Transgender Support Group

Yesterday was my Veteran's Administration trans support group meeting. This time, there were no new attendees. So, everything went according to plan, which is rather boring.

What I did find out, and contributed to, was a future date when the entire hospital would be subjected to a LGBT sensitivity day.  When asked what I would add, I simply said two things. The first of which was, we are real, not just something you may happen to read about.  We may be exceedingly rare in your mind, but try to hold it together. After all trans people are just people too.

My second point was, when you do encounter a transgender person, one of the most important thing not to do is mis-gender us. At the least take the time to call us by our first name.

The problem I used to encounter before certain medical units began to know me, was someone screaming out "Mr. Hart" when announcing I was next to be seen.

We will see if anything gets done, although the hospital is pretty good now with it's LGBT sensitivity issues.


Connie said…
When I've been mis-gendered or had my dead name used in the past (it hasn't happened since changing my name and gender markers), while in a waiting room, I would always stay seated for a few seconds and not respond to the call. People in waiting rooms tend to look up upon hearing anyone's name, but they go back to their magazine within a few seconds. I always figured that I would be contributing to the outing of myself had I responded immediately, and waiting just those few seconds allowed me to discreetly answer the call. Of course, timing is everything, as I needed to also make eye contact with the caller before she or he repeated. After we were in a private place, I would correct them politely.

My spouse works in a dentists office. They are careful to be respectful of trans patients, and they clearly mark charts pertaining to preferred name and pronouns. Just a couple weeks ago, though, there was a new assistant in the office for a one-day "working interview." While calling the trans woman patient to the back, she did use the proper name, but she blew the encounter - and her interview - by proclaiming: "You don't look like a man at all!" I think she meant it as a compliment, but it just goes to show that even the well-intentioned can be ignorant, misinformed or uninformed. Of course, there are plenty of people who are just plain stupid, as well.