Bay

Gender: Non-binary

Pronouns: they/them

Bay came out as non-binary at the age of 23, but first started to feel different from their peers at the age of 11 or 12. They sought help for depression in their late teens after friends encouraged them to go to their GP, to talk to someone but the resources weren’t there. At 23 Bay eventually learnt about being non-binary and that was when it started to fit and feel right

Bay describes their journey as very much an onlin one. Bay didn’t knowingly know any trans peopl and it wasn’t something that I’d been exposed to at school Bay came out to family, colleagues, and changed preferred name at work. They say it has been a pretty positiv experience, and haven’t had too much negativity from anyone.

Bay began their exploration gradually by changing their clothes and hairstyle, thinking that perhaps that would be enough. However, they felt that there also needed to be medical changes to feel comfortabl. Top surgery was something they had wanted from an early stage, whereas they wrestled over whether to take hormones for quite a while

They went to their GP and asked to be referred to the GIC. The GP they saw was very understanding Bay decided they couldn’t wait the extensive waiting time for their first appointment and booked an assessment with a private clinic, which Bay hoped would offer more guidance and support. The GIC and the GP agreed to a shared care agreement, and that process was very smoot and Bay’s experience of their GP in general have all been positive.

First appointment at the GIC was a psychological assessment, and Bay was very anxious about it, due to reading about others; experiences on how well non-binary people are understood in those settings Bay felt like they did have to play the game a little bit but also stood their ground on some things, like the request for them to legally change their name, which actually delayed them getting access to testosterone.

Bay was eventually prescribed Testogel. They were apprehensive to start with, and needed time to adjust to that change happening Also being worried about other people noticing as well. They are happiest about the changes in their upper body shape, and the fact that other changes didn’t go too quickly.

Bay says they were anxious about how their change in appearance might change how they negotiate gendered spaces in day to day life They recall an experience of a bouncer asking them to leave a pub due to using the women’s toilets. They are also concerned on potentially being read as a gay man in the men’s toilets, and what homophobicbuse might come with that They say I want to look more masculine, you know those are the things I’m, I’m seeking in a lot of ways, but at the same time every time I get read as male it, it jolts me in some way Bay wonders if this is perhaps because they I don’t associate strongly with, with either binary gender Bay’s advice to parents is to make it clear to the child that they are still loved and they are still supporte because parents; time to process information can be misunderstood as unacceptance.

Bay says Improve the mental health support for young people waiting for their first GIC appointment.

Age at interview 28

Bay talks about how incorrect information in media articles impacts people’s discussions around trans healthcare.

Age at interview 28

Bay talks about understanding their sexuality and gender identity.

Age at interview 28

Bay talks about their experience of private counselling as an absolutely invaluable space.

Age at interview 28

Bay found it difficult to find information about the different methods for top surgery and doesn’t feel they made a particularly informed decision.

Age at interview 28

Bay says it’s okay to have doubts’ about having surgery, it’s a big change to make to your body.

Age at interview 28

Bay talks about their apprehension when starting hormone therapy and says it’s okay to still have doubts.

Age at interview 28

Bay reflects on their understanding of puberty changes as they were taking place and how they tried to rationalise it.

Age at interview 28

Bay talks about their experience with the NHS GIC as a non-binary person.

Age at interview 28

Bay talks about being on the waiting list and the lack of contact causing them to panic.

Age at interview 28

Bay shares their experience of private healthcare and feeling like they had to play… the game.

Age at interview 28

Bay says with a two year wait ahead of meI can’t wait that long’ and decided to seek out private healthcare options.

Age at interview 28

Bay talks about making a smear test appointment with their GP reception and the difficulties with this.

Age at interview 28

Bay talks about the administration systems at their GP practice and how it impacts their experience.

Age at interview 28

Bay talks about the contradicting information’ from other trans people’s experiences.

Age at interview 28

Bay reflects on their time in the LGBTQ+ association. They say finding that support came at a really important time.

Age at interview 28

Bay describes their ongoing process of coming out as non-binary, coming out to friends first and then family.

Age at interview 28