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
  • Cynthia Marie
  • Lisafer
  • Bob W
  • crismonteiro
  • HeatherE
  • Roppy
-- placeholder --

Who's been POCAing lately.

  • Roppy commented on the blog post 'The Acupuncture Profession has 99 problems, but NADA ain’t one of them.' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, June 30, 2020
  • teatree commented on the blog post 'POCA's statement on Systemic Racism' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, June 09, 2020
  • Clove Tree commented on the blog post 'Corona is the virus, capitalism is the crisis.' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, May 21, 2020
  • rosaliecrowe commented on the blog post 'Corona is the virus, capitalism is the crisis.' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Friday, May 15, 2020
  • oRen commented on the blog post 'Corona is the virus, capitalism is the crisis.' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, May 12, 2020
  • linzdority commented on the blog post 'Toward a Culture of Safety, Part 1' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, April 29, 2020
  • crismonteiro commented on the blog post 'POCA is Closed' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, April 21, 2020
  • crismonteiro commented on the blog post 'POCA is Closed' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, April 20, 2020
  • donnajoon commented on the blog post 'POCA is Closed' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, April 20, 2020
  • crismonteiro commented on the blog post 'POCA is Closed' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, April 16, 2020
  • crismonteiro commented on the blog post 'POCA is Closed' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, April 16, 2020
  • Roppy commented on the blog post 'POCA is Closed' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Sunday, April 12, 2020
  • sissy commented on the blog post 'POCA is Closed' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, April 08, 2020
  • wujiapi commented on the blog post 'Hierarchy of Needs (for Acupuncture)' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, January 16, 2020
  • bluejena commented on the blog post 'Shift Happens' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Friday, November 29, 2019
  • Carolineaviva commented on the blog post 'Shift Happens' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, November 27, 2019
  • Bob W commented on the blog post 'Shift Happens' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, November 26, 2019
  • bluejena commented on the blog post 'Shift Happens' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, November 26, 2019
  • Roppy commented on the blog post 'Shift Happens' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Sunday, November 24, 2019
  • crismonteiro commented on the blog post 'Shift Happens' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Saturday, November 23, 2019
  • crismonteiro commented on the blog post 'Shift Happens' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Saturday, November 23, 2019
  • StillpointCA commented on the blog post 'Shift Happens' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Friday, November 22, 2019
  • Roppy commented on the blog post 'Shift Happens' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, November 21, 2019
  • Roppy commented on the blog post 'What Went Wrong with Acupuncture in the West? A Theory' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, November 13, 2019
  • jaxrogers commented on the blog post 'Loan Forgiveness' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, November 04, 2019
  • WillC commented on the blog post 'How to Succeed in CA Without Really Trying' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Sunday, November 03, 2019
  • WillC commented on the blog post 'Loan Forgiveness' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Saturday, November 02, 2019
  • OpenSourceEverything commented on the blog post 'POCAfest Marin Keynote: Chronic Pain and Endurance, by Jeff Levin of SOAP' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, October 16, 2019
  • Paxcow commented on the blog post 'POCAfest Marin Keynote: Chronic Pain and Endurance, by Jeff Levin of SOAP' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, October 09, 2019
  • swiggs commented on the blog post 'POCAfest Marin Keynote: Chronic Pain and Endurance, by Jeff Levin of SOAP' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, October 09, 2019
  • ChrisRogers commented on the blog post 'POCAfest Marin Keynote: Chronic Pain and Endurance, by Jeff Levin of SOAP' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, October 03, 2019
  • ewolfk commented on the blog post 'Come to Marin POCAfest September 27-29!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Friday, August 16, 2019
  • urbanapuncture commented on the blog post 'YOUR COMMENTS, PLEASE!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, August 15, 2019
  • crismonteiro commented on the blog post 'YOUR COMMENTS, PLEASE!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, August 13, 2019
  • Roppy commented on the blog post 'YOUR COMMENTS, PLEASE!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, August 13, 2019
  • catemax commented on the blog post 'Dear Prospective Punk (from a Recent Grad and New Punk), or Why We Need POCA Tech' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Friday, July 26, 2019
  • joanneo commented on the blog post 'Cohort 3 Graduation Speech by Jess Long' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, July 08, 2019
  • Bob W commented on the blog post 'Cohort 3 Graduation Speech by Jess Long' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, July 02, 2019
  • melissa commented on the blog post 'Cohort 3 Graduation Speech by Jess Long' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, July 01, 2019
  • mcandela55 commented on the blog post 'Acupuncturists As Endangered Species' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Wednesday, June 26, 2019
  • Lisafer commented on the blog post 'Acupuncturists As Endangered Species' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, June 25, 2019
  • melissalac commented on the blog post 'Acupuncturists As Endangered Species' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Tuesday, June 25, 2019
  • zedmunds commented on the blog post 'Keynote POCA Fest Milwaukee May 2019 -- ALL EARS!!!' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, June 20, 2019
  • engerin commented on the blog post 'Student Circle at POCA Tech -- Guest Post by Shelby and Sonya' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, June 20, 2019
  • Roppy commented on the blog post 'Acupuncturists As Endangered Species' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, June 17, 2019
  • mcandela55 commented on the blog post 'The Vows of Hua Tuo and Sun Si Miao..Actually Carried Out' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Friday, June 14, 2019
  • mcandela55 commented on the blog post 'Acupuncturists As Endangered Species' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, June 13, 2019
  • mcandela55 commented on the blog post 'Acupuncturists As Endangered Species' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Thursday, June 13, 2019
  • Presence_CA commented on the blog post 'Acupuncturists As Endangered Species' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, June 10, 2019
  • Presence_CA commented on the blog post 'Acupuncturists As Endangered Species' in the blog 'Prick Prod and Provoke Blog' - Monday, June 10, 2019