I saw the gender clinic for my surgery follow up today. That’s going to be the last time I should ever need to see them!
After getting blocked by Canterbury PCT in 2002 and having started out in 1999, it feels good to have finally successfully got everything I needed out of the system. I was extremely nervous and felt very vulnerable when I submitted myself to Nottingham Gender Clinic as nonbinary in 2009, but my psych was friendly and cooperative, understanding and helpful right up to the last moment. I’m regretting not asking for a parting hug rather than a handshake! :)
It felt so good to have seen a gender psych for the last time that I celebrated with ice cream :D
I just wrote a variation of the following for a closed Facebook group, then decided it’s a shame it wasn’t public…
I’m Nat and I live in Nottingham, UK. I run http://PracticalAndrogyny.com/ and http://Nonbinary.org/ - I’ve been openly nonbinary and genderqueer since 2001 and involved in online genderqueer communities for a year or two before that, but I’ve recently ramped up my visibility by putting my face and legal name against my nonbinary visibility and education activism.
As for my gender, “it’s complicated”, but if pushed I tell people I’m gender neutral, which is my pronoun preference too, and tell people that I’m a person, not a gender. I don’t attempt to ‘pass’ as anything but in practice I seem to be either highly androgynous or assumed to be a teenage boy, despite being 32. I’m interested in creating resources about the practical side of being ‘ambiguous’ to the gender binary.
I have a transsexual medical history, passing through the private system in the late 1990s. Despite having legally detransitioned in 2004 in protest over the Gender Recognition Act not recognising my gender (and for other practical reasons), I’ve just had the experience of successfully getting a change of meds and a transgender surgery funded by the local NHS Gender Clinic (my surgery’s actually coming up on Thursday) while being completely open about my nonbinary gender. I’m interested in advocating for others who’re trying to access transgender healthcare (of any kind) and I have my hands on those ‘incriminating’ G3 Gender Clinic group minutes you may have read about.
I’m heavily involved in my local mixed trans* group here in Nottingham, one of three nonbinary people on the committee and several nonbinary, genderqueer and gender nonconforming members. We run weekly meetings in the city centre, we have a ‘Trans Zone’ at this year’s Pride and we’re currently trying to overturn the decision of Nottingham PCT to ‘red list’ all gender dysphoria medications.
I believe in keeping transgender spaces welcoming to ALL people who transgress or transcend society’s concepts of gender. A lot of my activism is focused on making sure other trans activists remember nonbinary people exist and that we don’t all follow the same neat narratives of ‘passing’, ‘transition’ or even gender dysphoria. I recently advised META Magazine on nonbinary and genderqueer inclusivity and I’m happy with the results.
And now I should go pack my bag ready for that surgery…
From now on, whenever I write ‘trans*’ I’ll add the following disclaimer at the bottom of the page:
* The asterisk at the end of ‘trans*’ denotes that this is the wider inclusive form of trans that includes all transgender, genderqueer, gender variant and gender non-conforming people regardless of gender identity or expression.
Perhaps this will appease the sticklers for good grammar who dislike asterisks appearing words, while also having the intended effect of indicating the inclusive form of ‘trans’. It’s also more accessible to new people and those who instinctively look for footnotes.