Friday, 24 September 2010

IWPR roundtable on LGBT issues: "Transsexual men, women in Armenia advised to go abroad"

Read also: IWPR roundtable: "Transgenders in Armenia" - speech by Lusine Vayachyan (AM)


Transsexual (TS) men and women have no constitutional rights or options for seeking healthcare services, said Lusine Vayachyan, a journalist and LGBT community representative at a roundtable on LGBT issues held today and organized by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR).

According to her, TS men and women have to go abroad; secure funds for travel, accomodation, visas and surgery; and then see a psychiatrist before they can be eligible for sex reassignment surgery (SRS). And then they have to forget about returning to Armenia because “here they are no one, neither their former sex nor their current sex,” she said.

She further added that doctors in Armenia either don’t know or don’t want to know the difference between transsexuals and “hermaphrodites” (intersex people).

Vayachyan recalled a friend of hers, Norayr, a citizen of Armenia who wants to change his sex from female to male, who went to see an endocrinologist who, after running chromosomal tests determind Norayr as having female chromosomes, advised him to go see a psychiatrist for “treatment.”

When Norayr mentioned that being transsexual is no longer considered a mental disorder and he does not need to be “treated,” the endocrinologist advised him to go to Russia.

Vayachyan mentioned that Norayr has “never met a doctor in Armenia who knows what it is to be transsexual.”


Anonymous said...

This is completely unrelated to your post, but it reminded me of my first lesson in operative surgery, which was about SRS, and the surgeon who was teaching us (I fail to remember his name, unfortunately) seemed so cool and professional about it. He said that he had done the surgery to many patients while he was working in Russia. He told us it's interesting in the beginning for all surgeons, but after some time it becomes confusing. Not the surgery itself, but the paperwork related to it. But during the whole lesson, there wasn't any moment where he made any rude comments or mockery, and whenever one of my classmates made a joke, he scolded them for being immature and unprofessional. I was impressed.

I don't know how it is to be a transsexual, so I don't know how much trouble they get in in Armenia. But I do know what is it to be homosexual and Armenian at the same time. It's quite difficult (to sum it up in one word), though it shouldn't be that way.

artmika said...

Thanks for sharing your story. A good example for other medical professionals to follow.