Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
During February 2022 Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust ran a series of events to support LGBT History month.
The trust is responsible for providing physical, mental health and social care for people of all ages across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Swindon, Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset. It provides a wide range of services including running the Warneford (mental health) hospital and eight community hospitals.
It works alongside other NHS organisations within the area, such as the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and these events were open to all within local NHS service providers.
One of the events was called 'Lets Talk About Trans and Non-Binary Inclusion'. In this a panel of three, comprising a trans male, trans female and NB, were to answer questions asked by the audience about being Trans and NB. The three covered a broad age and social demographic spectrum.
It was a first and so there was uncertainty about how this might be received. But it proved of huge interest, with well over 100 signing up, and it rapidly became clear that, as only an hour had been allocated, answering individual questions would be impossible. As a result a questionnaire was sent out to establish the top 3 to 4 questions people wanted answering as below
The questions in our 'topics of interest' questionnaire were
1. What is our understanding of ‘sex, gender, trans, and being non-binary?’
2. What are the lived experiences of being a trans or a non-binary person?
3. How much do we know about the law in relation to trans equality?
4. What are the political, social and legal challenges faced by trans and non-binary
people, and how can we help address them?
5. Trans kids and youth – fad, phase, or for real?
6. Transition and detransition – What are the realities and facts?
7. How sexually dimorphic are we, and how does treatment affect this?
8. Is being trans new? What does history tell us, and what have trans and
non-binary people achieved?
Given the above the event focussed on answering the couple of questions of highest interest - our lived in experiences and the issues we encountered thoughout society.
Within this we made it clear being trans was a condition that arose from our biology, was not a choice or 'just a feeling' and explained how that had played out in our lives. We then talked about all the challenges we face using the following graphic. This helped us demonstrate that many of the difficulties we encountered were simply the result of the lack of basic understanding people have about being trans and with those with extreme ideological beliefs who were currently trying to stop us being able to exist within society.
We concluded with the following advice about how we should be treated
We had well over 100 attend and the response was overwhelming in the positivity, love and support we were shown, as the post event survey results show. As a result not only are we now looking to repeat and extend this, but are discussing more formal training to be undertaken by trans folks, with scientific and medical knowledge alongside personal and social experience so that this important part of our local NHS healtcare system can improve the services and support it offers to trans folks.