Thursday, 9 June 2011

GRS without psychiatrists? Maybe...

Is there already a route, still not very widely known, for transsexuals who wish to access surgery without having to go through to a psychiatrist? It is looking like there may well be.

It depends on the provisions embodied in the Equality Act, which is a piece of legislation the Tories are working very hard behind the scenes to get rid of, or at least to manufacture an excuse to get rid of. The Act makes provision for a trans person who, with no surgery and who lives in a different gender (and passes in that gender) permanently to change their legal sex/gender. The only proviso being that they can pass in their new gender (and a pretty nasty and very discriminatory proviso at that). They can then live their lives as men or women with all their ID in their acquired gender.

Once this has been accomplished, it has been suggested that trans people can simply go to their doctor and request surgery to enable their body to conform to their legal gender. It is unlikely that the doctor would have any grounds for refusing this treatment. If a patient turns up and he is legally male then a double mastectomy should be available with no psychiatric consultation required. Indeed this is the case with legal males who suffer from gynecomestia.

This could be important since it may well end the monopoly on gatekeeping, which the psychiatric profession has on GRS. Of course it is a completely untried route as yet, but given that a pre-op transsexual told me recently that she would say anything or do anything to obtain her GRS it is significant that this possibility is opened up. In effect this makes a mockery of the psychiatric consultation, which, as both Sandy Stone and Judith Butler have described as effectively little more than a game, the rules of which trans people have to abide by while they are transitioning.

This is something for transsexuals, who are not confident about approaching psychiatrists, to think about. Will it work? That is a big unknown, but there do appear to be some in the NHS who are prepared to take the possibility of this new route seriously...

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately for almost all women, to 'pass' one needs HRT... so we're back to square one... not that I could care a whit for surgery mind you, but again, for most women, the one thing that will stop most transphobia is an appropriate level of serum estradiol not dependent on manner of dress.