So you feel more feminine than you are masculine? Or less manly than you are womanly? Or vise-versa. And now your thinking about changing genders? Become a transgender? And your in the UK, and want NHS access to hormones and hair removal?
Here’s how I did it… First of all, there are many way others have arrived at the Gender Identity Clinic. This doesn’t cover all of them. This is just how I did it!!
I figure, I should write about this and share my experiences as many trans people are having trouble getting over the first hurdle. And how you go about getting your GP to refer you. It’s not as complicated as people think. Should take no more than 18 moths, depending on the Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) you choose as waiting lists vary month to month. There’s a huge demand!
Firstly, not every general practitioner (GP) knows what’s good for their patient. If your current GP refuses to make a simple referral, simply change GP’s. Under NHS England, you are allows to change doctors at will. You are not tied any one doctor for the entire duration. No. You can choose any GP that covers your area. Typically there are three at least. Before you decided to go with that GP, you may wish to ask them a few questions. Such as, “Does my doctor support transgenders?” — My last doctor sure as hell didn’t!!
Most GP’s can not usually refer you directly to the GIC pathway
The quickest way is to get yourself refereed to a psychosexual therapists,
Not a psychiatrist or a psychologist.
You need to ask your doctor to make a referral to the local mental health clinic or centre, to be seen by a psychosexual therapists — These people are mental health advisor’s specifically trained to deal with all kinds of sexual problems, whatever the causes and are generally available to everyone!!
A psychosexual therapists will then ask you all sorts of personal questions about you. So be prepared to give them everything you know. They are essentially assessing your mental state and where you are in your transition. Don’t be alarmed. It’s normal!!
They’ll ask you about:
- your upbringing
- where you lived,
- where you schooled,
- careers or jobs you are currently/previously been in,
- your parents jobs/careers,
- details about your family relationship,
- how your friends feel about your transition,
- are you on any national benefits,
- your interests,
- your hobbies etc.
They’ll will definitely as you about your current sexual identity and how comfortable you are with it… or in my case not. They will also ask you about what drugs you might be taking at that given moment — They can not refer you if you are currently on anti-psychotics, this includes some antidepressants (So I’m told)
Generally, the more you share, the more likely they attempt to help you.
Most of all, be honest with yourself. It’ll feel like an endurance test.
From day one, I shared with them everything about myself including an interest in entering the Adult Entertainment industry as a performer. Yes. I did that. I’m not ashamed of my decision nor do I have any regrets. I believe I should be forthcoming with my specialists. They can offer me the best possible support to ensure my transition and career path is successful.
If you are intersex (and you have medical proof) then say you are intersex. BUT don’t lie about this. The GIC will know after they do a bloodtest!! — Trust me, my psychiatrist at Charring Cross have told me of other people who arrived in the clinic claiming to be ‘intersex’ and their blood and there genetic testing has proven otherwise.
After one or two session with them, they will make a writing recommendation to GIC of your choosing. Me, I chose London’s Charing Cross. The waiting list at that time was 18 months. Where as Leeds was several years (at that time). Whilst I was waiting for the GIC appointment to merge. I wasn’t legally on any hormones.
Most GP’s will refused to prescription to hormones.
Simply because you want them, doesn’t mean you will get them. That’s not how it works. The problem here isn’t the law as such. It’s more due to drug licensing agreements. Currently doctors are only allowed to prescribe estrogens to females and testosterones to males — I hope they’ll amend those rules eventually!!
Getting Hormones on the NHS:
Since every online community or forum I have ever visited, refuses to discuss this matter, I will share with you how I obtain my supply…
Now, initially my own GP refused to supply me with any hormones other than licensed testosterone. They felt this could potentially jeopardize my chances of getting accepted at the London GIC. Of-course this isn’t going to prevent me from trying! It’s my health at stake here not just a delay in transitioning.
How I initially got estrogens on the NHS is a little sneaky — I was admitted into hospital for an appendicitis. For the duration of my stay, a surgeon asked me what drugs I’m currently taking… Among the other drugs, I also mentioned that I’m on 4mg estrogen hemihydrate, a few days later, they started me on a daily doses of 4mg Ellesta Solo™. This then appear on the discharge papers, as a repeat and since this came from the hospital, your GP will have to prescribe it as hospital doctors have a higher clearance than general practitioners.
Information about getting NHS funding for hair removal can be found here. Don’t be hasty and pay, be persistent and use the phone. Provided you are on the pathway you are entitled to NHS funded hair removal. Totalling eight hours worth.
Other information can be found here [I’ll try will keep this updated] theGuardian : transgender-journey