Gender GP, championing better access to healthcare for all.
Dr Helen Webberley (GMC #3657058) is a UK GP with specialist qualifications in sexual health and an interest in hormone related health issues. Her belief that access to expert insight should be as quick and easy as possible led to her setting up the advice and treatment portals: MyWebDoctor.co.uk and GenderGP.co.uk, through which she supports members of the transgender community and others needing specialist advice.
As a non-binary transgender person, Doty explains that they never truly felt they fitted in with the image of those men/women they were surrounded by as a child, which led to feelings of isolation and alienation - something they were keen for their child to avoid.
There are, however, huge health benefits to getting your period - it can act as a vital indicator as to whether your body is functioning normally, and can highlight changes in health that can be serious in extreme cases.
One caller asked a question which, as a cisgender woman, I felt unqualified to answer. As such, I reached out to some members of the trans community who, I felt should be offered the opportunity to address the point.
I think even the most balanced of viewers would have to agree that the documentary tended to side with Zucker's views, rather than the more modern thinking held by some practitioners of gender care for children. Indeed one of the key criticisms of the programme, from the transgender community, was the lack of representation given to those more modern views.
Instead of only considering what happens if we treat the child and then that child changes their mind years down the line, must we not also consider what happens if we refuse to treat that child?What happens to the MTF child who is told she must go through a male puberty before she will be taken seriously?
I would welcome participation in a safely hosted debate, let the community join in. Let us hear first hand from those who are going through this experience. Let us ask the questions, lift the veil, hear from the experts, listen to what it actually feels like to be gender non-conforming...
I wanted to take this opportunity to demonstrate why this is a flawed and inaccurate statistic, which should no longer be used as a proof point in the argument against treating children with gender variance.
One voice which appears to have been lost in this narrative is that of the child. Statistics show that nearly half of all gender variant children attempt suicide (there are no official figures for the greater number who self harm).
The lack of care experienced by members of the trans community is not exclusive to nurses and the points raised in the research shine a spotlight on the way in which the wider medical profession treats non gender conforming patients.
The Gender Identity Clinics to which trans patients are referred, spend a relatively short time looking after people with gender health issues and their role is really one of assessment, diagnosis and developing a treatment plan.
The NHS has approved care for transgender people in the form of counselling, hormone therapy, voice therapy, laser hair removal and surgery but why are so many patients struggling to gain access to these services?
September 10th marks World Suicide Prevention Day, a day to reflect and reach out to those people who might be at risk or suffering in silence. Members of the transgender community are particularly vulnerable and awareness days such as this shine a much-needed spotlight on an issue which is rarely acknowledged, let alone discussed.
Clearly, the specialist provision available via the NHS is insufficient, and patients, many of whom are desperate for help, support and treatment, are stuck between a rock and a hard place - it seems to be a case of put up or shut up.
Research such as this gives hope to all those people with gender variance, it legitimises their condition, helps both the patient and those around them to realise and accept that they are not mentally ill. Declassification by the WHO would represent a huge victory for the transgender community.
Those who oppose the prescription of hormone blockers argue that there is not enough medical evidence to say that early intervention is right. I would argue, based on feedback from the trans men and women that I speak to on a daily basis, that there is not enough evidence to say that it is wrong. I would also add that doing nothing is not the neutral option.
I am a gender specialist and NHS GP. I set up www.gendergp.co.uk earlier this year to provide free advice to trans adults and parents of children suffering with gender identity disorder, seeking medical support. The service, which also offers private care to those who want it, was set up after I came to the realisation that the situation for many patients suffering with gender identity disorder in the UK, was dire.
The issues around excessive waiting times for transgender patients to be seen on the NHS have been widely publicised. Waiting times of up to a year and more have led many desperate people to take affirmative action, seeking expert support through private clinics.
Thirty years after his death, the plight of the modern patient with gender dysphoria has altered very little. Sufferers are still treated with ignorance and prejudice, not only by the communities in which they live, but also by many of the doctors to whom they turn for help.
17/06/2016 16:05 BST
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