TDoR 2022 / 2022 / May / 26 / Alice Litman

Alice Litman

Age 20

26 May 2022
Brighton, Sussex (United Kingdom)

Alice Litman
Alice Litman [photo:]

Alice died by suicide. At the time she had been on a waiting list for an NHS Gender Identity Clinic for no fewer than 1023 days.

This is the stark reality of trans medical care in the United Kingdom.

My sister died after 1,023 days on an NHS waiting list. This is the reality of the ‘trans debate’

Alice Litman died by suicide on 26 May, at the age of 20, having been failed by the state. Her sister, Kate Litman, shines a light on the political conditions of her death, and honours her memory.

This year at London Trans Pride, joy and celebration were underscored by pain and grief.

Thousands of people decked out in queer splendour marched carrying placards with messages such as “Trans is Beautiful” and “Trans Joy is Powerful”. At the same time, space was held to grieve trans lives that have been lost, with a minute of silence and a powerful speech from Lucia Blayke, who named transgender women who have been murdered or taken their own lives.

"I joined the protest with my brother and parents and to march for our sister and daughter, Alice, who died by suicide on 26 May this year, at the age of 20. Alice was one of many who died while on an NHS waiting list to receive potentially lifesaving medical care.

"In the days after Alice’s death, my mum spoke of her desire to send Alice’s ashes to the individuals who are so determined to make our world a hostile one for trans people. Without knowing it, my mum was echoing the ACT UP protests of the 1990s, where demonstrators threw the ashes of loved ones who had died from AIDS-related illnesses onto the lawn of the White House, to condemn the inaction of the US government in the face of the HIV/AIDS crisis."

On 14th September 2023 PinkNews reported that her inquest will focus on the impact of the long wait she endured to access gender-affirming care:

Alice Litman died in May last year, and her family believe the long wait she had to endure played a part. Litman had been referred to an NHS gender clinic in August 2019, and had been waiting more than 1,000 days for an initial assessment.

An inquest into her death will open on 18 September, and will reportedly examine delays she faced in accessing gender-affirming care, specifically from London’s Tavistock Gender Identity Clinic, according to her family, who described her as a “sweet and gentle person”. She “died partly because of the inaccessibility of gender-affirming healthcare in the UK”, they claim.

On Friday 13th October 2023 the coroner concluded that lengthy waiting lists and significant barriers that prevent transgender people accessing gender-affirming care in the UK contributed to a decline in Alice's the mental health, and raised concerns about delays accessing gender-affirming healthcare and a lack of clarity for clinicians.

Report added: 14 Jul 2022. Last updated: 2 Nov 2023

Trigger warning

This site contains reports of violence against transgender people, and links to detailed reports which contain graphic imagery.

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