I scared the shit out of my wife this weekend. She was sleeping on the couch with a bad headache while I was cleaning and watching the baby. I was just getting ready to prepare dinner and took a piece of chocolate. I came back for a second piece, put it into my mouth and bit myself in the cheek. “Figures” I thought when I noticed a bitter taste in my mouth. As I spit out the piece of chocolate I realized I had tried to eat a wasp and that I hadn’t bit my cheek but got stung by the wasp in my mouth. I’ve never been stung before, but since I’m sensitive to mosquitos and gnats I knew I had to be checked up just in case. Within 10 minutes I had woken up my wife, she had realized what happened, remembered how to use a phone, called medical advice (13 callers in que), called her mum who is a nurse and got convinced to go to the Doctor, got ice to put in my mouth, arrived at the doctors office, met a nurse and started treatment. I was lucky we managed to react so quickly, the swelling didn’t start until I was at the doctors office, but my wife wasn’t happy with me. Before she woke up properly she was mostly angry at me for waking her up, saying something about having consideration for her and her headache before I got stung by wasps. (And no, she wasn’t joking)At the doctors office the nurse didn’t bother to take my information before she started the treatment so she gendered me female by default. I got antihistamine and cortisone and was put on a bed. A few minutes later I had an injection of adrenaline (not something I recommend, makes you feel like shit). While the nurse fetched a doctor another nurse took my name and identification – and gendered me male. The Doctor came, talked to the second nurse and gendered me male. Then the first nurse came back in and continued to gender me female. I was too sick to care at the moment, but I wonder if they thought about it at all like I did. I actually heard my wife misgender me a couple of times in the hallway! I blame it on her brain being occupied with worrying about me. She’s allergic to a lot of stuff, so she knows how serious this can be.

When it was time for the doctors office to close I had to be transferred to the hospital for observation, so they called an ambulance for me. The paramedics were really nice and packed me into the car without reading my file and my name so of cause they gendered me female. In the car we went through the file and the paramedic who sat with me started to gender me male. When we arrived to the hospital they talked to each other about whether I could walk on my own or if they should put me in a bed, one gendering me as male and the one who had been driving gendering me as female. The staff at the hospital had time to read my file before they talked to me, so they all gendered me a male. But when it was time for me to go home the Doctor walked back and forth with information, medications and prescriptions and at one point he talked to a nurse in the hallway saying “I’m just going to leave this to her first”. When he came in he immediately apologized for having misgendered me. I should have said “thanks”, but instead I said “no worries”. I didn’t really care about all the misgendering at the time, I was too sick for that, but I really appreciate that he took the time and effort to apologize to me. After all none of the other medical staff did that during my seven hour ordeal. When he apologized he acknowledged me as a person who has the right to define my own gender. He also acknowledged that his actions potentially could cause me discomfort. 

It’s not easy being trans* when you need to seek medical care and it’s even worse to have to seek emergency medical care. I can only imagine the awkward conversations I will have with medical staff in the future when I’ve gone through gender reassignment therapy. At the moment I’m just happy they didn’t ask any intrusive and irrelevant questions. And that makes me angry. Why should I be happy about that? Why should I be grateful for people showing me common decency? And why am I not more upset by being misgendered by nearly everyone I met that day? I’m so used to be walked over that I don’t raise my voice and what’s worse, I even make up all kind of excuses for them. And now I’m angry with myself for it. How will people around me ever learn if I don’t speak up and when the issue is brought up I act like its no big deal. It is a big deal. No other man would put up with being misgendered all the time, they would be mad as hell when it happened for the fifth time and would make sure everyone around them knew for sure that they are male. I just wish I had the balls to do it…

6 thoughts on “Emergency

  1. Kris says:

    So sorry to hear about your misgivings (including the misgendering) – yeah, it stings even more than a wasp (and I just had to tell Google’s spell checker misgendering IS a word). Baby steps, buddy – your balls will grow (uhm, figuratively speaking!) 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Being randomly alternately gendered any which way is hugely annoying. Eventually it will straighten itself out, but it is a problem in any environment where someone else is controlling your care (e.g. hospital or police).
    I realized when I got top surgery that I was going to spend the rest of my life explaining to health care practitioners that I am trans – every form asks for a list of your surgeries – and that I will be dealing with people who are not necessarily comfortable with my choices.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hopefully you’re feeling better. I know I keep looking back at my own recent Emergency Room escapades and wondering if I should/could have done something different. Eventually, I just told myself that sometimes in times of distress some things become more important than others. Personally, I couldn’t have cared what they called me as long as they were doing everything in their power to make sure I wasn’t going to die of appendicitis, and they did do that….and got my pronouns right, too, most of the too.

    Liked by 1 person

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