“I don’t want to be visibly transgender 24 hours a day.”

Catalonia has a model of health care for transgender people that is a pioneer in Spain and Europe. Transit, the collective referral unit for primary care, does not require a psychiatric diagnosis on trans people access to sex confirmation surgery, which means no longer treating transsexuality as a public health problem. mental illness. This is apparent from the instruction 14/2017 of the Servei Català de la Salut (CatSalut), which modified the healthcare paradigm to the most discriminated and stigmatized sector of the whole population. LGTBI Collective.

However, transgender people today complain about this model, which they themselves defend, is not implemented. The long waiting lists for access to surgical procedures (there are only three hospitals in operation: Can Ruti, Bellvitge and Clínic, and in total they perform 50 vaginoplasties per year and 15 mastectomies) leave many users without access to these. It’s the the story of two people who tell in EL PERIÓDICO their journey and their years of waiting for the recognition of their rights.

Èlia Surrell: “There is no way out, unless you pay the private sector”.

He has 27 years old and has been waiting since 2018 to undergo a orchiectomy (removal of one or both testicles). Elia Surrell complains not only that has not yet been operated of this surgery, which is included in the 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 an operation since 2018 and it was my turn, but…”. the only procedure performed in practice is vaginoplasty. [la reconstrucción de una vagina] and I don’t want it,” said this young woman.

So when it comes to this, the surgical procedures system, he laments, “does not recognize the reality of trans people”. Surrell, who started being trans at 22, put herself on the waiting list for surgery years ago, although at the time she did it unknowingly what operation that she wanted to have. But she signed up, like many transgender people, knowing that waiting lists would be long. “I don’t want to undergo a vaginoplasty, I want an orchiectomy, because this last operation is less invasive, Surrell tells.

In fact, it is an intervention ” so simple “, that, referred by primary care, it is performed by urologists. “But they have to certify that it’s done by some kind of disease. As a transgender person, I am not part of this group,” she explains. She might have an orchiectomy for the private health care, but it would cost about €5,500. “It makes me angry because there is no way out unless you pay.”

However, such an easy intervention is very important to her. ” The hormone that I take now have Side effects. I want to stop taking them. Also because of a physical problem: I have problems with some of them. pieces of clothing I don’t want to wear,” he explains.

Alex Bixquert: “TPeople’s gaze is sometimes very uncomfortable”.

Five years that’s how long it lasts. Alex Bixquert, 36 years old, waiting for access to a mastectomy, surgery to remove the breast. Bixquert did the social transit in 2016: from then on, they began to call him Àlex and to address him in the masculine. In 2018 he started with the physical transit.

“Since I already knew how the story unfolded, I went to see Transit in March 2018 to search hormone and put me in waiting list for mastectomy and for masculinization surgery of the thorax”. This is the time she waited for the procedure. “A lot of people I know end up going to the private. Cost of €6,000. I thought about doing it myself too, but that would mean asking for a ready and get into debt,” he says.

Bixquert explains that she does not experience her situation in a “particularly traumatic” way, but that having a breast means that she … “a lot of additional problems”. ” For example, I don’t go to the swimming pool. A few months ago I went to a spa with my partner and it was quite a conflict: I was not allowed to go topless because… I have boobs whereas cisgender men did,” he says. To swim or bathe in the pool, he must wear a “binder” (a kind of sheath) and, over it, a T-shirt. “It’s not comfortable. » he assures. On the beach, she is more free and does not use it because “there is no dress code”, but “People’s eyes are sometimes very uncomfortable”.

“Having surgery is important for to live in peace, to be able to go places, to buy clothes that I can’t buy right now. Wear more T-shirts that are not black, because this color is the one that hides the chest the best. I don’t want people staring at me on the street,” Bixquert says. “I don’t want to be visibly transgender 24 hours a day.”

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