Having gone through hormone therapy replacement myself, I want to offer some tips for those who are serious about transitioning.
This article is designed for the transsexual who is looking to get on hormone replacement therapy relatively quickly and easily. I discuss a number of systems that may be available to use in your community. More often than not, if you live in a giant metropolitan area, you will be able to get onto hormone therapy using the first method relatively easily.
The reason why one would want to get on hormone replacement therapy quickly is to alleviate much of the stress of being in the wrongly sexed body. I use this terminology because the term "a woman trapped in a man's body" seems foolish to me. We all start out as prototypical female in the womb and we develop due to the pattern that the predominant hormone therapy provides for us. Therefore, a transsexual girl who starts her hormone therapy before puberty will look almost indistinguishable from any other girl. The body can feminized to a point with hormones and/or surgery so I would not even call my body a "man's body" even though I am a male-to-female transsexual.
I know this information because I myself have been on hormone replacement therapy and have had sex reassignment surgery without any need for a therapist at all. I am speaking from personal experience and have no intention of retracting anything I say since it is 100% true and correct to the best of my knowledge. I do hope this helps!
A Very Serious Warning Before You Begin
Please, please, please understand that this advice is intended only for the seriously gender dysphoric and those who understand that they are transsexual. If you have any doubt at all about your transsexuality do not seek out hormone replacement therapy and contact a therapist to discuss your situation. Many universities offer therapy to the general population on a sliding scale. There is a high cost for those who transition but are not transsexuals and Lynn Conway explains this better than I can.
Also understand that it is highly recommended that you consult a doctor at all stages of your transition to ensure that you are doing the right thing, being monitored for any abnormalities that hormone replacement therapy may cause and that you are physically fit and able to have any therapy that you seek.
In summary: Remember that in the end, you are the only one responsible for your own health and you are the one to suffer the consequences if you do not listen to good advice. In other words, don't blame me if you fuck up!
Your Main Enemy: The Harry Benjamin Standards of Care
The enemy that will keep you from getting any treatment easily is commonly referred to as the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care. It is drafted by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), formerly known as the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association (HBIGDA). They require unnecessarily high levels of therapist intervention before they will allow you to access any care and quite a few doctors in this country require the Standards of Care before they will do anything for you.
Do not lose hope though as there are a few doctors and clinics that can provide you with hormone replacement therapy without any therapist requirements or with little therapist requirements. I will go over some of the more common non-SOC systems out there to give you an idea of what options you have.
Option 1: The Tom Waddell Standards
The Tom Waddell Standards govern hormone therapy and give a general overview of transgender health concerns. This was initially designed by Dr. Tom Waddell who worked in the free/low-income clinics of San Francisco and this was developed with all transsexual people in mind. Today, there are a few clinics other than homeless clinics that provide services to transsexual people under the Tom Waddell system.
I started my hormone replacement therapy at a clinic using the Tom Waddell system without even being aware of it. I started my HRT in November 2007 at Dr. Hunter Hammill's office in Houston, Texas with no therapist requirement imposed on me. It was however a requirement that I attend a few support group meetings in the Houston area which I have before my appointment.
Option 2: Clinics and Providers That Don't Give a Damn
There are clinics out there that either do not require therapist intervention at all or require therapist intervention that does not fall in line with the standards of care. Basically, if you cannot find a clinic or provider in your area that follows the Tom Waddell standards, this is your next best option. Finding these clinics are difficult since they do not advertise what their requirements are.
One thing I would recommend is that you talk with people in the local transgender community to find a doctor that does not care about therapist requirements or has low therapist requirements. These doctors are not uncommon but can be tricky to find. If, however, no one knows of provider or clinic which would accommodate this requirement it is highly suggested that you starting phoning clinics and providers in your local area to find one that will provide services to you at no or low therapist requirement.
Generally, OB/GYNs and alternative medicine doctors have a higher level of acceptance—especially if they are curious enough to want to learn from the experience. It is highly suggested that you bring them a copy of the Tom Waddell standards so they will have something other than the Harry Benjamin Standards to reference. Ask the clinics and providers with low therapist requirements what they will require and what a letter would need to state in order to get care.
When I say low therapist requirements, what I mean is less than three appointments needed to get services. This can be done with a simple sanity check, which a friend has had in order to get her hormone replacement therapy.
I continued my hormone therapy while living in Seymour, Indiana with an Alternative Medicine specialist at the Schneck Medical Centre. I knew about this from talking with another transsexual woman who was helping me with my name change and a number of other transition issues. He did not care about therapist letters or anything like that and he provided me with a three-month script for my hormones.
Option 3: Fake Letters
Remember that this should only be used a last resort in the event that Options 1 & 2 did not work for you. I would remind you that most doctors go through tedious amounts of education and training and may not be easily fooled. But then again, if there can be religious doctors - that is proof that there are gullible doctors. If people in your general area are stupid it can work if you make your own letter.
The Aftermath and an Epilogue
Given the number of views this article has received since I published it, I feel it prudent to make a few designations here, just for clarity's sake. You should never, and I do mean never, self-medicate. That's very dangerous, as our bodies are reliant on hormones in order to function. You can suffer a number of problems if you take these drugs without a physician's supervision.
Furthermore, the SOC expresses a paternalism in the psychological and psychiatric industry, that they need to protect us from ourselves. It's a paternalism that I don't particularly care for and I believe that transsexual people should not have to go through these hoops because they have no basis in science.
I look forward to the day when we can serve rural communities by telemedicine, which is already being tried out by Planned Parenthood. This technology can serve transsexual people in rural communities.
But finally, I would like to say how flattered I am by the trust many of the people who have contacted me through this article asking for advice. I'm sorry that I could not help you, as I am not aware of many physicians who are brave enough to provide these services in many American metropolitan areas. I do hope, one day, to start making cold calls to certain health professionals (endocrinologists and Family Medicine doctors) to get more information about what physicians provide these services without a therapist's letter. But until I get the time to do that, I simply don't know. But thank you very much for trusting me with your stories and requests all the same.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
jayne parris on September 05, 2019:
ive been dressing all my life so I changed my name to jayne and im dressed all the time now I just need to go all the way ?
Darren C. on August 26, 2019:
I'm a ftm individual who's in desperate need of finding a place where I can possibly get a referral for HRT. I live in Cincinnati, Ohio, so if anybody can tell me the places I can go to, it would be much appreciated.
Thomas K. on January 07, 2019:
I'd like to thank you. I've been doing my research, because I'm still young and in a home where I'd sooner be killed than put on T, but when I finally move out next year I plan on looking into transitioning. I've always had a hard time with therapy because it makes me uncomfortable as I'm not a very 'open' person, so I'd been hoping there was some way I could begin T without having to go through it, and I'm glad that I have options.
Dee Jamison on December 23, 2018:
Im 38 and ive been trying to transition since i was 9 yrs old im looking to start to get my hormones started i have straight Medicare my phone number is 626-455-8864
Jasmin on December 18, 2018:
I want necomw a fulltime lady npt jist a cd
Juno Karklin. on August 11, 2018:
I laughed seeing all of the bad grammar here. I wanted to give you a proper thank you for writing this article. It's given me lots to think about. I am willing and able to even do somewhat risky things to accomplish the task of gaining a female body. I am wholeheartedly thankful that I found this. May your future lead you to great places in life. -Juno Karklin 17
Calvin O'Neal on July 26, 2018:
I am a crossdresser. I enjoy wearing female cloths full time, but I need to have more of a feminime body. To obtane this, I feel out of place not being able to have the look that I need.
Clayton on July 03, 2018:
I'm tired of doing things for others now I want to do things for my sealf.and wanting to be a feamaile is the one thing I've wanted most in life.
Larissa on June 15, 2018:
I want to let the inner girl out.
Lawrence Pugh on May 31, 2018:
O am a very unhappy man! I have no interest in women and i am attracted to mem.
Gillian on May 31, 2018:
53 desperatly wanting to live mtf .Not just xdress when i know family arnt dropping in .Once i start i know they will accpt me.Im so un happy,have been from 13 when i knew.As i dressed and took my mate in every way.I cant talk to my dr ,i may buy on line:(
William Beck Aka Jennifer on May 23, 2018:
Hi My Practically Whole Life I've known I'm a Woman I've always felt Uncomfortable as The Male Gender and Body I was given I'm 29 now and I'm lookin to transition Finally now that I have a Gf that Accepts me for me I'm skinny and I'm Transsexual and A Adult Baby Diaper Lover who fits Baby Training Pants I'm Nomatter what going to Start Hrt Therapy and I'm getting Drs set up an I'm gonna go with your one option and I'm may start with New Dr watching Monitoring me gonna Self Medicate with Drs Advice etc
Victoria on April 21, 2018:
Hi my name is Victoria I'm m2f I'll b 50 in October I'm not on treatment at the mo because of my mental health I have eupd and hear voices wen I'm around ppl for to long tho i hear voices everyday but they are worse wen around ppl, I'm worried that i will never be able to go on hrt because of my eupd and it scares me to death
Traci Luvzcum on April 13, 2018:
I am a m2f transsexual who is desperate to find someone who is prepared and willing to provide me with a supply of oestrogen tablets. I am so desperate that I have given my body to a local pimp who is able to arrange meetings for me to give my body to gentlemen who will use me as a female whore on a regular footing and enable me to buy hormones from business friends of my. pimp.
Butch on March 11, 2018:
I have been on female hot.for 25 years and I looking for a DR.to turn me into a woman all the way 24/7
Martin on February 13, 2018:
i need help too, im ftm and i want to get on t quuuiicckkk, how do i do it
Fred Lalonde on February 04, 2018:
Hi I'm trying to get mtf hormones and don't know how? Is there anyone who can help me. I want to become a full time woman. I don't know the process. I need to know step by step instructions such as where to start, therapy, clothing, makeup, surgery, etc. If anyone can help please let me know
kallen on November 15, 2017:
hello everyone, im a 34 year old male and ive wanted to get mtf hormone treatments all my life i even had a gf who supported me and was the only bright spot in my life. ive been thinking very hard about getting treatments, but where im 34 now im a bit stand offish of it. but i feel so STRONGLY that i just cant take it anymore that i have to do this. i sometimes feel im about explode its so much. im hoping to take this information and get started. the middle of this year i almost decided to self medicate, but i knew better, and everywhere i looked people said dont. so thank you everyone for stopping me.
Jennifer on November 04, 2017:
I'm looking get hrt but I don't know how and where can anyone help me?
cassandra on October 23, 2017:
hi i have been trying to get on fht for two years ,just resently I have seen my gp who sent me to a psychiatrist who said to me she would refer me to a endocrinologist then a week later told me I had to see another psychiatrist .this initial change of her mind really hurt me emotionally and I am still struggleing .I am not young but I have been struggling with my sexuality for ages and realise who I am [a woman] but I cant move on .is there any place in western Australia where I can procure female hormones so I can move on with my life .
Breanna on September 24, 2017:
And I've been taking hormone on and off roughly four years I am steadily on Esther Doyle and Sparrow locked on and everything's going great I can't wait for the surgeries thank you don't give up no matter what anybody tells you you can't do it if it's what you want go for it just go for it they'll help you
Sasha Lewis on July 09, 2017:
so I have a question. I live in Mauritius (small island south east of South Africa) where there are no clinics that specialise or offer treatment for transgenders. Is there an option where I could get a prescription from a generalist and order the hormones online?
:( please help me, I'm a little desperate and I do not know where to turn to to get help.
Kandi White on July 05, 2017:
I need, want hrt so much! iv bn trannsgendered
Jo on June 25, 2017:
Hi. I am new to the mtf i have never felt right in my male skin I looked up srs and been studying I have related to so many stories of transgender over the past three years I have come to terms that this is who I am I came out to family about a month ago it went great I have a very supportive family I am seeing a therapist I am excited for the feuture any one know drs. In se Idaho that prescribe hrt thanks
walkerbooy on May 11, 2017:
hello i wanna ask from where can i get hormone male to female drogstore? what is name the medicale ? plz answer me? :)