Transphobia and Healthcare

One of the most difficult aspects of being transgender or transsexual is finding a decent doctor that is willing to treat you like a human being. Since beginning my transition I’ve dealt with doctor after doctor that ignored my concerns about my healthcare, but never in my life have I ever had a doctor treat me with such disrespect and down right hatefulness until the last appointment I had with my new ex-PCP.

Not only did this doctor refuse to exam me physically either time I saw him, but he also changed my gender-markers in the healthcare system from male to female and sent me a letter with the title of Ms. This was after my ex-PCP called me a liar and placed ‘Female to male transsexual person on hormone therapy’ on my “Problem List Update”.

It’s worth noting that when my first appointment was made with this doctor my wife asked for a doctor that had experience with people that are transgender and would treat them with respect. As a result of that Dr. Kyle Osborn was the doctor I was given an appointment with.

During my first appointment, all of my health concerns were ignored, I was told I didn’t need any referrals to see other doctors (i.e. endocrinologist for my hormones) and was sent on my way. Even when I expressed my concerns about not being able to lose weight no matter how little I ate or how much I exercised, I was ignored and shoved out the door. This was also a basis of the argument during my second appointment.

For over a year now, I’ve been having pain in both of my legs that gets so unbearable that it is difficult to walk or even stand at times. I’d been trying to get a solid diagnosis for several months now, but no doctor seems to know exactly what is going on with my legs. I went to an orthopedist after being told I had compartment syndrome. The orthopedist did and X-ray and CT scan then told me they didn’t know what was wrong, and I should probably see someone to get my circulation checked out. When I found a doctor to do that, their office outright refused to send any kind of referral which sent me to Dr. Osborn.

Osborn didn’t both to even look at either of my legs, or notice that one is actually  visibly larger than the other by about an inch, refused to listen to my history about the problem and told me that I would be wasting my time getting my circulation checked, that I just needed physical therapy. He then proceeded to tell me that I needed to ‘count my calories’ and that calories just didn’t breed, this was after I told him I was only eating one or two meals a day. He demeanor was rude, hostile and downright unprofessional.

Nearly a week after this last appointment I received a letter in the mail only to find out my gender markers had been changed from male to female. This is even after this doctor has a copy of my driver’s license in my file, a license that states I am male. My gender markers with the United States government even state that I’m male. Changing my gender marker was not only, what I consider to be an act of harassment, but also fraud and could cause my insurance company not to pay for the services rendered under the incorrect gender.

This is the reality of the world that people like me live in, even with insurance or paying out of pocket for our healthcare costs, we are denied the right to be treated like human beings. We are mocked, harassed, and treated worse than animals.

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