BM86: Trans Healthcare & Liberation

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ESU supports the right to healthcare for all students, and stands in solidarity with  trans and non-binary people who disproportionately struggle to access appropriate healthcare.

According to Stonewall’s LGBT in Britain Health Report, a third of trans people in Britain have reported discrimination in healthcare, and 62% said they’d experienced a lack of understanding of trans-specific healthcare needs by healthcare staff.

 Trans healthcare can be especially important for the student population. Many trans  young people transition while at college or university, and often struggle to access  healthcare while studying. This can particularly affect trans students who move to a  different health board (or equivalent) to study, meaning they may need to register  with a new healthcare provider who does not understand their specific needs, or may  even lose their place on lengthy waiting lists.

Waiting lists for trans healthcare can be exceptionally long, with waits of over 5 years in Scotland, and expected waits of 10 or even 20 years in some parts of the UK. 

The recent Cass Review, an independent report on gender health services for young people in England, has contributed to an increasingly politicised environment for trans young people across the UK and beyond. This has added to an already challenging  time for trans and nonbinary young people. The language and the potential implications of the report have caused concern for many trans people, particularly 16-25 year olds.

This is in addition to an increasingly hostile environment for trans young people in  schools, colleges and universities in England, where the UK government has issued  guidance for schools and colleges about “gender questioning children” – guidance which has been condemned by a number of unions, charities and human rights  organisations. This guidance was created without any student input, and condones and  even encourages misgendering, deadnaming and other ways of curtailing young people’s  rights to develop and express their identities in a safe environment. 

 ESU condemns the UK government’s guidance and urges the UK government to seriously  reconsider their approach to trans and non-binary young people. 

 ESU unequivocally stands with trans and non-binary young people and their right to  access adequate, timely healthcare and lifesaving social and medical transition. 

 More broadly, ESU condemns the rise of transphobia in the UK and across Europe, and  stands in solidarity with trans and non-binary people across Europe, and will proudly  continue to fight for trans liberation.


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