I started menstruating when I was 8 years old, and, at first, I didn't understand what the big deal was. I didn't cramp, and didn't experience the less physical side effects. It was a quick 3 days of bleeding, and then I was done.
It went on like this until roughly around my 15th birthday. Then I had my first period that was life threatening.
Migraines, cramps so bad I couldn't stand up, bleeding through a pad from end to end within an hour. It was terrible.
My mother was a religious type who believed birth control was evil and menstruation was the punishment for women signing. So for as long as I was on my parent's insurance, I was never allowed to consult a doctor about what they considered to be a perfectly natural punishment for existing.
Somewhere around age 22, I gained over 100 pounds in weight in one year - no dietary change or change in physical activity - and, again, stopped cramping.
Although I had my own insurance also around that time, I was experiencing a strong depression/anxiety cycle, and it didn't occur to me to go to the doctor until another few years had passed, and then, during a period, I bled so much I passed out.
I was given a quick diagnosis after a few tests: PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS. I couldn't get a Hysterectomy. My insurance and doctor agreed that was unnecessary, even though I'm infertile and was already considering Sex Reassignment Surgery at that time. I asked about testosterone. My doctor wouldn't even consider it, since I was already producing a low "male" level of testosterone.
She put me on Estrogen HRT to correct the issue with my period, and also to "correct" my natural hormone balance.
I can't stop the HRT or the migraines and bleeding start again. But I can't continue HRT because I do not like the changes being made to my natural body, especially not since I want others to accept that I am a man. I've tried seeing other doctors, but they're not any better. The only thing I got out of that was a prescription for Prozac.
Hearing people get angry at the wording of a package of pads just reminds me of the countless doctors blocking my access to my own body, or the religion-fueled hatred of my parents - it reminds me that our culture has decided that people born with vaginas are supposed to act and be a certain way.
They must be a woman. Like the color pink. Want babies, big boobs and thin waists. Why cut your hair, it's so beautiful long?
Pants are immodest, we have to acknowledge the existence of your crotch and butt when you wear them. Proper vagina owners wear skirts. Blah blah blah...
The medical industry has failed me as a trans man, as an intersex man, and as a person who menstruates. The same as my parents. The same as society in general.
I would just like to get the surgeries I need REGARDLESS of my gender presentation, or at least be able to buy my pads without dealing with this bullshit.
By Dani the boy, Dallas, TX, USA