This is the best time for me to post this, as on the 12th I will be undergoing a full hysterectomy and have had to deal with the gynecology department and over coming the weird looks you get as someone who is male presenting turning up in a primarily women’s environment.
I have never liked how gynecology has been. It’s pink, its covered in flowers and it is assumptive of all the sex you have (if you have it, is entirely straight). Even if I wasn’t someone who presented as male, I would be really fucking patronised about the pink obsession that goes into that clinical space. OK I’m talking about Brighton’s Gyno centre, but I’ve heard the same story in so many others by vagina owners across the board that it screams sexism and floral undertones. As someone who has visited recently I can honestly say there is a huge reason why so many people feel uncomfortable getting their cervical screenings done and check ups and it’s the building itself. That and so many gynos never chose the correct speculum sizes and just assume the regular will fit everyone. No. There is a range of sizes for a reason and smears should not be painful to experience. Slight discomfort sure, but if its painful then it’s being done wrong.
Trans men and non binary people need smear tests done if they still have a cervix. This isn’t up for debate, specific cancer screening for vagina owners needs to be open and accessible to ALL vagina owners and making buildings and staff unaware of trans people endangers lives. A trans man doesn’t not want to be misgendered whilst having an examination that could bring him dysphoria, just the same as women want to be treated fairly and pain free. I’m honestly shitting myself over my hysto cause they originally fucked up on what ward I would be staying at, and I don’t think neither myself or the women they wanted to put me in would feel comfortable. I believe I’m going in a private room, but fuck knows at this point.
I am really nervous about how I am going to be treated in hospital and I know that there are some really good nurses but there are also some really shit ones too. I’m nervous because I’m having to expose a part of me that I am not comfortable with being defined with. I am scared that I am going to have so much bleeding it will bring me bad dysphoria and I’m scared that I’m going to be misgendered even though I’ve had top surgery and facial hair now. Trans people shouldn’t be worried about how they are treated in hospitals but this is stuff that constantly goes through our minds because it happens all the time. But we need to change this.
We need to start making cancer screening and specific genital services actually accessible for trans people and not allow poor behavior stop them from accessing things that could save their lives. There should be a care for all patience and not just some of them. It shouldn’t be assumed that everyone is straight and they shouldn’t assume the genital lay out of the partners you sleep with either.
I hope that Thursday goes well for myself and I am not in hospital for long, because the longer I stay, the more likely I am to be treated like shit because I am trans.