Break the Gates Open

The following was sent as part of a response to a NHS survey on the Prioritisation of Specialised Services Research. Contains mentions of medical and sexual abuse:

The current model of Gender Identity Services, Gender Identity Clinics, obstructs trans people from living full and healthy lives. Waiting lists are astronomical, with patients forced to wait months to years for a basic consultation, with no guarantee of treatment.

Clinicians stigmatise, disbelieve and fetishise patients. Invasive and irrelevant questioning of patients is standard. Requiring patients to recount our childhood and sexual history in detail in order to receive basic medical care is coercive and frequently traumatic. Unnecessary breast and genital examinations are also disturbingly common. Overall, Gender Identity Clinics treat trans patients as curiosities to be mentally and physically probed with no respect for personal boundaries.

Gender Identity Clinics are majority staffed by cisgender people (people who are not trans), creating a power dynamic where cis clinicians set the mark on what “correct” examples of gender are, based on patriarchal ideals. This is not solved when trans clinicians are introduced, however, since trans clinicians are subject to the same pressures and the gatekeeping element remains. Non-binary, gender non-conforming, lesbian, gay and bisexual trans people are all disproportionately impacted by the expectation to fit these gender norms. Clinicians are also predominantly white and regularly discriminate against patients who do not fit white, eurocentric standards. Patients are picked apart and denied treatment based on anything from our clothing, to our mental health, to our employment status, to our immigration status.

GPs can already offer bridging prescriptions to patients who are self-medicating with hormones. Given that this is widely acknowledged as an important harm reduction measure, the continued existence of GICs amounts to wilful abuse of trans people.

Hormone prescriptions, surgeries, hair removal and other procedures must be made available to anyone who requests them on an informed consent basis. Knowledge of available treatments must be made widely available to the public. Education is needed for all healthcare workers in order to end transphobic discrimination in all sectors of the NHS, so that trans people can safely access the healthcare we need.

Nobody should be able to decide another person’s gender for them. A diagnostic model of transition healthcare will always produce transphobic conditions because it relies upon the idea that trans people do not understand our own identities.

Priorities for Gender Identity Services (E10):

- End transition gatekeeping, make hormones and procedures available free for all on an informed consent basis
- Fund trans-inclusivity education for all healthcare workers, written and taught entirely by trans people
- Fund medical training for trans people
- Fund research by trans people
- Remove the healthcare charges for migrants and cease sharing patient information with the Home Office

Spring 2023 Fund is now OPEN

We’re please to announce the Spring 2023 Recovering A Future solidarity fund, which is open to applications from all trans, nonbinary, intersex, and gender non-conforming people living in the UK. Part of this funding round will be ring-fenced for trans people of colour (i.e. from African, Caribbean, Asian, Arab, and Indigenous descent, including people of mixed race backgrounds and other racialised people).

Throughout the year, Recovering A Future raises money to help trans people who cannot access healthcare through the NHS in a reasonable amount of time. We know that the trans healthcare system is pretty broken, and that the people who need support will usually outweigh our grassroots organisation’s ability to fundraise. Because of this, we use this application form to work out who faces the most barriers to getting healthcare through the usual routes.

Recovering A Future takes a broad view of health. We know there are a wide number of things that can affect trans people’s mental and physical healthcare, so we don’t have any rules about what the money can be used for. We do ask that if the money is being used to access medication which will be needed long-term, that the applicant has thought about how to secure the long-term supply after the grant money has been spent.

Please note that we tend to give out small grants. The average grant is typically between £200 and £400. The largest grant we have given away has been £1500.

Once completed forms have been sent to us, a member of Recovering A Future’s staff will anonymise the form by removing any information that could be identifying. Then this will be passed onto our funding panel, who will decide where the funds go. We will contact you to let you know whether you have been given any money within two weeks of the funding panel meeting.

The deadline for this funding round is 15 March 2023. Please fill in this form to apply

In support of the Women’s Strike, 8th March

Recovering A Future supports the Women’s Strike on the 8th March, coinciding with International Women’s Day. #WomenStrike2018


There is no debate about the fact that trans women are women and as women we face numerous, unique obstacles in this patriarchal, cisnormative society in order to survive. As a group campaigning for democratic trans health care, our own work has showcased the ways in which trans women and trans feminine people are dehumanised and humiliated in all forms of healthcare in the NHS and private healthcare. From transmisogynist GPs and nurses, to relying on outdated, undemocratic forms of healthcare in the forms of gender identity clinics (GICs) which have a history of medical gatekeeping and enforcing misogynist ideals on us in order for us to gain what is essential and life-saving medicines and surgeries. Trans women also face disproportionately higher levels of domestic violence, unemployment and homelessness which is only added by the pathologising constraints put on us as women by transmisogynist doctors and psychiatrists to ‘prove’ ourselves.

Recovering A Future is aware of the misogynist histories in medicine and psychiatry and shows solidarity to all women fighting for their own rights of bodily autonomy within a patriarchal healthcare system. As trans women and trans feminine people, our value and expertise in helping improve trans healthcare is not commonly compensated for by the NHS or other forms of healthcare services. We are women who are still relied upon despite all of the work we do as carers and workers engaging in unpaid, unrecognised and uncompensated forms of socially reproductive labour and as women we will also be on strike on the 8th March.


ACTION ALERT: Noise Demo at HMP Doncaster

On February 11th we return to HMP Doncaster to loudly protest the state-sanctioned murder of trans people. On 30th December 2021 Jenny Swift was found dead in her cell after enduring incarceration, the withholding of her medication and transmisogynist harassment from guards. A recent inquest into her death found that she had been part of a suicide pact with three other trans prisoners formed because of bullying by prison staff.

Join us in raising hell outside the prison to let those inside know they are not forgotten and to let the guards know that we have not forgotten Jenny Swift. We gather at 5pm to avoid disrupting visitors so wrap up warm and bring torches, lights and sparklers. Bring your loudest voice and anything to make noise with - loudspeakers, amplifiers, drums, tambourines, horns, guitars, triangles, kazoos, pots and pans, party poppers… be creative!

We demand:

  • That the transphobic guards never be allowed to work in prisons or with vulnerable people again
  • That hormones be available on demand to anyone who requests them, including people in prison
  • That the government cease all prison expansion and construction projects (including Scottish plans to create a non-binary prison), release prisoners and invest the £1.3bn it has planned for new “mega prisons” in restorative justice and community support instead of more isolation, violence and death.

On the media

We are Recovering A Future. Recovering A Future is a network of grassroots organisations who campaign for trans people’s voices to be at the heart of decision making about our own healthcare. Our primary activities involve teaching clinicians about the needs of trans patients, healthcare advocacy within the trans community, and operating a solidarity fund to help vulnerable trans people access the healthcare that they need.

This is a hard time to be trans. The trans community has faced sustained attacks in the media for several months in the form of malicious articles about trans individuals and organisations upon which the trans community rely. These attacks are politically motivated and deliberate attempts to create a hostile environment for trans people ahead of potentially progressive changes to the Gender Recognition Act, in order to create a political climate where derailing that progress becomes more possible.

This weekend, Recovering A Future has been targeted by the media. We do not think it is useful to respond in detail to the comments made about us as we do not feel that they are made in good faith- they have purposefully and maliciously oversimplified our diverse memberships’ politics.

As an organisation we will continue to educate clinicians on the needs of trans patients, carry out healthcare advocacy, and fundraise for our solidarity fund. And we will continue to fight to radically democratise trans healthcare, advocating an informed consent model so our lives aren’t put on hold by strangers.

Now more than ever, we need to organise for a society which treats trans people with empathy, solidarity and mutual aid. Because of this, we will be shortly opening our solidarity fund for applications, to provide financial support directly to trans people who need help accessing healthcare. Please consider donating to the solidarity fund here.

Run for Recovering A Future’s National Committee!

Do you want to get involved with Recovering A Future on a national level, help support and steer the radical movement for democratic trans healthcare? You should run for a place on Recovering A Future National Committee!

Committee are responsible for: organising our annual conference and democratic functions, ensuring that the core work of Recovering A Future functions, co-ordinating campaigns and other work between chapters, any day-to-day decisions that need to take place between conferences. Committee members are expected to devote at least 3 hours a week to Recovering A Future work. You can put yourself forward for election by filling in this form. The deadline for nominations is 5pm on Nov 5th, 2022. There will then be an online ballot of the membership to determine who is elected.

This year we will be electing:

  • Open Place - 2 year term, anyone who is trans, non-binary, or intersex can stand;
  • Women’s Place - 2 year term, open to trans, non-binary, or intersex people who are women or identity includes ‘woman’ part of the time.
  • People of Colour - 2 year term, open to all trans, non-binary, or intersex people of colour
  • People of Colour - 1 year term, open to all trans, non-binary, or intersex people of colour
  • Non-binary - 2 year term, open to all non-binary people.
  • Disabled - 2 year term, open to all disabled trans, non-binary, or intersex people
  • Disabled - 1 year term, open to all disabled trans, non-binary, or intersex people

These protected roles are to ensure that the committee is representative of a variety of experiences and needs within trans communities and to attempt to address the issues of inequality in appointment and representation as a result of structural racism, sexism, cissexism and disablism.
The protected roles are not meant to be prescriptive in terms of what committee members can focus on, e.g. it is not expected that a committee member elected to a non-binary place will focus on non-binary issues. Instead, committee members should focus on the issue they have been elected to focus on, such as prison abolition, advocacy, or acting as membership secretary.

It is expected that people who run for committee roles will consider what skills and experience they can bring to the role and how they see their time on committee being spent. Candidates may like to focus their candidacy around one of the following areas:
• Fundraising

• Campaigning and direct action

• Advocacy


•Website and digital media

•Administration and back office support


•Mutual solidarity

•Capacity and resilience building

Summer 2022 Solidarity Fund is now OPEN

The Recovering A Future Solidarity Fund is now open for applications. The deadline is 17th August 2022.

Throughout the year, we raise money to help trans and gender variant people who for whatever reason cannot access healthcare treatment through the NHS in a timely manner. We know that the trans healthcare system is in crisis, and that the people who need help accessing support will usually outweigh our capacity to fundraise. As such, we use this application form to identify those who face the most barriers to accessing healthcare treatment in more conventional ways. Please note that we tend to give away small grants, the maximum grant we have given away was £1500, but typically they are between £100 - 600.

A proportion of this funding round will be ring fenced for trans people of colour.

Our fund is raised through the generous donations of supporters around the country. Please consider fundraising for us, or donating via the PayPal button below. You can also choose to become a member of Recovering A Future.

Help us to provide access to essential healthcare today.

We can now accept donations!

Help us to provide access to essential healthcare today.



Recovering A Future takes a broad view of healthcare, which recognises that there a wide number of things that can impact on an individual’s healthcare needs. As such, we place no restrictions on what the money can be used for. We do ask that if the money is being used to access medication which will be needed long-term, that the applicant has thought about how to secure the long-term supply after the grant money has been spent. Some things we have funded in the past include:

- appointments with private gender clinics;
- hair removal;
- counselling and therapy;
- rent payments when the money isn’t there because of a health issue;
- mobility aids;
- sick pay;
- part payment of surgery costs;
- wigs, binders, clothes, etc.

Once applications have been received, a member of Recovering A Future’s administrative staff will anonymise the application text and pass them onto our funding panel who will allocate the funds. We will contact you to let you know whether your application has been successful within two weeks of the funding panel meeting.

Here is the application form to fill in. If you have any questions, please email us at info[at]


At Pride Sheffield 2021, members of the Potter’s House Church evangelical cult arrived preaching homo- and transphobic hate only to be driven off-site by a united LGBTQ community - despite threats of arrest from police officers protecting the cult members. This year the cult returned in smaller numbers but were defended by more police who this time went as far as assaulting an Recovering A Future member who was being harassed by a cult member.

A dyke couple were walking across the field towards T’Other Stage at Pride Sheffield 2022 when they were disturbed by a man from Potters House Church standing on the field by the entrance, speaking through an amplifier, telling people at Pride that they were sinners and needed to change their ways. Three police officers were positioned around the cult member with their backs towards him in a protective formation.


Cult member says LGBTQ people shouldn't exist


A group of seven non-binary trans people and lesbians walked over together and the cult member directed his words towards them, saying he was praying especially hard for “this particular group of people” to change their ways. He went on to say that LGBTQ people were “the way you are” because of abusive upbringings and that LGBTQ ways of life were abusive themselves. More LGBTQ people joined the crowd, cheering as a lesbian couple kissed next to the homophobe. The cult member outstretched his hand towards the couple, praying for them to convert to a heterosexual Christian lifestyle, at which point one of the dykes turned around and unplugged his microphone.


Officer 401 likes to attack lesbians half his size


A large police officer, badge number 401, immediately rushed over and grabbed the non-binary dyke by both wrists, squeezing hard and causing one of their fingers to bleed. Five more officers crowded around while the officer gripped onto the dyke’s wrists until they managed to break free and began filming on their phone. None of the officers showed the same aggression towards the cult member who had been projecting his homophobic, transphobic harassment over a loudspeaker. Several of them repeated that “he has the right to express his views” but LGBTQ people protesting would be arrested for breach of the peace if they did not move on.


After the attack by officer 401


A woman got out her phone, announcing, “telling us to move on is not solving the problem, it’s pretending the problem hasn’t existed. I’m currently recording this as a hate crime.” A man called Darren identified himself as the event manager and tried to discourage her from doing so, along with a blonde haired police officer, whose badge number was not visible, who replied, “you don’t have to, you don’t have to listen to it.”



Darren spoke to the crowd of gathered LGBTQ people, encouraging them to “go into the event and enjoy the day. Ignore this man. Ignore him. We had 20 people turn up last year” - referring to when Potter’s House Church turned up at Pride Sheffield 2021 but were forced off-site by the LGBTQ community working together in solidarity. When the crowd responded that “one is too many” and “I don’t wanna be told I gotta change by any one person”, Darren replied, “we will always have hatred”, becoming frustrated, finishing, “if you want to possibly be arrested and ruin our day, go ahead” and walking away. A group of LGBTQ young people rushed up, checked if people were ok and congratulated the non-binary dyke for unplugging the hate preacher’s microphone, showing far more care for their community than Pride organisers or the smug bystander pontificating about free speech had.


Police and their fan in blue


That the police are not here to protect the LGBTQ community should go without saying by now but their escalating tactics show cause for concern. The LGBTQ community showed our ability to defend ourselves against homophobes and transphobes last year, despite police attempts to facilitate uninterrupted hate speech. Although they were disinvited by Pride organisers because of their homophobic and transphobic behaviour, this year police multiplied their numbers, displayed their eagerness to physically harm LGBTQ people and even brought two armed officers. The claim was that these two officers were there in case of terror attacks but the only violence towards people at Pride was coming from police. The two armed officers were preoccupied with showing off their cars to small children; the only purpose of them being there was to normalise the militarisation of the police. Their presence made some LGBTQ people feel so unsafe they left the event which was supposed to be for them.


Normalising the militarisation of the police state


Police don’t make people safe from transphobia and homophobia, it’s up to us to look out for each other. The police have a monopoly on violence which they use with most force against those in our community who are poor, black, disabled and people of colour. LGBTQ people who defend ourselves from oppression are faced with further violence and incarceration.

No pride in police, no police in pride!