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

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.

#WeStrike

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.

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

•Training

•Website and digital media

•Administration and back office support

•Membership

•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.

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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]recoveringafuture.org.uk

On Orlando

The tragic events in Orlando have been able to happen precisely because of racism, precisely because of the erasure of the race and ethnicity of victims of homophobic, biphobic, transphobic and queerphobic attacks, precisely because we refuse to allow for the experiences of QTIPOC in LGBT communities, and precisely because people of colour, especially Muslims, are so often positioned as violent terrorists.

Despite this, we have seen Sky News reporters try to insist that the gender identities, sexual orientations, races and ethnicities of this attack were irrelevant and incidental. Already we have seen the Leave campaign try to exploit the deaths of primarily Latinx queer and trans people of colour in Orlando to further Islamaphobia within the UK.

This event cannot be separated from the systemic violence towards trans and gender non-conforming people of colour in the US and South America and it cannot be separated from Islamaphobic violence across the world. It is not by chance that this attack took place at a night that used black and Latina drag queens on its advertising. Nor is it by chance that people are trying to connect the attacker to ISIS and radical Islam.

The facts – that attacker Omar Mateen was American, loved the police, had a gun license and worked for G4S – are being ignored in favour of divide and conquer tactics that would pit LGBT communities against communities of colour and communities of faith in the wake of an attack on queer and trans people of colour.

Remember that many of the same people who condemn this attack and make public appearances to mourn these deaths and talk about ‘radical Islam’ are the same people that do not care that queer and trans people die through lack of access to HRT and surgeries, that queer and trans people die as a result of police violence and brutality, and that queer and trans people will die as a result of the decision not to fund PrEP.

Remember that Mateen worked for the same G4S who run private prisons and who privately police deportations of refugees and asylum seekers, including queer and trans refugees and asylum seekers. Remember that G4S are in the business of upholding and enforcing racist, queerphobic, transphobic, disablist and classist oppression. Now, in a time where Islamaphobic violence is on the rise, where queer and transphobic violence is on the rise, where racist violence is on the rise, we must stand together in solidarity more than ever.

Recovering A Future stands in solidarity with the Latinx community, with Muslims, with immigrants and asylum seekers, with queer and trans people of colour around the world in the shadow of this devastating event.

We want to remind you, our community, to take the time to you need to feel and heal today. Take time to rage and be angry, take time to sob and cry and scream, take time to sit quietly and think, take time to mourn. We want to remind you that we are not powerless and that when we organise and come together in solidarity we can fight back. We want to remind you that we will organise and we will fight back.

The Trans Case to Remain in the EU

Today is the deadline for registering to vote in the #EURef. This blog is the text from a series of tweets @act4transhealth

Health: the #EU allows freedom of movement across Europe, meaning that it easier for the NHS to recruit to make up staff shortfalls #EURef

Tory policies cutting NHS student’s bursaries means less recruitment in the UK, the #EU is an increasingly important source of staff #EURef

An understaffed and overworked #NHS cannot meet its equality duties, educate its staff on #trans issues, or fund better services #EURef

Health: UK citizens will not automatically be entitled to free healthcare abroad if we leave, this harms those who cannot afford to pay #EURef

Health: #trans people visiting the UK will not automatically receive free healthcare here, increasing health inequalities #EURef

Health: #TTIP may dismantle the #NHS, but this Tory govt would sign up. In Europe, there is a growing movement against it #EURef

A privatised healthcare system would spell disaster for #trans ppls access to healthcare. In Europe, we can fight against it together #EURef

The UK leads on #LGBT rights in Europe, LGBT MEPs across Europe are asking us not to leave but to press for change in Europe #EURef

We get loads of workers protection law from the #EU. #Trans ppl are often un(der)employed & will feel those rights been taken away #EURef

#Brexit will lead to the closing down of our borders, meaning more #trans ppl suffering under the border regime #EURef

The #EURef debate seems irrelevant; the two sides both complete wankers (true), but #Brexit will harm trans ppl in the UK & elsewhere

Whats more, the #EU can be better, do better. Another Europe is possible; one which isn’t a fortress, one which fights neoliberalism #EURef

Register to vote today at https://www.eureferendum.gov.uk/register-to-vote/ and pls consider voting #Remain #EURef