}

Writing The Remedy: Queer & Trans Voices on Health & Healthcare

(Content warning for medical trauma)

One morning in a small town in northern Alberta I crept across the floor to nuzzle my girlfriend’s golden retriever awake. It turns out that was a bad move–letting sleeping dogs lie is good advice. She woke up growling with her fangs embedded in my upper lip. I was rushed to the hospital with a towel pressed against my shredded face.

Everything got worse as soon as the doctor arrived. He made homophobic and sexist comments to and about my girlfriend and me, did his best to scare me about how ugly the scarring would be, and was deliberately rough with the cleaning, freezing and stitching of my face. To this day I’m surprised & grateful that he did a good job of the stitches when he obviously disliked me so much.

The contempt of that doctor was much more traumatizing than having my face bitten open by a snarling animal. The dog had not intended to hurt me. 

This is only one harrowing personal story of homophobic violence in the medical system, and it’s not the worst example to have a lasting impact on my health. Let’s notice that I’ve had race, class, cis and skinny privilege protecting me every moment of my life, that I appear able-bodied, and that I have always lived in countries where doctors bill the government, not me. Despite all that, and even though I mostly pass as straight these days, I still brace whenever I’m about to encounter a new medical professional. Even if there’s a rainbow flag on their website and/or front door. Most queer and trans folk I know have similar experiences.

Homophobia and transphobia have severe health impacts on all of us in queer and trans communities. But it really doesn’t have to be that way. This is why I was so excited to read The Remedy: Queer and Trans Voices on Health & Healthcare, edited by Zena Sharman and recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award (the Lambdas are awarded yearly to published works which explore LGBT themes. Winning a Lambda is a big deal.)

Allan Peterkin, MD notes: “A welcome trend in clinical education and practice involves inviting patients and clients to tell their own stories of identity, illness, health care and resilience in their own words, to both learners and practitioners.” The Remedy includes personal essays, comics, short stories, interviews, profiles of queer and trans health initiatives, and poems. The pieces explore topics including cancer, decolonization, queer caregiving & palliative care, fertility, suicidality, sex worker solidarity, sobriety and trauma informed community acupuncture (full disclosure: I wrote a piece for The Remedy which definitely includes a paragraph on POCA and a mini love letter to POCA punks).

As Sassafras Lowry says, “The Remedy is a bandage lovingly placed on the open wounds of every LGBTQAI person afraid of going to a doctor.” I highly recommend this book to any healthcare provider, regardless of how you identify. You can order directly from Arsenal Pulp Press here.

This story was posted on July 21 2017 by Lisa B..

Comments

  • July 24 2017 at 2:13 AM
    laurel writes:

    i love that you wrote a piece for this. i considered it regarding the genderpuncture project, but decided against it in the end. i look forward to reading the book.

      1 likes
  • July 24 2017 at 11:42 PM
    joanneo writes:

    it’s a wonderful book! I was privileged to be in the audience at the Queer Center in Portland where the book was part of a literary festival. thank you Lisa B, you’re a brave and terrific writer!

      0 likes

Add your 2 cents!

You must be logged in to comment on the blog.


Who Likes This:

  • urbanapuncture
  • Mamapins
  • Lisafer
  • Bob W
  • crismonteiro
  • HeatherE

Featured Events

-- placeholder --

Who's been POCAing lately.

  • kscabanayan commented on the blog post 'Ancestors of Liberation Acupuncture! In Postcards!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, August 10, 2017
  • joanneo commented on the blog post '2 Speeches from POCA Tech's First Graduation' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, July 25, 2017
  • joanneo commented on the blog post 'Ancestors of Liberation Acupuncture! In Postcards!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, July 25, 2017
  • joanneo commented on the blog post 'Writing The Remedy: Queer & Trans Voices on Health & Healthcare' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, July 24, 2017
  • laurel commented on the blog post 'Writing The Remedy: Queer & Trans Voices on Health & Healthcare' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, July 24, 2017
  • JamesShelton commented on the blog post 'Ancestors of Liberation Acupuncture! In Postcards!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, July 13, 2017
  • CPMike commented on the blog post '2 Speeches from POCA Tech's First Graduation' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, July 13, 2017
  • tatyana commented on the blog post 'Ancestors of Liberation Acupuncture! In Postcards!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, July 13, 2017
  • mitylene commented on the blog post '2 Speeches from POCA Tech's First Graduation' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, July 10, 2017
  • melissa commented on the blog post '2 Speeches from POCA Tech's First Graduation' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, July 06, 2017
  • Spartacus commented on the blog post '2 Speeches from POCA Tech's First Graduation' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, July 04, 2017
  • Bob W commented on the blog post '2 Speeches from POCA Tech's First Graduation' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, July 04, 2017
  • Canettieri2205 commented on the blog post 'What Would POCA Tech Do without POCA? No, Seriously' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, June 28, 2017
  • joanneo commented on the blog post 'POCA Is Throwing a Data Party and All Acupuncturists Are Invited!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Sunday, June 25, 2017
  • joanneo commented on the blog post 'How do I love my walk-ins? Let me count the ways...' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Sunday, June 25, 2017
  • teatree commented on the blog post 'Teaching CA in Schools' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Saturday, June 24, 2017
  • sissy commented on the blog post 'Ranty Thoughtfulness on Harm Reduction, Community Acupuncture and Poetry' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, June 19, 2017
  • Basant commented on the blog post 'My Break Up Letter to Capitalism' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Saturday, June 17, 2017
  • Lisafer commented on the blog post 'POCA Is Throwing a Data Party and All Acupuncturists Are Invited!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, June 15, 2017
  • Spartacus commented on the blog post 'It's a Wonderful (Co-op) Life' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Saturday, June 03, 2017
  • Lisafer commented on the blog post 'It's a Wonderful (Co-op) Life' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Friday, June 02, 2017
  • joanneo commented on the blog post 'The Power of Miriam Lee's 10 Points.' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, June 01, 2017
  • joanneo commented on the blog post 'It's All the Same' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, June 01, 2017
  • ewolfk commented on the blog post 'It's a Wonderful (Co-op) Life' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, June 01, 2017
  • urbanapuncture commented on the blog post 'It's a Wonderful (Co-op) Life' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, June 01, 2017
  • joanneo commented on the blog post 'Patient's Perspective: Why Should I Join POCA?' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, June 01, 2017
  • Lisafer commented on the blog post 'Thank You, Yes, and Thank You' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, May 09, 2017
  • Lisafer commented on the blog post 'My Break Up Letter to Capitalism' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, May 09, 2017
  • Zepunkstereez commented on the blog post 'My Break Up Letter to Capitalism' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Sunday, May 07, 2017
  • Zepunkstereez commented on the blog post 'Thank You, Yes, and Thank You' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Sunday, May 07, 2017
  • Lisafer commented on the blog post 'My Break Up Letter to Capitalism' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, May 03, 2017
  • melissabschwartz commented on the blog post 'My Break Up Letter to Capitalism' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, May 02, 2017
  • Lisafer commented on the blog post 'Entrepreneurship! also, New Book!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, May 01, 2017
  • raychill commented on the blog post 'Welcome to the Resistance- Greg Jones' Keynote from St.Pete POCA Fest' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, May 01, 2017
  • Mamapins commented on the blog post 'Entrepreneurship! also, New Book!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, May 01, 2017
  • pickledwarrior commented on the blog post 'Welcome to the Resistance- Greg Jones' Keynote from St.Pete POCA Fest' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Sunday, April 30, 2017
  • sonyagregg commented on the blog post 'POCA Tech's First Show & Tell' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Sunday, April 30, 2017
  • Lisafer commented on the blog post 'Entrepreneurship! also, New Book!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, April 24, 2017
  • Lisafer commented on the blog post 'Entrepreneurship! also, New Book!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Sunday, April 23, 2017
  • Moses.C commented on the blog post 'POCA Tech's First Show & Tell' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Saturday, April 22, 2017
  • Spartacus commented on the blog post 'Entrepreneurship! also, New Book!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Saturday, April 22, 2017
  • Spartacus commented on the blog post 'Entrepreneurship! also, New Book!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Saturday, April 22, 2017
  • Bob W commented on the blog post 'POCA Tech's First Show & Tell' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Saturday, April 22, 2017
  • Sabadoo commented on the blog post 'POCA Tech's First Show & Tell' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, April 19, 2017
  • kcasey44 commented on the blog post 'Entrepreneurship! also, New Book!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, April 18, 2017
  • mitylene commented on the blog post 'Entrepreneurship! also, New Book!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, April 12, 2017
  • urbanapuncture commented on the blog post 'The Electron Cloud of POCA' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Friday, April 07, 2017
  • crismonteiro commented on the blog post 'The Electron Cloud of POCA' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, April 03, 2017
  • RengeReine commented on the blog post 'Falling in Love' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, April 03, 2017
  • Roppie commented on the blog post 'The Electron Cloud of POCA' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, March 30, 2017