International Transgender Day of Visibility
March 31st marks International Transgender Day of Visibility. Since it was founded in 2009, this day has been dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of the discrimination faced by trans people worldwide as well as their contributions to society. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic that we currently find ourselves in we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the ways in which the trans community are being specifically impacted by this crisis.
You will have seen in the news that many non-emergent/non-urgent, routine surgeries are being postponed. For trans people, this means gender-affirming surgeries will not take place as despite the life-altering and in many cases, life-saving, nature of these surgeries the NHS still considers them non-essential Many Gender Identity Clinics in the UK have waiting times of 18months to 2 years to get a referral to a gender identity clinic. Indefinitely postponing surgeries will only add to the already agonising wait for essential support experienced by the trans community.
Information from the community care group Queercare indicates that many GPs are asking trans folk to do their own hormone injections at the moment. Queercare have produced guidance on this here if it is an option for you: https://wiki.queercare.network/index.php?title=IM_injection_protocol. The Scottish Trans Alliance has also circulated information about how to request different hormone preparations from your GP if injectables are not an option. Many trans people are also concerned about the impact that COVID-19 will have on stock and availability of vital hormones.
There are dedicated groups who can help trans and queer people in Edinburgh in these terrible COVID-19 times – contact us for more info.