Transsexuality: conversations with gender team

If someone thinks they are transsexual, an intake interview with the gender team can be requested. If it appears during the intake interview that further treatment by the gender team is desirable, an appointment will be made with the psychologist/psychiatrist of the gender team. After a few conversations, the gender team will decide in a team meeting whether to give the green light, orange light or red light.

Gender teams

There are two gender teams in the Netherlands. The largest gender team is located in the VUMC in Amsterdam. There is also a smaller gender team at the UMCG in Groningen.

Interview

During the intake interview, it is determined whether further treatment by the gender team is desirable. If this is the case, an appointment will be made with the psychologist/psychiatrist of the gender team. The waiting time for this is usually several months.

Purpose of the conversations

During the conversations with the psychologist/psychiatrist, it is determined whether there is actually transsexuality and whether there is sufficient capacity to make the transition. The number of conversations required can vary greatly. For some trans men, advice is given after three conversations, for other trans men more than ten conversations are needed.

Psychiatric examinations

There is no test that can determine whether someone is transsexual. However, the gender team can, through some tests, rule out other causes for these types of feelings. If these tests reveal no specifics, the gender team will be unable to conclude anything other than that there is transsexuality.

The process

The transition (also called the transprocess) is not a simple process. Being on your feet and having support from your environment is therefore very important. If either of these is not the case, the psychologist/psychiatrist can advise to improve this first.

Team meeting

After the conversations with the psychologist/psychiatrist, the gender team will hold a team meeting. After this they will give advice: green light, orange light or red light. After the team meeting, a conversation with the psychologist/psychiatrist follows to explain the advice.

Red light

If the gender team is not convinced of transsexuality or is of the opinion that a gender change is not desirable, they will give a red light. In this case, hormone treatment is not started. In the event of a red light, a second opinion can be requested or a request can be submitted to have the matter discussed again during a team meeting.

Orange light

The reasons for giving orange light are very diverse. For example, the gender team may be of the opinion that it is desirable to have a few more conversations with the psychologist/psychiatrist. They may also advise following female hormones for a certain period, which halt the monthly cycle. This usually happens for a period of six to nine months.

Green light

If the light is green, the gender team is of the opinion that it actually concerns transsexuality and that there is sufficient capacity to continue the process. They hereby give permission to start with male hormones (testosterone). The method of administration will be decided in consultation with the endocrinologist/gynecologist.

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