Henry

Gender: Male

Pronouns: He / His / Him

Henry initially came out as gay, but since having the space to explore his gender identity further as a young adult, he came out as a trans man. His transition has been gradual over the years taking steps towards being male with each step feeling more affirming. Wearing a binder and hearing people use male pronouns never felt wrong or strange. Being able to go at his own pace has helped to build confidence in who he is. Coming out to friends and family at his own pace helped Henry to feel more in control. He is working through ways to reconcile his religious upbringing and faith with being trans.

Although Henry had been living as a man for many years he was being misgendered frequently and as he was meeting new people regularly through work it was wearing him down. Henry felt he needed to start to medically transition so that his outward appearance would fit who he was.

He approached his GP about medically transitioning and was referred to see a gender specialist. While on the waiting list for the gender identity clinic he used the time to learn more about what being trans meant, what the appointments and the processes at the gender identity clinic would be like and making steps towards transition, such as changing his name. Having a focus that was not related to his transition and being able to focus on things in preparation for the assessment process helped with the long waiting time.

Having been assessed by the NHS gender identity clinic, Henry needed to speak to lots of GPs before finally finding a GP who agreed to his monthly prescription of hormones. Henry has felt it was up to him to co-ordinate blood tests and access fertility preservation. He would like general practitioners to have formal training so that they have the knowledge to be able to support trans people so that trans people do not have to co-ordinate their own care or to educate their own healthcare professionals.

Henry feels his access to hormones has completely transformed his life and how he feels about himself.
He thinks it is important for young trans people to seek out safe spaces where they do not feel judged and can be free to explore their gender identity whether that be online communities, youth groups or support groups set up in healthcare settings.

Henry wants to see an affirmative trans healthcare service that prioritises trans people’s mental health.

Age at interview 25

Henry talks about the distinction between physically carrying a child and wanting to have children which is something he’s always wanted.

Age at interview 25

Henry feels that being trans is life enriching and looks forward to the future by seeing older role models.

Age at interview 25

Henry talks about his surgery date getting pushed back further and further’ and choosing to seek surgery privately instead.

Age at interview 25

Henry self-referred to free counselling for 16-25 year olds that which was helpful.

Age at interview 25

Henry didn’t access counselling services because of stigma between mental health and trans identity.

Age at interview 25

Henry says race is never something that makes me feel disempowered whereas for somebody who isn’t where, that could be totally disempowering.

Age at interview 25

Henry shares how his GP told him we can’t prescribe you hormones, we’re not going to do that.

Age at interview 25

Henry says in light of his expectations of the NHS gender identity services, they have been pretty good.

Age at interview 25

Henry talks about the challenge of fitting into a model of transitioning and a narrative that the rest of the world understands.

Age at interview 25

Henry describes being part of the LGBTQ+ association and how it was a really transformative’ experience.

Age at interview 25

Henry says a lot of healthcare professionals can hide behind a mask of general ignorance and unwillingness to educate themselves.

Age at interview 25

Henry says its exhausting’ always having to assert your own power in order to get the support that you need.

Age at interview 25

Henry describes finding friends under the LGBTQ spectrum’ and starting to explore his identity.

Age at interview 25

Henry shares the times he came out, first as gay and then as trans. He wanted more control this time.

Age at interview 25