Making Jersey’s LGBT community safer

Trans* Jersey met with the States of Jersey Police LGBT Community Liaison Officer, PC710 Emma Poulliquen, this week to discuss ways in which we could work together. The discussion was wide-ranging and included educational initiatives to keep young people safe; legislation changes and how the introduction of anti-discrimination laws will affect the community; what “best practice” guidelines might look like for the police, the prison and the hospital when dealing with trans* individuals; and how the police can help the LGBT community right now, before anti-discrimination legislation is brought in.

Although there will not be a law protecting trans* people from discrimination before September 2015, Emma informed me that the States of Jersey police take harassment and discrimination of LGBT islanders seriously, and will investigate reports of incidents from LGBT people who have experienced harassment and/or discrimination in the island. Don’t forget that prosecutions will be able to be brought retrospectively under the new anti-discrimination law, so lodging a report with the police now is a good idea if you think you might need to bring a case when the law comes into force.

The LGBT community liaison team can be contacted by email or visit where there will shortly be a page dedicated to their LGBT community liaison work.


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.

Man and psychiatristRefusal to treat

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.