Charing Cross narrative

Rushed. 11am appointment, which is never good for me. The vagaries of modern rail mean I can get to London after 10am for £28 – or before for the best part of £100. I needn’t have worried: made Charing Cross GIC with about 15 minutes to spare…and then waited an extra ten minutes for my appointment.

We opened on a slightly sour note. He – the consultant – called me in by THAT name…the old one…the one I’d rather not use any more. I handled it well – I thought. I was assertive. I explained my dislike of it. Told him my name.

I explained my dislike of deed polls as bureaucratic nonsense and an imposition. I explained I was taking that matter up at Ministerial level. I kept it all light.

So we started with history-taking: the usual charlatanry. Childhood. Relations with school. Relations with friends. Relations with relations. It wasn’t exactly threatening – wasn’t exactly anything much at all.

Til the end – and a provocation. How did I feel at the start? Huh? Did he think I was cross or something? The whole point was for me NOT to get wound up: to state, to assert and not have a go. Is he looking to start something?

He insists. Honest reaction, I say? I was terrified at the idea this might get in the way of my transition. I still don’t feel altogether safe.

He falls back – but only for a moment. Let’s cut to the chase. I can’t go private and be treated at Charing X. That’s fair. I’m happy with that.

But…we wouldn’t prescribe hormones til a second appointment (which has now moved out to February) or later: might need me to COME OFF hormones until I satisfy their criteria.

Oh? Wary, now. Hasn’t he heard a word I’ve said? A black hole starts to open: I can’t contemplate that.

And they may need a deed poll. What! Yes: some consultants won’t prescribe hormones until I’ve got a deed poll. Bastards! Fucking control freak bastards!!! This is beyond madness and I kick off.

I explain again why I object to the stupid things: why I can’t see the point of making life-changing drugs dependent on something I can obtain in ten minutes for a fiver. Explain, again, that his lot are medics – not lawyers – and they appear seriously to be misrepresenting the law on this front.

He scribbles furiously. Did he deliberately set out to provoke this, to see where I would go? Stupid man. He adds another twist. My dislike of deed polls shows “resistance”.

To whom? To what? I’ve changed my name already with Inland Revenue, VAT, NHS next week. The council. My video shop. But no: I need to go buy that stupid bit of paper.

But time is pressing. The issue is still whirling round as I find the session finished and myself back out at reception…then out on to the street. I am a total wreck. Plans for a quick dash up to Camden for some clothes shopping are trashed.

The hole opens up and panic sets in.



6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    spirifer said,

    This chap is threatening to take you off hormones because you don’t have a change of name deed? Is he serious??!

    Then again, if I had a £1 for every argument I’ve had with people who know-a-bit-about-the-law-but-not-all-that-much-and-not-all-that-accurately, I’d have a fair bit in the piggy bank.

    Why not just play their game and get your deed – I’ll throw in the receipt for a fiver from WH Smiths (because these things are, as you say, sooooo important legally).

    ::insert rolling eye emoticon here ::

    • 2

      janefae said,

      hmmm…perhaps YOU could be my legal friend. I need someone as either background or on the record in respect of the law on names.

      As you say, it is such a small thing it is ludicrous…but that’s why i won’t.

      i am starting a campaign both for trans persons and for women to lay to rest this Srement of so many organisations for unnecessary documentation.

      Hopefully publish on it next week…

      So, yes: i’d pay if i really had to…but i see it as arm-twisting of the worst sort. And its not just GIC’s…but things like banks and building soc’s too.

      Bizarrely, the inland revenue and VAT and NHS will all change your name with no documentation…so lng as you prove identity. Tesco storecard, however, won’t.

      Go figure!


  2. 3

    spirifer said,

    I find the whole area of ID pretty mindboggling. Why do I have to ID the executor of a will for money laundering? Why do I have to produce ID for an adult who has been learning disabled since birth so that the trustees of his father’s will trust can invest a few pounds for him with NS&I? Why do some banks (Santander, step forward) insist on (virtually) signatures in blood to allow attorneys to help an elderly relative operate an account under a power of attorney?

    There need to be some protections in place, obviously, but the ones there are appear to be applied so patchily – almost capriciously at times – that they make no sense.

    • 4

      janefae said,

      oh…there’s a very simple answer, sue…its sexim, pure and simple.

      id is a misnomer: organisations need basic security to establish you are the person entitled to whatever privileges you lay claim to. Beyond that they don’t need any extra.

      If their security is good enough to allow you to shift tens of thousands of pounds around the ether, it is also good enough to enable a name change. But most systems were designed without the necessary name audit and backtrack facility in place.

      Why not? Maybeecause designed by people who don’t change name much FOR people who don’t change name much. That is, by blokes for blokes!

  3. 5

    chrissie said,


    I am not too sure which consultant you saw at CX, but I have heard that a few of them still like to pay god.

    That was normal behaviour for th old regime there. I hear it is slowly changing.

    If so, it is too slowly.

    If he told you that you could not mix private and CX, then he is lying. The law says you can, period. But some of them do like to bully people.

    One can complain about the consultant and request another, but naturally many women are scared to do so.

    Hope it works out for you, honey.


    • 6

      Stephanie said,

      I’m coming in late to this post (been away for a bit), but my gut reaction is also that this consultant has a bit of a god complex. Aren’t consultants who treat trans people required to check in with a therapist regularly themselves, to make sure their personal ‘issues’ and attitudes aren’t clouding their work? If that is not the case, it seems that it should be. In all sanity, it would seem to be common sense that they themselves cannot properly help their patients if they cannot keep their private hang ups at bay. This is an unbelievable amount of frustration for you, Jane. So sorry!

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