Julie (She/her/They/Them/Siya) is a clinical lab technologist and humanitarian aid worker. When she was 24, started her medical transition while living in the Philippines. She was unable to find a gender affirming provider, so she started self-medicating hormone therapy. Hormone Therapy affects organ systems throughout the body and needs to be closely monitored through routine blood tests. Since Julie worked in a clinical laboratory, she was able to monitor her hormone levels and organ function.
After she moved to the United States, Julie was able to find an endocrinologist to manage her care. It was challenging to find someone who was trauma informed with experience with trans patients, and she often had to advocate for herself and ask for specific tests that she knew were affected by her treatment.
When Julie first began hormone therapy, she got monthly blood tests to monitor her treatment. Now that she and her doctors have found treatment that works for her, she gets annual blood tests to monitor her hormones and organ function.
“The lab saves my life every time that rainbow of draw tubes is collected to check if my organs are functioning well with all the medications I am taking with hormone treatment.”
Professionally, Julie is a passionate advocate for making the lab a more trans affirming space. She emphasizes that the lab is an essential part of the tool kit of care but can do more harm than good. It can be incredibly hurtful for a patient to be misgendered during a blood draw or have the wrong gender marker on their medical record.
“We need to connect the gap between having a compassionate laboratory, a holistic provider and a well aware patient.”
Hear Julie on the Inside the Lab Podcast Season 1 Episode 12 on Transgender Pathology