Transgenders having to postpone sex-change surgeries indefinitely

A doctor performs a double mastectomy surgery, in a series of surgical procedures addressing gender reassignment, at Gritman Medical Center in Moscow, Idaho, on Oct. 4, 2017.Melina Mara / The Washington Post via Getty Images file

At a time when death rates from an incurable virus are spiraling, panic-buying is making basic hygiene supplies scarce, businesses and even churches are closing and the economy is rapidly sinking into depression, Newsweek wants you take a moment to focus on the problems of … transgender people.

Yes, the pandemic that has changed life on Earth in a single month has also placed additional and very newsworthy burdens on men who wish they were women and vice-versa.

Widespread closures and the strain placed on health care systems have thrown up obstacles to trans people like Tally the Witch author Molly Landgraff, who has experienced disruptions to her hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Many trans women use oral doses of hormones, but everyone’s body responds in a different way to the hormone treatments and some, like myself, are unable to metabolize the hormones effectively via pills,” Landgraff told Newsweek.

“Heading to the hospital to get my HRT shots administered is undesirable both for putting the additional workload on already strained staff and for the dramatically increased risk of exposure during the inevitable wait times at the emergency or urgent care clinics.”

While some trans people take the injections at home, many, like Landgraff, get injections at clinics undergoing the kind of disruptions many businesses have experienced, while receiving HRT shots at overburdened hospitals means risking exposure to COVID-19. For trans people, this could mean losing the pathways to drug access they’ve previously depended on, a problem exacerbated by shipping disruptions. Landgraff anticipates border closures and other medical supply shortages presenting additional challenges.

“I have to obtain my hormone doses from a compounding pharmacy lab, and I have, even under normal circumstances, been obligated to wait for weeks or even months for them to get supplies,” Landgraff said.


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