Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dear Dr. Transphobic Asshole

This is a portion of the letter that I wrote to my Transgender/LGBTQ/AIDS Advocate/Social Worker at the end of this post is the letter that I'm considering sending to the Transphobic Asshole Doctor named "Tara":

So, today I went up to the VA Emergency Department for my knee. I knew that I had probably twisted it or done some damage to it over the weekend and at Cherie's insistence I went to the ER, two hours before my appointment with Brandi. When I arrived I made sure that they knew that I had a previously scheduled appointment and they said that they'd make sure that I got to my appointment on time. So I was called back to the hospital room and put inside. An hour later (about 30 minutes before my appointment with Brandi) I was still waiting in the room. No one had been by to check on me or even to stick their head in the door. This wasn't too shocking as the VA oftentimes will stick a patient who isn't critical in a room and leave them there for over an hour, but I thought that they would take quicker care of me, seeing as how they knew of my other appointment.

Anyway, I eventually got up and hobbled up to the front desk and informed the receptionist there that I had another appointment that I had to get to and that I would be back, when it was over but that I absolutely could not miss my appointment. He asked me to wait a few minutes for the charge nurse to show up and I agreed. No sooner did our conversation end when I heard my name being said by one of the doctors, my legal name, the one that it's in the system but also has a notation in the field that states that I am to be called: Vicktor or Vic.

I figure it will be quicker for me to just put it in dialogue form the conversation with Doctor Tara, the doctor mentioned above, and her colleague.

Dr. Tara: I'm supposed to see somebody named...Veronica. Why the hell does it say Vic in here?
Colleague: Oh yeah, I saw her last week. Her legal name is Veronica, but she goes by Vic and everyone calls her Vic.
Dr. Tara: Why?
Colleague: Because she's transgender, so I guess she's a he. So his name is Vic, that's what we call him.
Dr. Tara: Oh no! Are you serious? I've got one of them?
Colleague: (blushing slightly because he saw me) I just saw Vic last week for...chest pains, right Vic?
Me: Yeah.

Dr. Tara looked at me and gave me a look of disgust and that's when I told her that I had another appointment to be at and that I had to leave but that I would be back after that.

She informed me that she'd rather see me first and then then have me get sent down for X-Rays and then for me to go to see Brandi. I had no problem with this and agreed. So Dr. Tara led me back to the very room I'd just left out of and asked me what had happened to my knee, I explained it to her and then when we got in the room, I wasn't told to sit down or anything so I could be examined properly, I was asked to roll up my pants leg and my knee was barely touched by her before she went to the sink and scrubbed her hands furiously as she explained that it didn't feel swollen but that she would call for an X-ray. Now, I don't know if she knows something I don't and being transgender is actually contagious, I'm not sure why she felt she had to scrub her hands so hard, but I do know that I felt beyond offended at her actions. 

I wish I could tell you that the story ended there, but it didn't.

When I went in to go get my X-Ray (which I had to walk to-on my bad knee which is also on the same leg as my sprained ankle) the X-Ray tech there (whose name is Zach I believe) didn't even have mypaperwork, he had someone else's, because while they'd sent me down there, they hadn't given him the right information about who I was, what name I'm supposed to be called, questions to avoid asking me and even  which knee was the injured one. So when Zach finished with me he told me that he had to take me back to the ER, now I'd been told that when I finished in the ER I was supposed to go straight to my appt, Zach had been told to bring me back there. So he led me in and I brought up that he'd told me to come back in. With a sigh of disgust and a huge amount of attitude Dr. Tara said, "No, I told you to go straight to your appointment."

So I went.

When my appt was over I returned to the ER to get the results of my X-Ray (which I knew that if they wanted an accurate diagnosis of what was wrong with my knee that I should've had a MRI done, especially since I'd informed Dr. Tara that I'd torn my miniscus tendon in this same knee ten years before and had never had the surgery for it done. I walked into the ER, filled out the paperwork to let them know I was back for my results and sat and waited. I'd come in at about 12:10, by 1:00pm, my sister Cherie was livid, because I was supposed to have taken the DAV (the transportation for veterans, which is who had brought me in and with whom I was supposed to have take me home) home, but I'd missed them and it was too late. My name was still never called. By this point my knee is throbbing, I'm annoyed, Cherie is annoyed and I've told her about the doctor's initial reaction to me and she's already put in a few calls to people. Carissa, the OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) worker assigned to me, has come down to the ER to check on me, it's now 1:30pm. She tells me about the phone call for Cherie, that she's going to try and get me home, that she was sorry for all that I'd endured, etc., etc., etc. Then she says that she's going to go and check and see what the problem is. As soon as she steps into the back and asks a question, Dr. Tara comes in and says she doesn't know why they didn't come and get her, that they'd gotten my X-Ray results two hours before. She tells me that the X-Rays came back fine and so I probably just twisted it and she's going to go and get me a brace. I go to follow her so she can put it on and she tells me to wait at the door. She comes back with two braces. One she says is a medium, the other she says is a large. She looks at my knee and, again, barely touches it as she tries to see which size will fit me, she tells me I need a large and that I'd have to "take all that off" (and gestures at my pants and the bottom half of my body with a sneer on her face) and that she'll just give me the brace so I can put it on. And then she practically shoves the brace in a bag that says it's a "large", but as we found out later was actually a "medium" in a large bag, and rushes off as if the hounds of hell were on her behind.

M, man, honestly, had I known that transgenderism was contagious, I would've worn a mask or something.

I did report her to the Patient's Advocate and Michele apologized to me on behalf of the hospital and said that the doctor would be given a "stern talking to," but honestly, even though the military is far more progressive today than it was when I was in there, even though DADT has been repealed, even though this hospital and this VA is a ton more accepting than the one I came from in Florida, I still know that they'll talk to her so that it can be put in her file, but that there are some people who would be silently applauding her for treating the "tranny" like she did.a

I am not typically a blood-thirsty, you made me mad and almost made me cry and now you must lose your job, type of person, but I told Cherie that I want Dr. Tara to lose her job. I'm already having to attend the "Mental Health" department just because I am trans and I grew up in the household/family that I did and trying to balance my truth with their angry voice. And I'm there because of my disabilities and how that affects me not being able to find a job that's understanding with my injuries. So with having this............................."doctor" treat me the way she did? Cherie had to put a call in to Brandi and let her know.

That was moments before we found out that the brace given to me or rather shoved at me, was the wrong size.

Cherie is going down to the VA tomorrow to have it out with them and get me a new brace, but she suggested that I tell you to see if you had any ideas about what else, if anything, I should do. She wants to contact the local LGBTQ chapter, the HRC chapter (she even teased about contacting the news station) and like I said, honestly, I'm not usually the one out for blood like this, but what if I'd been a fragile teenager? What if I was already suicidal and she said that?

I want her suspended or fired. I want a true apology. I feel vindicated, like she truly leaned her lesson and would never do that again.

So any thoughts?

Dear Dr. Transphobic Asshole:

I'm sorry that you're being chewed out by your boss.

And the Patient Advocate people.

And my sister Cherie, I'm sure that's the scariest moment in the world for you.

But you should be happy. My dad is way more scarier. And my older siblings are very protective of me.

You know you were wrong and that you must pay. I won't ask for your life as payment, because I do want to live again, but, I want your job.

Because if we'd had that situation a few months ago, if you had reacted in August, in October the way you reacted today, our little "misunderstanding" then I would have tried to kill myself.

You have to understand that words and reactions carry weight and power and strength.

Your words can kill a person, can maim and bruise them, destroy them.

Words are so fucking heartbreaking it's almost ridiculous.

And I was going to take it easy and call off the Calvary, but then I remembered that, I could've been a teenager that you'd said that too and that's unacceptable.

So I'm sorry that I got the LGBTQ community involved. Sorry that people want to call the HRC. Sorry that my sister called my therapist, the hospital administrator and everyone else that she could think of and reported you. Sorry that an apology from you to me, just isn't enough at this point.

You see I may be transgender, but I'm one badass transgender, dominating bastard with a lot of people supporting me and backing me up and a lot of people fighting for me.

This time, you fucked with the wrong one.




  1. I am so sorry you had to go through that, people can be so evil and horrible. I am glad there are so many who love you Vic, fuck that stupid doctor.

    I do hope her job gets cut ^_^

  2. Thanks Darien. Cherie is at the hospital right now. I'm pretty sure that if the doctor doesn't lose her job today, she will soon. We're contacting the HRC, the local LGBT center and anyone else we can think of.

    Thanks for your support and for commenting. I appreciate it.

  3. Wow. I have been wondering just all what happened when you mentioned this incident the other day, and holy crap, just wow. I can't wrap my head around how people can act so cruel like that.

  4. You had me at the 'one of them'
    I'm sorry you had to suffer through that.

    As a doctor, she really should know better!!

  5. Good grief, she might be a medical professional but she definitely needs another round through diversity training!

    I can't believe that the hospital would let her get away with treating someone like that. So sorry you had to be on the receiving end of such a bigot.

    The legal side of my brain wishes now to start doing formal letters of complaint... which I would if you were UK based but not sure how the system works in the USA

    I hope the hospital does do something to kick her attitude into shape!


  6. Sounds to me that she has violated the Hippocratic Oath. IMO, she deserves to lose her job. And don't say these things lightly.

    P.S. Vic, those last few paragraphs made me feel so proud of you! Go, Vic! [lol]

  7. Oh what a stupid, cruel, ignorant bitch!! She so deserves to lose her job and never find a new one!!
    I'm glad Cherie is there for you and I'm sorry that you had to experience that!!! *hugs*

  8. Thanks Kate, Aija and Kat. So Cherie just contacted me and let me know what happened and what our next step is. We are definitely contacting the HRC and the local LGBT center. We're going to contact the politician who fights for transgender rights here in Buffalo and then Cherie is contacting a lawyer in the morning, we're probably going to sue the hospital.

  9. Good for you both. What she did is so wrong in so many ways!

  10. tangled0 from goodreadsDecember 7, 2011 at 10:07 PM

    wow, this makes me sick. I am so glad that you and all your family members are fighting on your behalf. People in the helping professions should not be so insensitive- I mean I would think sensitivity would be the first thing they would look for when accepting someone to medical school ::shakes head:: All I can say is I hope karma gets this doctor. Stay strong Vic, you're a hell of a guy and good for you for fighting back for the rest of the LGBTQ community who may be encounter this *#$$# from hell in the future!

  11. *hugs* I'm not sure sending a letter to her would do any good. It's one of those cases where writing it out (especially in anger) probably makes you feel better, but wouldn't do a damned thing to convince her otherwise. Sad to say. =(

    However, you never know. At the very least, a good kick in the ass of "ya done fuck'd up, bitch, and here's why - I'll take your job now" might just change someone one day, and that one time would totally be worth it.

    *hugs* Sending strength your way, hon.

  12. Thank you Tj.

    And Tangled again, your support is very invaluable to me.

  13. Thank you Adara and yes you're right. I don't know if I'd ever actually send her that letter but it felt supremely good to write it.

  14. If I lived near you I'd kill her for you... I'm just saying. That's totally unacceptable.

    Now I'm angry.

  15. ~Hugs tight~ Got one protective Lil Sis as well. Can I come up there and help make sure the phobic bitch gets her ass handed to her?

    No body messes with you Vic. Not when you have a hell of a lot of family to back you up.

    ~Hugs tighter and whispers~ Read your email and cross your fingers. Love you!!

  16. This makes me want to get into the next airplane to your place, haunt that doc down and give her a piece of my mind. Maybe bitch-slap her *grrrrr*

  17. Hate to say it, but not surprised in the least. I'm quite sure she's done worse. And unfortunatly, I don't think they're going to do much more than send her to some "sensetivity awareness" course(s) and note it in her file. I worked in the military medical system and it took the near death of a patient to get rid of an incompetent asshole who had numerous screw-ups, complaints (from patients AND staff members) and "near misses" on his record. This one's an emergency doctor and with a physician shortage it's going to take her killing or nearly killing a patient and for the death to be directly due to her actions or lack there of for them to get rid of her. Unless she's a contract doctor. They're MUCH easier to get rid of.

    But making her feel the heat? Oh yeah!! Go for it, dude! Sic everyone you can think of on her and the VA.

  18. CJ (I was WAITING for you to respond!):

    You're absolutely right of course and one of the main and biggest things that I keep telling Cherie is that I want her job. Because had she done this three months ago when I was still struggling with myself and contemplating suicide? The whole result would've been different.

    If I can't get her job, I want her suspended, or I want her license revoked, something. I'm so not a vindictive person but like you said I probably wasn't the first and I won't be the last.

    So I told Cherie that if I can't get her fired, I wanted to sue her and the VA, because at least that would cause some sort of reaction.

  19. Thanks Kerstin and Lucy. It's nice to have people in my corner, it really, really is.

  20. Lor, I would never ask you to kill her. However if you want to come to Buffalo, NY..........

    LOL. No, I don't want her dead, I just want her job. I don't want her to have the power that she has in whether or not gays or transgenders have the right to receive not just proper medical care but common courtesy and human decency. We are not animals or creatures or aliens, we are human just as much as every one else.

    We are more humane than people who act like this.

    So even though I'd like to pray down boils and locusts and leprosy on her, it wouldn't teach her that hatred and discrimination have consequences, only her losing her job or having to pay me a shitload of money would do that.

    I'd rather she lose her job than keep the job and give me money. That's just how important this thing is.


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