Trans Man Takes Action Against Doctor’s Discrimination

Posted on April 19, 2012 by

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To whom it may concern,

On April 18th, 2012, I went to see Dr. X of the Fredericton Psychiatry office regarding my gender identity disorder and to request a letter of recommendation for sex reassignment surgery at the clinic in Montreal. I was referred to Dr. X by a social worker of the Mental Health clinic because there was no one  no one at the Mental Health Clinic willing to deal with my situation.

When I arrived at Dr. X office I was informed that he didn’t even know why I was there. He then asked me a number of very intrusive questions including whether or not I had ever been sexually abused, how many sexual partners I’d had, what I do for a living, my hobbies, and my disability. After I’d answered these questions, Dr. X told me that he didn’t know much about gender identity disorders or how to treat people who are transgender. He then tried to discourage me from transitioning by telling me numerous times that it costs a lot of money, the province won’t help me, and that it is a long process. Near the end of the appointment, Dr. X commented on how unhappy I seemed with what he’d told me, and said that he would refer me to the Clarke Institute in Toronto. The Clarke Institute has a terrible reputation amongst the transgender community and it is strongly recommended by those who have been there that it be avoided.

This is a horrendous way to treat transgender people. It can cause mental and emotional damage to us. A less stable person could have been at risk of suicide after an encounter like that. There needs to be somebody in Mental Health in New Brunswick educated on dealing with gender identity disorders.

I look forward to hearing your response to this issue.

Devin

Fredericton, NB

Copies sent to Canadian Mental Health Association, NB Minister of Health, AIDS NB SIDA, NB Human Rights Commission, Heather Duffet-Wiggs, head of the adult team for mental health clinic at VHC, Dr. Njoku, Spectrum, Josie Harding of Moncton Transgender Peer Support Group, Queer Theory Collective, Premier’s Council on the Status of Disabled Persons, Health and Community Services NB, Adult Team at Mental Health Center.
Posted in: FQ