This week, non-essential travel, retailing, bars and restaurants, and even state centers, parks, and buildings have closed due to the growing concern over the Global Pandemic virus, COVID-19.
Along with these closures we’ve seen community conferences cancel. The 12th Annual Keystone Conference in Harrisburg PA announced earlier this week that they’d be back in 2021 but that it wasn’t safe to hold the event this year. We’re still holding out for events such as The Black Trans Advocacy Conference in TX, and the Philadelphia Trans-Wellness Conference to decide if the pandemic is handled in time for their dates.
We asked our followers on Instagram yesterday how the virus and these closures have affected them and their lives, here are some ways that our community has been uniquely impacted and how some folks are handling it.
“There was a tornado that hit 2 weeks ago that demolished a lot of people’s homes here in Tennessee. My best friend’s neighborhood was flattened. A lot of them are crammed into shelters, and I’m worried that if one of them gets it, it’ll spread to everyone there.” – @left_laney
“Uni closed, therapy cancelled. Stuck at home where everybody knows who I am, but nobody respects that.” – @thunderstrux
Here’s What’s Going on with Employment:
“Being a first responder I’m still at work the same but it’s changed policies for while this virus is going on. My fiancés top surgery consultation was postponed, he’s heartbroken. We aren’t bunkering down or panic buying, nothing like that- Just getting the backlash of it really.” – @sleepingwiththe.enemy
“As a child care educator, with the schools closed there is no work for me. However, since I work for a company and not a school district I am not on salary, I’m an hourly wage worker. For me, this time is extremely stressful as I have just moved to PA and my company is doing next to nothing to compensate and even sent out an email telling me and other employees to apply for unemployment during this time. It’s definitely nerve wracking to wonder if this will send me back home but I’m keeping my head up for now” – @The_Beckett_Emerson
“I work in the Funeral Industry, and we are expected to have an increase in volume. We cannot quarantine, cannot close our funeral homes, cannot bar grieving families from their dearly departed. We are trying to arrange funerals entirely over the phone and limit people in our building to 10 at time with no funerals larger than 50, which means intimate family gatherings with Memorial Services at a later date. The stress is high for everyone, but as funeral professionals, we still have to be available to offer our assistance and compassion for people struggling through the difficult time accompanied by the loss of a loved one.” – @corvophelia
“I’m a bartender in Atlanta, Georgia and my bar closed today, we don’t know when we will reopen.” – @oyle
“I’m a caregiver at retirement facilities we are under full quarantine. Policies changing daily. New protocols also. My girlfriend got a new job but they postponed her starting date and we are in the process of having to find a new place to live.” – @i.am._.samuel
“Im in a fellowship at a regional theater company and we were forced to close both our running productions and are out of work until further notice. Presently, the fellows are still being housed and received our stipends for April, but no word about beyond that. I was about to start as a gogo dancer at a bar in SF, but now that nightlife is down, I have no idea if that’s even on the table anymore. Same with two separate job interviews I was in the process of scheduling. At the moment, I’m focusing on learning new things to cook and doing creative work. If I think too much about what the employment landscape will look like in July when my fellowship contract ends, I start spiraling, so I’m trying to keep it off of my mind as much as possible” – @thedancingdandy
“Things have been slowing down a lot. I’m a Barber so it’s hard right now. Stuck in between making the decision to stay home and chill this out, or continue to make money before we get in complete lock down (Southern Cali). Can’t really stand 6 feet apart from your client.” – @_Zeke_88
Some Surgeries Have Been Canceled
“Less than 24hrs before my top surgery it was cancelled. I had already paid, talked to a nurse, talked to the anesthesiologist, and my mom from out of state was 2 hours away from me when my surgeon called to cancel. He couldn’t give me a timeline to reschedule because he has no idea when they will be able to even perform “elective” surgeries again. I am losing hope.” – @hey_itis_jme
” My second step in my bottom surgery journey is postponed. I know many others facing the same thing.” – @pol4rseltzerfan
“I’m hanging on tight in hopes that my top surgery doesn’t get cancelled. My parents fear we might get stuck down in Florida and are trying to talk me into cancelling everything despite it being only 11 days away. It’s extraordinarily difficult for me to keep it together right now because I don’t want to go so much as an extra day without this. I can’t fathom what people are going through who have had surgeries cancelled. I’m trying to stay positive and remember I am surrounded by people who love me and that nothing is permanent. Doing my best to push aside the negativity. I may finally learn some new hobbies to keep me occupied” – @fabinotheg
“I had my top surgery consultation just before things started getting serious in the States. I felt like getting in for surgery before the end of the summer was a real possibility but now I’m not sure. Definitely gonna be stuck with these puppies for a little while longer. HOWEVER, I’m staying positive and leaning into community, creative outlets, and cats during these wild, wild times. Much love to my brothers and siblings out there. Stay home! Wash your hands!” – @em_eli_ro
“I was on a six month wait for my top surgery consultation, which was meant to be today in New York. Because I have asthma and live with my elderly parents, I obviously couldn’t make it, so I tried to get them to do a telemedicine conference instead. Which they refused. So now I have to wait another 4-6 months and pay another $3000 in copays if the actual surgery rolls over into next year. Just feeling very defeated.” – @acehainley
HRT Refills Have Been Tough
“I haven’t been able to get my hormones, and possibly won’t be able for a while. Most of the doctors are working with really sick people. Any other prescriptions are hard to get.” – @nonamedude91
“I’ve been unable to get my medication that I use to manage bipolar disorder and will be out for at least another week. I had also planned on having some honest face to face convos with people and finally come out in honor of Trans Day of Visibility at the end of the month. Having to postpone these conversations is really amping up my dysphoria” – @daniel_by_design
Amid The Chaos, Community Leaders Have Stepped Up
Friday, members of the community are meeting to see where and how those with more resources can help those without. Whether it’s advocating for patients in need of scripts, supplying syringes, groceries, and connecting folks to one another for companionship.
Avery Dickerson, CEO of What Trans Looks Like put together a Google Form to try and link some folks together. He said he expected a mild turn out instead receiving over a thousand requests for aid. He’s now reaching out to community organizations to assist with the numbers.
TBuddy has seen a raise in user data since the quarantine began. As folks are starting to look for social platforms that focus on and cater to Trans Men in need.
As time goes on we’re hoping to add more Authors to our talent pool here at FTM Magazine and provide more quality content to those stuck at home facing dysphoria and excess time.