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Getting the referral

I have known I was trans since I was 16 years old, and lived openly since I was 20 but at 24 I have only just got referred to a GIC (Gender Identity Clinic).

I went about it, like I do, sort-of sideways: I made an appointment at the doctors just because I was there anyway, and then the night before I opened the websites for all the GICs and picked one almost at random. On the morning of the appointment, I printed out the referral forms and the NHS guidelines for treating trans people.

Of course I was anxious. But because I’d gone about it so quickly, I felt a little like I wasn’t there at all.

The doctor called me in and asked me what she could do.

“I’m trans and I want to be referred to the GIC in Daventry.”

That was it.

I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about talking to GPs, but I’ve never had any issues for trans-related healthcare (though plenty for unrelated ailments). She went through the questions on the referral form, some of which made sense to me (“how long have you known?”) and some which did not (“any traumatic events in your childhood?”).

There was one oddity- she assumed I was single, glossing over the question rather than asking about it. In actuality, it was my partner that convinced me to ask for referral- I had been verging on cancelling the appointment.

That was all- I even had time to pick up some birth control pills while I was at it.

I always asserted that my transness wasn’t a medical issue until the day I chose to make it so. Well, now I’ve done that. I wish I could say that I felt relieved, that I felt anything at all really, but I don’t. This is just something I’m doing, and that’s all.

I feel like an oddity among trans people, in that this wasn’t something I craved desperately, but it’s for this reason that I’ve decided to try and blog more frequently. Because I can’t be the only one feeling this, a borderline indifference to the medical side of transition- in fact, I know I’m not.

I’m going to post a follow-up at some point about it, but for now I’m just going to share a few lines from my beloved Housman:

“Oh who is that young sinner with the handcuffs on his wrists?
And what has he been after that they groan and shake their fists?
And wherefore is he wearing such a conscience-stricken air?
Oh they’re taking him to prison for the colour of his hair.”

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