Have fun! Enjoy the Scotlands!
Merci bien, mon ami![*]
[*not Scottish for “thank you, friend”.]
Will shortly be disappearing off to the remote Scottish highlands! Not that it’ll make much difference, since I’ve hardly had the time to post anything but queued stuff lately. Back Tuesday, anyway.
Must not cringe at new fic author who can’t correctly formulate abstract nouns… must not cringe at new fic author who can’t correctly formulate abstract nouns…
How do trans people deal with medical symptoms that are related to biological sexes? I know this sounds kinda confusing but a simple example is if a AFAB trans man was having symptoms of a heart attack (we all know males and females have different symptoms) like how does one who doesn’t know the sex they were assigned with suss it out? Idk I’m just worrying about people who might get really sick and stuff bc of biological sex thingies.
Sorry if this triggered anyone I really tried my hardest to express what I mean in a non offensive way. Please call me out if anything is wrong and answer my question bc I’m super confused tbh.
So, hey. You just started following me today, and when I went to peruse your profile this is the first thing I saw.
Assuming good faith here: you need to realize that this is a very, very common form of concern trolling. You might not mean it that way, but that’s how it gets used so… stand advised?
The actual answer to your question isn’t simple, because the question itself is a little disconnected from the reality of the situation. Again: I’m assuming good faith here, don’t take my saying that personally — just kinda how it is.
Gonna walk you through this.
First thing: "biological sex" isn’t "biological", it’s as socially constructed as anything else. It’s assigned at birth based on nothing more than genitalia, and not only are those not inherently binary, they’re also tell you very little about the health and biology of any trans person with a particular type (and are changeable in any case).
That might seem like a tangent, but it’s actually important. You’re assuming that a CAFAB man will have health problems similar to those of a cis woman, except for hormone levels. That is not at all a safe assumption. We have far too little research on trans people’s health, but what we do know indicates that a *lot* changes on HRT alone. Hormones are the drivers of your metabolism, and they control all kinds of things both large and small scale in the body, many of which are still poorly explored (and even moreso for trans folks). The younger you are when you start, the more true that is — your body will grow and develop differently as your hormones change.
Meanwhile, there are actually very few aspects of human medical biology *directly* mediated by genes, chromosomes or anatomy. Hormones are the big driver on a cellular level, and that’s handled by your endocrine system. What that means is you really can’t tell from a trans person’s CASAB (coercively assigned sex at birth) what their body is actually doing.
You’re also assuming, re: the heart attack example, that the distinction between cis men and women’s heart attacks is clear and obvious. It’s not — most cis men *and* cis women report chest pain; more cis women than cis men don’t, but isn’t at all clear why. And even then, the difference isn’t as big as you might think — to the point that the difference may well not be clinically significant, and is certainly not sufficient to explain why more cis women *die* from their heart attacks.
Basically, for anything that’s not clearly specific to anatomy (you can’t get testicular cancer without testes, you can’t need a hysterectomy if you have no uterus, etc), your sex assignment matters a good deal less than you might think. And if you’re intersex, that’s even more the case.
Meanwhile, doctors very often don’t know how to serve us, or what our needs and issues even are, and they frequently abuse us (PDF). Many of us have to walk our own providers through this information because even the research that has been done and verified as best practice is still very poorly known within the medical community. It’s not at all uncommon for us to simply be denied medical coverage, as doctors assume that we’re weird, unnatural, unknowable and probably just a source of liability.
So the answer to your question, “How does one who doesn’t know the sex they were assigned with suss it out?” is “Often really poorly, because cis folks and doctors especially make way too much outta birth assignment, and trans people pay the price for their ignorance and misinformation.”
The other thing is… you won’t find too many trans folks with actual regular access to health care who *don’t* disclose when it’s salient. It’s just that cis people’s idea of “when it’s salient” isn’t terribly well calibrated; me and some other folks I know have been turned away by *dentists*. Because we were on HRT.
…because estrogen is obviously this weird foreign alien chemical and who KNOWS what THAT does to a body.
i’m still bad at biology; so i’ll skip that part; but here’s what i learned about heart attacks: there are ‘typical’ symptoms (chest pain, left arm, shortness of breath…) — and all sorts of other possible pains and symptoms. that’s part of the problem with heart attacks! lots of people even have no symptoms at all (more probably if you’re diabetic for instance, or in other circumstances).
the diagnosis of a heart attack relies a lot on simple technical equipment: an ECG, which will show recognisable patterns, and a quick blood test for a biomarker (troponine) that is highly specific and sensitive to myocardiac infarction (and some more, depending; but that’s the two first and main ones)
literally everybody who shows up with any problem at the hospital or calls the paramedics usually gets an ECG (and if it shows signs for recent infarction the sense of urgency will be high regardless of what kind of symptoms the person had). since heart attacks are both very frequent but also show such unreliable symptoms, most people who will have any sort of weird new pain or problem that might possibly be a heart attack (weather it be your crushing chest pain or just weird belly or back pain or nausea) will also get their blood tested for it, too.
hope that answers your question from a medical perspective, too! i really think that concerns about “if they don’t know your gender they gave you at birth, they won’t know what to do now!” are completely unfounded in this case. (as in most cases, probably)
many doctors, nurses, paramedics don’t really know about trans people or trans issues at all, it’s just not part of the curriculum. (i mean, it’s literally not! there is no helpful memory slot ‘what to keep in mind if HRT / if trans’ that will pop up in their mind; as would usually pop up if you mention other things! at all!); so giving them this information might actually confuse them and lead them to make more mistakes than they’d do if they didn’t know… part of the problem the patient faces, then.
i’ve been doing research about jobs/companies that are accepting of trans and the like since i’m going job hunting again next month, and i found this list, which lists trans-friendly businesses. it links to this page, a directory for employers.
tagging so people can see it, i figured this might come in handy for some people!
*frustrated goat noises*
A goat frustrated because it doesn’t have sufficient opposable thumbs to try and throw a messenger chicken?
tumblrs message system is a bit like messenger pigeons only they’re chickens and you just kind of throw them in the direction of the recipient and hope they find their way
Found on Shutterstock: model with passing resemblance to Chris Barrie.
(More of this dude here. Resemblanceness varies hugely between shots, but that one there I genuinely had to look twice at.)
Help me prove a point
I have never reblogged anything faster.
Unfortunate for the books, but speaks loads about the quality of some fan fics
It’s almost as if talented writers can opt to put their time into fanworks with a guaranteed audience instead of into original works that may never get picked up by a publisher simply because there are too many unpublished books and not enough publishers/time/money for them all.