Writers - Paul Matthews, Nick Laird, Allie Cherry, James Whyte, Alan Surgeon, Linda Thompson, Ann Mariott, Paul Robertson. Edit and Design - Brian Houston
During August, three workshops were held in Glasgow to better understand the health needs and experiences of transgender people in Scotland. These were part of a range of initiatives by the INCLUSION Project; a partnership project working for LGBT health.
The survey will be ready for distribution within the next couple of months and the key findings from this research will be available in 2004. Here’s a summary of findings from the days (one for transsexual women, one for transsexual men and a transvestite workshop).
The term transgender as an all-encompassing umbrella term was viewed as being sometimes problematic because there is a huge range of diversity within the transgender label. It was felt that the categories of transsexual and transvestite being put together under transgender didn’t help with the understanding of the issues because both categories are very different. Education on transgender issues was felt to be the solution.
Some of the most significant health-related issues for transsexual women (Male to Female) included; alcohol abuse, suicidal feelings, feeling stress about gender and disgust with body parts.
Some of the most significant health-related issues for transsexual men (FTM) included, anxiety, fear of what people would think/say, suicidal feelings and distress about body parts.
Self-harm and depression were also significant for trans women and trans men.
Solutions to the problems faced by some trans women and trans men included; good access to clinical treatment including hormones and surgery, peer support and counselling.
All of the participants in the transvestite workshop were accessing health services as heterosexual men and did not feel their transgender status was relevant in relation to this.
Peer support was viewed as very important to the transvestite group.
Transsexuals and transvestites can experience difficulties because of people making assumptions about sexuality and sexual expression.
Transsexuals and transvestites can experience difficulties because in general people have very fixed ideas about what a man/woman should be like, i.e. 'not a real man'.
Education on transgender issues was seen as a way of challenging assumptions.
For further information on the transgender research, or for information
on support for transgender people contact, Nick Laird:
is a partnership project representing the LGBT community in Scotland. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the partners. However, if they're witty, intelligent and insightful - they probably are. If you flicked through this mag, saw a photie and made an assumption about someone's sexuality - then you're about ten years behind what we're trying to do here. Click the mag off and walk away. Accurate at going online time, but hey, we didn't get this sarky without making mistakes.