Catalonia It has a pioneering model of healthcare for transgender people in Spain and Europe. transit, the reference unit of the group in primary care, does not ask for a psychiatric diagnosis at trans people to access gender confirmation surgery, which means stopping treating transsexuality as a Mental illness. This is how the instruction 14/2017 of the Catalan Health Service (CatSalut), that has changed the healthcare paradigm the most discriminated and stigmatized sector of the entire LGTBI collective.
However, trans people now complain that this model, which they themselves defend, it is not being implemented. The long waiting lists to access the surgeries (There are only three operating hospitals: Can Ruti, Bellvitge and the Clinic, and in total they do 50 vaginoplasties a year and 15 mastectomies) leave many users without being able to access them. This is the story of two people who recount in EL PERIÓDICO their journey and their years of waiting for recognize their rights.
Èlia Surrell: “There is no way out unless you pay privately”
Has 27 years and has been waiting since 2018 for an orchiectomy (the removal of one or both testicles). Elia Surrell complains not only that has not yet been operated of this surgery, which is included in instruction 14/2017 of the Servei Català de la Salut (CatSalut), but rather the system does not even perform this intervention. “In August Trànsit called me because I had been on the waiting list for surgery since 2018 and it was my turn, but the only intervention that is being done in practice is vaginoplasty [la reconstrucción de una vagina] and I don’t want to do it”, says this young woman.
Thus, at the moment of reality, the system of surgical interventions, regrets, “does not recognize the reality of trans people.” Surrell, who began walking at age 22, was put on the waiting list for surgery years ago, even though she did so unknowingly at the time. what operation wanted to be done But she signed up, like many trans people, knowing that the waiting lists would be long. “I don’t want to have a vaginoplasty, but an orchiectomy, because this last surgery is less invasive”, Surrell account.
In fact, it is an intervention “so simple”, which, referred by primary care, is carried out by urologists. “But they must certify that it is done by some kind of disease. As a trans person, I’m not in that group,” explains the young woman. She could have an orchiectomy for the Private sanity, but it would cost you some 5,500 euro. “It makes me angry because there is no way out, unless you pay.”
However, such an easy intervention is very important to her. “The hormones What do I take now? side effects. I want to stop taking them. Also for a physical aspect issue: I have problems with some pieces of clothing that I don’t want to wear,” he explains.
Àlex Bixquert: “LThe looks of people are sometimes very uncomfortable”
Five years is the time it takes Alex Bixquert, 36, waiting to access a mastectomy, breast removal surgery. Bixquert did the social transit in 2016: from then on they began to call him Àlex and address him in the masculine. In 2018, he started with the physical transit.
“Since I already knew how the story was going, I went to transit in March 2018 to search hormones and to put me in waiting list for the mastectomy and for the masculinization surgery of the thorax”. This is the time she has been waiting for the intervention. “Many people I know end up going to the private. cost from 6,000 euros. I thought about doing it myself, but it would mean asking for a loan and get into debt,” he says.
Bixquert explains that he does not experience his situation in a “particularly traumatic” way, but that having a chest means “lots of added problems.” “For example, I don’t go to the pool. Months ago I was at a spa with my partner and it was quite controversial: they wouldn’t let me go topless because I have chest while cisgender men did,” he says. To swim or bathe in the pool, he must put on a ‘binder’ (a kind of girdle) and, on top, a T-shirt. “It is not comfortable”, ensures. On the beach he is freer and he does not use it because “there are no dress codes”, but “people’s looks are sometimes very uncomfortable.”
“Operating is important for live in peace, being able to go places, buy clothes that I can’t now. Put on more shirts that are not black, Well, this color is the one that hides the chest the most. That people do not look at me on the street,” says Bixquert. “I don’t want to be visibly trans 24 hours a day.”
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