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"I never felt comfortable seeking medical help, unless it was absolutely dire."

"My name is Joy Pink and I am a 19-year-old transgender woman who is bisexual. I’ve known I was bisexual since I was a kid, and since then I’ve had boyfriends and girlfriends and whatnot. I started doubting and questioning my gender about 4 years ago. For a while I thought I was gender fluid. It wasn’t until November of 2019 when I came out as transgender.

With the exception of a month ago, it has been over 10 years since I have been to a doctor. I honestly don’t have much experience in healthcare because I have never really felt comfortable going to see doctors after hearing certain stories from people in the community who have had negative experiences. Most of the negative experiences I have heard about were shared with me in confidence and I don’t feel comfortable sharing. It made me scared. So…I never felt comfortable seeking medical help, unless it was absolutely dire. That moment came about a month ago when I went to the ER because I was having extreme dizziness. They didn’t ask my any questions related to my sexuality or gender identity, but I was also presenting male. I only feel comfortable presenting as my identity [female] in some spaces, very rarely will I risk presenting as my true self in public. So I more often present as male, just because I don’t feel safe presenting as otherwise. However, I do eventually plan on transitioning. But only after I leave my home state, my family is very anti-LGTB so I don’t really feel safe doing it here. Currently my plan is to transfer to a different region with my job at the American Red Cross, right now I’m looking to go to Nashville, TN or South Carolina. I am going to a southern region because I am homeless, and I can’t really live anywhere in the winter because I live in my car. I am homeless mostly because it was a personal choice. I could either move back in with my homophobic family who really didn’t accept me for who I am or I could be homeless…and I decided I’d rather live in my car and be who I am than stifle myself any longer. It is really difficult to think about what my life will be like when I can finally be myself. I am not really someone who looks too far into the future or thinks about what my life will look like. I live my life day by day, that’s kind of why I have a lax attitude about being homeless. What gets me through is being surrounded by people I love, I have a really good group of friends. And one day, I am going to leave the United States. Things just seem to be really regressing here in terms of LGBTQ+ rights. Hopefully then, I will be able to be myself."

-Joy Pink, Michigan (she/her/hers)


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