I gather that the author of the piece is a lesbian, so I’m sure she’s been asked the question when younger “are you sure it’s not a phase?”, “why don’t you like men? Are you I’ll?”. These are ignorant questions even if they come from well meaning people. Fact is, that if you are part of a marginalised community then it’s going to affect your mental well being and to think otherwise is wishful thinking. The author is not a transgender specialist, and if she wasn’t comfortable treating transgender patients, then she should have said so, but we all need medical treatment of some kind in our lives. We all need to do other things like eat and drink. It may seem reasonable to some to not treat trans patients for their trans related issues, but what next? It the supermarket cashier refused to serve someone because they took exception to them based on something like looks, then that’s disgraceful and they should expect to be sanctioned by a manager or similar. The author is a doctor, do no harm, treat the sick, keep your personal and professional opinions separate and just do the best job you can.
By Kathy Mandigo
I am packing up my stuff to move, and I came across a folder of work-related papers. One item was a card I had forgotten I had, but as soon as I opened it, I remembered it and the sender. It was a card of thanks from a transgendered patient, a lesbian who transitioned to a man, expressing appreciation for my help in her* journey to become the man she felt she was.
*(While I used to accede to my patients’ chosen pronouns, I now use the biologically appropriate one.)
I saw this patient at a youth clinic (patients under 26), and she was usually accompanied by her girlfriend. She had been seen and assessed and started on treatment at the Gender Dysphoria Clinic that ran at the time in a local hospital. I initiated nothing, merely administered the testosterone injections they prescribed.
I watched my patient…
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