ncreasing numbers of LGBTQ+ people have fled to seek refuge in Kenya, looking for a place they can be themselves without fearing for their lives or for their families’ lives. But things are getting harder.
I heard stories of other trans people’s gender diagnosis appointments, and how a diagnosis of autism can work against the trans person as they may not be deemed to have sufficient mental capacity to understand themselves, or lack sufficient life experience to ‘know for sure’. I panicked.
When I got my diagnosis two years later, everything started making more sense for me; every time socialising had gone pear-shaped, every time my sensory overwhelm had made me angry and ‘difficult to be around.’ All of those times I had never fit in with others were simply because we weren’t wired the same.
SJ Zhang writes that healthcare providers need to take into account if you’re a person of colour, because “your background, heritage, your upbringing, [can mean] it’s a lot more difficult for you to come out to your family.”
When I needed assistance with transitioning, I decided to turn to my community again, as I no longer trust doctors. I received a binder through G(end)er Swap’s free binder program, which has been a massive weight off my shoulders (no pun intended) whilst I remain on the GIC’s waiting list for top surgery.
Giving evidence to the Women and Equalities Committee on 8 September 2015, Dr John Dean authoritatively summarised the genesis of gender identity clinics [GICs]:
“there is quite considerable diversity of opinion between different clinicians and different clinics. All seven gender clinics in England arose out of the special interest of an individual a long time in the past. There has not been a lot of planning of their development, and there certainly is no training pathway for medical practitioners or others who work in this field.” 
Who were these individuals ‘a long time in the past’, how did they come to define the lives of trans people, and why are GICs such a focus of criticism from the patients they exist to serve?