One year ago, getting approved for HRT and SRS in British Columbia was scary. But thanks to Dr. Gail Knudson, the chief assessor in British Columbia, things have become a lot easier, especially for trans men who, historically, had less access to trans healthcare.
In February, I was approved for both immediate top surgery and, for when I’m ready (whenever that is), bottom surgery.
The process was quick and painless. It was nothing like the stories I have heard from other transgender people, especially trans men seeking proper medical treatment. I didn’t have to win the healthcare lottery.
This is all because of the tireless work Dr. Knudson has done, and continues to do, on behalf of transgender people in British Columbia. She is our biggest advocate and ally.
In fact, she has worked so hard to make healthcare more accessible, the policies surrounding HRT and SRS changed three times in December 2014 alone. Dr. Knudson is still writing the newest policies.
Plus, three doctors on Vancouver Island are now qualified (as of December 2014) to do top surgery right here on the island, meaning much shorter waitlists.
Because of how rapidly trans healthcare is changing in British Columbia, I’ll be writing a series on what to expect, including helping your GP write the perfect referral letter that will help expedite the whole process. And I’ll update you on my journey as I continue to navigate the new process.
Because I was lucky enough to have my first assessment done by the province’s chief assessor, my experiences may not be the same for residents outside of Vancouver Island. However, Dr. Knudson is also employed by the Vancouver Coastal Health, so you may be lucky enough to be assessed by her on the mainland.
The next two articles in this series will be:
- Writing the perfect referral letter; and
- The assessment and approval process
As those are the only two steps I’ve navigated so far, the rest of the series is yet to be determined.