Max

Gender: Male

Pronouns: He / His / Him

Max is a black trans man in his 20’s. Max grew up in a strict Muslim household So, girls weren’t allowed to do boy things and boys weren’t allowed to do girl things would just be constantly like, I don’t know, agitated. Not being what my parents wanted me to be and for ages not knowing why

He felt growing up in a household with anti-gay sentiment that If I did come out no-one, no-one would be okay with it. So, I had to live with that, growing up… Because if they don’t accept gays then they are not going to accept trans and stuff like that

He left aged 20 and broke off communication with his parents for three years. After leaving home he was homeless. He initially stayed with a work colleague and then work helped by advocating for him with the council who found him a room in a youth hostel (supported housing). Looking back, it was kind of traumatic. But at that time, it didn’t register. I was just like, I just need a place to stay and that’s it, you know, some stability As soon as he left home he asked his GP to refer him to GIC I pretty much referred myself the same week I left home

While waiting for his first appointment with GIC Max became very depressed and asked for bridging hormones to be prescribed while he waited. Initially he was prescribed Testosterone gel I started to get tired of just applying gel every day. So I think after six months or something like that, seven months, something like that, I wanted to, I went to my GP again and asked to be switched to injections instead He now has monthly injections. Max has been waiting for almost three years for his second appointment with GIC. He finds the lack of information from GIC about when his next appointment will be very frustrating, it’s kind of like while you were waiting and that kind of lack of hope kind of, you know, just invades everything

Max would like top surgery in the future and hopes to have it on the NHS although he knows the waiting lists are long. He finds binding his chest painful and tries not to do it too much although this makes him feel uncomfortable not doing it.

He has recently resumed contact with his parents after his dad got in touch. He has since come out as trans to his father. His father’s reaction surprised him as he said, it’s your life and I’m not gonna reject you again over thisSo that was quite nice to hear

Max has experienced a lot of racism throughout his life and thinks some of his mental health difficulties relate from being black in a very white country He attended a youth group for support it was not a bad group. You know, people there were great. it’s just, it was just very white and that just inherently makes me uncomfortable He finds it helpful to see experiences from other non-white trans people. YouTube videos have been a valuable resource for that and for information about hormones, top surgery and bottom surgery.

When asked what advice he would give other trans people he advises, don’t internalise anything that comes out of the news. Just have a good support networkget yourself an advocate if you;re transitioning like medically, definitely get yourself an advocate

Max talks about the balance of power at the NHS GIC services I have no control over anything.

Age at interview 25

Max talks about the benefit of having a counsellor who was LGBT and a person of colour.

Age at interview 25

Max talks about his experience of being the only black person in youth groups it was just awkward.

Age at interview 25

Max speaks about the importance of connecting with other members of the trans POC community and to disregard the media.

Age at interview 25

Max talks about the difference it made to him finding a GP who was willing to offer a bridging prescription.

Age at interview 25

Max shares his experience of the slow progress with appointments at the NHS service and a lack of updates.

Age at interview 25

Max describes coming out to his dad after not speaking to either of his parents for three years.

Age at interview 25

Max says that the basic information’ they found was very white’ and he couldn’t relate to that at all.

Age at interview 25