Did you know that us gender variant folk are little better than sex offenders?
Well, if you live in Australia, today’s news – or perhaps more accurately, last year’s – is just that: to access certain key hormonal treatments, the bureaucrats have decided that those identified with trans or intersex conditions belong in the same category as paedophiles, rapists and the sexually violent.
You could not make this up!
And whilst the detail behind the story, and the fact that it is an issue resurfacing today (as opposed to something suddenly decided) MAY make the news just a smidgeon less offensive, its still the headline that will be remembered – and used, and abused, by those who already have it in for us.
So let’s start with the headline, as reported in that quite useful site dedicated to sex and sexuality, CarnalNation. Today they report, accurately as far as i can tell, that intersex Australians must register as potential sex offenders to obtain access to certain hormones.
Specifically, testosterone suppressants, like androcur. Trans individuals will recognise that substance, too, since it (or similar) is a regular and often essential part of the transition process.
Unfortunately, as CN reports, taking their cue from feminist blog, the Dawn Chorus, these drugs may only be prescribed for licensed purposes which, at present, include:
– Advanced carcinoma of the prostate;
– To reduce drive in sexual deviations in males.
There is some discussion as to whether the prescribing rules also allow testosterone suppressants to be prescribed for
– Moderate to severe androgenisation in non-pregnant women
So let’s not beat about the Bush (pun unintended!). These drugs are not recreational extras. They are absolute necessities for some of us: in some circs, they may even be life-saving, since they may help persuade someone that suicide is not the only alternative to gender issues.
The real issues
There are three stark out-takes from this, if it is still continuing practice (and i will be doing a bit of my own investigation over the next few days).
First, as some Australian posters have noted, the existence of the third ground as a basis for prescribing and the apparent reluctance of some physicians to use it suggests either ignorance or something worse at work in some parts of that country’s health service. Where they can presecribe, there should be absolutely no excuse for not doing so if it helps the patient.
Second, there is the current and possibly spreading use of prescribing rules as a means whereby pct’s and individual GP’s refuse to hand out treatment in the UK. It remains the case that most of the drugs used to treat intersex and trans conditions are not licensed for those purposes – even though there is now significant history of them being used in those capacities.
That has led to some bureaucrats, some of those looking for “any excuse”, to claim that therefore they cannot prescribe. To refuse to prescribe, even where Gender Identity Clinics have recommended that they do. That is outrage…but given the way the system works, this needs to be fought by demanding the long overdue admission of the drugs in question on to prescribing lists.
Lastly and most sinister. I have frequently covered the way, in the UK in particular, there is a tendency for organisations to share data. Sometimes unlawfully. Sometimes with a nod and a wink in the direction of legality.
That sharing has consequences. Its why trans people have fought for a long time NOT to have their trans status noted on databases, because that often means that individuals reading just that will treat us differently, abusively.
So just imagine if getting treatment meant being placed on a database of potential sex offenders? Just imagine the conversations likely to take place every time a policeman pulled your vehicle over, or stopped you in the street at a demo.
Does anyone expect a mild and civilised exchange of views? Or rather, do we foresee nastiness?
I’d suggest the latter. Which is why, if this is the best Australia can do, we are long overdue sorting out the prescription issue everywhere. In the UK. In the US. Everyehwere.
Before the bureaucrats find how useful this is as a means to put us down.
P.S. Did i say i was angry. I’m not. No: i’m absolutely fucking flaming angry! And if this story remains true today, then screw Australia!