Gender[queer],  Japan[ese],  Mental [Un]health,  Queer[ness]

one step forward, zero steps back?

so, after going to an appointment with my psychiatrist and blabbering about how much being around my family fucks me up whenever i go “home” for the holidays, which i’d be doing in less than a month’s time, causing him to be like “but what if you relapse??? consider upping your meds before you go???” and me being like “at least i’m on meds at all this time around so lolololol nah”– i felt the need to just…. really DO something yesterday.

so i did the something.
and the something will happen 4realz for realz tomorrow.
so yeah, Anxiety word vomit blogging at 9:35pm at Starbucks.

over the past three weeks or so i’ve been emailing a clinic that had been recommended to me by a friend re: starting HRT. after three weeks of no response to said emails, i decided to sneak out of work yesterday (because the clinic is seemingly only ever open while i’m at work) to call them.

in Japan, you have to first be diagnosed as having Gender Identity Disorder (GID) before you can pursue anything gender related medically. on top of that, there’s the additional barrier for Xジェンダー / non-binary people of a GID diagnosis almost always being limited to transitioning between binary genders… but i’d heard good things about this particular clinic, among others, so i called them.

me: i’m looking to start HRT, but i know that i need a GID diagnosis first. can your clinic do both?

receptionist: we can. so you’re FtM, right?

me: ……………no, i’m Xジェンダー.

receptionist: you’re what?

me: ………Xジェンダー. neither male nor female.

receptionist: uhhh…. please hold.

*music plays for literally all of one second*

receptionist: hello? i’m sorry, but we can only diagnose FtMs.

me: oh…. but…

receptionist: you might want to try this other clinic? they may be able to help you.

me: *has already been rec’d the other clinic by friends* uhh….. okay. thanks anyway.

me: *internal screaming while dialing another number*

receptionist #2: hello?

me: *mildly exasperated already and rushed to get back to work* hi, i’m Xジェンダー and i’d like to start HRT but i need a GID diagnosis to do that. can your clinic diagnose FtX?

receptionist #2: yes, we can do that.

me: OMG THANK YOU. how long does it take from starting to get the diagnosis certificate?

receptionist #2: you can receive the certificate same-day.


receptionist #2: wha–

me: sorry, i didn’t mean right now, but as soon as i can lol

receptionist #2: does Monday work for you?

me: OMG YE– i mean, yes. it does. *Professionalism*

receptionist #2: ok, i’ll book you for Monday evening.

me: THANK YOU!! but wait, how much does it cost?? (because i’ve heard of places charging upwards of $500 for quick diagnosis)

receptionist #2: about $150? bring your insurance card.

me: !!!!!!!!! thank youuuuuuuuu. *fuck Professionalism* anything else i should bring?

receptionist #2: just ID, your insurance card and a 自分史.

me: 自分wha??

receptionist #2: 自分史….. *hears page leaves rustling* uhh…. “personal history”?

me: ………………..ohhh. *still only has a vague idea of what she means* thanks! see you Monday!

me: *googles 自分史 like my life depends on it as i rush back upstairs and back to work*

….annnnd so here i am. about to be kicked out of Starbucks because they close in 3 minutes, with only 4 pages (up to 2013) of my life’s story written out in Japanese. i have no idea what to expect tomorrow or if i’m even doing this 自分史 thing right, but here’s to one step forward and zero steps back!

clinging to the hope that having a GID diagnosis that allows me to start HRT whenever i choose will be The Thing that helps me survive the upcoming holidays with family. if i can go there knowing that i can start HRT whenever i want behind their backs when i get back to Japan……

*gets kicked out of Starbucks*

YouTuber and Blogger, Vesper is an American expat currently living in Japan.

Leave a comment?