Trans people in Ireland share their negative experiences with National Gender Service

Noah Halpin, founder of This Is Me - Trans Healthcare Campaign, shared his experience on social media, with others soon doing the same.

A man looking at his laptop screen

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”.

“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?’

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.”

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.

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.”

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