I love working in psychiatry. I am enlightened in so many ways every day. Recently a patient said to me, “I’m really a good person. You know, I am heterosexual, I had kids, I worked, I did what I was supposed to do.” The litany went on but I was still stuck at her first statement. I am always being exposed to viewpoints that completely go against my own and then I have to remain totally objective and unaffected.
I had to continue my interview with that patient as if I was not homosexual. As if her statement that her being a good person by being heterosexual hadn’t just sent my brain into a tailspin. That takes some self control and an amazing poker face. I’m happy to say I’ve mastered both…in that particular situation. In other facets of my life there is no poker face. People who know me well can attest to that.
There is SO much negativity in the news about the LGBT community lately. I mean since November 2016 really. Because we have an administration who apparently thinks the death penalty is okay for all us gays. Fuck you very much. But anyway, not only am I accosted by anti-LGBT news on my Facebook and WordPress feed but also in my work. Because in case people haven’t notice, the LGBT community has never tried to not care for others who are straight. We’ve never turned away people from our businesses because they are straight. We are an eclectic, diverse, but overall rather accepting community.
I continued my job in that moment with that patient as if what they said made no difference to me. I provided the same care to that patient that I provided to all twenty-five of my patients that day. It’s only after work that I let that statement sink in and resonate with me. It brought up some stuff.
The one time I met my wife’s mother she preached a lot about religion. She asked at one point how my moral compass was guided. Not those words but same message. I told her that I follow the laws of our community and I try and be a good person. She started talking over me and said something like “Yes so you try and be a good person just like most of the people in society.” But in a rather condescending like “Poor you, you actually don’t know what you are talking about and are actually far beneath me in terms of morality” type of tone. That didn’t sit well with me. Obviously, because I still remember it almost eight years later.
It irks me that because I am married to a woman my morality and ethics are questioned by others. It angers me that the choice of my life partner apparently has bearing on what kind of a person I am. Because I am married to a woman I have to prove that I am a good person?
I’m a firm believer in “actions speak.” It’s a philosophy that to me is raw and honest and that’s how I roll.
So what makes a good person? Apparently not sleeping with the same gender so I’m already off the list. Perhaps owning a gun? I’m definitely out then. Being white? That’s one check in my column. Protesting birth control and abortion? Yeah screw that.
So by the #45’s rules I’m a bad perhaps even “nasty” woman.
I’m cool with that.
If being bad means I provide comprehensive care to all my patients regardless of their religious beliefs then I’m there. If being a bad person means being open to all religions, all ethnicities, and all genders (pre and post op)…then I’m horrible. I never want to own a gun. I never want an abortion but should I need one I better be able to get one. And I’m not divorcing my wife anytime soon, but I’ll fight to the death for my right to marry and/or divorce her.
There’s this private practice I know of that advertises itself as being “transgender owned”. I thought that was weird at first. Because I was like why does it matter? But now I get it. I opened my own practice with a business partner so it’s partially lesbian owned. And I’m damned proud of it. It’s important for the LGBT community to own businesses, to work in our community, to be accepting when others are not. To continue living our lives, to not move to Canada but to move to freaking Alabama.
I personally will not go silently into the night. I’m going to grow my business to be a huge success. And maybe #45 will do one freaking thing he said during his campaign and lower taxes for small businesses (there’s an automatic federal 30% business tax off our profits) and then he will be doing this nasty lesbian woman a big freaking favor. And I will happily hold a sign standing outside the white house wearing a nasty woman shirt with a big thank-you sign while holding up my middle finger (seriously if that happens I will post the picture and write a blog post. That’s a promise and you know I take my promises seriously).
It’s hard to live in today’s world as a lesbian trying to work, raise children, pay taxes, and “live the dream” seeing the constant chipping away of our rights by the government and not feel anger. I am angry that Obama and Clinton haven’t come forward with harsh words for our current administration. We need leaders and voices. Thank-you Jimmy Fallon. I’m angry the democrats in congress and the senate haven’t been more forthright in their defense of us. I’m angry that we are such a freaking polite society that people are sitting back and watching the LGBT community victimized on a daily basis. I’m angry that I’m not a bad person yet I’m being categorized as such because I fell in love.
My heart also breaks for all the younger LGBT individuals whose entrance into our community is marred by hatred. You are not bad people. You are beautiful. And I’m standing next to you.