Montana State University provides hormone treatment for transgender students. Getting an education is secondary.
Students visit Montana State University Health Services for many reasons, but the scope of care is larger than many would expect. Reporter Lena Blietz talked with student Stanley Acedraper, who found help for a life change.
Stanley needed gender hormones to feel like his true self, KXLH.com reports.
“I’m being who I want to be and that’s all anyone really wants is to be who they want to be,” Acedraper said. “I did a little bit of research at the beginning, just to weigh my options because I was unfamiliar with the process and all that. “
“So, we met a few times before I actually got on the hormones, to just talk about it and she gave me all this information and all this paperwork, just stuff that I could look over to know like what was going to happen to me,” Acedraper said.
“I think it’s really important that transgender students can access the care they need here on campus,” said Dr. Katie Woods, MSU Health Services physician.
With an LGBT-supportive health center, Acedraper gets his medications without disrupting his schedule.
“It was so helpful like right after classes, I can go pick up my prescription just right on campus,” Acedraper said.
“Students pay a student health fee and that covers their access to the clinic. We have a very affordable lab, and then medications and laboratory services are run through the student’s insurance,” Woods said.
MSU Student Health Services has about 30 to 40 transgender patients and treatment for transitioning is tailored to each person.
“The process of transitioning is really individualized, so the most important thing is really to listen to the patient. We get an idea of what kind of a transition we’re making, are we going male to female or female to male, and then we try to find out what kind of health history they have that could give them certain side effects with the medications,” Woods said.
Stanley chose to start hormones as quickly as possible after coming out, and now he’s finally being recognized as a male after five months with the shots.
“These are the needles that I use to pull the testosterone out of the vial, and then these are the ones that I use to inject myself with,” Acedraper said.
Stanley can’t legally change his name yet for fear of complicating his student loans, but he says everyone calls him by his chosen name and uses the correct male pronouns.
Stanley eventually plans to have full gender reassignment surgery but is waiting until it becomes more affordable.