explaining what it means to be trans to health care professionals, plus the odd good person who gets it

The last few weeks I have dealt with a lot of health care professionals, in A&E, general wards, psych wards and the crisis team and all the time me being trans and my gender has come up, and a lot of the time I have had to explain what it means.

I have had to have a few ECG’s done over the last few weeks, basically a heart tracing, which involves putting stickers on your chest, not exactly nice for a pre op trans man. The one a few weeks ago I was firstly refusing but the health care assistant said the doctors would really want it done, so I told him I am trans and he just said ‘so what you are still Oliver’ and while he was doing it he was saying sorry for having to do it and said I had nothing to be embarrassed about. He was very professional.

A week later I was in A&E again and then transferred to a general ward for a few days, this one nurse was so shocked I am FtM and was asking if I would prefer a side room, or if I was ok on a bay with other patients, I just said whatever is easiest and she said no it was my choice, so I chose a side room still on the male bit. Again had an ECG and the woman doing it was great, very professional again. Unfortunately in A&E that time I had a doctor who had no idea what I meant by gender identity disorder, I explained it and he just said ‘oh so you are having a sex change’ I tried to explain that it wasn’t quite like that and it is more complicated. I said currently I was just on testosterone and he was saying ‘so you had no facial hair before then, wow fascinating’ I don’t think he actually asked anything to do with why I was there.

Then the Friday just gone I got sectioned again, the social worker in A&E who sectioned me, said ‘well lets talk about the elephant in the room, you have been to London for an appointment about your gender’ I didn’t see it as the elephant in the room, in fact I had already said I had been to the clinic in London, I didn’t like him anyway. For once though on the psych ward I wasn’t called she by staff to my knowledge and one staff member who remembered me from before I was on T said I looked a lot different.

I am now home and under the bloody crisis team (I had no choice they wouldn’t discharge me without them) and the guy who came round yesterday started asking why I am on T and how to I take it and what has it done for me, it really had nothing to do with the reason for him being there. Yes I self inject my T once every 4 weeks, really though that is irrelevant to my mental health.

These incidents over the last few weeks are actually not that bad compared to others I have had, being called she and her repeatedly by professionals, in front of other patients who have no idea, professionals being transphobic and generally rude and ignorant. They need to be trained in LGBT and especially trans* stuff so much more. I am a patient who as a patient it means I am unwell in some way and therefore I don’t want to have to listen to your transphobic stuff or have to explain everything to you. Why when  a lot (not all though, some are very good) professionals find out you are trans is that the only thing they want to talk about, even when it isn’t the issue at all, it just happens to be something about you, they think it is so fascinating though.

I am fed up of being their fascinating patient who they think they can ask every question under the sun about being trans* Yes I am open about being trans, but that still doesn’t give you the right to ask about it when it is irrelevant. The only person who I thought asked a relevant question about it was the psych in the psych ward on Wednesday who just asked how long I have been on T and if that affected my mood, or was I hearing voices before that, so that was relevant, but that was it from her, she was good.

I thought as I am Tudor obsessed I would start doing a Tudor fact at the end of each blog post, like I used to on my old deleted blog.
So my favourite fact of all time: at just after 9am on Friday 19th May 1536 Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, mother of Elizabeth I and Queen for 3 years was beheaded by a French executioner, using a sword instead of the traditional axe and block. Her brother George was beheaded two days earlier along with four other men who had all been accused of adultery with Anne and George accused of incest.

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