"Support with Gender transition"
About: Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Leeds LS15 8ZB
Posted by By The Sea (as ),
I am a post op transsexual, though I do prefer the term woman. I progressed through the care pathway at Leeds GIC.
Initially the service was very good, frequently monthly-ish support during diagnosis, then early in the 2 year real-life test good help with hormone support, facial hair removal, planning for grs surgery.
But relatively soon into the real life test support gets increasingly sparse, down to every 6 months if that for the 2nd year and next to no support due to finding cuts after surgery. Too much emphasis is put on grs surgery been the cure-all when it is just one piece of the jigsaw. For those people who are not suitable candidates for laser hair removal and who need electrolysis, 8 sessions is worthless when a full beard can take upwards of 200 sessions. I was fortunate to be in the pathway before a lot of the recent pct changes and cuts so was able to be funded for about 60 sessions, but after all that pain and hours travelling from Scarborough to Leeds I am left with 3/4's of a beard (partially clear top half of face, about 30% reduced lower half of face and untouched from the chin down).
At the end of the day when my beard has grown through-out the day and when my make up and wig comes off I feel like I have an action-man head on a barbie bodies. This makes me feel completely unable to have any kind of romantic/intimate relationship as it is greatly distressing and leaves my self confidence at rock bottom. After progressing through the care-pathway initial plans for changing my birth certificate were scrapped at the last appointment again due to funding cuts. No support after my surgery and complications I suffered. Basically just discharged from the service and recommended to visit my gp. Counselling referral offered but misses the point with regards the distress, nothing will fix the distress of being a beard woman except for removing said hair.
The 2 years real life test puts on a lot of pressure and encourages hiding and bottling of difficulties due to the gate keepers barring access to surgery if they see fit. The entire service misses the point on so many things. I am very grateful for the help I was given but I do feel kind of abandoned after the surgery when my transition feels far from complete.
Not enough effort was made to listen to which bit of the transition was most important to my quality of life, as I said too much emphasis places on grs surgery. I must stress this is down to the system and not the staff. How can you argue with a system that considers a transwomans beard as cosmetic!