ADDED ON: 01/16/2021

Transgender student shares distressing experience of MOE blocking her HRT treatment

1/15/21 | The Online Citizen

Using a throwaway account on reddit/r/SGExams, one transgender student recalled her difficult experience in school, specifically with the Ministry of Education (MOE) allegedly interfering her hormone replacement therapy (HRT) treatment that was prescribed by her doctor after she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria. The student recalled her experience in an all-boys-primary school, describing it as “the worse period of my life”. She wrote, “I couldn’t fit in and constantly got bullied because I was ‘too soft’ and ‘needed to man up to the bullies’. Things started looking up when she started attending a co-ed secondary school where she made more friends and started better understand her identity. It was then that she was taken to the gender clinic at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH). There, she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria. When she informed the MOE of her diagnosis via her junior college (JC), the MOE replied was: “This is a new issue and we would like to work with you to learn more about it”, as she quoted in the post. However, after several months when she was due to begin hormone therapy, there was a snag as the MOE intervened. She wrote, “Then, as I was about to undergo hormone therapy (a treatment explicitly stated in the ICD-10, again, and recommended by the multiple doctors attending to trans patients in Singapore) the request was suddenly blocked as the MOE had intervened, apparently for the reason ‘students in MOE schools are under our control, and we have every right and say over their treatment’.” As such, she said her doctor “had to call off the referral” and causing her further mental trauma as it affected her ability to present and pass as a female. On top of that, she was also instructed to cut off her hair to fit into the approved boys’ hairstyle in the school’s handbook. She had to wear a uniform designed for male students. If she proceeded with hormone therapy and is unable to fit into the male uniform, she was threatened with expulsion, instead of the school allowing her to wear the female uniform. “The principal’s explanation for this was that ‘due to your presentation, you would be disruptive to the school environment as a student with severe autism’,” she recalled. About the issues with the school dress code, she said: “That could probably have slipped under the radar but it seems unlikely as all these troubles started in the same month.” She ended her post by asking, “What right does the MOE have over the MOH? Why is the MOE interfering with my medical care, and the irony of MOE advocating for mental health issues. I cannot speak for others, but in my experience, these are outright lies and just a farce to gain support from the younger generations of students.”


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