Allow transgender people over the age of 16 to access hormone therapy.
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According to current NHS protocol, transgender people aged 16 or above are legally granted access to hormone replacement therapy, involving the administration of cross-sex hormones (eg. testosterone for trans boys) to the person in question in order to achieve desired secondary sex characteristics. However, this is only the case if the person has been receiving hormone blockers for at least one year - irregardless of how long they have known they were transgender, or their personal situation. I want 16-year-olds to be capable of receiving hormone treatment regardless of whether they've completed the year on hormone blockers that is required at the moment, providing it is deemed appropriate by the psychologists at the gender identity clinics.
Hormone blockers allow some 'thinking time', and prevent any further changes hormones in the body would implement. I fully appreciate the fact that a small number of people, after exploring their gender, come to the conclusion that they identify with the gender they were assigned at birth (otherwise called being cisgender) - however, this being said, these aren't transgender people; these are people who have explored their gender and have looked at the topic with a more open perspective. 96% of trans people reported a better quality of life after transitioning, and considering the fact that 59% of trans people under 26 years old surveyed said they had attempted suicide, it would be quite inappropriate and careless to refuse medical intervention when it is legal and approved - gender therapy is involved, in which they decide whether the candidate is suitable for treatment; it isn't a simple process anyway.
I find it very difficult to understand why I have to wait another year - face another year of the transphobic harassment and misgendering because of my lack of secondary male characteristics, another year of being wholly uncomfortable in my own body - just because someone is concerned that I'll 'change my mind', even though I am of legal age to make my own choice around transitioning medically. Clearly, they regard their statistics for medical transitioning as much more important than the lives of the 618,000 trans* people in the UK alone. To me, that doesn't sound like the ideal NHS 'caring for all' image we're reminded of. So why should it continue to be the case?
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