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Charing Cross "workshop" details?

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--- Quote from: paula lesley on September 17, 2015, 02:07:39 pm ---Hello, Takoto.

Hope you go to it. Sounds good.

Paula, <3 X.

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--- Quote from: Elis on September 17, 2015, 02:30:18 pm ---Another trans person wrote the same post. The people who answered said it was a tour of the building  where you got to meet the doctors and therapists. Hope I helped. Good luck:)

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I decided I'll definitely go, it's on Tuesday, and even though I don't have much money it's definitely a good idea to get familiar with the area/the train route/etc for when I have to go there for an appointment. I mean, I'm really familiar with London, a few years ago I went up there every week, but knowing the route'll make me panic less when I do get an appointment.

--- Quote from: StartingOver on September 19, 2015, 05:59:06 am ---One would hope that it's not a compulsory step in the process, but rather an extra service the clinic offers to prospective patients (although why it spends its resources on this still eludes me; it's not like non-transsexuals will show up on spec and say, "Yeah, you know what, this looks fun.  I think I'm gonna become a transsexual."  People showing up are most likely to be desperate to get started in the process and will probably have done their research beforehand.  But whatever.)  If they have basic information to share, then how about they just put it up on their web site?

Not even sure it's a "show up to show you're still interested" kind of event either, nor that you need to send apologies if you can't make it.  I'd read the fine print; with luck, it's simply a voluntary workshop and nothing more.  If non-attendance (unexcused) is somehow deemed that you're showing you're no longer interested in their services, then I'd go.

But yeah, just speculating here.  I've heard rumors about these clinics, but don't know any details whatsoever.

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I've heard that it's voluntary, and the letter said that it wasn't compulsory, but I have seen rather negative posts online about people's appointments being delayed and they suspect it because they didn't go to the workshop. Maybe it's true, maybe it isn't, but I think at this point, I don't want to risk it.

I mean... it's probably not true... I don't think CX could do that legally (as the letter says not compulsory if I remember rightly); but CX lost my referral twice and never notified me, so I'm paranoid of screwing up and having to wait even longer (I've been trying to see them for 3/4 years now, but as said the first two times my local mental health team sent my referral it got lost in the post, then they faxed it over and they "lost the records"...)

--- Quote from: chuufk on September 19, 2015, 06:46:00 am ---I attended CHX, but not these workshops. They were introduced after I was done down there. Nonetheless I personally know people who have been to the workshops. They are to introduce you to the building, the staff, the process, what you can expect and to allow you to ask any questions that you have.

It means that when you turn up for your first actual appointment it will be a bit less daunting and you will have a much better idea of what is going on.

There is a lot of "information" out on the net about CHX and about 95% is either complete bull***t or written by people with an axe to grind. This gives you a chance to get the correct information directly from the clinicians. My first appointment was with James Barrett. Google him and all you will find is that he is the devil incarnate and a complete and utter so-and-so. I was quaking when I met him and he turned out to be OK - forthright and quite direct but OK and very business like. He did strike me as someone who did not suffer fools gladly so I would imagine that people who try to mess him about get a bad time.

CHX is not the hell-hole it is painted as. Most people I know who have been there have no complaints except for the back-office admin. That *is* a shambles so deal with the front-office staff and the clinicians as much as possible.

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I think a lot of the anti-CX posts are from people who've had really bad times with them and the system in general, which on one hand I can understand, but I'm pretty optimistic that CX isn't as bad as everyone says. I've heard a lot of bad things about Barrett, but never really let them stick until I get a chance to meet him for myself.
There is definitely a lot of misinformation surrounding CX, both online and from people I've met IRL at support groups and such...

I'm gonna go, I'll probably write up my experience and what happens and what is talked about when I get back from there (it's this coming Tuesday).

Getcthe underground to Hammersmith and then it is a straight 15 minute walk down Fulham Palace Road. CHX is on the left side. Just after the hospital you will pass a pub with the next building being a Sainsbury.  That is Greyhound Lane or Road. CHX is the wooden door next to Sainsbury's. There is a buzzer. Go in and up one flight to the reception area.

Good luck

I returned a few hours ago and I'm going to write up what I can remember! I have dyslexia/memory issues, so I recorded the lecture/seminar/workshop on a dictaphone, so if anyone wants to hear it I can see if the recording is good enough and post it for ya'll to listen to.

So first off, when I got there we were all queuing up, there was a pretty diverse set of people of all genders and ages it seemed.  Whilst this is called a "workshop" it is much, much closer to a college/University seminar or lecture. We were also given free bottles of water which was nice ahaha.

So Dr. Barrett did the introduction and talked about the myths and legends of GICs and Charing Cross and how they operate. He went through a bunch of common complaints and debunked them. There was humour thrown in, probably because a lot of people in the room seemed anxious/nervous. I'd say there was about 40~50 of us? I think there was meant to be more though.

One or two of the people who were meant to speak, were not present, which was a shame. Dr. Barrett talked about the endocrine side of things, how hormones work in cisgender individuals and how hormone replacement therapy works in transgender individuals, why certain things are done and administered in certain ways, etc. He described a handful of things people on certain types of hormones can expect, some the things that will happen, won't happen, and could happen.

He also mentioned frequently if you wish to have hormones or surgery, you cannot smoke for 6 months (it was 6 months or 6 weeks) before surgery or hormones because it massively messes up the blood. There were questions that, would certain anti depressants//certain medications/etc interfere with hormones, and he responded with only smoking and certain epilepsy medication interfere with hormones (however !! the epilepsy interference has an easy work around so it's not a big deal)

Two surgeons also spoke about their work; with many photographs of before, during, and after operations. These photos were pretty gore-y, and people were advised to leave the room beforehand if they faint or were made uncomfortable by such things ( a handful of people left ), they talked about different types of surgery for the same result, the pros and cons and complications and future/long-term outcomes, etc.

There was also a voice therapist who discussed how voice therapy works, what they do and how they do it/how they help/etc, and he gave us some examples, how the sessions work and how long they go on for, things like that (I know a lot of people who were wondering about voice therapy but haven't been invited to a "workshop" yet so I'll be passing a lot of that info onto them).

Dr. Barrett also talked about things such as easy ways for people to legally change their name. All in all, I think it was informative. I'm one of those "research the heck out of things" kinds of people, so I already knew most of the things discussed (I learned one or two new things, and I honestly never pass up a trip to go to London).

All in all everyone seemed pretty friendly. I personally didn't mind Dr. Barrett. My personal opinion; he's very, very blunt and to the point, he's a non-nonsense guy but he does have a sense of humour. However his type of bluntness is one that I feel not many people can really get on with, which is why there are many "horror stories" about him, but he genuinely cares about helping transgender and non-binary individuals, and to me he seemed like a pretty cool guy, but I'm used to extremely blunt individuals.

Happy I went, would recommend if anyone else got invited and had the day free/has the money to spare. The vast majority of the information CAN be found online, but having it all in one, 2/3 hour long seminar with a Q & A at the end put a lot of things into focus (for me, personally, but then again I take in information when someone is speaking to me/audio, rather than reading it).

I am glad that it seems to have gone well for you. I suspect that you are right about Barrett. Personally, I had no problems with him.


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