Patience is a virtue. It's also something most people lack. That includes me. In some cases I can be patient. If I know why I should be. Like when I am at the gym and I have to wait between set for my ADP to switch back to ATP so I can get a proper training to build some massive masculine muscle. It feels a bit silly, sitting there, waiting, looking like you're doing nothing. But I know why and I know that if I don't I will miss out on some good results and in the long run I will profit from sitting there and being patient.
The waiting list for the genderteam in Amsterdam is 12 to 18 months, read 18 months. Why? because they are understaffed. That's the only reason. They are understaffed because they don't have a sufficient budget. They don't have a sufficient budget because... I don't know. I guess we are such a small group the people dividing the budget figured they can just set us aside cause there wouldn't be that many people complaining about it compared to other budget cuts. And that's the reason why I'm fiddling my thumbs. Lovely. I know money is a complicated matter these days but it does mean there are loads of people sitting and waiting till they can start their lives properly. After years of struggling and doubt you finally come forward just to be told you have to wait to get any kind of help with this for a year and a half. It's just cruel. Sure you can be yourself, just not yet because the government thinks your happiness is not important enough to invest those few euro's. *shudder* And once you've passed that waiting list you have to go through the screening process which can take about 6 months or more if you're unlucky for the exact same reason: lack of funding.
And then? Can you finally get started? Sort of. You can get hormone treatment but you also enter the real life phase. To quote the VU website: Deze fase duurt voor mannen achttien maanden en voor vrouwen twaalf maanden, en houdt in dat men gedurende die periode leeft in de gewenste rol, zonder dat daar een operatie aan [te] pas is gekomen. (http://www.vumc.nl/afdelingen/zorgcentrum-voor-gender/faq/gabvragen/322592) Roughly translated: This phase lasts eighteen months for men and for women twelve months, and implies that during that period you will be living in the desired role, without any surgery. 18 months for men and 12 for women. Okay, so which one do I get? The 12 or 18? Cause I'm a woman by birth. But I am going to be a man... So which one is it? And why is there a difference? Why would one group have to wait longer then the other? Does it take longer for the hormones to take effect? Does that matter? You can have the surgeries without the hormones so that shouldn't be the reason. I honestly don't understand. Do they want to give one group more time to get adjusted? To let their surroundings get used to it? Is that necessary? I mean, you already had to wait a year and a half before you could start hormones. Do they really think we've just been sitting on our asses the whole time and not tell anyone and not make any changes in our appearances? Personally I don't see how I will be doing things much different on hormones from what I do now. I think the biggest change will come after my top surgery. But that won't be covered by my insurance until after the real life phase. I could do it if I pay for it myself though. And I am seriously considering it. I don't want to have to wait that long and I don't want to have to walk around in chest binders all the time (or some of the time anyway) increasing the risk of breast cancer and being uncomfortable because someone at the top decided it's financially more comfortable for them. But I'm sidetracking. I still can't think of any reason why there would be a difference in length for the real life phase for the 2 groups other then simple discrimination. Honestly, I really don't. Could someone explain this to me? I find it amazing that in a place, where people like us are finally supposed to be excepted for who we are completely, we still have to face discrimination.