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http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2007/12/10/and-this-is-the-part-where-i-stumble-in-kinda-late/
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16 Responses

  1. tata
    tata July 2, 2009 at 7:20 am |

    They haven’t been able to find a medical director (and possibly other medical personnel?) who can accept NOWHC’s priorities without acting like treating all women’s bodies, regardless of age and ability and body type and trans status and a dozen other factors, creates an untenable “risk” or “liability.”

    I don’t get it. This makes my brain hurt.

  2. Estrobutch
    Estrobutch July 2, 2009 at 8:32 am |

    Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that all day yesterday. I just ran on burning rage for about two weeks straight and made a lot of things happen because of it and kept a lot of bullshit at bay until it finally burned out.

    Its really sucks about the NOWHC and it sounds like the on the ground situation was different from how it was represented on their site. I think they do clearly have a problem with accountability and representation of trans women to have gotten that on the website in the first place. It is still cis-centric trans friendliness. And its pretty unambiguous what the message was to trans women even if they didn’t want to exclude. Anger at that is totally justified but now that the dust has settled its time to figure out how to support them making sure services accountability are available for all women.

  3. Claire
    Claire July 2, 2009 at 9:04 am |

    The song goes as follows:

    “Trans women have such a fucked-up, freaky-deaky physiology that I, as a people-doctor, don’t know how to treat them, and would open myself to malpractice claims if I even tried.”

  4. voz
    voz July 2, 2009 at 9:48 am |

    Anger at that is totally justified but now that the dust has settled its time to figure out how to support them making sure services accountability are available for all women.

    Well said. But, attacking the bigger problem of trans female exclusion is important, too. NOWHC is just one clinic among many that openly or covertly discriminates against us.

    I think letting NOWHC take the lead, and tell US how they want to be supported, and telling their staff how trans females wish to be served is the way to go.

    There are many groups out there that are working on the larger problem, so there are no shortage of choices for trans females to pick from. I do think that non trans people should center our voices at all times, and step aside and let us speak for ourselves, and that is still not happening in too many places. That is what made this policy in the first place, and oh so many like it.

  5. piny
    piny July 2, 2009 at 10:01 am |

    “Trans women have such a fucked-up, freaky-deaky physiology that I, as a people-doctor, don’t know how to treat them, and would open myself to malpractice claims if I even tried.”

    Right: a trans woman’s hormonal balance is completely different from the hormonal balance of a cis woman, even one on exogenous hormones via the same pill.

    On top of that: they’re not exactly wrong about their ignorance. Most physicians aren’t trained to be friendly to trans people, or to consider issues specific to trans patients their responsibility. So they enter practice with a knowledge base that really does turn trans people into alien creatures, and even trans patients who manage to find a well-intentioned doctor end up supervising their own medical care. It’s like with abortion procedures: at some point, the marginalization climbs into the system.

  6. woland
    woland July 2, 2009 at 10:53 am |

    I am lucky beyond words that this is my health clinic. Because the lgbt program is so unusual, they do a lot of training/talks all over the place, and provide a lot of written resources to help doctors meet the needs of trans patients.

    I wonder if it might be possible/welcome to connect them with NOWHC or other medical services in NOLA? It’s obviously not going to help while there’s no doctor at all, but it could help address the issue of medical providers not feeling like they can serve trans patients.

    I wish there were more programs like Sherbourne/Rainbow Health Network. Even perfectly inclusive women’s health care can’t generate the knowledge base and standard of care that emerges from an lgbt-focused progam – and then that knowledge can be passed on to practitioners who serve more general populations.

  7. voz
    voz July 2, 2009 at 11:07 am |

    I wonder if it might be possible/welcome to connect them with NOWHC or other medical services in NOLA? It’s obviously not going to help while there’s no doctor at all, but it could help address the issue of medical providers not feeling like they can serve trans patients.

    There are a lot off good programs and information out there to refer them to.
    But I think helping NOWHC back on its feet, and helping them on their terms needs to happen first. Trans women do need to talk to them about our care, and I think that is happening. But first things first.

    In the meantime, NOWHC is one among many that exclude or mistreat trans women. This problem is much bigger than one clinic, and its important to remember this.

  8. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla July 2, 2009 at 11:19 am |

    woland@6: along similar lines, i am receiving health care at the Mazzoni Center in Philadelphia, and have been very happy with my doctor and all of the staff there. so this might be another resource for NOWHC to connect with.

  9. NiceFeminist
    NiceFeminist July 2, 2009 at 7:54 pm |

    This post is really enlightening, and serves as a good reminder to people who are not owning up to their privilege as much as they should (I definitely include myself in this category). I couldn’t help but notice a slight level of snark in the link to my blog, so I wanted to add that I have been writing a draft about privilege, that I will post soon, probably tonight, which will hopefully spark a discussion among any readers/commenters to own up to their/our own, and figure out how to reconcile that with our own ideas of our own individuality. It seems that those who are most privileged in a general sense are the first to get mad about how “our” oppression isn’t heard or taken seriously, and that idea needs to be combated before any real change can happen, in my opinion.

    If that makes sense.

  10. inmotme
    inmotme July 2, 2009 at 8:13 pm |

    Hi there! I share an IP with “Nice Feminist” given our living arrangement, so I hope that’s not an issue.

    I just wanted to hop in and clarify one fine point. The link to our blog is delivered with the pretext that Nice Feminist has an issue with oppression associated anger. I would really like to state firmly right now that by no means do the creator of Nice Feminist or its contributors (me, for now) discourage protest, organization or even violence if it ever made itself necessary in the name of thwarting an oppressive force. We find inspiration in those people’s willing to take to the streets. Even today as the Westboro clan held their “God Hates Fags” signs outside of my workplace I commented to a co-worker that I would be perfectly willing to go to jail over what I would consider my justified outrage and expressions thereof regarding their protected hate-speech (as a matter of fact, they had disbanded by the time I found out about their presence and still don’t know why they were here).

    The reason for the name of the blog has much more to do with creating an environment of security in the feminist blog-o-sphere, which often condescends the under-studied or novice social thinker. We just want people to talk honestly about their experiences so that a greater cumulative sense of understanding can be reached between those who think Feminism is obsolete and those who think we have a long way to go.

    We appreciate and are avid readers of Feminste and fully support all outcry against injustice. Thoreau puts it best in Civil Disobedience: “Under a government that imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just [person] is also in prison.”

    Thanks for the discussions and we hope that Nice Feminist does not find ill-will in the feminist blog community. Also, consider our current blog a “beta.” Input is welcome, and in the future it will transition to a privately hosted multi-functional website.

  11. woland
    woland July 2, 2009 at 9:26 pm |

    Yeah, NOWHC clearly needs some time on their own to even figure out what it is they need, and that needs respect. I just hope that once they’re in a position to start marshalling resources, the same energy that went into critiquing them is available to help them access what they need.

    As far as trans women accessing health care it seems to me (as an outsider) that ensuring women’s services welcome trans women is an absolutely necessary but not sufficient step for expanding access to appropriate care. My own experience with non-lgbt-focused women’s healthcare as a cis lesbian has been mixed, and I’ve gotten significantly better care as a result of the Ontario initiatives that discovered that, guess what, lesban health care involves more than just knowing that not all your female patients need the pill. I suspect the same is even more true for trans women – for example, an inclusive women’s clinic with a tiny percentage of trans women patients is maybe not going to have the same sensitivity in performing cross-gender physical exams (ex. prostate exams on trans women) as a clinic with trans women medical staff and 400 trans clients. So part of the focus in Ontario has been on figuring out how to document the knowledge gained by specialised services and make it accessible to other providers (with the aim that a trans person going to a gp in small town Northern Ontario can be treated just as well as the person with access to an lgbt practice in Toronto.) It looks as if the Philadelphia clinic GallingGalla uses is similarly involved in training others – and US resources are probably way more appropriate to highlight since issues of funding, liability, etc are very different in Canada and the US.

  12. Feminists For Choice » Friday Click List

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  13. imnotme
    imnotme July 3, 2009 at 1:34 pm |

    All is well then. As the site is refined the verbiage may change.

  14. NiceFeminist
    NiceFeminist July 3, 2009 at 6:23 pm |

    Holly: You’re totally right about the mission statement, but when I read the later part of your post:

    hearing, listening, and understanding the anger of marginalized and stomped-upon peoples can sometimes be a critically important teaching about privilege, for privileged people.

    I totally understood where you were coming from. Both are important and useful types of spaces.

  15. Lauren
    Lauren July 4, 2009 at 11:31 am |

    I’ve had awful experiences with doctors that have made me reluctant to see them even when I’m grossly ill, and I’m some straight, cis white lady in the Midwest — I can’t imagine the fear and anxiety associated with doctors that QE has been writing about if you must worry about discrimination on top of that. Doctors and health care providers have a lot of authority that can be abused when it comes to vulnerable patients — frankly that authority scares me, it’s the shit that nearly killed me when I was vulnerable. Just following doctors’ orders.

    I can’t imagine how hard it must be to try and organize another kind of health care option wherein the social goals of progressive peoples is inseparable from medical wellness goals. Sometimes it’s hard to get the medical community to see patients as people instead of as problems that need to be fixed or pathologized.

    Much love and support for NOWHC and INCITE. I can certainly see why they may fear organizing anything with the blogosphere, but if they do need help I’m on board. This is where medicine needs to go.

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