Laura talks to Mat Amp about the issues she faced during lockdown as a trans woman getting support and accessing health care.
Laura I must admit the guys and that who i’ve got a lot of support from, they’ve been really really understanding. They do try and contact me and that about one or two things so at least I have some form of contact with them but like I said it’s nothing major, but I do prefer it to be personal contact rather than just online.
Mat Can you talk to these people about anything with them. Or is there things you feel you can’t talk about with them?
Laura I talk to them about certain things but obviously I don’t [talk to them about anything] . Due to the fact that some of them are in recovery so I do keep certain things away from them because I’ve learnt what actually triggers them.
Mat Do you mean, like drugs or just other things as well?
Laura It could be anything that they are using or suffering from. So yeah, and if one of their triggers is about mental health, for instance, I don’t I don’t talk to them about mental health. Right? So I then talk to them about something else and which I might be going through. The number one might be something to do with losing someone so then I don’t talk about that with them. . Yes. So I’m extremely cautious on what I talk about and with certain people.
Mat Is there anyone you can just talk about anything with? You know, this occasional people that you think, well…?
Laura I’ve got my support worker from another group I mean, obviously, who has been really, really awesome about everything because when I first started off it was just for men to use them. But over the past few years, they started introducing all the trans community as well, So they’re a lot more open to dealing with it. They’ve got specialist social workers and they have students fro university going in with them and for training. So it’s a group what I actually really massively trust. And they have helped me so much, especially over this Covid issue.
Mat So that’s what you identify as Laura, it’s trans is it?
Laura Yes. And I’m actually not a female,
Mat Right, and so are there any problems particular to being trans that have been thrown up by Covid. Is anything got worse or better?
Laura it’s just the waiting times right now. The clinic what I got sent to had a two year waiting list but due to the virus, one gender identity clinic I know about has a two year waiting list but because of the virus it’s gone to 4 years.
Mat So what are you asking them for?
Laura To get me on my treatment and to get the observations. done
Mat So you are waiting for that and they’ve told you it was two years now you’re looking at four years
Laura and yeah, yeah, and that’s because of the Covid Issue. Leeds have gone from four years to six years after it had just come down from 6 years so it’s going back up again,
Mat Is that really important to you? Is that the most important thing in your life at the moment that operation?
Laura It’s getting on that treatment is the biggest thing for me right now is to get my treatment. I can wait for another ten years for my operation as I’ve been waiting for 35 years already so why not another ten years.
Mat Wow. but, in an ideal world that would happen tomorrow?
Laura In an ideal world yes,
Mat And is that difficult the wait. Sorry about the personal nature of these questions.
Laura I’m very very open with it, I’m an open book.
Mat That’s why it’s interesting talking to you Laura, This is such an important issue and people need to hear about it.
Laura : Yeah, so. Oh. Yeah. What was the question again?
Mat Basically I was just asking you generally, you know, is that the most important thing to you really, and also are there any problems you know that Covid has specifically thrown up for people in the trans community.
Laura I think it is pretty much the same for everybody it’s just trying to get all the operations done, getting on to the treatment, getting to go for all your assessments, so it’s thrown up a lot of issues for everyone in the trans community but what people don’t realise is that the longer someone initially waits for treatment it’s causing other mental health issues.