Getting healthcare as a trans person is goddamn difficult. I avoid doctors to my own detriment because it’s so unpleasant. I get caught in health insurance hell as various agencies attempt to determine my sex and thereby decide what healthcare I deserve. I’m one of the lucky ones–indignities aside, I always get the healthcare I need.
Through the ups and downs of appointments and procedures, a few dedicated people have gone out of their way to show me respect, advocate for my rights, and deliver the care I need. Where would I be without lesbian doctors?
- My step-mom, who prescribes me antibiotics in a pinch, who referred me to the doctor who prescribes my testosterone, who is one of the few doctors in her city who treats trans patients.
- My primary care doctor, who prescribes my testosterone, who takes a genuine interest in my wellbeing, who makes pelvic exams bearable, who uses the right words for my body, who goes out of her way to help queer patients.
- The surgeon I’m consulting with for my hysterectomy, who is happy to see transsexual men in her gynecological practice, whose staff is highly informed and respectful.
- The doctor who takes care of billing for the surgeon, who is also her partner, who personally called my insurance company and insisted they come up with a real solution for trans patients, who is arranging to give me a discount on my consultation so I can afford it without insurance.
All four of these professionals are lesbians who make a point of being allies to other queer people, a commitment they’ve discussed frankly with me. I’ve never a bad experience with a lesbian doctor–and as you can tell, I’ve seen quite a few–nor have I ever had a doctor of a different identity go above and beyond the call of duty like this. (Never had any other queer doctors, as far as I know.) I was referred to each doctor by another on the list, so it’s really my local lesbian doctor community that has done so much for me.
Thank you, thank you, lesbian doctors, for your life-saving solidarity.