In the beginning of 2017 Trans United published a report. In chapter 4 of this report the following point of improvement for dealing with bicultural transgender people in gender teams is mentioned:

"Bicultural transgender people experience a lack of sociocultural sensitivity. Most transgender people feel the gender team isn’t friendly and open enough. The transition begins with a series of psychological consultations. Bicultural transgender people have many problems describing their feelings to the gender team psychologist, because this is a most uncommon thing to do in their culture. The psychologist has a different cultural background than the patient and assumes that the bicultural person is integrated in the Netherlands, also in terms of culture. Besides that many transgender people come from countries where the mere fact of being a transgender is punishable, or where there is little social acceptance for transgender people. This causes an extra psychological complication in the problem. And that creates an additional barrier in the communication with and understanding for the patient."

Trans United comes to the conclusion: "Guidance and education are needed, not only for the (potential) patients, but also for the rest of the society. There is still too little knowledge and therefore too little understanding for (bicultural) transgender people. To make it possible to create a bridge between the VUmc gender team and the t-community, both parties should get in contact with each other. "

The Trans United report can be found here.


Our conclusion clearly goes a bit further than Trans United’s: if we could refuse consultations with psychologists, the psychologists wouldn’t block our progress. Once we have reached that goal, bicultural transgender people can decide for themselves, whether or not discussing their feelings with a psychologist is a good idea in their specific situation.