I don’t know if anything will come of it, but I’ve sent an email to Yanhee Hospital appealing for them to arrange regular meetings for transgendered people so that they can share experiences and not feel alone in their journey. If you’re reading this as a transgendered person of any stage, and have plans to come to Bangkok, or are in Bangkok, and would benefit from getting together in this way with like minded people, (at Yanhee or any other venue,) please do let me know. This is what I sent:
To whom it may concern,
I have recently started male-to-female hormone treatment at Yanhee Hospital towards my transition (Hospital Number XXXXXXXX).
First I would like to say how impressed I am with your facility and the service provided by all the staff; not only the doctors and nurses. On my first visit, which was September 30th this year, I found everyone to be very helpful, informative, professional and friendly, and your team makes a very good impression. The hospital itself was clean, comfortable and modern leaving me with a feeling of confidence in its management.
As part of my transition, it was necessary for me to visit one of your psychiatrists for interview, and I asked her if Yanhee organized any peer support group for people undergoing sexual reassignment; be that only hormones or full reassignment. Sadly she reported that there was not.
I am English and live and work in Bangkok permanently. As a Westerner here, I do not know any other transgendered people or anyone thinking about embarking upon gender reassignment, and it’s very difficult for me to meet anyone who is. It would be of huge benefit to meet together with others who are going through the same thing as me, to share experiences, thoughts and opinions on living as a transgendered person, the treatments we are undergoing and the effects on our daily lives. To have such a support group would have major psychological benefits as I’m confident your psychiatrists would confirm.
Yanhee Hospital, as the number 1 facility for gender reassignment, is in the unique position of being able to facilitate this kind of a group with ease. You have both Thai and International patients coming to you for hormone treatment and gender reassignment. I’m sure many of your International patients come from abroad for surgery and don’t know anyone at all in Bangkok. To have the opportunity to join a group of others sharing similar experiences would aid in their well-being, and it need not take great effort for the Hospital to organize.
While it would be helpful to have a hospital psychiatrist sit in on meetings, it wouldn’t be necessary. Simply making a room available one evening a week for such a get together would be sufficient, and patients can talk together without it being formally led. All it would need to advertise it would be direct email to your patients undergoing gender related procedures and maybe a poster or flyers available around the hospital.
The small effort required I believe would reap huge rewards, as a valuable additional support service provided by the Hospital for patients’ well-being. I would certainly attend every 2 weeks and would benefit greatly from it.
Thank you for considering this suggestion. If you think it worthwhile I would be happy to assist in any way that I can.