Recently we published a blog titled “Conversion therapy is happening in everyday practice and must stop!”. The post explained how not all forms of conversion therapy are extreme, with many instances taking the form of low-level resistance by doctors to acknowledge a patient’s requests for help, or providing obstacles to affirmative support.
We were interested to know what experiences trans people had encountered with medical professionals, so Dr Helen Webberley asked for feedback: “Tell us what you have been told by your doctor to persuade you not to transition.”
Tell us what you have been told by your doctor to persuade you not to transition. ‘Come back next year to see if you change your mind.’ https://t.co/Kr7VhQ4Rta
— Dr Helen Webberley 🏳️⚧️🧜♀️🏳️⚧️ (@MyWebDoctorUK) July 4, 2020
The post received many replies, which we have collated below. It’s an inciteful, if damning, commentary on the medical profession today that these sorts of comments are being made by doctors treating trans patients who are seeking help.
“At least one clinic refused to treat me because I was unwilling to change my name immediately due to issues with obtaining new documentation.”
Him: ‘what’s the real reason you feel sad’?
Me: ‘I’m a girl and I don’t understand why I look like this’
Him – clearly angry: ’pack it in, you’re too big for that sort of nonsense’
Cue 31 years of pain
“you’re probably just a lesbian” and
“have you ever actually had a relationship?”
I’m almost exclusively attracted to men and engaged to one but go off.
Ended up with an appalling and very upsetting referral letter.
Me to my psychologist: “You know, I just feel like I… feel and react, more like women typically do”
Him: “You know, I really don’t think that’s particularly significant”
(I learned this year that it’s literally one of the DSM criteria for dysphoria almost to the word)
I started again in 2015 on the NHS, went private at the same time to get onto hormones, 5 years on I’ve only just had my second surgical consult on the NHS, I’ve been with my partner for 7 years, we’ve been engaged for 3, were due to marry earlier this year before covid so I’m loved, Once I was able to embrace myself I started to thrive in my real hobby ballet & I’ve travelled the world performing & spreading trans awareness, my family all still love me, I own my own company that employs 16 people, in short she was very wrong! I’m thriving.
This was the same guy who told me I wouldn’t be allowed to have the name “Alexandra” because the abbreviation “Alex” is too androgynous.
1st time I tired to come out to a GP and seek a GIC referral (aged 15) he told me ‘confusion’ was common at that age and that he’d refer me to CAMHS for my general anxiety and distress – my request for GIC support completely ignored. and to top it off, he never referred anyway
I never asked for their opinion tbh,I just went and said I’d like to be referred to a GIC which they did. The follow up tho has been difficult, no chance of a shared care agreement. Took three complaints and three senior partner meetings before they agreed to do my initial bloods.
At the same time they’re saying to me they are very inclusive and surprised at my attitude. My feeling is that they’ve used subtle medical language to justify their position of not wanting to support me.
Luckily I’m now on Medicaid with a super cool doctor who talked to me about my dysphoria, ran over informed consent, and got me started
My first psychiatrist tried to push that I had to cure my depression before I could transition, despite the fact that not transitioning was no small part of the cause of said depression
I have had no history of depression to this point before and after transition but as soon i turn up to my GP knowing I’m trans and ask for a referral to the GIC. its suddenly brought up that i may be depressed instead. I had to refuse the antidepressants to get my referral
“Why can’t you just live as a tomboy for now?”
1. “a penis is the gift from God, you should enjoy being able to wee where you want!”
2. “Women got less pay, work more, not being respected in your job.”
3. “You woupd end up as an abomination, ugly and disgusting.”
I was told, “The test was inconclusive” and, “There aren’t enough indications.
If you have been affected by any of the topics covered in this blog post and you would like to speak to a member of the team please visit our Help Centre.