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[Sticky] What Are Your Gender Clinic Experiences?  


What Are Your Gender Clinic Experiences?

We wanted to ask the question to all our transgender members, what experiences you have had with the gender identity clinic or gender counselors (psychologists) , pre or post surgery including both good and bad.


How long was the process from initial contact to first appointment?

Did you feel you were understood and treated respectfully?

Did it take many appointments to hear about any proposed hormone or surgery plans?


We welcome all your experiences, answers or further questions to other members.

Edited: 6 years  ago


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My experience with the Gender Identity Clinic in London (Charing Cross):

I have a mixed bag of feelings when it comes to my gender clinic experiences, my life at this time which was back in 1995 was a bit rocky, I used to go out a lot and party, I was a fairly in demand scene DJ at that time doing 3 gigs a week, and I got myself in all sorts of problematic situations which did not help when initially confronting my start of psychological evaluations for gender hormones and eventual surgery.

I also started work in 1995 for an internet company which was the start of my 2 year life experience for living full time as female. Fortunately, my new job helped me become a more level headed and stable person which I could take forward to my gender clinic road to surgery.

Initially, I was not very happy with the length of time it took from initial referral from Addenbrookes hospital Cambridge, to the Gender Identity Clinic in London (About 12 months wait). It also took me 6 years from the time I saw professor Green (Psychologist) at the GIC in Charing Cross London to be transferred to a more understanding psychologist who could see I was getting more and more frustrated with the process.

I did feel that the time it took from initial consultation at the GIC to hormone prescriptions (7 years) was far too long, I understand at that time transition was a much more considered decision by psychologists and the UK's NHS, but I was pleased that when I got my second psychologist (Dr Montgomery) that the process was in place from consultation to surgery, this took a further 2 years.

So, for me it was a road of ups and downs, early morning trips to London and a process which in it's entirety took almost 10 years, gulp!. Looking back at that time it was very hard dealing with my gender dysphoria and wondering if I would ever reach my dream of full transition.

Today I am a fully transitioned woman who enjoys the simple things in life, looking back it was a long process but for me the process had both good times and bad.

Edited: 6 years  ago

I am a transgender woman, I transitioned back in 1995 and later had GCS (gender confirmation surgery), I think of myself as a woman and feel that family and friends treat me as such, I am a lucky gal. PM me for a chat if you want.

My "clinic" experiences date back to 1980, and have been good and bad. When I transitioned, I was residing in a very backwoods region of Pennsylvania, and when I decided to change from male to female in 1980, I knew of no resources that we're specifically geared to gender issues. I did start medications with birth control pills from a supportive girlfriend, but as far as getting some real hello, I had no clue.  So I went to the county mental health counseling center for assistance. What I got instead was someone who tried to talk me out of it at every session, and made me feel so bad about myself that I went back into the closet for another 11 or 12 years; alcohol helped me through that period.  When I finally sobered up in 1992, I made the attempt again.  I searched for and found a private counselor who worked in a psychiatrist office, who was open to helping me.  Still no clinics that I knew of.  So she and I, with the help of the psychiatrist, located an endocrinologist who'd had some experience with a trans man while in residency.  This was my transition team, cobbled together from separate individual practitioners.

One of the things my counselor told me was that I should seek out others like myself so as to get tops and pointers about transitioning.  All I could locate was crossdresser groups in Erie, Pittsburgh and Cleveland.  But through them, I learned about the monthly Transsexual group support meeting held at the Persad Center in Pittsburgh.  My counselor write a letter of recommendation, and I was permitted to attend the next month.  This is where I learned all the information and outs of what to expect from the rest of my transition process.

In late 1993, my shrink wrote a surgery recommendation to them Dr. Menard's clinic in Montreal, and I was accepted for surgery. However, because I'd been fired from my job when I transitioned, I had no funds to get it.  In 1995, I moved to Philadelphia to attend law school (still pre-op), and was there for 3 years.  I never looked for a clinic, because I figured I was pretty well adjustedd to my new life.  I went to school, works some part-time jobs, dated with guess I met in the personals pages.  Sometimes I'd attend a group meeting somewhere, but not regularly.

In 1998, was working for a judgeout in the sticks again, when a lawsuit I'd filed against my former employer settled.  I immediately contacted Dr. Menard's clinic and found out that they still had my file open.  So I scheduled my surgery for the week after I was scheduled to leave the judge's Chambers.

So that's how I came to be.  It was mostly self-help with lots of advise from others along with way, and with the assistance of a supportive gatekeeper


I started  my clinic experience in 1998, well after my first symptoms of disphoria and far before the term was even adopted. Since than I lived in three different countries: USA (1983-2002), Brazil (2002-2008) and Canada (since 2008). All three different in the approaches, specially Brazil. In all three I had a Paychologist as well as an Endocrinologist to advise me. In the US it was very easy (may be too easy, specially hormones) to access treatment. In Brazil, society is still very conservative and with a huge inertia to accept changes on this subject. Canada is, despite some imperfections and by far, the best place for a transgender person to live (in my opinion based on my experience in the three countries and my particular circumstances). In common, all governments provided good support (social and medical) and (public and private) insurance plans that covered partially my drug expenses, and totally the medical expenses.

I plan to undergo SRS (or GCS) in the very near future. Provintial government in Québec provides basic free surgery. Yay!

Katherine Chenneĺl
Montreal, Quebec, Canada


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