Following a recent report that the National Gender Service now insists adult patients’ parents be present at assessments, trans people in Ireland have been sharing on social media their own experiences of the service.
Noah Halpin of This Is Me – Trans Healthcare Campaign shared a Tweet which read, “I never ever wanted to talk about this. I still don’t. But it’s important. It’s important for you all to know what we go through.” The Twitter thread continued to describe how he was referred to the National Gender Service at Loughlinstown Hospital, finally getting an appointment 2.5 years later. Halpin went on to describe his first psychiatric appointment as “horrific”.
For the Doubters: This is my experience with the National Gender Service and mine only. Though, I know that there are many that correlate.
I never ever wanted to talk about this. I still don’t. But it’s important.
It’s important for you all to know what we go through.
I went to
— Noah Halpin (@Noah_Halpin) July 27, 2020
“It was over three hours long with an eight minute break in between and it was odd. The first half, he sat in front of me with a psychiatric nurse sitting to the side of me. The second half, he sat in front of me and had the nurse sit behind me, where I couldn’t see her. Both were writing notes as I spoke. I was asked plenty of pretty normal questions. Then it got highly intrusive, hyper sexualised and to be blunt, voyeuristic.
“I was asked how I ‘pick up men? Is it on hook-up apps or in bars?’ I was asked that when I have sex ‘how does the mechanics of that play out?’
Just wanted to say that I really appreciate others who've come forward and told their stories of being violated and being subjected to inappropriate questioning at the hands of the psychiatric and psychological team at the national gender service. Thread.
— 🦄💜 𝕷𝖎𝖑𝖎𝖙𝖍 🏴🏳️🌈 (@trasinscneach) July 27, 2020
The questions became more graphic until Halpin asked, “what any of this line of questioning is connected to my gender identity? I was told that these were the questions I needed to answer to be accurately assessed.”
The Tweets continued that the questions “moved on to my relationship with my parents. Then any past emotional, physical, sexual abuse. About my parents relationship and my life from birth to now. As if ANY of this made me trans. I’m lucky that I’m thick skinned. Most aren’t.”
This endocrinologist was far from qualified to ask those kinds of questions. She was far from qualified to make a call on my identity based on those questions. A lot of judgement was passed on me, my family, and my life, unnecessarily.
— jayson (@jaytransboring) July 27, 2020
Trans people throughout Ireland then shared their own stories. All discussed the inappropriate questions involved in the assessment, the level of intrusion and the impact it had on them.
Seeing a lot of people talk about their experience with the National Gender Service (effectively the only non-private option for trans healthcare in Ireland) and wanted to add mine. https://t.co/r0xpWuraEe
— sarah (@foophoof) July 27, 2020
I want to add to the experiences of other trans people who've shared about the National Gender Service, because I think it's important (particularly for allies) to see what we've to go through.
CW: Biphobia https://t.co/nAGJva64E5
— Mícheál Caomhánach (@Mike_Drop_95) July 27, 2020
One person shared, “Pay attention to what trans people are saying re: the National Gender Service. If cis people were subjected to this treatment it would have been a national scandal.”
Pay attention to what trans people are saying re the National Gender Service. If cis people were subjected to this treatment it would have been a national scandal. There is NO just reason to ask these questions or force adult trans patients to bring their parents to appointments. https://t.co/Fws7x9Q5qL
— Aifric Ní Chríodáin (@aifreckle) July 27, 2020
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