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Deconstruct what it means to be a man or a woman

The Punt d’Atenció a la Diversitat Sexual (PADS) in Reus recorded 12 name change requests on the individual health card (TSI) in 2021. The figure, compared to 2020 – which was eight – represents an increase in this type of formalities. The name changes of the TSI are referred to the Directorate General for Equality of the Generalitat de Catalunya, which is the competent body. “The reason for the increase cannot be specifically justified, there are many variables, and although the PADS has gained visibility, there is still work to be done. The diversity of identities is beginning to be normalized in youth and children’s environments, but this is not always the case. We observe a double morality in young people: while some deconstruct what it is to be a woman and a man, there are those who are opposed to asking it and claim hegemonic masculinity”, says the president of the LGTBIQ+ h2o group, Berta Mascaró.

From the entity they fight for the rights of these people and create “an alliance with this municipal service, redirecting people from the group who need advice, among other services,” he completes. Trans people, he specifies, need this attention and, “making this type of space visible represents a great help, both for them and for their families.”

For her part, the equality agent and promoter of gender equality, Alba García, mentions that both minors and their parents and adults attend this type of care; “whether to learn about hormones and operations, among other aspects of the process.” Professionals, such as social workers, also come to the space to attend and “learn more realities,” she says.

Mascaró specifies that from h2o they spend a number of hours a month in the PADS and “we have observed an increase in people who choose to communicate that they are going to change their sex before their parents die, when before it was the other way around,” he says.

PADS goes further

The PADS goes beyond the procedures for changing the name of the TSI. In fact, the most discussed issues –in addition to the change of name and in the case of trans people (and relatives around them)–, are the issues of hormonal treatment (coordinated with Trànsit Reus) and doubts about gender transition.

At a general level, the PADS made 49 services in 2020 and 57 last year. In 2020, 31 people were served and 35 in 2021. This means, municipal sources point out, that some users of the service made more than one visit or consultation. Another PADS service is advice and attention by telephone, telematics and in person. They attend face-to-face and telematic consultations by mail and social networks (WhatsApp or Instagram, with the Casal de les Dones account). Within the framework of this service, they also advise educational centers to avoid cases of LGBTI+phobia.

«The talk of new realities in educational centers is normalizing, but aggressions against the collective have also grown. We find, even so, that Reus is experiencing a moment of change: there are more people in the militancy and, that there is demand from the training schools on the subject, it is a small desire for change, we believe that this means moving forward”, third Mascaro.

Raise awareness and inform

Within the framework of the Xarxa de Centers per la Igualtat project – which is carried out jointly with the Young Referents d’Igualtat project – training is carried out for teachers and young people to raise awareness; and they are informed of the availability and existence of the PADS.

The service point also collaborates with other entities (such as the aforementioned h2o) and services. In fact, they derive attention that, as a municipal service, they cannot cover in health aspects, for example. In this case, the matter to be dealt with is sent to the Transit unit of the Generalitat, which visits the CAP Sant Pere.

Mascaró and García highlight, on the other hand, “the importance of the synergy between the Servei d’Informació i Atenció a les Dones (SIAD) and the PADS (both in the Casal de les Dones)”, especially in the case of needing legal advice. The service point is also responsible for registering and monitoring cases, with a dual statistical and monitoring function.

“The PADS works with two main pillars: comprehensive and quality care –with support and information and resources for LGTBIQ+ people– and community work and social counseling to raise awareness and prevent discrimination against LGBTI people”, adds the councilor responsible for the area of ​​Participació, Bon Govern i Serveis Generals, Marina Berasategui.

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