Sharing hormones on Google Docs and ‘grey market’ pharmacies get gender-affirming care during the pandemic

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04/17/2020

Evelyn was growing nervous as she watched her supply of spironolactone dwindle while the city of Boston, where she lives, started its coronavirus lockdown in mid-March. Evelyn, 21, takes spiro as part of her hormone-replacement therapy to treat gender dysphoria, which happens when a person feels their body doesn’t match their gender identity. She’s had a steady routine since starting on hormones last September; every three months she goes to Planned Parenthood for a checkup and a new prescription. But by March 15 she was getting increasingly anxious. She’s found it hard to find a good doctor who treats transgender patients, let alone one accustomed to video visits. With few options and no time, Evelyn turned to a friend for help. Her friend had an access supply of spironolactone she was willing to part with. It was expired and a lower dosage but Evelyn said she could make it work until she could schedule an appointment with her doctor. “It’s a beggars-can’t-be-choosers thing right now,” Evelyn said. “I’ll take what I can get.”

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