The short answer: After a person turns 18, they can begin the process of transitioning.
The whole question:
I am not really sure about my gender but I refer to myself as transman when I write it down. I stay in a small town and I don't have much information on transgender hormone therapy, how much it costs and what do I have to do or who do I have to consult to start my transition. I don't know much even though I've been doing research about transgender groups and other things that could help me start my journey. Can you please kindly help me?
The long answer:
Thanks for your email asking for information about transgender hormone therapy.
After a person turns 18, they can begin the process of transitioning. There are facilities in hospitals in Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal, but it is generally agreed that the best public facility is the Transgender Clinic at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. You can be referred to the clinic by a doctor and you can receive hormonal therapy there for a small fee, once you have been assessed by the clinic.
In the case of a transman, you would be taking the male hormone, testosterone, which you would have to take for the rest of your life. The majority of people who take hormones are satisfied with how they feel and look on the hormone therapy, but for those who don’t, there is the option of surgery at the clinic. Unfortunately there is a 25-year waiting list for genital and breast surgery, as there are not enough surgeons who are able to do it, and it is extremely expensive.
But as transgender organisations become more visible and transgender people speak up, more doctors will become aware of the demand for the surgery and opt to specialise in it.
The rights of transgender people are protected by the Constitution, but there is still a lot of prejudice on the ground, and transgender people need to access as much support as they can. Here are the contact details of a support organisation based in Cape Town that you could contact for more information:
Collingwood Building, 10 Anson Street, Observatory
7925 Cape Town, Western Cape
Tel: 021 447 4797
All the best on your journey.
Answered on Jan. 30, 2019, 11:41 a.m.