Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"Gender Issues"

I found out this week that my clinical instructor (CI) from my recently completed internship for physical therapy actually admitted to failing me because of my "gender issues" I knew since day one that this was an issue, I was placed at an ultra conservative catholic hospital. I ever so often got sly little comments like "she can't get her work done quick enough" or "She is my student and She isn't doing well" I asked her to respect the fact that I asked her to use male pronouns and that as a professional to respect me and my wishes. Each time being met with a I slipped and so on. I spent just about 8 weeks being told how I was stupid, and will never amount to being anything good, and will fail. My College pulled me out of the site early due to my CI's inability to teach and instead just put me in a no win situation. My advisor later found out all of this was due to my "gender issues" and had to have a candid conversation with me about me. That conversation went well, she was very receptive and made it clear she is hear to make sure I get the same opportunities as my classmates and is willing to protect me. But at the same time she blantaly stated that she doesn't understand why I am having the problem and that I am just going to have to be better than all my classmates. People who have never been hated just because of their mere existence and know nothing of discrimination don't understand. They don't understand how it effects and changes a person, they don't understand how people can just don't know a bad situation. THey may try and may want to understand but don't understand because they have never lived it.
As far as being better than everyone else, I don't know a queer alive that doesn't to get anywhere. As an athlete I have to be better than anyone in order just to be average to everyone. Apparently the same will be true to be a physical therapist. I am trying to write about this in a way that is professional and showing both sides, but I must say that proves to be very hard. I wish I could say that my presentation has destroyed jobs and job opportunities but it isn't. Because of my identity and presentation I may also lose out on my opportunity to work at a neuro rehab clinic which was a dream come true when I found out I got it, but because of my "complicated situation" my college doesn't know if it will be a safe place for me to be. I want to live in a world where there actual is no discrimination against gender identity and not some pretty little law in a meaningless rule book.

1 comment:

  1. Here's a bit of info: Your CI may belong to a professional accrediting association that requires therapists to follow a code of conduct. Even in hateful states with no protections for trans people, the state and national organizations' code of conduct may.

    You might wish to report your CI for violations. Trans identified people ARE protected by many professional associations in the helping professions.

    Best of luck!