The median age in this online trans masculine forum is circa 18. Most people are not yet on T, among those that are, most have been on it under a year.
Someone writes in to ask when the acne on his chest and back would clear up, he includes pictures in his post. Dozens of people have answered, suggesting he goes to see a doctor for antibiotics. The guy replies that he’s already taken antibiotics but it’s not working.
I propose that it may be folliculitis, aka in-grown hairs, and that these might be a precursor to incoming fur. That as the fur comes out, his skin will clear up.
No one interacts with my comment, not via reactions or replies. Instead, it is immediately drowned out by further comments that the start and end of an explanation is acne, and the solution is probably antibiotics.
It’s not the first time, it won’t be the last. The easy solution is to not bother engaging in the first place but then I’m as isolated as if there were no forums. I don’t engage with most of the posts, I don’t bother sharing my experience specific to policies or health care practices no longer in effect. After this latest effort for naught, I switch off notifications of new comments on the thread as part of accepting the lack of acknowledgement.
[Picture by Austin Neill on Unsplash. Description: amusician facing a microphone.]
The virtual world is rarely a zero sum game. Now and again, someone starts a forum for trans older folks, which takes nothing away from other existing spaces. Usually what follows is that a reasonable number of people join, and at first discuss how nice it is not to be drowned out, only to subsequently fall into silence. Best case scenario, there’s the odd request for provider referrals by those who move, and in person meet up for Americans geographically close to each other. Neither results in meaningful conversations among a significant proportion of group members, especially for those of us outside the US.
I’ve not had better experiences in geographically specific regions outside the US or in forums conducted in other languages than English. I’ve started a few forums myself, with similarly limited success. My ongoing experiences of being ignored in larger forums reminds me that there’s seemingly no solution though I continue to brainstorm and search for some.