Trans man had to wait for more than 10 years to have surgery, as the council decided it was not vital

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A trans man, who is referred to in the media under the fake name John due to unwilling to publicly reveal his identity, is a 42-year-old single dad of two and he came out as trans 20 years ago, but applied for surgery only in 2009. When he asked the council for help in looking after his two children—one of whom has learning difficulties—he was told that the request would be accepted under one condition – he would explain to his kids the reason why he needed to go to the hospital. And as he refused to do it, his request was denied repeatedly. John requested to see the council’s paperwork and learned that his daughter’s school had told council workers that he was transgender. “From this information it was apparent that the council had decided that my surgery must be trans related and therefore wasn’t ‘vital’ surgery,” he explained. He said it was a violation of his privacy and a biased decision based on transphobic stereotypes. John waited until his children were old enough to look after themselves before beginning his medical transition in 2016. He says that he spent 20 years unable to work full-time due to the agony of wearing a chest binder every day. John told of how in the early days of his transition, he was made to “do the ‘real life’ test,” changing his name and ID and living in his true gender before being given access to hormone therapy. At various points John was refused his benefits and accused of bank fraud because the way he looked did not correspond with the male ID. Janice Spencer, interim director of children’s services at Lincolnshire County Council, told LinconshireLive that such cases are carefully considered and assessed when needed.

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