity for my transition. But this is not what I said in the psych ward, when the psychiatrist asked me, “Would you be willing to stop testosterone?”

Repeatedly, day after day, doctors would ask me about stopping HRT and my answer was the same every time.

“That’s not an option.”

My self of six months ago would have been aghast if he knew I was refusing to stop HRT despite being institutionalized.

But it wasn’t six months before. It was present day.

Present day, under a 5150 – wishing I weren’t alive, hearing voices that told me I was better off dead, and drinking more than my fair share…

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