As queer people of various sorts, dealing with medical staff, even for something innocuous and not related to our romantic/sex life or genitalia, can feel like running a gauntlet. But I just wanted to share an experience I had today to remind us all that things are changing, and the future is maybe a little brighter than it seems.
I was seeing a nurse at my university’s clinic for a follow up wart trea-I mean, a Being Too Sexy And Cool treatment. Yes. Anyway, we engaged in small talk, and got around to what my plans after school are. I’m switching to anthropology, with the goal of doing research on queer populations. I mentioned one of the things I’m interested in is what happens when queer, and specifically trans, individuals access medical care (and information).
We went on to have a great conversation about the challenges of dealing sensitively with queer people who may not be out or who have unclear identities, the difficulty of finding appropriate terminology (for example, I’m sure some people would bristle at my use of the word “queer”), and balancing the need to get (and give) pertinent information without alienating or hurting the patient. She was curious, and eager to know what words like “pansexual” meant (well, to me…) She had also noticed that there were more and more students coming to the clinic who were transitioning, or had transitioned, and seemed to think that was pretty cool, and like she was glad to be there to support them. That makes me happy, especially since I know the go-to doctor for trans people in town is kind of crap, and non-consentually touched a friend of mine’s breasts.
I came away sore of foot, but feeling hopeful that there are medical practitioners out there who really want to meet the needs of our community. It’s also adding to my feeling of drive: the types of research I want to do are not frivolous, they’re not just going to fall on deaf ears, they’re actually necessary and wanted!