The doctors surgery rearranged my appointment with Kim to Dr Patel because she didn’t feel confident prescribing the hormones. Had the appointment with him this morning and he’s reluctant to initiate the bridging prescription. He’s had a meeting with the community pharmacist and is happy with the idea of a bridging prescription but doesn’t feel comfortable starting it because he doesn’t feel confident prescribing off licence without having more expertise. Apparently he’s contacted Leeds GIC but they’ve been less than helpful. I was disappointed but not entirely surprised.
I mentioned the possibility of getting the prescription initiated privately through a gender specialist if he was willing to enter in a shared care agreement and continue the prescription. He had no problem with that and seemed visibly relieved. I’ve booked in to see Dr Myskow in Edinburgh. I can’t believe I’ve managed to get an appointment on February 19th – I was expecting to wait a lot longer for an appointment. I’ll need at least two appointments to secure a prescription and the cost is more than other private clinics such as Gender Care but since their waiting list is months rather than weeks I’m happy to pay the extra.
I’ve booked the day off work and booked the train tickets so now all I’ve got to do is wait…
As soon as I had my change of name deed notarised I dashed around to the GP surgery to register my new name. The receptionist gave me the forms to fill out and took photocopies of the deed. Everything to seemed to go swimmingly and it was satisfying to complete the form as Mr Jonathan Brindle.
I’ve just checked my Emis app to see if it’s been updated with the new details. It has sort of – Mx Jonathan Brindle. Mx? What fuckery is this? I’m all super pissy about it because I’ve looked it up on Wiki and it isn’t a typo it’s an actual title for people who identify as non-binary. Don’t get me wrong, if you identify as non-binary and want to use a weird title then knock yourself out but I don’t. I am a man, I am Mr Jonathan Brindle not some unspecified inbetweener. Of course it’s stupid o’clock at night and I’m all wound up – someone is hijacking my identity and dictating who I am. Chris suggests journalling to channel my frustration and I also post on the Facebook group.
Ok, ok, time to calm down. I’ve had some replies on the group and apparently this is a common thing. I’ve learned that NHS numbers are gender specific to enable targeted screening programmes for things such as cervical smear tests and the like, so Mx is the best that can be done for me because the system won’t allow Mr. I will need a new NHS number issuing to change gender on my medical records. The doctor can apply on my behalf and it should be a simple enough thing to do but I’m holding back at the moment because I don’t want to interfere with any referrals that are carrying my current NHS number – I’d be upset to lose my place in a treatment queue just because I want to be a Mr not a Mx.
Early December 2017, my wife and I went to the GP surgery, she wanted to come with me to demonstrate that she was 100% behind my decision. We spoke to the nurse practitioner Kim. She asked how she could help and I told her that I wanted treatment for gender reassignment. She was surprised but I felt only because she’d never come across a transgender person before. She asked how long I’d felt that way and I replied over 30 years. I know some people have to justify themselves and answer questions like “How do you know?” and “Are you sure?” but she seemed completely accepting of it without further probing. Maybe that’s the benefit of being an older person – I’ve had half a lifetime to be sure! I explained that I hadn’t done anything about it before because I married a woman who married a woman and I wasn’t prepared to throw that away if Chris had been anything less than completely onboard.
She admitted she didn’t know what to do next and I briefly explained what was required (referrals to the Gender Identity Clinic and a referral to an endocrinologist for a bridging prescription of testosterone) and where to find the necessary information (the NHS website and the WPATH treatment guidelines). At this moment in time the waiting lists for my local gender clinic are in excess of a year and I was keen to stress the importance of a bridging prescription to get treatment underway.
She assured us she couldn’t see any reason why the practice wouldn’t support me through the transition and said she was going to set the medical receptionist the task of researching the processes involved. Wow, that’s a massive relief and I guess one of the first hurdles towards treatment because there’s no way I’d be able to afford the entire process privately.