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


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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