Lesley Ann / USA
“In 2015, while I was under general anesthesia, my doctor removed and destroyed a part of my body, without my consent. I have filed a lawsuit against this doctor. In several Facebook posts, she even threatened to stop treating transgender patients because of me (although she never named me). She openly exploited my fear that attempting to hold her accountable would restrict our community’s access to healthcare.
Please know that the last thing I want to do is hurt our community or hurt our access to healthcare. I have been devastated by what was done to me. I have struggled to find the most appropriate response to the situation. I have been caught in an unending battle within myself concerning what to do, concerning how to defend both myself and our community. Like many others have experienced, being transgender has exposed me to judgements so harsh that they aimed to dehumanize me. Like most of us have experienced, it can be very difficult to stand up for ourselves and even more so difficult if you are trans* identifying.
Sadly, I have found that most cisgender people are unaware of the difficulties we face in a variety of things in life, including accessing healthcare.
I knew that once I filed, it would be a public record. I didn’t want to be scrutinized. I didn’t want to be publicly discussed. I never wanted my reproductive organs and my surgery to be fodder for gossip and criticism. I am tired of having my queer body casually discussed. But I have never doubted that what happened to me was completely wrong. I consulted with several other transgender individuals in the community and it was only with their support that I eventually decided to come forward. I believe our community will be strengthened by our willingness to stand up for ourselves. I believe that as we demand it, quality healthcare providers will rise to the occasion. It is my hope that through this, we can create change where my community is no longer desperate for healthcare as through that desperation we become limited.
I sincerely hope that my choice to come forward will create appropriate change, where healthcare providers take accountability and give our community a better frame-of-reference for what true quality healthcare looks like.
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