Through her own parenting experience, Christy Hegarty has become an advocate for families with transgender children. During her talk at TEDxBloomington, Hegarty shares what she has learned as the mother of a transgender child. She explores the concept that we should be able to accept that our children may be different than we expect them to be and that we should not be afraid to allow them to express themselves. She challenges us to consider the idea that human evolution is more about being human than it is about being a gender and the important role acceptance plays in our evolving world.
Open letter to all States of Jersey members from Liberate
This is the full version of Liberate‘s excellent letter to all members of the States of Jersey on the subject of Deputy Sam Mézec’s proposition:
I write on behalf of LIBERATE in support of Deputy Sam Mézec’s proposition lodged at the States Greffe on Wednesday 28 May 2014 petitioning the States of Jersey to introduce equal marriage in the Bailiwick of Jersey.
LIBERATE is the first Channel Island charity to support the islands’ Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Community (LGBTQ).
Who we are
Liberate is an inclusive Group, which welcomes people irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity, religious belief, race, gender or disability. We are a local charity and were founded on 15 February 2014 in Guernsey.
Liberate is made up of a virtual rainbow of people from every different gender and sexual identity you could possibly think of. With such a diverse background we can operate on many different levels as we all bring something different to the group.
Our vision is simple. We believe in a Fair & Equal society, where everyone is born equal and free, and treated with dignity and respect no matter what their gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, belief or race.
Article 1 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights states: “All people are born free & equal in dignity and rights”.
Children do not know racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, unless they are taught it and government has a responsibility to ensure that it sends a clear message to communities that discrimination in all its forms is not acceptable.
The purpose of Liberate is to educate and inform on a wide range of issues and to support those who identify as LGBTQ, their families and friends.
We campaign to reform some of Guernsey’s policies and laws to ensure that LGBTQ people can enjoy the same freedoms as everyone else in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. We also lend our support to the LGBTQ community in Jersey and are affiliated to Trans*Jersey.
We question social attitudes and behaviours which discriminate against LGBTQ people, and offer advice and help in tackling homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, etc.
We will petition and work with government to:
- Introduce Equal Marriage Legislation
- Give transgender people full access to services to allow them to transition to their gender identity
- Introduce anti-discriminatory legislation or an Equality Act which addresses homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime
- Reform laws and policies such as income tax legislation to ensure that they are non-discriminatory
Since our website www.liberate.gg was launched we have had over 1,000 signatures in support of equal marriage in the islands. We have also achieved one of our aims in Guernsey of having transgender reassignment surgery funded by the States of Guernsey. We also:
- Support the local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning community, their families, friends and carers through a wide range of initiatives.
- Educate and inform society through outreach and Public Awareness campaigns.
- Fight to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and equally under the law, and that no-one is left behind.
- Challenge discrimination in all its forms in our daily lives, whether it is working in a voluntary capacity for Liberate, at work, socially, etc. We will not be bystanders.
- Act as Ambassadors for Equality and Diversity in our daily lives.
- Work with other organisations, charities and non-governmental organisations to promote equality and fairness in our society and facilitate positive change in social policy.
- Respect the dignity and rights of others at all times, whether we have differences of opinion or belief, or not.
The Free & Equal Campaign
The United Nations Human Rights Commission recently launched its Free & Equal Campaign which is partly aimed at world governments to ensure that they do not actively discriminate through legislation and policy, as well as encouraging the LGBTQ community to speak out and have a voice.
The LGBTQ community have historically been persecuted, tortured and executed. Indeed 81 countries still classify homosexuality as a criminal offence. It is only in recent history that it was decriminalised in our society, and not until the early 1990’s that the World Health Organisation declassified homosexuality as a disease. We hope that you can therefore appreciate how difficult it is for the LGBTQ community to be visible and speak out against social injustice.
Deputy Mézec’s Proposition
Deputy Mézec’s proposition is an important step for Jersey in ensuring that each and every one of its citizens are free and equal in dignity and rights.
Jersey recently made an important step in terms of tackling discrimination with the introduction of its Discrimination Law. We see the introduction of equal marriage in Jersey as a natural progressive step towards that goal. Failure to do so will deny approximately 10% of the population the right to marry, and be totally at odds with Jersey’s current social policy in terms of discrimination.
Guernsey’s Chief Minister has already assured LIBERATE that he will bring a report to the States of Guernsey before the end of this political term proposing the introduction of a Union Civile for all couples who wish to marry. Under the proposed law, it will be the choice of those getting married whether they chose to then have a blessing or humanist celebration.
We hope Jersey does the same.
The England and Wales Equal Marriage Act caused problems for transgender people over the so-called Spousal Veto. It allows their spouse to refuse to permit them to have a Gender Reassignment Certificate, which would convert the marriage from opposite-sex to same-sex. We prefer the Scottish Same Sex Marriage Law of 2014 model which overcomes that “veto”.
Winning Hearts and Minds
LIBERATE acknowledges that changing laws and policies is only part of the solution to changing societal attitudes towards the LGBTQ community.
Together we must win the hearts and minds of those who through ignorance, intolerance, and hatred, discriminate against various sections of our community. It is that intolerance which can divide families, friends and colleagues, and damage the very fabric of our society, with consequential harm to individuals and cost to government and other third party agencies. The LGBTQ community is widely acknowledged to be twice at risk of harm of anxiety, depression, substance misuse, self harm and suicide because of the affects that prejudicial attitudes have.
Changing laws and policies sends out a very clear signal to society of what is acceptable and what behaviours are not.
Our commitment to the States of Jersey is that we will work and co-operate with government locally in terms of ensuring that the universal principle of fairness and equality for all applies within our islands. Whether it be in changing laws and policies, or helping States departments in developing social policy strategies which promote equality and inclusion and celebrate the importance of diversity.
We ask you to vote “Pour” in favour of Deputy Mézec’s proposition.
 Including an estimated 100,000 LGBTQ people who were victims of the Nazi Holocaust.
The JEP report from Tuesday 17 June 2014:
An open letter to our trans partner
I am the wife of a trans woman who transitioned during our marriage. I am writing this to support partners as there are significant areas in common for us all but each of our paths on this journey may be very different. I also write to the trans person and just hope you both talk to each other. We want to keep our marriages intact.
There is no clear cut care pathway for partners here so do not be afraid to seek help and counselling. This journey can’t be done alone. Local GPs and counsellors are not specialists, so the more we speak up the more awareness will be raised. This is not a life choice for either of us; something that took me years to understand. I still ask myself: ‘why me’?
I had advanced notice before we got engaged that my husband was cross dressing since childhood. She agonised over telling me but we still got married and have now been together for over 30 years and married for 27. The prognosis for staying together is much higher if surprises and shocks are limited. We decided never to have children and life is a lot less complicated. However, it was still a shock when my partner decided to transition and, before I could understand the implications, she was self-medicating secretly. I went through hell. Women are good listeners and can be sympathetic, but I don’t like dishonesty, hiding or deception. We can detect little signs, and you may think your partner is having an affair if female clothing is found in the house which does not belong to you.
For the trans partner: please remember that this is like a bereavement but with no body and no funeral. If you are going to throw clothes from your previous gender away warn your partner and, perhaps, allow us to keep some sentimental items – even if just for a while, so we can grieve in our own time. Acknowledge this grieving process is just like any other, it HURTS!
Keep open channels of communication at all times and also agree to stop talking if it is getting too much. My counsellor suggested we have a password to use if this is happening, and we then agree to talk later at an agreed time. So far that works for us.
The trans person may be tempted to rush into transitioning (coming out, HRT, ‘real life experience’ and possibly surgery) because it is a lifelong desire to change gender. For the partner, it is a constant ‘in your face’ tornado of selfish wants that completely ignores and threatens the relationship. The effects of HRT on the mind and the body are visibly shocking and can be upsetting for the partner who knew another person intimately. Thankfully, there are now several good books out there and web sites. Bear in mind that by ‘outing’ yourself as being trans, you do the same to your partner and they may be concerned about what others think. The partner of a trans person may worry about peoples’ perceptions: are we a lesbian couple, sisters, sisters-in-law…?
Our particular relationship has been strong enough to overcome this. My partner first attempted a kind of dual life of living as a woman outside work many years ago, but this time around its permanent and that was a big adjustment for me. In transition we now tend to avoid the same haunts we frequented because waiting staff would recognize me and wonder if I have a new relationship as we sit at the same table ordering the same favourite meals. Even in places we have never been to, the ‘couple’ in us still comes out as we say ‘we’ the whole time when talking. I have to be very blunt here and say a part of our success is that my partner is completely convincing and I doubt if I would remain if she was not. Do not ‘carry the monkey’: other peoples’ reactions are their problem not yours. Who to tell and when is up to you. We have now told all our best friends and family, but my partner’s family proved to be the most negative.
For me this is not a linear process either. I have not gone smoothly from timid enquiry, anger, depression, thinking and reading to acceptance. Some days are better than others. Several times I revisit each emotion forwards and then backwards. This is where counselling helps. You are not alone. Also, bear in mind this is no-one’s fault so try not to blame when you are at your most angry to accuse. If you think that is easier said than done, I totally agree as I am guilty of doing that often – even now. I was quite shocked in one professional counselling session in the UK to be told I had in fact married a woman all along! To be told it was all to do with conception, what happens in the womb and the brain was earth shattering. Read, read and read. I have found it quite fascinating, painful and absorbing.
Having gone through more than a woman should for love, my partner wants a Gender Recognition Certificate. In 2014 with same sex marriage legal, the process is still unclear for married people where a partner transitions and, yet, retains the same legal rights. The irony that we already live as same sex couples after surgery is lost on them.
To end on a lighter note; there have been many fun moments, e.g. I now get to buy more clothes than before as she understands the need, but co-ordinating what to wear out can be a laugh. In the end love is more important than gender.
(Photograph is not of the post author but of Helen Boyd and her partner, Betty Crow. Helen is the author of She’s Not the Man I Married.)
An open letter to our families
We know that being the family of a trans* person is not something you sought or ever thought you would have to deal with. We know that in coming out as trans*, we are also forcing you out as the family of a trans* person. We know that you are concerned for us, for our welfare, for our healthcare, for our relationships, for our safety, for all the reasons that you have seen as headlines in the newspapers, and that makes you afraid for us. We know that you can’t be sure we are doing the right thing, maybe we are just going through a phase. We know that you will get our name wrong and use the wrong pronoun sometimes, which may embarrass you in public. We know all of these things and that’s why coming out to our families is the hardest thing we have to do. We worry so much that, if we can’t help you find a way through all of these issues, we may lose you. We don’t want to lose you, we want you in our lives. Our love for you doesn’t change when we transition but, sometimes, your love for us does.
In an ideal world, when we come out to you as trans*, at some point in the process, we would like you to give us a hug and say something similar to: “That’s great news. I’m so happy that you have reached a place where you feel able to express yourself in a way that is true to the person you really are. How can I best help and support you?” We know this is a big ask, but it’s not an impossible ask.
To our mothers and fathers: when the midwife placed us in your arms for the first time and said, “It’s a …”, would you have loved us any less if she had said our real gender as opposed to the gender dictated by our genitalia? To our partners, siblings, children and wider family: when you met us for the first time and were introduced to us, “This is …”, would you have loved us any the less if you had been introduced to us as the name that we have chosen for ourselves to match our true gender? If the answer to both these questions is “no”, which it probably is, then the problem with transitioning is not our gender or our new name, the problem is that we are changing from something familiar to something that seems unfamiliar.
Nobody likes change and our transition imposes a change on your life that you did not seek. Because of the process of transition, the news of this change is necessarily sudden for our families. Transitioning is never a spur of the moment decision and coming out to our families happens at the end of a process that may take years. Our families, therefore, receive the news of our transition with none of the preparation time we have had. Put like this, as the person transitioning, we have a responsibility to help those whose love and support we value to transition with us.
As the family of a trans* person, you have a right to ask them to accept this responsibility and to give you the help and support you need to manage the change that is happening in your life. This may include arranging for you to speak to a counsellor about your concerns or finding appropriate resources to help you understand the process of transitioning and why it is not a choice for the trans* person. To this end, we have added a post about the Transition Curve – the stages that everyone goes through when faced with change – that gives the trans* person in your family some guidance on how best to do this. You may also want to read it to understand a little more about why human beings don’t like change much and react in similar, predictable ways to it.
It is in our interests to help you cope with our transition. If we want you in our lives, we must make the effort. Communicating with you is, therefore, vital to the process. However much you might not want to talk about it, expressing your feelings is better than bottling them up. Please tell us how you are feeling. If you can’t do it face-to-face, phone us or write to us. If you need time and space, say so. We can respect that. Trans* Jersey’s post on communicating assertively applies to you as well as to us. Anger is a common reaction to change, especially change that is out of our control. Get angry, but please don’t get angry with us. Gender dysphoria is not something that we chose. If you need to get angry, get angry with the change, with the dysphoria, with the situation, but not with us.
To speak assertively: at some point, you have to accept that our transition is not just a phase, it isn’t going to go away. If you want us in your life, you must make an effort, too. Acknowledging this fact is the first step to accepting our transition and that goal of giving us a hug and saying something similar to: “That’s great news. I’m so happy that you have reached a place where you feel able to express yourself in a way that is true to the person you really are. How can I best help and support you?”
To answer the question, “How can I best help and support you?”, all we ask is that you are as proud of us as you always were. Be open and honest about our transition, don’t hide it. Be as proud that you have a trans* family member as you are of the other things we have done in our lives and the other members of your family. If you hide it, you are suggesting to those outside the family that there is a reason to hide it, that it is something of which to be ashamed. When people see that those closest to us accept our transition they, too, will take that attitude. After all, if those closest to us accept us, what right have others to find it “weird”? This also maximises our chances of staying safe from transphobic attacks – one of your fears for us. If we have allies who will step into defend us, we aren’t alone.
And that is what all trans* people who come out to their friends and family fear most – that they will end up alone as a result of their revelation. Please don’t do that to your family member, they will be much more vulnerable if you do and you will be the poorer for it.
Trans* Jersey asked the States of Jersey’s LGBT liaison officer to provide us with some basic safety advice for trans* islanders. Transwomen across the world are particularly vulnerable to physical and verbal attack so it is important to know where you can turn for help in the event that you find you are the victim of bullying, harassment or violence.
Important phone numbers
Emergency number: 999
Police headquarters main switchboard: 612612
(If you want to speak to the LGBT community liaison officer, you should ask for PC710 Emma Poulliquen or email the LGBT community liaison team.)
MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) number for young people only: 449213
Personal safety advice
The States of Jersey Police is committed to building trust and confidence throughout the entire community. We treat all reports or concerns of harassment, assault and any hate crime related incident seriously and endeavour to assess all of these with a view to investigating and providing support to those affected.
Statute legislation may not yet be in place covering certain aspects, but we aim to learn, develop, educate and encourage equality across all members of Jersey’s community.
If you have ever been on the receiving end of someone’s verbal abuse or the victim of an assault, you will know it can have a significant and traumatic impact on day to day life and the way you feel about yourself, even more so if you feel there is no one there to help, or nothing that can be done.
If you are the victim of a verbal or physical assault or other aggressive act, consider the following steps:
- Try to write everything down as soon as you can, dates, times, place, people, descriptions, what was said and how it made you feel at the time. Even the smallest detail can often be a big help.
- If other people have witnessed the incident and you are able to get their details, then do so. DO NOT PUT YOURSELF IN DANGER TO DO THIS.
- If you have been the victim of a physical or sexual assault try not to change or wash your clothes or yourself, there can be evidence which may help when investigating any allegations.
- If you are injured photograph your injuries as best you can before you clean them. DO NOT RISK YOUR OWN SAFETY OR HEALTH. ALWAYS SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE IF YOU NEED IT.
- If you are attacked, concentrate on getting yourself out of danger and then call 999. Even if you don’t want to support any later police investigation, your attackers may still be a danger to yourself or someone else.
Internet safety tips
The internet offers endless opportunities to meet new people from all over the world, but remember to use caution and try not to get caught out online. Here are some basic safety tips to help keep you safe online:
- DO NOT give out your personal details, photographs, or any other information that could be used to identify you, your family or where you live.
- DO NOT believe everything someone tells you online, they may not be what they seem.
- NEVER arrange to meet someone you’ve only ever spoken to online without telling a friend. Remember to give them as much information about the person and place you are meeting.
Nowadays everyone is texting, using Facebook, twitter or other social media sites. Often this means our lives are on display for everyone to see and can leave you open to abusive messages being posted. If this happens to you:
- DO keep the messages on your phone.
- DO print copies of anything on social media sites directed at you, showing who it is from.
- DO NOT respond, as tempting as it can be sometimes to respond to negative comments, refrain from reacting.
- DO send a single response telling the person to stop contacting you, tell them it is unwanted. KEEP this message.
- Consider changing your mobile number and only give out your new number to people you trust.
- Block the person on social media sites and limit your public profile.
- Report the person through social media outlets.
Trans* Jersey is very pleased to be able to announce that, as of today, we are members of Consortium. This will provide us with access to loads of resources for our members and other groups doing similar work in the UK.
Consortium is a national membership organisation focusing on the development and support of LGBT groups, projects and organisations; so they can deliver direct services and campaign for individual rights. They are mandated by their Membership to focus on the following areas:
SHARE: To collect a wide range of information relevant to the LGBT sectors and share it widely
- Build and maintain a national website in partnership with the sector
- Create and update a database of LGBT organisations and their activities
- Coordinate the production of a State of the Sector report annually
SUPPORT: Link the sector together
- Host events such as national LGBT conferences with time for Members to discuss their own needs
- Create and support specialist networks
- Help Members to form partnerships to work together on particular projects
- Capacity building work focused on addressing identified sector gaps with small organisations
SHOUT: Be a voice for the LGBT sector
- Be one of the voices for LGBT sector representation to highlight its needs
- Coordinate Member organisations to provide the voice for LGBT people
- Including setting up of a Members’ Council
STORE: Lead work with LGBT organisations to develop a shared vision for the whole sector
- Be a repository for good practice
- Supporting the standardisation of research across the sector to build a better national picture of LGBT needs and experiences
Recently, Consortium delivered the Trans Manifesto to the UK government. Trans* Jersey wholeheartedly supports the aims of the document. It is an important step and one we need to monitor in the island because, should its demands come to fruition, it will have repercussions for trans* individuals in Jersey, too. You can read more about it here.
Click Consortium’s logo below to find out more about who they are and what they do.
How to be a trans* ally
Video from the “Are you an ALLY?” campaign for Health Equity at Mount Sinai Hospital in Canada: http://www.mountsinai.on.ca/about_us/… Explains how you can help trans* individuals when you encounter them.
Medical treatment of trans* people
Because there are no specialist gender healthcare professionals in Jersey, all trans* islanders have to go abroad for treatment. Most will, at least initially, go to the UK. Therefore, any issues that trans* organisations have with the UK healthcare system are shared by Jersey trans* individuals.
In addition to producing a report on the health of trans* individuals, GIRES also identifies three main areas of concern:
Multiple referral for treatment
Current treatment protocols often require two referrals before cross sex hormones, or chest reconstruction, or genital surgery, etc are authorised. This causes delays. No other medical treatment requires two referrals so why are trans people singled out for a “special” treatment protocol.
If a trans person has been treated for gender dysphoria in the private system or overseas, that person’s treatment on the NHS may be delayed. No other such patient is refused treatment on the NHS for any other condition.
Health providers must be challenged to provide the equality analysis that justifies treating trans people in a different manner from other service users.
Delays in receiving treatment for young people
A young trans person can benefit hugely from an early medical intervention to ensure that the damage done, both physically and psychologically, from an inappropriate puberty can be minimised, where there is a clear clinical need established.
Delaying treatment for young people can have a disproportionate impact. A delay of (for example) three years in treating a 30 year old gender dysphoric person will not significantly change the physical outcome on the transition as the individual will have already developed adult sexual characteristics. However, for the 11 year old, the situation is completely different. However, both patients will suffer psychological stress due to the delay.
Again, Health providers must be challenged to provide the equality analysis that justifies treating trans people in a different manner from other service users.
As we have stated elsewhere, it should be noted that Jersey trans* people can avoid some or all of the above problems if they have the resources to navigate the system privately or semi-privately. In which case, they may not find the above to be an issue in their transition.
The Gender Trust
The Beaumont Society
Mermaids (for children and teen support)
Depend (for friends and family support)
Press for Change (for legal issues)
NHS transgender advice – NHS Transhealth
Transitioning on the NHS information from a transwoman – Writings of a Trans Activist
UK based forum predominantly for MtF friends and advice – TransgenderZone
UK based advice for transwomen – The Angels
UK comprehensive medical advice for transwomen – Looking Glass Society
US based resource for all things MtF – Transsexual Road Map
US based online magazine for transwomen – Femme Secrets
US based online magazine for transwoman – Lynn’s Place
US based advice for transwomen – Susan’s Place
US based advice for transwomen – Laura’s Playground
US based advice for trans* people – Trans Health
Wigs – Alternative Hair, Jersey
Laser hair removal – Aesthetic Laser Clinic, Jersey
Complete make-over service, dresses, shoes, lingerie, cosmetics, wigs, breastforms – TransLife
Dresses, shoes, lingerie, cosmetics, wigs, breastforms – Suddenly Fem
Shoes, lingerie, cosmetics, wigs, breastforms – The Fantasy Girl
Shoes, lingerie, breastforms – Classic Curves
On Becoming a Woman: A Transsexual and Transgender Guide for Transitioning From Male to Female by Jennifer Corbett (2014)
My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity by Kate Bornstein (2013)
Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue by Nicholas Teich (2012)
Grrl Alex: A Personal Journey to a Transgender Identity by Alex Drummond (2012)
Helping Your Transgender Teen: A Guide for Parents by Irwin Krieger (2011)
The Transgender Guidebook: Keys to a Successful Transition by Anne Boedecker (2011)
Becoming Drusilla: One Life, Two Friends, Three Genders by Richard Beard (2009)
The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals by Brill (2008)
She’s Not the Man I Married: My Life With a Transgender Husband by Helen Boyd (2007)
The Transgender Companion (Male to Female): The Complete Guide to Becoming the Woman You Want to Be by Jennifer Seeley (2007)
Finding the Real Me: True Tales of Sex and Gender Diversity by Tracie O’Keefe (2003)
For those who are still questioning their gender, take some time to read this site, to surf the Internet and watch video clips uploaded by transwomen, to read some of the excellent personal accounts of transitioning available as books from Amazon, and to feel comfortable with the idea that you are trans*. This is an important step and not one that should be hurried. It can take years to reach a point of ease with who you are.
However, it is worth reaching that point before you more forward with your transition, especially in Jersey. We all know how quickly news travels in small communities, more so than in a big city. You are unlikely to be able to keep your transition a secret in the island. You need to be prepared to ‘out’ yourself to all sorts of people in order to get their help and you can only do that if you are proud and confident about who you are.
Having reached a place where you know that you are transgender, your first point of contact is your doctor/GP in Jersey. Explain to them that you are unhappy with the gender assigned to you at birth and that you would like to start the process of transitioning. Ask your GP to write a letter of referral to a gender therapist (if going the privately funded route) or to a psychiatrist within the health services in Jersey (if going the publicly funded route).
There are no gender therapists in Jersey so you will have to go to the UK for counselling. Your GP can either refer you privately to a gender clinic of your choice or your Jersey psychiatrist can refer you through the NHS to the Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic. The advantages of going private are that you control the timetable and can get things moving as quickly as you need to. The disadvantage is that you pay for private consultations (see the finance page). The NHS route is free but you are stuck with their timescale.
Remember that your therapist is not there to ‘judge’ you. They are there to help you make sure that transitioning is what you want to do. Therapy is a time for you to ask questions about transitioning, to be honest with yourself and answer the therapist’s questions as openly as you can, to think about alternatives to transitioning and to understand why they are not an option for you, and to double-check your feelings with an impartial and skilled observer.
Depending on how you and your therapist feel about your readiness to transition, the next step is either to change your name by deed poll to the name by which you want to be known going forward or to commence hormone therapy.
For more information about changing your name and all your documents, see the change of name page.
Jersey has the necessary skills on the island to administer your hormone therapy, which will be a lifelong commitment to taking estrogen, progestogen and antiandrogen in some form. Your therapist will need to provide a letter to your GP or psychiatrist recommending that you commence hormone therapy, the appropriate delivery method of the hormones and the doses that you require. Your GP or psychiatrist can then refer you to the island’s endocrinologist. This can be done privately, for which you will pay, or you can be referred through the States system, which is free.
For more information about hormone therapy, see the hormones page.
This may be as far as you wish to go in your transition. You may consider the changes made by the hormone therapy sufficient to allow you to pass as a woman. However, you may elect to undergo one or more surgical procedures to further feminise your body. If so, you will need to leave the island again for your operation(s). Jersey has no surgeons who can perform this specialist surgery. You will need to decide whether you wish to pay for surgery privately or whether you are prepared to wait for surgery in the UK through the NHS.
If you elect to have surgery through the NHS, you need to ask your NHS therapist to place you on the NHS waiting list.
If you elect to have private surgery there are two advantages: you can choose your surgeon, so you can choose to see anyone in the world who takes private patients, and the timing of your surgery is your choice. You should research your surgeon carefully, taking time to read testimonials from transwomen who have had surgery with them. If you are unsure about your choice, ask your GP for their opinion.
Once you have selected your surgeon, contact them directly. You do not need to go back to your GP for a referral. However, the surgeon will undoubtedly want a letter from your therapist or GP referring you after you have made the initial contact.
For more information about surgery, see the surgery page.
Finally, take ownership of your transition. If you are not getting the answers you require from your health professional, keep asking until you do. Research as much as you can and prepare the questions you want answered before every consultation. Your Jersey GP may never have taken a patient through a transition process so you may need to guide them on what they need to do next for you.