written by Anonymous

I was given the name of the woman who would call. The woman was also referred to as “she”. On the day of the call, it was a man’s voice. It put me off so badly I couldn’t concentrate, and I shut off all the questioning about my “feelings”.

I know you collect stories re medicine and the impact of trans ideology. This won’t likely help you; I’m a Canadian woman and not part of your system. But if it adds another voice or example, this is what happened.

I’m 66, daughter and granddaughter of women who suffered dementia. Mum had it early, so I keep watch. It’s complicated for me by an old head injury that makes me confuse or forget words occasionally when I’m tired. I thought I was having memory problems and possible cognitive problems and was admitted to the geriatric clinic of a hospital, got a scan and some oral and written testing, a helpful interview and was told I had a structurally normal brain for my age but could come back if I needed help. Then I was offered a final meeting, via phone due to Covid, to make sure I had no lingering concerns or questions about coping strategies.

I was given the name of the woman who would call. The woman was also referred to as “she”.

On the day of the call, it was a man’s voice. It put me off so badly I couldn’t concentrate, and I shut down all the questioning about my “feelings”.

The really awful part was that all I could think about was “wait I know this is a man, why would this happen, they really do this to women after all” as he was going through his list of questions and attempting to empathize with how he imagined I must be feeling. He was wrong, I wasn’t sad and upset at the difficulty of failing memory, I was looking for some scientific/medical answers that would reassure me. I’m a pharmacist’s daughter and come from a ridiculously practical Scottish family. Facts are always what calm me.

Later I realized what I was feeling when I heard the male counsellor’s voice on the phone: it was the same instinctive fear you have when you’re in danger — a potentially dangerous person coming toward you on a dark street, that kind of bodily fear. That this is wrong and I have to get away from it…. His voice was so out of sync with things, and I was discussing potential cognitive problems, and the two came together.

I was shocked to feel myself reacting with such panic. I mean, it was just a man’s voice. On the phone. And I could have said something. Or hung up. I was so angry and so shocked in the moment, and it gave the creepiest edge to his questions about how I must be feeling. I was trying to ask about the gap between the results that showed no severe memory challenge and the things I was experiencing, and this man with a woman’s name was cooing about how it must be so hard for me. I honestly can’t picture an older or more confused or cognitively challenged woman having to deal with that moment. Or an older man, I guess. Now I’m just angry at the whole thing. If that man feels so entitled to live as if he’s a woman that he would inflict even that potential confusion on patients at a geriatric clinic, he shouldn’t be working there.

I’m a journalist by trade. I would normally just ask if it was a man. I don’t scare easily. But I know that might have gone badly, or be recorded as a problem, and I wanted to be able to keep using the clinic. So I just got off the phone. That’s unlike me.

I was in a blind rage for about a full day, and went back into one for about a week after I mentioned it to my doctor. I told her about it during my annual physical shortly afterward but she just looked at the floor and looked troubled but didn’t answer. I realized that neither she nor anyone else was able to confirm that they had handed me to a man and called him a woman. They would not do that for a patient. The fact that the medical profession has agreed to accommodate this ideology at the expense of people with cognitive problems, is just … disappointing.

To this day, I have hesitated to use any further medical service of that sort. No one will confirm it was a man, and that still haunts me. To do that to a woman already worried about cognitive function is appalling.

My son has Aspergers; I think mum’s Alzheimer’s helped give me the patience you need to assist people by approaching them where they’re at in life. And not where you wish they were. It’s a kind of empathy, but also just common sense. I don’t know where either have gone these days. I don’t know why the answer to whatever trans-identifying men represent is to make women accommodate them, at whatever cost. I don’t know why we didn’t get to debate this. Except I do, of course.

Total aside, but my son and I were in a community centre one day, which are staffed by the wokest of workers. We were just inside the door when a trans-identifying man asked my son where the washroom was. He was a bit odd looking, but that’s kind of how my neighbourhood goes. My son — again, who is autistic, and whose entire problem is the inability to read social clues — directed him to the men’s, because he was a man. It enraged the guy, and the staff later tried to berate my son. So now that’s added to the long list of places we don’t go. I know you know all this, but it’s just baffling that there’s no end people will go to with this ideology. The lack of any empathy for the people on the wrong end of their stick.

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