Medical Mumbo-Jumbo

So whether we like it or not, if we plan to make any kind of physical transition, we will eventually have to deal with medical professionals. I mean, sure, we can change our clothes, cut our hair and the like without medical intervention, but more than that will require a doctor, a pharmacy or a surgeon. I’ve worked in the medical industry (pharmacy specifically) for the last 15 years. I’m no expert on information outside of pharmacy, but I do consider myself fairly knowledgeable about health, fitness and medicine. So I wasn’t entirely surprised to find that we have a diagnosis.

So a little background: the medical world uses a series of codes to do most things, including diagnose. The current diagnosis system is the ICD-9 (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems). ICD-9 uses a 3-5 digit code to describe everything from a sinus infection to a broken leg, upset stomach to STDs. Why does this matter?

We have a diagnosis. The ICD-9’s 302 series is home to a myriad of sexual kinks, disorders and “conditions”. I could get into the implications of transexualism being just a few digits removed from pedophilia and zoophilia, but what’s the point? Is it disparaging? Absolutely. It certainly supports that the narrow-minded suggestion that if we were given full rights, the next  logical step would be marriage between a man and his underage duck, but that’s a discussion for another day. The more important point here is that if we have a diagnosis, we can be “treated”. More specifically, 302.50 is considered a covered diagnosis for some insurances for women wishing to transition to men. My insurance, specifically, covers testosterone supplementation for gender reassignment and mastectomy (typically referred to as top-surgery). This is a big step forward for a society that’s still trying to suss out whether or not a woman has the right to birth control or abortions (again, another topic for another day). It’s certainly refreshing to see that some people are interested in making sure people like me are safe and comfortable.

I’ve been talking a lot more with my fiancee about all of this – the discomfort with everything. We made a boy/girl pro/con list last night. The only cons I had to starting therapy were primarily based on other people’s reactions. Between our two families we’ve got around a dozen kids in our lives – nieces, nephews, God babies, etc. I think the hardest part will be talking to them. Little kids are so open and wonderful, but sometimes hard conversations are hard… of course when my fiancee first came out to her 5-year old god son, the conversation was pretty priceless:

Fiancee: Hey *god son*, would you be a ring-bearer in our wedding? You get to wear fancy clothes and walk down the aisle and hold the rings until we need them.

God Son, after a long hard look at both of us: Umm… you know you’re marrying a girl?

F: Yes, we love each other, so we want to get married.

GS: Hmm…well ok, but I get to pick out my costume.

So maybe it won’t be so bad after all. I’ve talked to my older brother and sister-in-law – they seem supportive, but they always have been. My older brother was a sort of father-figure to me for a long time, so having them in my corner is a big plus. My younger brother will be a fair bit scarier to talk to. I’m going to see him over Thanksgiving, so maybe I’ll try to talk to him then.

Maybe it’s time to find an actual therapist. My insurance requires me to talk to one before they’ll pay for surgery (but not testosterone) and I think it might be good for me anyway.

Until Next Time,



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