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Why Trans Inclusion in Healthcare is so Important

As a trans man who is both disabled and very active within the trans community, I was thrilled to find out the NHS had updated its advice on Cervical Screening to be more inclusive. This included advertising a trans man for booking the tests! Finally, the opportunity for healthcare to become more accommodating and to help dispel some of the stigmas.

Society’s barriers, assumptions, and negative attitudes towards trans people continue to persist greatly in the UK. This spiked especially in 2018 after the Gender Recognition Act consultation in the UK. Fueled especially by the increase of anti-trans groups and gender-critical “feminists” such as Women’s Place, LGB alliance, JK Rowling and Julie Bindel.

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Pain Chronicles: I Discovered I had Vaginismus Because of my First Cervical Smear

Pain Chronicles is a monthly(-ish) column from Caroline McDonagh-Darwin about coming to terms with living with a chronic illness. It will include funny stories and brutal honesty, with some thrown-in chats with her mum Shaz, and other friends too, along the way. 

TW: blood, medical insensitivity, medical procedure (cervical smear). Resources are available at the bottom of this column. 

I still have the knickers I wore to my first attempt at a smear test, it’s been 4 years now, and the blood hasn’t ever come out. Despite the guidance saying my risk was low on account of my HPV vaccine and my never having had sex, I still wanted that peace of mind.