Referral to a Gender Identity Clinic
Once you have been to see your GP it can usually take around 3 to 6 months before you get an appointment but from my own experience and others this is not always the case. Be prepared to play the waiting game. If you live in England you are now able to self refer to a Gender Identity Clinic. Your GP can do the referral for you.
If you can be referred directly to a Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) then you will have one less hoop to jump through.
Psychologist Referral Route
I was referred to see a Psychosexual therapist who diagnosed me with gender dysphoria. They then sent me for a confirmation diagnosis by a Psychiatrist to ensure the diagnosis was correct. The Psychiatrist will also ask you to have a blood test done to check your hormone levels. The blood test can be carried out at your local doctor’s surgery and is designed to make sure there isn’t an imbalance in hormones that could be causing these feelings. You will then be referred on to your nearest GIC, one of which is Charing Cross Gender Clinic in London. For a list of clinics take a look at the Gender Identity Clinics page. Once you get the referral you will then have to start the process of being diagnosed all over again with the clinic’s own therapists. Hormone treatment is usually prescribed on the 2nd Doctor’s appointment. For further information check out the hormone treatment page.
Gender Clinic Appointments
When you go to the Gender Clinic be yourself and be open with them. I didn’t pack or bind and I was still diagnosed with gender dysphoria. On average you will see the Psychologist at least three times or if you feel you have more to discuss they will make more appointments. The first appointment was to discuss why you feel the way you do, how long you have had the dysphoria for and a brief history of your life to date. The second appointment will be to discuss the options that are available and what treatment you wish to have, whether it be just top surgery, hormones and top surgery or wanting to have lower surgery as well. They will advise you to change your name if you haven’t done so already. Don’t feel pressured into changing it straight away if you are not ready. I didn’t change mine until after I had seen the Psychiatrist.
They will expect you to do at least 12 months real life experience (RLE) in your new gender. This period won’t take effect until you have changed your name so make sure you keep hold of any letters addressed to you in your new name as proof of when you changed it.
Need help with changing your name. Visit the Name Change page.