Limerick trans man forced to go abroad for surgery says Irish Government has 'let down' trans people

Young Limerick trans man, Will Keohane, has opened up about raising money to travel abroad for top surgery and how trans people in Ireland are “let down”.

Limerick trans man Will Kenohane wearing a brown jacket and standing in front of a river

Young Limerick trans man, Will Keohane, has spoken out about the lack of support and medical resources for trans people in Ireland in the wake of his journey abroad for gender-affirming surgery.

GCN recently reported on Will’s GoFundMe campaign where he asked the community for help raising the funds he needs in order to travel to Toronto for top surgery (double mastectomy). So far the support has been amazing, with Will raising over €8,500 of the €10,000 needed to cover the cost of the procedure, travel and aftercare. 

He will have to travel abroad for the surgery which is not currently available in Ireland. Talking to the Irish Sun he explained that “there are no surgeons in the country who will perform this procedure on trans people. So every single trans man or non-binary person who wants this and needs this procedure for their own health has to go abroad.” 

He told the Sun that many people will go to Poland to see Dr Lembas who apparently has had a lot of great results, however Will said that after some thought he decided not to go with this option as it would mean spending two weeks of recovery time in a country where he didn’t speak the language and no social support would be provided. 

Will went on to talk about how the outsourcing of trans healthcare in Ireland has directly affected him and his transition, saying that after speaking to a doctor about transitioning over a year ago, he still remains on a waiting list in Ireland and thus has had to travel to the UK for healthcare.

On the topic, the Limerick trans man said; “Unfortunately for trans people in this country there are no other options. The healthcare system and the Government have really let down its trans people and we are forced to the position where we have to go abroad. I am trying to focus on the positive but the reality of the system is that there are significant barriers to healthcare that are going to be very difficult to address and I do hope that they change in the future.”

Emotionally, the prospect of traveling abroad to a foreign country is something that is weighing heavily on Will’s mind. He told the Sun; “I am quite scared to have to go abroad and I wish that I could stay at home and have a surgeon perform this operation on me here and be able to recover where my friends could come and help me out post recovery and I could recover with my Mam and Dad nearby.” He explained that he can’t ask friends and family to fly all the way to Canada to see him during his recovery time, but he is extremely grateful that he has been able to receive financial support in a period of such unknowns. 

If you would like to help Will raise funds for his top surgery you can donate to his GoFundMe campaign here. 

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

For 30 years GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community. We want to go on providing this community hub in print and online, helping countless individuals across the country, but the revenue from advertising across the media is falling.

GCN needs your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from only €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.