Shash

Gender: Female

Pronouns: She / Her

Shash is a trans woman. Her family did not respond well to her coming out as trans which she says contributed to poor mental health. She started her transition in 2016 which began with feminising her appearance and using she/her pronouns. At this time she was homeless and sofa surfin but found accommodation at her university although struggled with her finances.

Shash chose to self-medicate with feminising hormones due to long waiting times for NHS care. She feels lucky to have a good knowledge of medicine which has helped her with this and navigate the risks. However, her care has now been taken over by an NHS gender service. The first changes such as breast development began at about 3 to 6 months but other changes such as fat redistribution took a lot longer. She says it’s only been 18 months, like there’s still a lot more changes to com.

Shash views transition as on ongoing process, not something that can be finished and health practitioners need to view it as such. She has been very active with LGBT groups, in particular creating safe spaces for other LGBT people of colour. She says it is crucial to check that what you are doing is intersectional and taking into consideration the most marginalised in the community.

Shash says the media is not great wish we had more trans writers and reporters rather than cis people writing about our experiences

She would like to see trans healthcare transform to a primary care focused model centring on the informed consent of trans patients. To young people she says carry on thrivin and take care of each othe whilst also reminding them that their elders will fight for yo.

The sexual health clinic Shash attended was really good. She talks about the assumptions made and how she and the healthcare team dealt with it.

Age at interview 23

Shash talks about trans healthcare as lifesaving’ treatment.

Age at interview 23

Shash wants to see a primary care model’ of trans healthcare with the eventual goal’ for all GP’s to prescribe.

Age at interview 23

Shash talks about how her attraction and libido has changed as she has gone through her transition.

Age at interview 23

Shash describes the impact of COVID-19 on gender services they had to put a pause on things’ but were still trying to do video call appointments.

Age at interview 23

Shash describes the physical and emotional changes she experienced with feminising hormone therapy.

Age at interview 23

Shash describes the information she has on Vaginoplasty and Orchidectomy surgeries and how she feels about them.

Age at interview 23

Shash says, I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to anyone who’s been able to separate their trauma.

Age at interview 23

Shash talks about the stigma associated with the Hijra community and how it has affected her.

Age at interview 23

Shash says [self-medding] worked well for me [but] I would not recommend it unless it’s the last option.

Age at interview 23

Shash describes buying clothes, getting her hair cut and changing her name and pronouns.

Age at interview 23

Shash gives her advice to teachers, educate yourself on trans issues [and be] affirming.

Age at interview 23

Shash describes the racism in medical training a lot of [people of colour] learn to hide pain.

Age at interview 23

Shash says that finding a good GP is one of the hardest things.

Age at interview 23