Hormone therapy education event held at LGBT Center

The Jim Chalgren LGBT Center hosted an information session on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) last Wednesday with representatives from Planned Parenthood. Hormone replacement therapy is used by both transgender and cisgender indiduals as part of a gender affirmation process and to treat gender dysphoria. Planned Parenthood provided promotional items and students were able to ask questions regarding HRT in a casual environment.

Jessica Voss is the LGBTQ care coordinater for Planned Parenthood and opened up the session with information on how Planned Parenthood uses informed consent to prescribe hormones to patients.

“There are no requirements at the time, no recommendation from a therapist, no doctors note, or anything,” said Voss. “We are not interested in gatekeeping.”

“We just want to make sure you have good information that you need.  That’s the informed part. This is what hormone therapy is. This is what it does. These are the effects. Here’s how you take it. Then you give your consent,” said Voss.

Many topics were discussed, including name changes while transitioning ones gender, the potentially permanent impacts of hormone replacement therapy, and different options with regards to hormone therapy.

“Testosterone has a lot of permanent changes. I know some trans people who did testosterone for 5 years, got the thing they wanted and then they were done, they got their voice, they got their body hair, and they were like I’m good now,” said Tl Jordan, a youth coordinator for Planned Parenthood.

One topic that was brought up was how to maintain confidentiality whilst one was receiving hormone therapy if a student was on their parents insurance.

“In theory, your healthcare privacy is your healthcare privacy but there are no guarantees,” said Voss. “Your parents could get a bill that you will have to explain.”

Voss then went on to explain how a student could avoid their parents getting such a bill or statement, such as talking to their insurance company and signing up for paperless billing.

Those present at the session shared personal stories regarding their experiences using hormone therapies and other aspects of gender transitioning. Different metaphors to describe how they had been impacted by HRT, including having paint chipped off to reveal ones true character to expanding the number of colors in a crayon box from the standard eight to the 64 crayon box.

“Transitioning and HRT is such a broad beautiful spectrum and I want to celebrate all the ways HRT can show up in our bodies that isn’t just in that binary box of here’s how a woman should be and that’s how you should feel because that’s not always the case,” said Jordan.

Write to Jeremy Redlien at Jeremy.Redlien@mnsu.edu

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