Tag Archives: transgender discrimination

FB Group: Autistic Adults

Being autistic is a challenge that can be very trying even on your best day. From my experience, people don’t generally think like I do or even process information the same way I do. Bluntly put, I am the odd man out when compared with society. Due to my trouble with noise, I cannot live in a city or town; in fact, I live nearly twenty miles from the closest thing that you could consider to be a town. Even living where I do, next to someone that will not control their barking dog is emotionally draining on me.

Lately, I’ve been very depressed because of various issues going on in my life and I thought that maybe I could join a support group for people that were autistic and hopefully find some people that were a little more like me. So I searched for a few groups on Facebook and joined a couple that I thought I would mesh in. One of these groups was for LGBT autistics, and while the people there didn’t talk much I found that almost everything was geared towards people with Asperger’s, which is on the ASD scale, but it just isn’t how I am identified. Due to this, I quietly left the group after a little lurking because it didn’t feel like it was for me. If the group is still around when my son is older then I’d probably introduce him to it, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Another group that I joined was called Autistic Adults, which you can find here if you’re interested.

I joined this group because I thought it was great to finally find a group of adults, that are supportive or so I thought. I asked on the group if anyone else had trouble getting a diagnosis as an adult. I had a few comments on the troubles that other people in the group had getting a diagnosis as an adult and had pretty much resigned myself to a long drawn out battle with doctors that don’t want to give me an answer or diagnosis. I’ve already been screened and the result was positive.

The one of the admins ( I had no clue he was an admin at the time.) chimed into my conversation and made suggestions that I’ve already tried. I told him this, and it seemed like he suddenly had a bone to pick with me. First, he had tried to suggest something that I had already done, which was get a screening. I had stated in the first post, that I just needed the official diagnosis and the screening was already done.

You can see that here in the screenshot.

 

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After this post, this guy kept pushing for me to call doctors (this is after the group had had a discussion about telephone conversations and I had admitted that talking on the phone gives me panic attacks, even thinking about talking on the phone can be triggering.) I told him that there were literally no doctors in my area that would diagnose an adult with autism that was respectful and that I couldn’t travel any distance because my SUV (Good Old Bessie) was currently broken down, but this wasn’t good enough of an answer it seemed.

After this, the guy told me that I should have my friends take me to the doctors.

I laughed. I’ll admit it. I fucking laughed at the computer screen when I read that, I laughed because crying would hurt too much. I told him I don’t have friends, and that I lived twenty miles from the nearest town.

I don’t have friends…something that has been so ungodly painful since June, just thrown into my face. So of course, I’m going to be annoyed with this guy now. He had to be right and I had to be lying, at least, that’s how it seemed to me, how could anyone not have friends?

If that wasn’t bad enough then this guy starts trying to tear apart everything I’ve said to other people. I present to you:

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Not that it is any of this guys business, but yes, because of transportation I haven’t been able to see my therapist since October, something that has not been very good for me.

It was after that post that this guy starts privately messaging me and demands to know if I use drugs and then accused me of using a fake name!

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So yeah, after you accuse me of using a fake profile name, I’m going to be pissed. Using profile names that don’t match the name on their driver’s license has caused A LOT of transgender people to have their accounts shut down. My legal name is Aydan Keeley O’Connor and I’m damned proud of it, I fucking paid enough for it.

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It was clear this guy didn’t care what was “going on with me”, because if he had his opening message wouldn’t have been questioning me about drug use.

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Now, I shouldn’t have to explain this to an admin of a Facebook group, but because he isn’t my “friend” my screen name of AydanKOConnor (which is the link for my FB page) is going to come up, not my name. Then he began to question what I write? This guy didn’t introduce himself to me when I first joined that page several days prior, and now because I didn’t idolize him as some god he was harassing me and demanding to know about me? I don’t think so. I stopped talking to him, but I did message one of the other admin and creator of the group when I first started having trouble with him. She did nothing.

My wife even wrote her and other admins and this was the response she got.

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From what my wife understands this guy was telling other admins that I was using a fake name.

Why? Because he didn’t know how facebook works. If you’re not my friend, you’re not going to see much on my page. However, because this David fellow thought I was using a fake name because my account name was showing up I was removed from the only group that I had found to be catered to adults with autism.

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See the difference? AydanOConnor was already taken when I tried to set my facebook username so I used AydanKOConnor instead. K as in Keeley which is my legal middle name.

I feel like the real problem is this though:

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Right at the top of my groups (which are viewable for all) is the fact that I belong to an LGBT group for ASD. The reason I say this is because when my wife wanted to know why I was so upset ( this put me in meltdown mode) and I shoved my phone at her, and after she read the messages she sent this guy a message of her own, wanting to know why he was doing what he was doing.

He started by belittling her and accusing her of using a fake name as well, and when my wife sent him a picture of proof of who she was, he wanted to know if she (my wife) was really me. So my wife sent him a photo of my ID, and then he started asking for personal information.

So because of this gem, I almost had a complete meltdown on top of teetering back and forth on being suicidal. This is not the way you’re supposed to treat each other in a support group.

I wanted to share this with anyone that reads my blog because I don’t want it to happen to anyone else. We don’t need anyone TG suicides or suicides period for that matter, and if I didn’t have such a wonderful wife, this would have seriously pushed me to end it all.

 

Doctors + Being Transgender = Not Good Bedfellows

I hate visiting the doctor, I hate it to the point where I have to pretty much be on the verge of death before I’ll visit a doctor. Part of the reason is the usual lack of punctuality for almost any doctor that I’ve been to, and part of it is because I am transgender. Today I was in so much pain that I forced myself to see what my wife refers to as a “Doc in a Box”, basically it’s a quickie clinic that is normally filled with kids sick from school or people looking to avoid a large co-pay from their insurance companies. They are still, however, a doctor and can do any of the doctorly things a general practitioner would do.

So I went into Patient First in Richmond, VA as I was already in town shopping for groceries for the house. The wait was fairly short, as was the visit with the doctor. I explained why I was there and what the problem was. For those of you reading that are curious I have a lump in my throat on my right side, and really have no effing clue what it is…still.  It’s painful to swallow, turn my head and even breath at times if there is pressure on that side of my neck at all.

The first thing that the medical assistant did was do a swab test for strep, which I expected because let’s be honest, a lot of people don’t know strep from just a sore throat. When that came back negative, the doctor finally saw me. His examination consisted of looking in my ears and shining a light in my throat, all the while keeping as much distance from me as he could.

He asked me if I was taking any medications, I told him that I was taking testosterone. It was then that he demanded to know “what for”. I told him that I was transgender and it was for hormone replacement therapy. He nearly sneered at me and took a step back. I then had to tell him more than five times the list of medications that I am allergic to. (Such a huge list at only three items). The doctor never told me what he thought was wrong with me and instead said he was going to give me some antibiotics to deal with “that thing” and gestured towards me.

He printed about seven sheets off from the printer in the room, thrust them at me and then left the room as quickly as possible.

It is times like these that make me detest going to see a doctor. I absolutely refuse to see any doctor in an emergency room. I would rather die than go to the ER while conscious. The sad thing is the way I was treated is not the exception but rather the rule for anyone that is transgender and reveals their status to a medical professional.

I once met a transwoman that was harassed and mistreated by hospital staff so badly that there was a discrimination case opened on the matter. They refused to treat her, and instead only referred to her with derogatory terms before discharging her from the ER. She had broken her foot and went untreated until visiting another hospital.
This is the common type of treatment we get, and from so-called professionals. When you are a medical professional or any professional for that matter, you need to be able to put your own personal biases aside so that you are able to fairly treat each and every patient you treat equally. You never know, when your biases result in the death of someone…

Texas Bathroom Ban

When is enough going to be enough? When are people going to stop using their narrow-minded prejudices to inflict pain, suffering and emotional torment on others through government laws? The United States is supposed to be the home of the free, but more and more I’m beginning to think that only applies to a select few in this country. Every time I see a bill passed or law put into place that justifies discrimination my heart breaks just that much more.

My grandfather, father, and older brother all served in the Armed Forces; my grandfather Edward Troutt Sr. was on the island of Midway during the Battle of Midway, and my father Edward Troutt Jr. served four tours in Vietnam and was a POW. I couldn’t serve in the military because of the climate when I graduated from high school. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell still hadn’t been repealed and transgender soldiers serving openly in the military was something that was unheard of. I would have been viewed as a woman and treated as such and that wasn’t something that I could handle.

Every time discrimination passes as a freedom, it makes me sick to think of all that my grandfather, father and older brother sacrificed, and for what? So that only the few cisgendered, heterosexual rich white elitist can have freedoms?

Earlier this evening it was brought to my attention that a new bill was passed in Texas, one that prevented people of one gender from using the bathroom of the opposite gender. It was obvious at once that this bill was passed as a way to discriminate against transgender individuals. My parents, older half-sister, older half-brother, and younger brother all live in Texas; now if I visit them and use the restroom in public I have to worry about being charged with a felony offense.

The bill was HB1748 and states:

relating to the use of public locker rooms, shower facilities, and toilet facilities; creating a criminal offense.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1.  Section 341.061, Health and Safety Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 341.061.  LOCKER ROOMS, SHOWER FACILITIES, AND TOILET FACILITIES; CRIMINAL PENALTY.  (a)  An operator, manager, or superintendent of a public building, schoolhouse, theater, filling station, tourist court, bus station, or tavern shall provide and maintain sanitary toilet facilities [accommodations].

(b)  An operator, manager, superintendent, or other person with authority over a building described by Subsection (a) may not allow an individual who is at least seven years of age to repeatedly enter a locker room, shower facility, or toilet facility in the building that is designated for use by persons of a gender that is not the same gender as the individual’s gender.  A violation of this subsection is a state jail felony.

(c)  An individual who is at least 13 years of age may not enter a locker room, shower facility, or toilet facility that is designated for use by persons of a gender that is not the same gender as the individual’s gender.  A violation of this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor.

(d)  It is a defense to prosecution under Subsections (b) and (c) that the individual enters the locker room, shower facility, or toilet facility for a custodial purpose, to give medical assistance, or to accompany a child younger than eight years of age and of a gender that is not the same gender as the individual’s gender.

(e)  For the purpose of this section, the gender of an individual is the gender established at the individual’s birth or the gender established by the individual’s chromosomes.  A male is an individual with at least one X chromosome and at least one Y chromosome, and a female is an individual with at least one X chromosome and no Y chromosomes.  If an individual’s gender established at the individual’s birth is not the same as the individual’s gender established by the individual’s chromosomes, the individual’s gender established  by the individual’s chromosomes controls under this section.

SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2015.

So now if I go to visit my family and have to pee I’d better hold it until I get home, no matter how long I’m out. Going to the movies, forget it. Going shopping for anything other than a quick milk and bread run, forget it. Pretty much leaving the house for more than two or three hours, is off limits thanks to this bill. I’m to be relagated to the women’s restroom where I can be beaten, maced, peppersprayed, or worse (because you can pretty much carry a firearm whereever you want to in Texas) I can be shot. What a way to welcome new potential residents or tourists.

Things like this make me wonder why anyone would ever think that being transgender is a choice.