Current Affairs

Online suicide bid highlights trans isolation

PinkNews Staff Writer January 22, 2007
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A Welsh transsexual woman took an overdose of pills, then sent emails to health groups and media outlets, protesting at the way in which gender reassignment surgery is regarded.

The unnamed woman, from Llanelli, swallowed a large quantity of painkilling medication and then sent the email suicide note.

A friend of the woman called the police when he read the contents of her email.

She was discovered by officers, who broke into her home and took her to hospital. She has since been released.

In her emails, the women claimed that Health Commission Wales had turned her down for gender reassignment surgery.

She also claimed the commission regard such surgery as cosmetic.

Christine Burns of the trans support website Press For Change received the email. She told,

“I can completely understand her desperation – she has been robbed of all hope. Sadly there are many transsexual people who are also having problems.”

The woman’s online suicide email read, “I have taken an overdose of my painkillers – I do hope it’s enough.

“Those of you who mean something to me, I am really sorry for the loss or pain that may occur as a result.”

“I hope others in my position can use this as a kind of leverage which may prove to be of some assistance in securing treatment,” she said.

Several NHS trusts in England have announced they are cutting gender reassignment surgery in an effort to balance their books.

They regard this sort of surgery as non-essential, while trans campaigners have agued that the cost of other services required when gender reassignment is denied, such as therapy, will be more expensive for the trusts overall.

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