Q: I only wear my female clothes occasionally and don’t wish to transition or go any further I’m happy as I am. Do you cater for that?
A: Yes we do. We have clients who would like advice on a style whether that’s hair, makeup or clothes, as they just want to look their best. We offer bespoke services tailored to our clients individual needs and fully understand that a lot of don’t wish to fully transition.
Q: I’m not sure what clothes to wear or makeup to use. I only dress at weekends away with my partner, or when we go to transgender events. However, I look at some of the other girls and would like a more glamorous look, can you help?
A: At Big Sisters we cater for everyone and take pride in tailoring our services to meet our client requirements which is why we make sure we spend time understanding you and what you would like so we can create a look that’s right for you. We guide you through this process so whenever you do decide to dress, you have a look you like and are comfortable with.
Q: I don’t wish to fully transition and have developed a look that I get positive comments about whenever I go out or to events. I would like to learn to walk better in heels and hold myself better, can you help?
A: Yes we can, we can offer basic walking in heels training and presenting yourself in a more feminine way with our Big Sister Isabella. This can be face to face or via zoom, Isabella can design a package especially for you.
Q: Do you offer any other support as I’m quite shy and I’m not sure what I want at the moment or how far I wish to go and would like to talk to someone?
A: We are happy to have a chat with you and yes this can be by phone or via a zoom call to answer any questions you have, whether that be clothes, makeup, hair, walking, transitioning, counselling, electrolysis whatever you need advice on, we are happy to help
Q: I’ve asked my doctor for help but he/she wasn’t very forthcoming and seemed unsure as to what to say or do. What do I do now?
A: Unfortunately, some GPs can be quite uncertain (or unwilling) to deal with trans issues even in today’s society and sometimes just refer you to the NHS Gender Clinics. While you do want to be referred, it’s also much easier if you have an understanding and supportive GP. My original GP wasn’t able to offer me the support I needed, so I when I moved house I also made sure that I moved GP surgery to one that was much more supportive.
You do need to be clear in the path you wish to take. If it’s a private one, you need to tell your GP you need support with blood tests etc.
There are some very good GP’s who do understand trans issues, so it would be worth phoning around surgeries in your local area asking whether they have doctors who specializes in transgender treatment or have transgender patients and if they have any patient vacancies. It makes the whole process a lot easier with a GP who understands
Q: I’ve been referred to one of the NHS gender identity clinics but this was a few months ago and I haven’t heard anything.
A: Unfortunately, the current waiting lists are reported to be around 5-6 years (slightly less in Wales), but I’m afraid if you don’t want to wait then you’ll need to consider using a private Gender Identity Clinic. You’ll be seen in a matter of months but of course this does cost money.
Q: Is it true that you have to live and work full time as female for at least 3 months before the NHS will even consider you for hormone treatment?
A: Yes, at the time of writing I’m afraid this is still one of the NHS guidelines. However, over recent years there have been various studies showing that this puts unnecessary stress on individuals and there has been some relaxing of the criteria. I think it may depend on the consultant you see and how they view your case, so go with an open mind as the NHS are changing.
Q: I’m considering using a private gender identity clinic and there’s a few to choose from. How do I make the right choice?
A: I would suggest phoning them up or emailing them and asking for a consultation, looking at their pricing and testimonials. A personal recommendation is always good. I used a private clinic throughout my transition due to the NHS waiting lists and I found them very helpful and they made sure that I was closely monitored once I started on hormones.