JR on the fear of emergency rooms:
I’m a 30 year old trans man and I am afraid whenever I get sick and can’t see my regular doc or have to go to the hospital. There are so many areas that are fear inducing in everyday life, that most people take for granted. I recently had to come out (a number of times) at the neighborhood swimming pool because they have a “no t-shirt” policy for men, and nothing on the books about pre-op transmen.
Stacey on the deterrent to reporting sexual assaults:
Sad thing is . . . Washington Hospital Center is the only hospital in DC that has medical staff trained for rape kit examinations and evidence collection. . . . not having properly trained staff nor understanding the difference between Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity creates a chilling effect for the trans-community.
Elizabeth K says she was outed by her doctors:
About a year ago I was in the hospital emergency room for detoxification—-which required having to run the usual gauntlet of admission and medical history questions. It was a very good hospital, set in a population area of about 35,000 collectively—-and I doubt they had ever encountered a transperson in the ER. I was a curiosity to say the least as I had to ‘out’ in detail my condition to seven people ‘officially.” What was interesting is the number of people who suddenly found it necessary to come into the exam room to remove the waste basket, restock shelves, and the like. We are an attraction.
Of course within two weeks I was known as transexual all through the small town I was living. I was rather androgynous at the time and gender neutral in clothing, so I suspect the ‘man in a dress’ expectations were squelched. Professonally I had no mistreatment, but behind it was the unprofessionalism of outing me to the community. That seems to be the way of the world.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery