Sunday, 23 September 2018

Why I won't ask my doctor to refer me to the gender clinic

I haven't posted for a while as I've been waiting on the people who claim to want to buy my house to get on with doing so. The English system of house buying and selling is soul-destroying. It's a lot easier in other countries.

The other thing that is destroying my soul is the deranged and toxic yet incompetent government that we have in Britain now. I rarely make political points here but for over 300 years the UK constitution worked well, despite being unwritten, and it is now failing. Governments of all colours are usually a background annoyance or irritant that citizens mainly just grumble about. This one is different. We are facing a dictatorship, the first since the 17th Century, with removal of human rights and other freedoms. The prospects for minority groups is frightening. Immigrants and even their descendants will obviously face the worst of it - European citizens even if they have lived and contributed for decades, Jamaicans who came in the 1940s, people of non-local colour and religion. And in the wake of that you can be sure of the persecution of others, the LGBTQI Etc community being almost invariably targeted in these instances. Although the current prime minister seems to be trans friendly at present I fail to see that lasting especially if, as has been the intention for 2 years, Britain leaves the European Union with its protections for citizens' rights. There are other government intentions, such as leaving the UN's Council of Europe so that there will be no answering to international scrutiny on human rights abuses, and so we can send a few more 'undesirables' to Trump's America for torture. This in a country that was instrumental in bringing down the dictators of the past and establishing modern notions of rights across the world.

When the Germans invaded Holland in 1940, they found it easy to round up Dutch Jewish citizens. The Dutch, you see, kept excellent records of their citizens and the Nazis simply went through town hall filing systems to find the persons they wanted.

The National Health Service (NHS) here deals with trans people in one way only. Although slightly more relaxed recently, basically you have to transition, preferably surgically, to receive assistance, hormonal, psychological or other. That's basically it.

As mentioned a few times, I don't feel surgical transition is suitable for me and therefore I feel let down by the health system that I pay into that isn't really interested in assisting me in any other way. I have had to discuss my being transgender with doctors over the years, especially when I was being treated for eczema since I had to explain that that illness prevented my wearing makeup and that was destroying my wellbeing as a trans person. They took that very seriously and I am grateful for their attitude. I have been seeing a doctor again recently for something else and although she was well-informed about transgender issues and happy to refer me to the gender clinic, I had to complain that NHS assistance available here is limited and actually unhelpful to many trans people.

I have always asked, though, that my medical record not be marked with any transgender indicators. Why? Well, if I cannot be offered any suitable help, I don't want my record marked unnecessarily with details of my being trans that makes it easier for Nazis to round me up, like the Dutch Jews. Sounds paranoid? Perhaps, but it's always been a niggle in my mind given my family's experience of dictators in the past and the way that extremist regimes like to behave. Previously I thought the chances of a nasty dictatorship in this country was so slight that maybe I oughtn't to be so paranoid. Now I am feeling that my caution has been well placed.

This is a very brief expose of complex and controversial issues, but it explains my disgust at the poor acceptance and help trans people have had from the state. I don't perceive the situation getting better despite recent government consideration on how to improve matters. A different prime minister - and that is certainly on the cards - and trans people may be persecuted instead, probably with impunity.

These are bad times. Live authentically, but be careful of evil people as their wickedness never rests.

Sue x


  1. First off, I think you are being brave and true by pinning your colours to the mast. Ah, a good old history reference :-)

    I'm also no fan of the current political system and I also worry that populism* is fuelling hatred and division, rather than trying to help us understand the modern world is a complex and ever changing place.

    Much as certain newspapers and social media feeds spew - frankly, bile - listening to people in the street, at work, or elsewhere; it doesn't seem as bad. Yeah, maybe that's the social bubble I move in, but maybe alarmist panic to sell content is the other end.

    The bad folk may come to look for us, but we already have their passwords ;-)

    1. Thanks for your comments, Lynn. You're right about populism and the papers. I am very worried, though, at the ease with which a minority extreme faction within a minority government is calling the shots, and a minority of vocal nasty people are dominating life at present. 20th-century history is all too full of the consequences of allowing hate to rule. I remain frightened and revolted and am expecting civil strife on a wide scale. Put that fear down to past personal experience. Sue x

    2. In other news, congrats on being featured on T Central.

    3. Ah yes. T-Central is a good resource, I find. A good way of sharing thoughts of all kinds on trans life. It's nice to be featured again. Sue x

  2. Sorry to hear that there is unrest in the UK about these things. Sometimes we get immersed in our own (USA) controversies, and forget that others have the many of the same issues!

    Be safe...


    1. Thanks, Mandy. I just don't know what's happened these last two years. The USA and Britain were leading players on the democratic stage, sensible and influential. Now look at them! Sue x

  3. Is it really that bad? I live in the US so I am not aware things are so bad. Is this not a bit of hysteria, disrespectful of the true horrors of Hitler's holocaust, to compare your obviously unsympathetic NHS?

    1. Also, l guess this seems to highlight the drawbacks of allowing oneseof to become dependent on the state.
      It is a bit like the old antebellum plantation mentality wherein the Democratic party actually argued that blacks were better off as slaves since they were incapable of seeing to their own needs

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. My point was not that the NHS is so unsympathetic that it resembles Nazis. What has happened is that Theresa May's government has been making as many attempts as it can to rule by decree, for example by trying to avoid parliamentary scrutiny on vital issues like Brexit. It is trying to deport immigrants, even descendants of immigrants, creating for them a 'hostile environment' - it's own term. It wants to avoid all scrutiny on human rights and employment rights that so far have been protected by the European Union and the United Nations. This is serious and, to me, terrifying and is very similar to the methods the dictators of the 1920s-40s used to gain absolute power.
      Right-wing ideologies usually target foreigners first and the gay and trans communities next. Given the persecution that's already started of the first group I am wondering how long it will be before trans people get hurt. What little assistance we already have will be cut and then removed.
      The private healthcare route for trans people is much the same as the state one.
      Since there's already little help available to trans people, my point is that it's inadvisable to put yourself in the firing line unless you feel you have no other option. Sue x