"I realised that I hadn't been invited for a smear test in over a decade"

I haven't been able to access hormones because of a particularly nasty psychiatrist but I've changed my name and title everywhere, which helps with dysphoria. One day a couple of years ago there was a ridiculous headline about trans women being offered smear tests and someone in the comments pointed out that it's done by the gender on your file and trans men might be at risk of missing out. That was when I realised that I hadn't been invited for a smear test in over a decade. The last one was a couple of years before my name change, and I'd just assumed my GP would invite me when it was time.

When I checked with the GP, the receptionist initially told me if I hadn't had a letter it must mean I didn't need a smear. Only when I asked to double check did she acknowledge that I was well overdue. The nurse who took the smear was also baffled that I'd made an appointment without getting a letter, and she had to put it into the system manually because the computer couldn't handle a Mr needing a cervical smear.

I was genuinely worried that I might have cancer that had grown undetected but fortunately the test came back all clear. Since then I've tried to get the word out on social media that we cannot rely on GPs to invite us for screening as appropriate and need to insist.

By Darius Quebec

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