For Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast patient Naomi, starting gender-affirming hormone therapy meant the opportunity to live a more vibrant, fulfilling life. In honor of Transgender Awareness Week, Naomi is sharing her story.
For me, it was really life or death.
I was, and still am, a graduate student in physics, and I found myself drowning in 100-hour workweeks because I was so unhappy. I ended up hospitalized with depression, and I knew once I got out that I absolutely had to make a change in my life. When I finally left the hospital, it just happened to coincide with when I saw my best friend’s journey through Planned Parenthood, and it helped motivate me to change my own life.
Like my friend, I’d had these feelings since I was young: It’s hard to describe; ‘hate’ is not the right word for it – it’s more the way your mind tries to contextualize something it can’t quite grasp. You feel like you hate who you are because you can’t conceptualize the idea that you feel wrong in your own skin. When I expressed these thoughts to my friend and she expressed the same exact feeling back to me, I knew then that it was time to schedule an appointment because it was, like I said, life or death.
When I first came to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, I was very nervous. I’ve always come down with what I call “white coat syndrome,” but within 10 minutes I realized that was completely unfounded. It was just a conversation. I spoke with my provider about my experience and about gender-affirming hormone therapy for about 20 minutes, and by the time we were done talking, she said, “I think this is the right choice for you.” There was no judgment, just support for my decision to begin hormone therapy and suggestions for how and when to go about it.
I started my hormone therapy in October 2019, and there was absolutely no going back. I had originally considered taking it on a trial basis, but it was night and day within 24 hours. I was able to function again as a human being. There was no other choice. Ultimately, for me, it was the right decision.
Planned Parenthood and the service that they offer has just been so fundamental to my life. I feel like I’ve become a more vibrant person. The difference it makes is immeasurable, to say the least. I couldn’t imagine having it any other way. I couldn’t imagine being without it.