Saturday, 22 March 2014

This Could Be The End Game Or Just More Of The Same

On Monday I'll be boarding the train towards the Netherlands in order to attend the hearing at the Human Rights Institute (College voor de Rechten van de Mens) in Utrecht as I announced in my previous post. I have prepared it as well as possible, with a nice place to stay during the night of Monday on Tuesday and the Insitute's offices within walking distance. My train tickets to and from Utrecht have been booked and I have taken up the necessary free days from my work. I have read up on the details of the case already quite a lot due to the blog posts I have written on the responses from the Minister of Health, CVZ and the like. While everything seems to be heading into my favour with this case, there are still many ways that this could play out.

Most negatively, the Institute could determine that my claim that my former health insurer Univé discriminated against me for being intersex - when determining whether I could get full hair-removal therapy coverage - is invalid due to some or another reason or loophole. Since Univé's statements have included phrases such as that 'intersex in no way comparable is with transsexuality' (paraphrasing), while CVZ's statement counteract this, it seems that a more positive outcome is likely. It is hard to tell what this might be exactly.

Also quite negatively would be if my claim would be found to be valid, but no further measures would be taken. Not against Univé, not against CVZ, not against the Minister of Health. More positive outcomes would be Univé getting disciplined or fined, either through the government or CVZ. CVZ itself deserves disciplining as well for so easily dismissing me before in the 2011/2012 case at SKGZ as being intersex. SKGZ itself falls outside the Institute's case, but the Minister of Health should get reprimanded by the Insitute at least for so completely ignoring and forgetting about a group of people in the Netherlands much larger in count than that of transgenders while drawing up and revising law articles.

We'll know in a few months when the verdict of the Institute becomes known. At any rate I hope it doesn't turn out like my case at the Medical Disciplinary Commission in Amsterdam against the VUmc gender team last year which was fully dismissed. That was a bitter defeat. Yet even in this case at the Institute I do not expect I will get any apologies or findancial compensation for the emotional and financial costs of the past years due to Univé's refusal.

At least partially I seem to be correct about Germany so far. The medical professionals here seem to be far more human when it comes to more unusual cases. When I first visited my new family doctor (GP) a few weeks ago, she learned about my intersex condition only there during that first appointment. Yet it didn't phase her one bit, taking it in stride, only commenting on it being very unusual for her, but immediately drawing up plans to find me the proper help and having no issues with contacting this German surgeon I had found for me. During our email conversation this week she even commented on how interesting she found my case to be, if only as a very educational experience for herself. I cannot remember for the life me when any medical professional or similar in the Netherlands has ever said anything like that to me.

Anyway, to make a long story short: I have an appointment with this surgeon on the 24th of April at 11.00, so just over a month to go. The clinic the surgeon works at is in the Munich area, so that's going to mean another bit of logistics. Since it's a 3-hour trip by ICE from Karlsruhe to Munich alone, that will make doing it in a single day a tough task. I think I would also like to have someone accompany me on this initial consult appointment for both practical and mental support.

While this appointment is 'merely' a consult, the surgeon has already looked at my medical files and MRI scans before so we both will go into it with the goal of setting up a surgery. Here my dreams of regaining my body by having my female side restored through a reconstructive surgery will meet this surgeon's professional reality and the limits of his skills. Here I know that I can take small disappointments and compromises. If I can get access to all that my body has been born with, that is all that I need right now. All I fear here is a repeat of last year's disappointment when I thought I had found a surgeon in the Netherlands, yet he turned me resolutely down at the last moment without a proper excuse.

To think about this surgery actually happening and it being over with in maybe two months from now is almost inconceivable to me. For a decade now I have been stuck in this infinite loop where any hope to get medical help got squashed mercilessly. No recognition, just accusations of me being a lying, self-deceiving, impossible to handle transgender person who was just making life hard for itself by being so difficult and suffering from those self-delusions about somehow having an intersex condition. Only thanks to German medical evidence have I been able to partially break out of this loop, but only a successful surgery will fully break it forever.

When I think about after this potential surgery, that I could reach down there and feel the changes. This thought doesn't carry any kind of sexual energy with it, only sheer and utter relief, enough to send me wailing into tears of thankfulness, that it's all finally over, done with it and never will come back again. This would be the end game: the proper conclusion to a decade of suffering due to the rigid, patronizing and human rights violating attitude in the Netherlands towards medical minorities.

Or just another series of horrible disappointments, sending me back to square one.


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