Hospitals are cancelling trans people’s gender affirming surgeries amid coronavirus
25 March 2020, 12:58 | Updated: 25 March 2020, 13:00
Health providers in the US and UK deem gender-affirming surgeries "non-essential" in spite of how important they are.
Gender affirming operations can be life-saving for trans and non-binary people but they are being stopped amid coronavirus.
Trans and non-binary people have long advocated for the importance of gender affirming surgeries. For those who aren't cis, these operations can help combat gender dysphoria and greatly improve the quality of life of patients. In spite of this, many health providers, including the NHS in the UK, deem gender affirming surgeries 'non-essential' and they're difficult to get.
Now trans and non-binary people are facing even more obstacles as operations are being cancelled due to coronavirus.
Speaking to Vice, a trans woman named Abigail from Wales said: "The waiting times are [extremely long] and nobody knows when things will get back to normal. None of us are angry at medical staff, or even the decisions, but at the system – which is so lacking in resilience, and lets us down so regularly." Abigail is currently recovering after surgery and needs follow-up care that she likely won't receive due to coronavirus.
Elsewhere, Riley Cooper, a trans man from St. Louis told Vice that his top-surgery has been cancelled due to coronavirus. He said: “This is the third time it’s been postponed. It’s getting more and more heartbreaking to keep getting so close to something that will make me feel better and feel like I'm in the right body for once. Every time I feel like I've gotten close, something has to come along to take it away."
It's currently unclear when health providers will start doing gender-affirming surgeries again. Our thoughts are with any trans and non-binary people awaiting operations and facing cancellations at this time.