Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Hello Ms. Hart



 Imagine my surprise when the phone rang and a pleasant voice from the Veterans Administration said "Good Morning is this Ms. Hart? " It was a surprise to me she referred to me with the proper pronoun because normally I need to correct them every call when they ask for Mr. Hart. Even though I didn't have any earth shattering (fortunately) health issues to discuss, it was nice to talk to a friendly voice who didn't start out miss-pronouning me.


I have told myself over the years, the VA receptionists just don't see many women at all, so they automatically revert to the default male pronoun. The whole process reminds me to to be on point with my feminine presentation and more importantly my voice. I have never been particularly successful at all on the phone. In fact, I go into every phone conversation prepared to defend my gender.  

We discussed getting signed up for the next round of Covid booster shots Which I did and how I could get referred for another Mammogram. I need to be scheduled for one every year since my maternal grandmother passed away in the 1950's from breast cancer. So over the recent years I have been through over four Mammograms. The first one I considered to be a sort of rite of passage for a transgender woman with her own breasts. Since then I know what is going to happen so the entire process is rather mundane. Only one time over the years have I had any remotely negative experiences. One time a nurse just had to ask questions about any operations "down below" which of course was none of her business. Following her question nothing more was said. 

After the conversation I had with my VA contact, I did realize I just experienced a gender euphoric highlight. Being referred to as "Ms. Hart" then discussing setting up a Mammogram. It doesn't get much more feminine than that. 

In the midst of my euphoria though, I forgot to set up an optometrist appointment or renew my gout medication. It will be interesting to see if I receive the same gender reception I received on my last visit. Since I will be going there in person for my booster in the not so distant future maybe I will run into the last person (woman) I encountered who refused to accept my correct pronouns. I believe they have personalized business cards to identify themselves. If she does, I will know specifically who to complain about. She needs to be told what a big deal pronouns are to transgender people. 

I need to point out also, over the years I have had very few problems with anyone at the VA. It is just at the closest satellite center I go to, they don't seem to care and represent the right wing population around the clinic. Maybe I can help to change it. 


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