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GenderGP’s top resources to get you through lockdown  

This month, as we continue to stay home in a bid to ease the pressure on the NHS, we have decided to dedicate our newsletter to those resources which are keeping the community going. This list is not exhaustive but we hope it will be a useful tool in the weeks to come. A huge thank you to all those who take the time and effort to make life that little bit easier for the trans community - we salute you!
 
With love, the GenderGP Team x

Virtual Meetups

SPECTRA

Meetups have gone online for the time being. SPECTRA have two options: a bi weekly group for non-binary people which takes place every other Wednesday from 17:30 to 19:30. A trans group for trans, non-binary and gender questioning people. This group runs every Friday, from 17:30 to 19:30.

Find out more

What the Trans on Discord

Drop the What the Trans team an email on:

discord@whatthetrans.com

and they will email you a link to their “brand-spanking new loneliness busting Discord server!”

Useful Apps

The Validation Station

Sign up to this free service which sends daily text messages to remind trans and non-binary people that their identity is valid.

Sign up

Christella VoiceUp App

Award winning app developer Speechtools specialises in enabling clinicians to deliver remote healthcare to patients. They have developed the Christella VoiceUp App for voice feminisation together with speech therapist Christella Antoni. Available on both Apple and Android.

Find out more

Podcasts

What the Trans

UK-based weekly transgender news podcast “set up to counter the never-ending anti-trans nonsense erupting all over the United Kingdom”. The podcast focuses on debunking fake news and reporting on the trans and non-binary community - with a little light hearted entertainment thrown in for good measure.

Find out more

The GenderGP Podcast

Dr Helen Webberley and Marianne Oakes discuss some of the issues affecting the trans and non binary community in the world today, together with a range of guests including authors, influencers and healthcare professionals. Available for download from your favourite podcast provider, as well as directly via the GenderGP website.

Download

Hardships funds

UK QTIBIPOC Emergency relief & Hardship Fund

An emergency relief and hardship fund set up to provide short term support to Queer, Trans and Intersex, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (QTIBIPOC) currently living in the UK who are affected by the coronavirus outbreak and ongoing shutdown caused by Covid-19.

Find out more

London Bi Pandas

The London Bi Pandas’ Covid-19 Hardship Fund has been set up to help marginalised LGBTQIA+ folks living in London. The fund is an honours based system with an upper limit of £150.

Apply or Donate

Further Reading

Stonewall

In recognition of the fact that additional barriers exist for some lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, Stonewall have pulled together this guide on LGBT-inclusive organisations that can help during COVID-19

Find out more

Trans Health UK

UK trans healthcare information for the coronavirus/COVID-19 period. Set up and kept up to date by the community. Takes a practical look at some of the questions that Trans and Non-binary people may have during this time.

Find out more

Helplines

Mindline Trans+ - 0300 330 5468

A confidential emotional and mental health support helpline for people who identify as Transgender, Agender, Gender Fluid and Non-binary, as well as family members and friends.

Find out more

The LGBT Foundation - 0345 330 30 30

National charity offering advice, support and information to the LGBT community.

Find out more

Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline - 0300 330 0630

As well as continuing to run its helpline, Switchboard has put together a pack to help members of the LGBT+ community to feel supported, comforted and less alone during these uncertain times. The pack includes tips to help manage anxiety, suggestions on what to do when you’re feeling low, some grounding exercises and a wellness toolbox.

Download The Pack

Mermaids - 0808 801 0400

While physical meetups have been postponed for the time being, the Mermaids helpline, webchat, email support and text support services are operating as normal.

Find out more

Mermaids

At the start of April, Mermaids hosted its first ever Digifest2020 - The day consisted of a series of interactive online events for trans youth and their families. It was hosted by celebrity guests including Munroe Bergdorf, Duncan James, Lorraine Kelly, and John Barrowman - to name but a few. The event raised in excess of £14,000 for the charity.

Watch The Highlights

Marianne update - April 2020

I can’t quite believe how much life has changed since last month’s update. Just four weeks ago, I was moving forward and connecting with old friends. I was feeling really positive about the future and how wonderful my social calendar was going to look! 
 
A month later, and we are in full lockdown. Social interactions are limited and those I do have are either via video call or a shout across a garden fence. Believe me when I say it’s a challenge to sound remotely feminine or demure when shouting at the top of your lungs!
 
While I have kept in touch with all of my friends, there seems to be little to talk about. No stories of travel or exciting plans. We’re all in the same boat, focussing on managing the ways in which lockdown is impacting us all individually.
 
It will come as no surprise then, when I say that I have been concentrating on my medical transition more than usual this month. However, rather than stray into the negative - which I know all too well is so easy to do during self isolation - I have decided to focus on the positive. 
 
I had my three monthly T blocker injection last week. My GP surgery called and booked me in - I genuinely didn’t think I would hear from them during the COVID-19 crisis, so it was a really pleasant surprise.
 
Even more exciting was my discovery, just before lockdown began, that changes are still happening to my body.  I went on a shopping spree and bought some new bras. I was convinced that I was an A cup but it looks like this is no longer the case - I am officially heading towards a B cup!
 
Another area of my body where I have noticed real progress, in terms of feminisation, is the top of my legs. I always had what my wife would call “footballers legs” with very muscular thighs. When I was younger these were a blessing that got me out of trouble on more than one occasion. However, as the years have progressed, I have become increasingly aware of those areas of my body that look out of place. While no one else really notices this part of my body I had always considered them incredibly masculine - but I am delighted to say that two years after starting HRT, this is no longer the case. I love all the changes my body is going through, I feel like being myself is getting less of an effort with every passing day.
 
Finally, I can honestly say that writing these updates has almost become a ritual. A way of recording the changes and celebrating the fact that I am transitioning. That I am owning my life. I am a trans woman going about my business and enjoying the sun, managing the lockdown as best I can, lucky to be working when so many are not - and best of all I am doing this as myself, not as the version of myself that everyone expected me to be.
 
I grew up believing that only the privileged could transition. Surgery was always out of reach financially and I never believed I would be accepted by the GIC. It took time, experience, a shift in society’s view of trans people (however slow) and the support of my family to make me see that it was possible for me. With each passing month, each conversation, each interaction, I am more and more absorbed in my life, the life I feel was always mine to live. 
 
My wish for those reading my updates is that they too can embrace themselves for who they truly are so that they can take the necessary steps along the path to help them to arrive at where they need to be and leave the old facade behind.

We'd love to hear from you...
Who have we missed? If you have any resources that you would like to flag let us know and we will give them a shout out on social media.

Email: aby.hawker@gendergp.com.

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