myladylove

What will you say?

18 posts in this topic

So I am hearing on the news this morning that by 2019 the government wants GP’s to ask patients to define their sexuality when having  a face to face consultation. I’m glad it’s that long away, gives me time to think what I would say as I am a very complicated person with all sorts of issues bound up in my sexuality. Of course we have the right not to answer the question. ‘No comment’ might be my best response, what would be yours to such a question when you perhaps were not feeling too well anyway?

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I'm not sure how that makes me feel to be honest. A year or so ago I may not have been too bothered and would have quite happily said bisexual - however with everything happening in the US at the moment it is a stark reminder that things can go backwards and I'm not sure I would want to be "on the record" just in case. That may just be me overthinking the whole thing (as often happens with me) but it scares me a little.

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I had to fill in a form recently when I worked with my local council anti social behaviour team regarding harassment I am subject to. The form asked this same question ie what is your sexuality. I turned it onto humour and wrote ‘unlikely’ and never heard anything back so I guess a lot depends on how you are feeling at the time. I also remember when my hubby was terminally ill and was getting visits from all kinds of different professionals one woman asking him what his sexual orientation was. I was quite enraged by this, I mean a dying man?

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Thanks for bringing this up. I think the intent is to enable physicians to give the best care in a way that's sensitive to their patient's sexuality, but I can definitely see how it would backfire. @femmekat things have definitely been going backwards on this side of the Atlantic. I definitely considered going back in the closet when I moved to Phoenix aka the home of Sheriff Joe. But so far I have tried to stay out and proud.

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I understand the thinking to a degree. People who might want to talk to their doctor regarding their sex life/mental health or struggles due to sexuality. But it's also not anyone's business. For the minority it'll help, it'll hinder and embarrass far more. 

Their role is to assist and support you with your needs, anything beyond that to me is unnecessary. I treat all professional and serious matters the same way, they don't need know and think about the situation you're in at the time. Also going private it'll be on forms but a doctor won't ask you that without a reason. Nor should they, it all feels a bit nanny state and general census gone nuts to me.

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It probably makes sense to break it down by medical specialty. A gynecologist already asks about sexual behavior, so it makes sense that orientation would be part of that conversation. But an ophthalmologist would have no need to know - unless they're treating eye strain due to looking at too many pictures of hot ladies. ;)

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20 minutes ago, ChemFem said:

But an ophthalmologist would have no need to know - unless they're treating eye strain due to looking at too many pictures of hot ladies. ;)

@ChemFem Lol, you just say "boobs," and he nods in agreement. 

I probably wouldn't answer unless it related to the kind of treatment I was getting (like a therapist or something). Gynecologist only asks if you re sexually active, not your orientation so that doesn't even apply. 

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8 minutes ago, amsterrock said:

@ChemFem Lol, you just say "boobs," and he nods in agreement. 

I probably wouldn't answer unless it related to the kind of treatment I was getting (like a therapist or something). Gynecologist only asks if you re sexually active, not your orientation so that doesn't even apply. 

I guess my gynecologist just asks more questions than yours does. And since the number and identity of my partners tends to fluctuate between visits, that's probably warranted. It is helpful for a therapist though, great point. A biphobic therapist can hurt more than they help.

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A GP or GYN should be asking this.  It impacts the discussions to be had.  It affects what you're at risk for.  It also impacts discussions about your general wellbeing. Do you feel safe being out?  Do you have good support around you?  Yeah, it might be awkward, but providers getting well-versed on this stuff can point to resources you might not be aware of if sexuality is a struggle for you.  In my case, being gay is my birth control method!  Hasn't failed me yet!  I am also out and feel safe and have good support and an awesome woman in my life.  Not everyone can say that.  But as a provider myself, I would gladly share resources for patients who are struggling.

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I went and say my gyn in March. It was the first time I had to tell anyone about  my orientation. The reason I did was because once I opened up my marriage I was opening up myself to certain risks. 

I agree with @ChemFem a therapists needs to know to help you work through certain issues. Finding one that is lgbt friendly is important.

 

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I didn't mean to infer that it's the same for all Drs. Obviously, my OBGYN and relevant doctors know about the sex. But also  I mentioned it as sex, not sexuality, it's never been explicit and I think just from the way I have described things and my history, they're free to make assumptions of course, but that's enough to prompt more specific questions or move along . My OBGYN, did ask me if I used protection with partners and I said not with the women, but as you know I used to get tested regularly. I have no issue with that kinda thing.

I'm not sure I agree with others about telling your therapist. It comes down to whether you want that, are you ready? Also if you're paying someone by the hour to talk about your life, you have free reign to talk about what you want when you want, assuming you're not wasting everyone's time by avoiding your sexuality and are focusing on other areas of your life in a constructive manner in session. I've never told a personal therapist, although when I trained as a counselor, I was honest in the places I interned and the courses I took on LGBTQ issues and such. 

I'm a very private person, across the board. I won't tell anyone anything I don't have to! :P

Edited by Hungry
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3 hours ago, Hungry said:

I didn't mean to infer that it's the same for all Drs. Obviously, my OBGYN and relevant doctors know about the sex. But also  I mentioned it as sex, not sexuality, it's never been explicit and I think just from the way I have described things and my history, they're free to make assumptions of course, but that's enough to prompt more specific questions or move along . My OBGYN, did ask me if I used protection with partners and I said not with the women, but as you know I used to get tested regularly. I have no issue with that kinda thing.

I'm not sure I agree with others about telling your therapist. It comes down to whether you want that, are you ready? Also if you're paying someone by the hour to talk about your life, you have free reign to talk about what you want when you want, assuming you're not wasting everyone's time by avoiding your sexuality and are focusing on other areas of your life in a constructive manner in session. I've never told a personal therapist, although when I trained as a counselor, I was honest in the places I interned and the courses I took on LGBTQ issues and such. 

I'm a very private person, across the board. I won't tell anyone anything I don't have to! :P

I agree that it's your choice whether or not to tell your therapist about your orientation. One of my mom's first reactions when I came out was "Have you talked to your therapist about this?" and my response was essentially "No, we only meet fifty minutes a week and I have other things to discuss." But if you do want professional guidance on exploring bisexuality, as some on here seem to want, it would best to filter out therapists whose reactions are likely to be unhelpful or counterproductive.

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Loose women’s cool attitude is that sexuality has gone way past needing labelling and that it is none of the NHS’s business. Apparently most young people these days identify as fluid bi. Based on that if I was really pressured into giving a label I would say fluid bi and that’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I would like to think that gone are the days when we are made to feel guilty and ashamed for having sexual feelings.

All the recent fluid bi on the soaps has made me feel relieved of the pressure to label myself either way and made my biphobic neighbour who is always calling me ‘Lesbian’ and spreading shite around about me look like the arse that she is....

Hooray for relaxed attitudes and informed people. Perhaps the NHS should ask the bigots and bullies to define what their issues are and get them specialist help.

I do think that a better idea might be to put some info on the notice board in doctors waiting rooms pointing lgbt people in the direction of others, that way it would prevent it becoming a problem in the first place.

 

Edited by myladylove
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Is this only happening in England? I haven't encountered it in the US.

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1 hour ago, wickedcat said:

Is this only happening in England? I haven't encountered it in the US.

Think so yes.

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Yes @myladylove @wickedcat it's an NHS England initiative so just in part of the UK at present.

I'll be saying I'm bi (I get the concerns about the rollback on LGBT and particularly so far T rights in the USA, in my case I know they could just google me and find out so it's a bit late for any worries about winding up on a list!)

For me - apart from being an extra number and so helping challenge the "no one is really so we don't need to pay bisexuality any heed" nonsense I have heard for so long - its also about the different health problems all sorts of queers have and why we have them. For example the transphobia I've had from my old GP makes me slower to go along and get things seen by a health professional, or the biphobic things a counsellor had to say to me when I was young and sorting my head out, I'm sure I'm far from the only person to have an experience like that and so we probably have worse health overall and different health needs when we do get help cos things have got worse than they 'should' have.

As well as helping map whether LGBT people have different health needs this might also show up things like whether LGBTphobia from people charged with our health care is affecting lots of us.  Depending how well they analyse the data it might even highlight particular doctors who are, perhaps unconsciously, a danger to their queer patients.

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I’ve had a recent negative experience with my private dentist. Granted I hadn’t been for a while but I found her to be quite judgmental in some of her comments and I found myself  thinking uh ho someone has been talking to her. Prior to this I had received the usual first class treatment you would expect when using privately paid care. She diagnosed a course of treatment some of which I felt was completely not needed as I was not in any pain. Also when I went for my hygienist visit I felt like I was being laughed at or the butt of some kind of joke by the receptionists when being directed where to wait. It did not feel professional so I had my hygienist visit and after a couple of days thought phoned and cancelled and closed down the rest of the treatment plan. I don’t know what I will do now about this situation but I am not gonna pay good hard earned honest money to anyone and be treated like a second class citizen. My money is as good as any heterosexuals.

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5 hours ago, myladylove said:

I’ve had a recent negative experience with my private dentist. Granted I hadn’t been for a while but I found her to be quite judgmental in some of her comments and I found myself  thinking uh ho someone has been talking to her. Prior to this I had received the usual first class treatment you would expect when using privately paid care. She diagnosed a course of treatment some of which I felt was completely not needed as I was not in any pain. Also when I went for my hygienist visit I felt like I was being laughed at or the butt of some kind of joke by the receptionists when being directed where to wait. It did not feel professional so I had my hygienist visit and after a couple of days thought phoned and cancelled and closed down the rest of the treatment plan. I don’t know what I will do now about this situation but I am not gonna pay good hard earned honest money to anyone and be treated like a second class citizen. My money is as good as any heterosexuals.

Wow that's bothersome. The only thing she should be judging you on is how frequently you floss!

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