A visit to the doctor should not be stressful
Advocating for your health needs, your pronouns and your name to be respected should not be an issue when you’re already sick. Find a clinician who is right for you. If you need some help finding your way, gender clinics in your state may be able to help.
Informed consent GPs
Gender approval letter
Find a mental health professional who will write a letter for your gender affirming procedures.
Gender clinics around Australia
Informed consent vs WPATH model
So there are two different pathways to access hormone therapy and surgery. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, and it is up to you whichever path you feel comfortable taking.
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) model recommends that trans and non-binary people seek specialised psychological support as the first step in their transition process. You can access this through your normal GP, who refers you to a psychologist or psychiatrist. This mental health specialist will talk to you about your gender journey and discuss the options for transitioning – socially and medically. When the specialist has completed their assessment (it will take a few sessions to do this), they will write a letter confirming a diagnosis of gender dysphoria. You can use this letter to access hormone therapy and gender affirming services and surgery if you wish.
The informed consent model is used by GPs who are comfortable to discuss your gender and prescribe hormones to you. Similar to the WPATH model, the GP will spend a few appointments discussing hormone therapy and any health risks involved. It is up to the individual clinician about how many sessions they ask you to attend before they decide to prescribe. A clinician who does informed consent may decide that they need more specialised support and may still refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist if they are not comfortable prescribing to you just yet.
The WPATH model provides a longer timeframe and more support in your decision to go ahead with hormones or surgery. It may help you to clarify questions and give you time to think about the impacts and side effects of medical transition. The informed consent model can be quicker to access hormone therapy, if there are long waitlists for gender-affirming psychologists, and may be cheaper (i.e. GP fees vs psychologist fees). However, many surgeons will still require a gender dysphoria diagnosis from a psychologist to go ahead with gender-affirming surgery.
Medical transition is not for everyone. There are many considerations like your current medical conditions, your mental health, your physical safety, and your expectations for the end result of transition. You are not “less trans” because you decide not to go ahead with certain medical aspects of transitioning. If you want further information, we recommend reading more on TransHub.