Human Rights / Health

Difficulties in gender re-assignment process

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Health-themed 4th Symposium against Discrimination had begun with the session of gender re-assignment process. Activist Deniz Eren Mutlu has talked about anything related to gender re-assignment process, from judicial process to change of identity.

4th Symposium against Discrimination which organized by Kaos GL Association, Turkish Medical Association and Health and Social Service Worker Union has begun.

The first activity of the 4th symposium with theme of “health and right of health” was to discuss the issues during the gender re-assignment process and solution recommendations. The meeting was directed by activist Deniz Eren Mutlu.

Mutlu, who mentioned the gender re-assignment  process could take years because of legal uncertainties, stated that “The biggest obstruct in judicial process to people who goes through the gender re-assignment  process is the incompatibilities between courts.”

“Process differs from one city to other”

Mutlu, mentioned the gender re-assignment process is mostly done in provinces such as Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Adana, Antalya, Rize, Zonguldak and Edirne.

“Big cities is preferred in general. Even gender re-assignment process differs between these cities. First of all, a date is taken from psychiatric department of the hospital and person begins the process after the meeting with psychiatrist. Gynecology, endocrine, genetic, urology and cosmetic surgery is the next step. “

Mutlu, after emphasizing the importance of psychiatric assessment, said that this process takes approximately one year. In the sequel, Mutlu gave a warning as “during the gender re-assignment process, hormone usage should be done under the control of a doctor.”

Sex reassignment surgery is paid by Social Security Institution (SGK) on condition that person completes the one-year psychiatric assessment. Mutlu criticized this restriction as “It’s none of the business of Social Security Institution if psychiatrist is already made the choice. SGK shouldn’t stipulate like this.” Mutlu also added that SGK doesn’t pay every surgery and the cost of hormone usage.

“Hospital is the place where discrimination reaches the peak”

Mutlu stated that transgenders face with the problem of unemployment during gender re-assignment process especially and be exposed to discrimination at all hands:

“Life becomes harder at the times when appearance and color of the identity shows contrast. Finding a job becomes something impossible. Hospitals become the places where discrimination reaches the peak. Because he is a trans man and in gender re-assignment process. He doesn’t want to show his pink identity. If he has to do it, everything is need to be explained all over again.”

“Experiences during military service”

Mutlu told the experiences of trans men during military service:

“Military service starts for a trans man who gets his blue identity. At the end of the process, he gets diagnosed as “highest degree psychosexual disorder” and gets exempted. Exemption certificate should only address the exemption, not the reason.”

“This period is really a tough one which creates lots of problems for transsexuals, homosexuals and bisexuals. The act related to military service is newly changed yet we are not sure whether it will be visible in practice or not.”

*This event was organized by Kaos GL and Pink Life Associations within the scope of Don’t Hate Me Project funded by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) of the European Union.

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