Today a physician asked me which name I prefer…

By | February 5, 2016

…because on the intake form I had crossed off my legal name, Jenna, and written “Jacob” instead. And when the doctor checked in to confirm which name I preferred, I was moved almost to tears. That’s how low the bar is for us trans* folk–we can’t even expect our doctors to honor our names.

I was there because of shoulder pain, and the doctor looked at my shoulder and never asked me to explain my gender identity and I was surprised and moved once again. Because we can’t expect a doctor to deal only with our stated concerns. We can’t expect a doctor to act like our gender identity is irrelevant to the matter at hand, even when it’s irrelevant to the matter at hand.

The doctor came up with a treatment plan involving exercises and medication–pausing to ask which name to use on the prescription form. And I walked out with my prescription and my exercises and just like that, I had received appropriate medical care.

The doctor tells me I have inflammation of the spinatus, which is linked somehow to the rotator cuff and, it turns out, linked not at all to my gender identity, hormone levels, or genitals. What a relief!!