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Author: Jane McQueen

WHAT I THINK NEEDS TO HAPPEN TO HELP TRANS PEOPLE

When I first transitioned almost 13 years ago the wait to see a specialist wasn’t too long, even if it did mean a long journey to get to the clinic to talk to the doctors. As there were only a few gender clinics in the UK. But back then things moved smoothly, the waits were not long and the process was quite quick. I would have had my surgery back then if it hadn’t been for complications. But now the system is a total mess. There are still only the same numbers of gender clinics that were in existence 13 years ago and give or take a few the same numbers of doctors. But given the increased exposure in the media of transsexuals, more and more people are taking the step and wanting to transition. Now it doesn’t take a genius to know that if the supply of treatment stays the same but the demand for treatment goes up there becomes some major problems. The waiting time for people to get an appointment has spiralled out of control; where as I waited only a few months the wait is now up to two years. That is two years knowing what you want to do, knowing that you want to transition and live as your authentic self. But you have to suffer an excruciatingly long wait just to get the...

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Coming Out

Coming out to your family and friends can feel like the most daunting thing in the world to do.  You wonder how people will react to what you tell them, you often fear the worst thinking that their reaction is going to be totally negative and they will not want anything else to do with you again.  But to live as your authentic self and to be able to transition it is one of those things you are going to have to bite the bullet and do.   There is no right or wrong way to do it, nor...

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Legal Points

employment law. When you transition you receive legal protections from section 7 of the Equality Act 2010.  This provides protection from discrimination for those planning to, undergoing or having undergone gender reassignment.  It means that your employer can’t treat you differently from a non-trans person or sack you for wanting to or having started to transition.  If this were to happen then you would have grounds to take your employer to an employment tribunal for discrimination. It also provides protection from discrimination from your co-workers too, and places a responsibility on the company to ensure that they would stop any discrimination or harassment that you were subjected to by a co-worker. If you were to be bullied or harassed or discriminated in the work place, by management or a co-worker; then the best thing to do is to keep a diary of it.  Logging the date it happened, the approximate time it happened, who else witnessed it, and what was said or done.  As this can then be used to substantiate your claims of discrimination or harassment in the work place; and if it came to a tribunal as evidence. An example of harassment or discrimination in the work place would be if people were still referring to by your pre transition pronouns and old name.  Now there may be the occasional slip up by someone on this front,...

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More Legal Questions

You’re Rights using public toilets In the UK there are no laws about which public toilets you can use, so if you have transitioned then you are perfectly entitled to use female toilets as a trans woman and male toilets as a trans man.   Question I think I might be a transsexual. Where can I get support?   Answer There are numerous support groups for Trans people. We would recommend:   PRESS FOR CHANGE: BM Network London WC1N 3XX Helpline: 0161 432 1915 (Mon-Thurs 10am – 5pm) ‘The UK’s Leading Experts on Transgender Law’. Campaign for equal civil rights for Trans people. Provides free legal help and advice for individuals, information and training for professionals, speakers for groups. Produces a newsletter and publications. http://www.pfc.org.uk and www.transequality.co.uk   GENDER TRUST: 76 The Ridgeway, Astwood Bank, B96 6LX, Worcestershire Tele: 01527 894 838 “The Gender Trust is a listening ear, a caring support and an information centre for anyone with any question or problem concerning their gender identity, or whose loved one is struggling with gender identity issues.” Has a membership society and produces a magazine. http://gendertrust.org.uk/   Qwest FTM UK (was FTM network): 35a Fore Street, Wellington, TA21 8AG Helpline: 01823 650 700 or 07811 814 302 Qwest FTM UK publishes and distributes the magazine BoysOwn, written by and for FtM folk; offers an information helpline; hosts a national...

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