Handmade protest button, resembling school notebook paper, in honour of Mirha Soleil Ross and Chloe Dzubillo.
Traditionally many trans people have to prove that they need trans healthcare by ‘living as the desired gender’ (so called) for minimum one year, i.e. perform cisnormativity at tremendous risk to oneself. By healthcare professionals, this trial is referred to as ‘the real life test’. This is my handmade button inspired by historic protest buttons at @ArQuives, and works of #chloedzubilo and early works of #mirhasoleilross Mirha Soleil Ross. I will make a bunch more by hand as a limited edition, and sell them in my online shoppe, to finally raise funds for my own surgery.
“Dear J, In 2000, at Howard Brown Clinic in Chicago, I was told ‘for FTMs, minimum one year real life test’. Advised by accomplices, I said I had already done so, 24/7 for a year, and was granted permission. I continued via various grey markets (robin hooded from trans men with insurance, barter, etcetc) ways for many years, until I could afford discounted hormones at community clinics. I don’t recall what the rules (i.e. Harry Benjamin standard) were for trans women at that time, vaguely I recall 3 to 5 years in USA, and this would vary depending on insurance, location, provider — i.e. who the gatekeeper was, and the extent to which one could risk, live off gender grid, outside of social contract, often mitigated by class. In Toronto one would have been seen at the horrific Clarke, (the now rebranded CAMH) in the dept run by loathsome he who shall not be named, maimer of children. This was just after Mike Harris took SRS, i.e. genderaffirming surgeries off of OHIP. So if you were prediagnosis in Toronto at that time and told to risk your safety for 5 years to prove your health care needs, perhaps this is why. Today one has so many more options, in care, in language and in law”.