07 November 2014

A Frontier Of Transphobia In Healthcare

On the whole, I've been a bit more fortunate than other trans people in my experiences with health care providers.  I was able to find a doctor who treated many trans patients and he referred me, as needed, to others who were affirming or who, at least, cared enough only to use the right pronouns.

Still, in the early part of my transition, I had an encounter with some nasty, transphobic nurses at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, to which my ophthalmologist sent me.  The nurses laughed, used every derogatory term ever invented and made rude gestures.  The receptionist witnessed everything; I told her I was leaving; she summoned the doctor who talked to me in a reassuring way and promised that if I ever went there again, neither those nurses nor anyone else would treat me that way again.

A decade has passed since that incident.  Still, I think about it from time to time, especially when I hear or read about mistreatment to other trans people.  Even so, I simply can't imagine what a small but very visible group of trans people experiences.  I'm talking about pregnant trans men.

To tell you the truth, I'm not sure of how I'd react upon seeing a pregnant man. I don't think I'd make rude comments or be mean in any other way.  Still, I'm not sure I could stop myself from staring.

Knowing that, I can only imagine how it must be for them to go out in public every day, let alone deal with health care providers.  Most, I'm sure, would treat them as best they knew how.  But if some health care providers can be as mean and rude as the nurses I encountered at NY Eye and Ear, I can only imagine what it's like for those pregnant trans men.

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