Kimberly Grey

Going underground

It’s been a while since the transition category got an update, for the simple reason that nothing has happened. When I first hopped onto that GIC waiting list the estimated time to getting the first appointment was 18 months. Far longer than it should be, but not unbearably so. On that timeline it should typically be about two years before hormone replacement therapy would be prescribed—and I was well enough past puberty that waiting would make little difference.

Anyway, after more than four years of being on the waiting list, with still no word on when that first appointment may be, I’ve started hitting up a private doctor to see about getting HRT sorted.

Honestly, this isn’t something that sits well with me. I wouldn’t say I abhor the concept of private healthcare, but I sincerely believe that healthcare (especially the kind that can drastically improve a persons quality of life, like trans surgeries and therapies) should not be paywalled in any way.

The NHS is a wonderful institution that has been horribly treated under recent governments, with the gender service particularly left to rot because letting trans people suffer is the politically convenient option under Boris Johnson’s premiership. In just the last few months plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act were scrapped, despite the overwhelming majority of people polled supporting reform; trans teenagers have been blocked from getting medication to prevent irreversible damage to their bodies; a trans man was forbidden from being listed as the father of his child; and hate crimes against trans and gender non-conforming people have hit an all time high. The UK is rapidly becoming an institutionally transphobic country, and in the last five years has fallen from being ranked the most LGBT+ friendly country in Europe to tenth place.

We are, horrifyingly, trending towards trans healthcare becoming impossible to acquire in this country, so I see little option but to try and expedite the process, paying out hundreds of pounds for something that in any decent country would be free. Joy.