THE HISTORY OF CASE BY CASE BASIS
Since we were made aware that only General Medical Council (GMC) registered doctors could make the reports in May/June 2005, it has been an uphill battle with the UK authorities, in order to find an equitable solution to this problem.
We became very frustrated due to the Gender Recognition Panel (GRP) and their standard answers of ‘we cannot answer those queries unless accompanied by an application’ or ‘we do not make the laws, only apply them’ None of this helped us to come to understand what was to happen, if anything, to make our way of achieving our Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) or Birth Certificate (BC) any better than it appeared at that time. The time being late 2005, and early 2006.
We were receiving no support or understanding of our dilemma from Department of Constitutional Affairs (DCA), Gender Recognition Panel (GRP), in fact we had been barred from asking any more questions in the hope of resolving our problems. On many occasions we pointed out to them that finding GMC registered doctors working in Australasia, or for that matter, anywhere outside of UK, were extremely difficult. There was no register kept in UK that would enable us to find these doctors, and at that time, none that we were aware of in Australasia.
Looking back over our correspondence in early 2005, it appears that we were all learning about how the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) really operated, plus its short comings for those outside of UK. Many were deceived by the term ‘Overseas Track’ into thinking it applied to all those outside of UK. The ‘Fast Track’ was for those who could prove they had lived in their preferred gender for 6 years or longer with one medical report required.
More to the point, I believe we were all ignorant of the fact that until it was defined in May/June 2005, that ‘Registered Medical Practitioner’ really meant ‘General Medical Council Registered Medical Practitioner’ This was only made clear after the definition was added to rejection notices in May/June 2005 as a directive from the Gender Recognition Panels Vice President. These existed until early 2006 on rejection notices. This would also answer how some received their GRC/BC by using the ‘Fast Track’ without GMC doctors reports.
At this time the ‘Standard Track’ was not in vogue, so we did not understand the full implications of it until just before it came into vogue in September 2005.
At one stage we were given to understand that we would have to return to UK to have the 2 reports required under the Standard Track done by UK based doctors, and specialists who have a background in Gender Dysphoria/ Transsexualism. This would mean precluding about 95% of those eligible to apply, due to cost. An alternative suggestion was that we band together and fly out a ‘specialist’ at our expense in order that he/she could collate and process the reports. The idea was for the ‘Specialist’ to view our reports from our Psychiatrists, Surgeons and Endocrinologists and collate it into an acceptable report for GRP. How often was this to happen, and it still left out the GPs report!
About this time I found that my new GP was GMC registered. I also found a GMC registered Psychiatrist on the Gold Coast, but he proved to be unacceptable, unless he was on the ‘Approved List in UK’ This list only covered ‘Specialists’ based in UK, and for him to be added he would have had to apply to be placed on that list by supplying a CV which included his background in Gender Dysphoria/Transsexualism
When you look at it in this light, it then becomes clear as to why there was so much angst and misunderstanding. I now believe that the Government Departments were totally unaware of the problems this caused. I also now realise that Press for Change (PfC) a support group offering ‘Help as and when it was available’ were on as bigger learning curve as were we out here.
Another event happened at this point in time, as it was suggested that it might be possible for a member, or members on the approved list to be able to collate our reports made outside of UK into an acceptable GRP report. This suggestion came from Stephen Whittle of PFC.
This was in May 2006, so we now had to contact someone on the approved list. I tried Dr Dalrymple as suggested, but he was retired, so had Dr James Barrett reply. Dr Barrett is the Consultant Psychiatrist and Lead Clinician at the Gender Identity Clinic at the Claybrook Centre in London. He agreed to see if it was possible along the lines that we were working on.
We now had to convince DCA and GRP that this route could work. I also now made Lynne Jones MP, who is the chairperson for the Parliamentary Committee for the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) aware of the situation. It had also been brought to her attention by Karen Gurney of WOMAN in Victoria. She now corresponded with Baroness Ashton of Upholland at the DCA , and they sent a reply to Karen Gurney at WOMAN. This was passed on to me as it was decided that because of the problems caused outside of UK, it had been decided to implement this route on a ‘Case by Case Basis’
Now came the task of implementing it from our standpoint. I again confirmed with Dr Barrett that he would act along these lines as a test case, to which he agreed, and also stated that if acceptable he would do it for others outside of UK, at a cost of £60 pounds sterling. Dr Barrett has verified that 3 other Psychiatrists at the Claybrook Centre will also collate our reports. The names of these doctors are on our web site, or you can apply to me for the information.
I now went to my GMC registered GP and he wrote his report concerning my surgery, giving full details of all procedures. I then forwarded this report along with my Psychiatrists, Surgeons and Endocrinologists reports to Dr Barrett. He collated them and sent back his report to go to GRP. This was in early June 2006. I was unable to re-apply until early October 2006 after my rejection in May 2006, as you have to wait a mandatory period of 6 months before being able to re-apply after a rejection.
I made Kain aware of the situation and he was willing to try this route as he also had been rejected, but could re-apply earlier than me. This he did at the due time and was accepted in October 2006. He now has his Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) and Birth Certificate (BC). He did not use Dr Barrett and is unable to disclose the name of the doctor he used, but did follow every thing that had to be done concerning the Standard Track application. and the Case by Case Basis.
I followed on with my re-application in October 2006 and was accepted on the 14/11/2006. I have received my GRC and my BC is on the way.
So after 20 months of probing and questioning the Act 2004 in order to find an acceptable solution to our problems, so that we could receive our GRC/BC, we have arrived at a conclusion. Others can now use this same route, as outlined in my details of requirements for the ‘Case by Case Basis’
I am not going to say it has been easy to achieve this outcome, as at times it has been quite acrimonious with little understanding or empathy for our plight. It must however be said that once a considered course of action was verified, it could be taken and our problems were fully understood. The outcome has been a Win, Win situation.
I would hope that others will use this route in order to achieve their goal and receive their GRC/BC
I know that South Australia and Victoria provide a GRC for those who have had SRS and reside in those states, but were born in UK. I wish to point out that the GRA 2004 is based on ‘Non Surgery’, so this means all who have lived in their preferred gender for a minimum of 2 years can apply if born in UK. This means that those in South Australia and Victoria who have not had SRS, due to choice, cost or ill health and live full time in their preferred gender and will continue to do so until death can also apply. So too can others in the rest of the States and Territories in Australia, as can those in New Zealand.
For all the support and hard work in achieving this outcome, I would like to thank Karen Gurney, Rachael Wallbank, Stephen Whittle (his idea started it) Kain for trialling it, and every one else who has given me their support over this very trying time. You all know who you are. Thank you all.
Love and Peace, Kathy Anne Noble 30/11/2006
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