Following last week’s revelation that the Sunday Mirror newspaper had carried out an undercover investigation in an attempt to entrap GenderGP, we can reveal that last week we were contacted by both the BBC and The Times Newspaper who had planned to run yet another news item in an attempt to discredit the organisation for its work supporting the transgender community.
The reporters from both media outlets have historically shown a ‘keen’ interest in trans healthcare, Greg Hurst is the Social Affairs Editor for The Times and Faye Kirkland was the reporter for the Panorama investigation into the care of transgender youth in the UK, which featured Dr Helen Webberley in 2019.
Neither journalist has to date done much to highlight the terrible state of trans healthcare in the UK or the levels of distress faced by trans youth in our country so we were prepared for the likely possibility that today’s news was unlikely to be about the excellent work being done by GenderGP and those other organisations supporting the trans community.
It is abundantly clear that some of the UK media is entirely focused on its mission to:
- Make sure trans people do not have access to gender-affirming care
- Take down any organisation attempting to support transgender individuals
- Perpetuate the myth that the NHS is the only legitimate route to specialist care
While other countries, such as Australia, New Zealand and parts of the US are actively working to improve the healthcare options for transgender people, it seems that the UK is allowing a minority of passionate gender critics to do whatever they can to prevent progress in this area.
For good healthcare, the following elements are essential:
- High standards of medical education
- Peer-reviewed, published clinical guidelines
- Regulations in place to enforce standards of care
- Policies against active discrimination
However, in the UK when it comes to the care of transgender individuals, we do not have any of these essential elements in place. What this does is allow those individuals with a personal opinion or active prejudice, to use their positions of power, be that in the media, in healthcare settings or even in regulatory office, to influence providers.
Providers of healthcare in the UK are scared to help trans people. If they do, they are reported to their regulatory bodies (who are, in turn, equally scared). Why, you may ask, is there such a climate of fear among those professionals who are there to protect the patients and make sure they get excellence in healthcare? They are afraid because they are given no support against those who oppose the healthcare of trans individuals for whatever reason, and who are given an active say in the matter, whether they have any medical expertise or not.
At a time when the media is filled with reports of a legal case of a person who underwent gender-affirming medical and surgical transitions and is now expressing regret, nowhere do we hear the voices or see the faces of the thousands whose only regret was that they could not transition sooner.
We see publications in reputable medical journals written by doctors warning us to take care, be cautious, fear the unknown long-term effects of the proven treatments for this diagnosis: puberty blockers and gender affirming hormones. We do not see publications highlighting the long-term mental and physical ramifications of those denied healthcare.
Those who are pushing their anti-trans narrative appear to be given a platform within the UK media to make their voices heard. We do not see the same space given to those who are trying to educate about what it means to be trans and how it feels to have the medication you so desperately need, withheld from you.
We see a disturbing lack of published research and guidance from those who have had the monopoly in care in the UK for a very long time.
The reality in the UK is as follows:
- NICE Guidelines – non existent
- Nationwide Medical School Curriculum – non existent
- Undergraduate training programme – non existent
- Postgraduate clinical specialty – non existent
- UK published guidelines – non existent
- Mandatory training – non existent
- Inclusion in the Royal College Postgraduate Curricula – non existent
- Country-wide Clinical Commissioning Group Guidelines – non existent
- Local GP practice adopted guidance – non existent
The lack of these essential pillars is leading to considerable fear among healthcare professionals and regulators alike which is merely serving to empower those who do not wish to see progress for transgender individuals on any level. This has to stop. GenderGP will continue to use its platform to fight for the rights of the trans community to have equal and fair access to appropriate healthcare.
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