If you are trans in the UK, you cannot access hormone therapy unless you have been referred to the gender identity clinic (GIC)
and diagnosed with gender dysphoria (the discomfort or distress a person feels when their assigned sex doesn't match their gender identity). However, access to that specialised care is extremely poorly resourced. According to Kirrin Medcalf, head of trans inclusion at Stonewall
, it should take a maximum of 18 weeks to get a first appointment at a GIC but "figures show that the reality is leaving people waiting much longer, up to three years." Research published by the BBC in January
found that more than 13,500 trans and non binary adults are on waiting lists for gender identity clinics and that there has been a 40% increase in referrals over the past four years. Dr Jane Hamlin from the Beaumont Society
, the longest established support group in the UK for transgender people and their families, echoes this. The wait times are "heartbreaking for people on those waiting lists. It takes a great deal of courage to accept that one is trans and that this is not just a phase that one will grow out of, or it will somehow go away."