Letter to: Queensland Health
If I can be so bold, we do have a great number of very urgent and pressing problems.
So I would like to break them down into single questions and hopefully some answers.
The very first of these concerns the perceived rejection from the medical groups, which we can document!
We do not consider suing for discrimination at this point in time, but I am sure we could do so!
Doctors, Psychologist, Endocrinologists and Surgeons we would like to see them treating us with compassion, and some understanding of our situation. We cannot expect full understanding, unless the treating medical person is themselves Transsexual. Yes, it is that complex!
Question, when, will Queensland Health set the protocol for the medical profession, to include the fact that trans people will at some time come though their doors and need treatment. We do understand that this in itself is a difficult situation, as there is no specific course included in the training offered at University, to cover our condition. There is much written about it and can be obtained via various web sites, including of course WPATH and their Standard of Care for Gender Dysphoria and Transsexualism!
Due to the unfortunate fact that we meet prejudice from the medical profession in many forms, mainly due to lack of learning and not having contact with us. This will mean that we will have to educate people so they understand we are not queer or perverted. We have the option after surgery of presenting one of five ways to show our sexuality.
Letís consider what itís like to go to your doctor with a problem, to be told that he wonít treat people with problems like yours, but he will gladly call a priest, to drive out your demons. Yes its true and is still happening !
This could force you to go into an inner shell, akin to hiding your problems from all around you, and this does happen when many, in fact most go into Stealth. Their own special hiding place, and because of this, many consider taking their life, which many unfortunately do!
To have got to the stage where you ask for help from the medical profession, only to be made to feel that you are losing your sanity because of the lack of understanding by many within the medical fraternity, is soul destroying, and can cause irreparable harm, if not death! We all too often feel that we are being pushed aside and discriminated against, because of lack of knowledge from the professionals, that we are forced by law to rely on.
We identify our key areas of concern for the Transsexual community as the following.
∑ Education. This means, the education of the whole medical fraternity. GPs, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Endocrinologists, Surgeons, Nurses and Counselors.
∑ We are currently given very short shrift by many in the medical fraternity, due to ignorance of our condition. We would hope that education undertaken by all fields, as mentioned above, will in due course alleviate our problems.
∑ We would expect that some of that education would come from people who are Transsexual, and then have an understanding of what it means!
∑ With education will come, benefits that will help everyone involved! From the The Transsexual sphere, the benefit would be from not just being dealt with in an understanding manner, but also with compassion and empathy. From the Medical Professionals, the very essence of understanding what is a very involved and convoluted condition.
∑ If training was given at University, they would then have background understanding, and could then decide if they wish to specialize in this field.
∑ There are many more now questioning their sexuality, and many wonder if they are Transsexual. The diagnosis has to be correct, because if it is not in either way, then it could lead to Frustration, Depression, Misery and self harm of the worst kind E.G:-Suicide, and that currently is too high!
∑ We also have to by the current laws in Australia have to have meetings with two Psychiatrists, an Endocrinologist in order to be assessed and placed on a regime of drugs and hormones in order to be able to have surgery. We cannot by law in Australia amend any of the main items of paperwork, such as, Birth Certificate, Passport, Health Insurance Commission Central Records and Citizenship Certificate until after surgery
∑ There also needs to be incorporated into this equation, an area such as the Adverse Reaction Clinic, where we can report these occurrences, in the hope that they do not become fatal. Very importantly, we also need access to people who can deal with potential suicides, who understand our condition, hence the counselors.
∑ In many cases, the symptoms are treated, not the cause. E.G:- Depression and not Gender Dysphoria/Transsexualism because of lack of knowledge of this condition.
Kathy Anne Noble
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